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The Blotter

The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

May 14, 2010 at 2:54 PM

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Police expand probe into officers' treatment of Latino man

Posted by John de Leon

-- From Times staff reporter Sara Jean Green:

Interim Seattle Police Chief John Diaz said Friday afternoon the internal investigation into the kicking and stomping of a prone Latino man by two officers is being broadened to include the other officers at the scene.

Speaking at a news conference, Diaz said the investigation will focus on the behavior of all of the officers who were on the scene April 17 when the incident took place, including a supervisor. The investigation will likely examine why other officers did not intervene when a gang detective kicked the man in the head and a second officer stomped on his leg.

The incident was captured on video. On it, gang detective Shandy Cobane can be heard telling the man lying on a concrete sidewalk, "I'm going to beat the [expletive] Mexican piss out of you, homey. You feel me?" Cobane, apologized for his language at a news conference a week ago.

The man was detained by police who were investigating an earlier robbery. He was later released when officers determine he was not involved. Our news partners at KING-TV have identified the man as Martin Monetti-Ramirez of Seattle.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, the City Council and Latino groups have expressed concerns about the incident. The Seattle branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has urged the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office to prosecute the incident as a hate crime.

The FBI has launched a preliminary investigation into the incident to determine if the man's civil rights may have been violated.

The other officer, who appears to stomp on the leg of the man, has been identified as Mary Lynne Woollum of the department's West Precinct. Cobane and Woollum were placed on administrative reassignment last Friday, after news of the video surfaced.

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