Attorney says surveillance video shows excessive force by SPD

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Seattle attorney James Egan on Friday released new surveillance video that he says is another example of Seattle Police using excessive force on a suspect in custody.

The incident caught on the video occurred on Oct. 6 at the intersection of 23rd and Union. SPD officers pulled over Leo Etherly on suspicion of hit-and-run.

Etherly, a Seattle auto dealer, said one of the officers who pulled him over was more aggressive than the others.

In the video, it is difficult to make out what happened in detail, but the it clearly shows a struggle between several officers and Etherly.

SPD said that when the officers tried to forcibly handcuff Etherly, he spit at them -- a felony crime. As a result, officers used additional force to subdue Etherly. A technique used by one of the officers in the situation is now under investigation by SPD's Office of Police Accountability, the department said.

Etherly said he was held down as an officer punched him.

"Next thing I know, I'm getting hit in my eye and the next thing I know I'm waking up on the ground," he said.

"If you only knew how much this affected my life. I can't sleep. I'm not eating right, I'm so affected," Etherly added.

Etherly and his attorney said there is dash cam video of the incident, but because that video was obtained under discovery it can't be released to the media.

Etherly was never charged with hit and run, and assault charges for Etherly's spitting at officers are still pending

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