Shock Video: Police Officer Charged After Videotaped Beating Teenage Girl

090227_deputy_videoKing County deputy Paul Schene, 31, has been charged with fourth-degree assault in connection with a videotaped showing him beating a 15-year-old girl on Nov. 29 incident in a holding cell at SeaTac City Hall. The video below shows a shocking escalation of violence by Schene.

Schene and another deputy arrested a pair of 15-year-old girls for investigation of auto theft after they were stopped driving a stolen car. It appears that, while trying to take her shoes off, the girl kicked off her left shoe, which struck the deputy in the shin. The video shows Schene going berserk.

The second officer in the video was a trainee and does not appear to participate in the bearing.
Notably, Schene was investigated previously for shooting two people in 2002 and 2006 (including killing one person). However, both were found to be justified.

His attorney, Anne Bremner, released a statement that stressed that the videotape leaves a false impression. She opposed the release “because it does not tell the whole story of the incident. As we argued to the judge, it will inflame public opinion and will severely impact the deputy’s right to a fair trial.” The fair trial concern may have merit though it is hard to see how this reaction would be viewed appropriate.

Presumably, there will be a civil lawsuit once the criminal charges are addressed.

For the video, click here.

For the full story, click here.

16 thoughts on “Shock Video: Police Officer Charged After Videotaped Beating Teenage Girl”

  1. Lottakatz,
    I think that is a wonderful Idea and one of the most constructive I’ve ever heard on this topic.

  2. This story was the most read story on the BBC’s international page this morning. Way to help the international image of the U.S. officers! Stupidity and brutality are like rocks thrown in a still pond. Next time you decide to smack around a 15 y.o. girl, keep in mind that most people think that makes you a scumbag.

  3. lottakatz,

    There you go being all practical again. 😀 It’s a double score too. Good PR and good training in one package.

  4. Maybe the best thing for police departments to adopt are the concept of sabbaticals. Work for three years and get 6 months to a year off with pay in some related but non confrontational field- soup kitchen, hospice worker, other socially positive work etc. Some field where every encounter isn’t potentially dangerous or contributory to a lower regard for people. It seems that after awhile the job breeds cynicism, fear and disrespect for people in general.

    This cop should never have been on the job with his history though.

  5. All the LEO had to do was close the door and let the teenager calm done from a typical teenaged tantrum of kicking her shoes off towards the officer’s feet.

    The only method of preventing such assaults by LEOs is by suing the officer—and not the taxpayers—for everything he has after releasing him from his jailing for assault. Governments must stand behind LEOs when they are reasonably and responsibly acting under the color of their uniform and law; however, this incident is a clear violation of the young woman’s rights and not the actions of an officer who knows that all he had to do to quell the situation was to close the door. Look at that holding cell. Locking a young person in a windowless, claustrophobic-inducing room is enough punishment without adding the physical assault by a coward with gun in an already controllable circumstance.

    When I see such videos, I think of the thousands—if not millions—of people who were unfairly incarcerated and abused in captivity simply because we did not have technology capable of providing visual evidence against governmental abuse. I know from bad LEOs I worked with that they are rarely punished for lying and breaking the very laws under which they swore an oath to enforce and which they pledged themselves to never violate. The LEOs and public servants who most often receive punishment are the honest, ethical whistleblowers who report the abuse. A few exceptional people willingly put their career, family, livelihood, and reputation on the line to report abuse, although the personal costs are astounding and the only the reward is no more than personal gratification that what they did was ethical and right.

    Fortunately, in this case there was an innate, incapable of lying, video camera that—given its location in a secure holding cell—should supply incontrovertible evidence of the LEO’s unwarranted attack on the teenager. My best guess—based on my experiences—is that the trainee would not have reported the abuse in the absence of the video evidence. Any reasonable person, LEO trainee or not, should have known at the time that Officer Shene’s actions were excessive and clearly inappropriate for the situation. I have no sympathy whatsoever for real criminals and I am a strong proponent of the death penalty when founded on incontrovertible evidence that someone committed murder. However, the U.S. law enforcement community is a veritable minefield of injustice, incompetence, and abuse. Unfortunately, from what I have read within this blawg, the judicial system—that must serve a checks and balances function—is not far behind corrupt LEOs in its own deterioration.

