SPD officer apologizes and admits mistake

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on May 7, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Updated Saturday, May 8 at 12:40 PM

SEATTLE - Officer Shandy Cobane spoke to the media Friday evening. The Seattle Police Department is looking into the racially charged incident involving several Hispanic men.

Assistant Chief Nick Metz says Cobane asked to make this statement, and that the department did not ask him to do it.

"To the members of the Latino community, I know my words cut deep and were hurtful," said Cobane, as he read from a prepared statement. He appeared to be very upset, remorseful, and ashamed.

"At no time did I ever dream that I would bring such negative notoriety to my department."

He called his words that night "offensive and unprofessional." However, Cobane made no reference to his physical actions with the man lying on the ground in the video.

Video from the incident on April 17 shows Cobane yelling at one of several Hispanic men. He is heard on tape saying "you got me? I'm gonna beat the ____ Mexican piss out of you honey, you feeling me?

"As a result of comments I have not only embarrassed myself, but I left down my colleagues, colleagues who without thinking twice, would lay down their lives for me," said Cobane. "To my brother detectives I offer you my sincerest apology because I know my comments have made your job more difficult."

"I know the Seattle Police Department has worked hard over the years to build a strong and trusting relationship with the Latino community as with other ethnic communities within our city. And I hope you will not allow my insensitive comments to taint what the department and the community have worked so hard to build. Please know, I am truly, truly sorry."

Cobane says he will cooperate fully with the investigation, that has been fast-tracked by the department.

Fifteen seconds later in the video, the man on the ground moves his hand. Cobane stomps down on his hand, and the blow possibly glances the man's head in the process. A female officer walks over appearing to stomp on the back of the man's leg.

Soon the officers, who were investigating a robbery in Seattle's South Lake Union area committed by several Hispanic men, realize they have the wrong guys. Cobane is seen helping the man to his feet.

Both officers are on administrative leave.

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