A State Patrol use of force investigation released Tuesday states that a Seattle police officer used force that caused “unnecessary and foreseeable injury” to a woman he arrested in June.
The Seattle Police Department asked the State Patrol to evaluate Officer Adley Shepherd’s actions during a June 22 incident in which he reportedly punched a woman in the face, causing multiple fractures.
The report does not make any recommendations on any kind of action, but the State Patrol forwarded the investigation to the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
The scuffle occurred in South Seattle on 48th Avenue South, according to the investigative reports (it did not indicate on which part of the street it took place).
A woman called 911 about 2:07 a.m. to report that her son had received a call from another woman who indicated she was coming over to fight with him, the report said. The two were previously at a party and got into an argument.
Three officers, including Shepherd, responded to the house. While there, the woman in question arrived at the house, appearing “highly intoxicated,” records say.
While Shepherd spoke to the woman, she became “increasingly agitated” and resisted his attempts to guide her to the front of his patrol car. She denied making threats to the man who claimed she came to fight.
In-car video footage indicates Shepherd said, “My patience is done” and “Somebody is going to jail.”
With help from another officer, Shepherd handcuffed the woman.
The woman reportedly said, “I swear I am going to sue you guys” and resisted getting in the back of Shepherd’s patrol car. She appeared to kick at Shepherd from the rear of the cruiser, but the video did not capture whether she struck him.
Shepherd recoiled and said, “She kicked me,” according to the State Patrol report.
Shepherd then reportedly entered the back of the patrol car and punched the woman in the face. He ordered the woman, “Don’t kick, do not kick,” documents say.
The officer complained to another cop, “My jaw is jacked,” rubbing his chin.
The woman was transferred to another patrol car, where she was treated by a firefighter before being taken to Harborview Medical Center.
Her face showed “significant trauma” and was fractured in multiple places, according to the report.
While Shepherd complained of jaw soreness and “shooting pain” in his face, medical records did not reveal any obvious injury.
Shepherd was placed on home assignment the next day.
The State Patrol evaluator said Shepherd’s demeanor and actions before the punch were “calm and respectful.”
However, he went on to say that “following the assault he acted in a way inconsistent with the training and policy by not using the time and resources available to him.”
The statement continues: “As a result he unnecessarily placed himself in greater danger and caused unnecessary and foreseeable injury to the handcuffed suspect.”
The woman involved in the incident has no felony history in Washington.
Shepherd was hired by Seattle PD in January 2005 and is known for his work preventing gang violence. His work was profiled in the P-I in 2009 and he has been lauded for his work in the past.
He was also involved in the release of a man in 2009 who bolted out of the state after being linked to a homicide.