Seattle Police reportedly stopped a seventy-three-year-old man for driving without his headlamps on during hours of darkness. It could have been just a warning for the driver but after the officer returned from checking the driver’s status and vehicle registration he found something truly unexpected–the driver snorting cocaine.
After a internal affairs investigation of several alleged actions of a Seattle Police Officer, Chief Kathleen O’Toole terminated the employment of Officer Cynthia Whitlatch following the detention and arrest of a citizens for Obstructing a Law Enforcement officer stemming from a claim, later ruled to be false, that the citizen swung a golf club at her. The termination, according to SPD, did not rely solely on this incident but was resulting from similar incidents involving citizen contacts and allegations of racially inappropriate statements during the internal affairs investigation.
The incident should serve as a reminder to those in similar positions of Ms. Whitlatch of the importance of proper discretion and of accepting one’s faults and not blaming everyone else for mistakes. Nevertheless the incident elicited an apology to the citizenry and the accused person for an incident that should never have occurred.