The Price of Police Misconduct
Poor judgment and unnecessary violence on the part of a police officer in Seattle will cost local taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here's what happened:
[Romelle] Bradford was a 20-year-old volunteer at the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club in 2006 and was chaperoning a dance when rival groups began to make trouble. Police were called, and Bradford, according to testimony and court records, was wearing a red staff T-shirt and identification when a rookie police officer, Jacob Briskey, ordered him to stop running toward the altercation.
Bradford, who testified he did not know the officer was speaking to him, continued on when the then-24-year-old officer knocked him hard to the ground and threatened to "knock him the [expletive] out" if he tried to get back up. Bradford was arrested and spent a night in jail.
A federal jury awarded Bradford $269,000. The city hired a private law firm that has billed more than $138,000 to defend the case and the court will probably order the city to pay Bradford's attorneys' fees (although likely less than the $271,000 they're requesting). If the city loses a planned appeal, thousands more will be paid to the attorneys on both sides of the case. All because a police officer roughed up and arrested a young man who was just trying to do his job.
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