  6. Michael-
    Thanks for the story. I argued a motion to suppress a search of a home a couple weeks ago and saw an officer I hadn’t seen in a few years, who my client alleged told him that “the mayor hates cops” and “I hate people on welfare.” The look on his face epitomized the “cynicism and the feeling of separation from the public come about and abuse gets rationalized.” As much as I disliked the tone of his remarks, seeing the change in his outlook over a few years made me feel sorry for him, like an effect of the job was developing a jaded view of everyone except your “team.” However the other officer seemed to try to cautiously describe good information about my client, describing how calm he was despite the report that showed otherwise, so the cynicism I saw on one officer’s face didn’t seem to affect her as she seemed sympathetic both to her partner and my client. In short, it seemed like a problem that could be resolved with training and I tried to train my client to interact better with them as to perhaps not end up in court next time. I doubt the other officer will get any training however, which is sad as we need experienced, non-cynical officers, assuming the former doesn’t lead to the opposite of the latter.

    I wish I could claim this but I just heard, and frequently repeat, it. Having worked as a public defender, where many of my heroes still work, I often wish it only applied to the police, but frequently see that it applies to all bureaucracies in the justice system.

  7. Interesting…. Deputy Schene triggered review of the video by booking the 15 year old girl for assault.

    Additional video and facts here:

    Interesting too that she took her mother’s car without permission, if the auto theft charge gets dropped that leaves only the gross misdemeanor charge against Deputy Schene. And the civil suit.

    David thanks for the great analogy, “Bureaucracy and justice are like oil and water: if not constantly agitated, they naturally separate.”


  9. David,
    Thank you for your cogent comments. When I was growing up in NYC there was always a disconnect between how the politicians appeared to give vocal support to the NYPD, but on the economic and environmental level treated them like crap. The precinct houses were rundown, shabby affairs. The equipment was second rate and the discipline was sporadically enforced. The hours being awful played havoc with family life too and so bred a feeling of cynicism in the ranks. This manifested itself in a distrust of “civilians” and a disdain for the legal system. I can’t blame them because if I was in their shoes I would have probably felt the same.

    This is repeated throughout the country where lip service is paid to supporting our local police, but the actions of politicians(the party is immaterial)and bureaucrats create the same feeling of being on ones own. Thus cynicism and the feeling of separation from the public come about and abuse gets rationalized.

    In an intelligent society we would nurture, train and equip our police so that they could feel the general respect, rather than needing to get it through bullying tactics. Sadly, like in our educational system, too often the money is lacking as our politicians would rather ease wealth’s tax burden, rather than invest their fair share in our country.

  10. When I was a p.d., I heard a deputy claim that “it’s all in how you write the report,” meaning that he knew it would be taken as fact, especially when most misdemeanors were charged as violations of city ordinances, which all carried a max of 6 months in jail which conveniently meant a trial before a judge, or, as I’ve heard it described, a “slow plea.” I can imagine the way this report would have read, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million.

    Dollars maybe? If that figure makes you mad, what better way to encourage better training of officers to ensure that the response isn’t simply to disconnect the cameras?

    Bureaucracy and justice are like oil and water: if not constantly agitated, they naturally separate.

  11. Why was I not surprised that the girl was charged with assault? I’m sure to that the officers lawyer was upset about the release of the tape. Had it not been released the odds are the officer would have escaped charges and discipline. to me the tape clearly shows excessive force in the face of no resistance.

    The typical police cop out in these cases is that they were only responding to an attack, or perceived attack. you know like Mr. Dialo reaching for his wallet to gun officers down a few years ago in NYC. That wasn’t on tape and the Mayor was a corrupt piece of work. Rodney King was on tape but somehow the police also got off after the case was inexplicably changed to Simi Valley, known as a place where a lot of police live.

    I will be curious to see the followup to this case and hope it doesn’t follow the usual route.

  12. Funny, when I was growing up it was considered ill mannered to strike a woman, much less a girl.

    This man is obviously a hot head and a coward and should not be any where near a badge and a gun.


Comments are closed.