No Justice? No peace.
Officer Eric Faust received an eight-day suspension after his police Chief Jim Pugel discovered he used excessive force and escalated a confrontation on Oct. 6, 2012. The Seattle Police Department is responding to issues raised by the Department of Justice in 2011 that there has been a pattern of constitutional violations regarding the use of force.
On October 6th there was a hit-and-run involving a car and a bicycle. Officer Faust and his partner were dispatched to locate the suspect when they spotted Leo Etherly driving a van that fit the description. Officers approached him to question him about the crime when he reportedly became belligerent. The police asked Etherly to place his hands on the patrol car’s hood, but he refused, claiming the metal was too hot from the sun. Etherly offered to sit on the bumper, to which the officers replied affirmatively.
But Officer Faust interjected himself in an aggressive manner, trying to gain control of the subject. Etherly did not give his name and was shouting, but it was determined that he was not being physically aggressive or combative. Later it was found that his arrest and the use of force was premature because little verbal persuasion had been attempted.
“The use of force at this point was not necessary,” [the department’s Office of Professional Accountability] concluded, noting that Faust’s actions seemed to expose him to “far greater threat of assault or injury” than leaving Etherly seated on the bumper encircled by three officers.
Faust is now appealing the suspension without pay.