Society

White Seattle Cops Arrest Black Veteran, 70, Who Used Golf Club As Cane (Video)

| by Michael Allen

A recently released police dashcam video from July 9, 2014, shows two white officers in Seattle arresting a 70-year-old, African-American Air Force veteran for using a golf club as a cane on a public street.

The video (below) begins with Seattle Police Officer Cynthia Whitlach driving in downtown Seattle, pulling over and accusing William Wingate of swinging his golf club at her.

Officer Whitlach repeatedly told Wingate to put down his club, which she referred to as a weapon, several times, but he refused and proclaimed his innocence.

The Stranger notes that Officer Whitlach claimed that Wingate swung the club at her, but according to the Seattle Police Department there is no video evidence to back up her claim.

"The allegation that he swung at the police car, wasn't corroborated by any other facts and was not caught on any video. What was caught on video was him minding his own business with the golf club at his side," Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell told The Stranger.

Officer Whitlach told Wingate that he was going to be arrested and called for back up. Officer Chris Coles arrived to help handcuff and take Wingate into custody.

Wingate was booked at the King County Jail, charged with harassment and obstruction, and held overnight.

Commanders at the Seattle Police Department claim they only became aware of this incident in October 2014 when former Washington State Rep. Dawn Mason questioned them about the arrest.

The Seattle City Attorney’s Office and the Seattle Police Department decided to drop the charges against Wingate.

Seattle Deputy Chief Carmen Best met with Wingate, finally returned his golf club, and offered an apology on Tuesday, according to the City of Seattle's website.

Officer Whitlach wasn't suspended, but simply had to undergo counseling from her supervisor.

(Note: Officer Whitlach confronts Wingate at 1:45 mark)

Sources: The Stranger, City of Seattle
Image Credit: City of Seattle Screenshot