Washington State Patrol Instructed Officers To Assault Protesters

| Educate!

Above photo: Washington State Patrol Instructed Officers To Assault Protesters. Image via Screen Grab.

Police Brutality: A Washington State Patrol command officer is caught on video instructing fellow police officers to assault protesters, but not to “kill them.”

In an alarming report the Washington State Patrol (WSP) has issued an apology after a command officer was caught on video telling fellow officers to assault protesters. The officer said: 

Don’t kill them, but hit them hard.

Seattle Times reports:

The Washington State Patrol has apologized after video surfaced of an officer telling his team, “Don’t kill them, but hit them hard,” while preparing to clear protesters from the streets in Seattle’s Capitol Hill on Tuesday evening.

Newsweek reports:

A Washington State Patrol officer was recorded telling his officers to hit protestors hard ahead of a night on patrol in the Seattle area Tuesday.

The officer, who has not been identified, was filmed speaking to others in the patrol group, telling them, “Don’t kill them, but hit them hard.” The video was later shared to social media.

The video, taken shortly before 7:45 p.m. Tuesday by Krystal Marx, executive director of Seattle Pride, and a Burien City Council member and deputy mayor, is alarming. Marx shared the video on Twitter:

In a statement released Wednesday morning, WSP spokesman Chris Loftis said he was “aware of the video and apologizes for the poor choice of words by one of our team leaders preparing his troopers for a possibly confrontational situation.” Loftis said:

WSP is aware of the video and apologizes for the poor choice of words by one our team leaders preparing his troopers for a possibly confrontational situation. We hope the public will accept that apology and we ask for grace and understanding as our troopers are serving in tense situations of danger and difficulty.

They are doing so with courage, commitment and compassion, but not always with perfection. As disappointed as we are that a word choice might obscure that work, we are proud of how our agency and others have worked to protect the rights of free speech and peaceful demonstration throughout this unprecedented period of statewide demonstrations.

A poor choice of words? The officer was instructing his subordinates to “hit them hard” but not hard enough to “kill them.” That’s more than a “poor choice of words” that’s an order to assault peaceful protesters.

Bottom line: A Washington State Patrol command officer is caught on video instructing fellow police officers to assault protesters, but not to “kill them.”

  • tttbnr

    In the early Seventies when I was a teenager and working as a banquet waiter at a local resort the manager was a former Chicago policeman who told us stories about how much he and his peers enjoyed bashing in heads while riot patrol. He had been a cop during the late Sixties civil rights protests. He also said they would take LSD while acting out this violence. Drugs of the Hippies were being used by their antithetical counterparts to enhance their enjoyment of violence. The example in this article more resembles a football coach rousing his players to inflict physical punishment on the opposition, and that indicates the problem with the police. They view protesters as adversaries to be subdued and cowed rather than as citizens with a legitimate right to not only protest but petition their representatives for better governance.

  • didactic1

    I have not heard one so called black spokesperson utter the names “Malcolm X” or WEB DuBois”. They knew how to respond to violent attacks. They would recognize these media circus demonstrations with not an ounce of class consciousness as the capitalist funded and publicized farce that it is. Al Sharpton, Comcast errand boy and approved eulogist. Oh my.

  • When I came back from the military in 1972 and a little later worked in news (radio, and newspaper) I would often come across cops drinking before the job. More than a few times, the persons in an accident were officers off duty and drunk.
    Then in the 1990’s my partner was working nights on campus in the labs. The officers came by to talk to her and would boast of doing things to civilians because they could get away with it. I’ve forgotten the phrase they used but it amounted to being cop entertainment.
    She also noted “driving while female” stops that both she and her mother endured as the cops would just roust them as they were both attractive women, separately or together. Then let them go. Because the cops could get away with it. For them it was a big joke.
    This last Sunday the television interrupted the movie I was watching to go to live demonstrations on the plaza a couple miles away. It was a bit past “curfew” and the cops were arming with gas-cartridge guns and gas masks and face shields. You could just see their excitement, not dread, excitement and anticipation. Then suddenly they all started.
    This is twisted fun for cops, coptainment, I call it. I keep going back to the one-time experiment, cut short, by Philip Zimbardo in the early 1970’s called the Stanford Prison Experiment. Read up on it. You will see how quickly students in cop / guard roles become cruelly inventive and vicious toward their fellow students in inmate roles. Because of the mental injuries suffered psych departments will no longer approve any such experiments. But it is an open window into police conduct.

  • tttbnr

    As a teenager I participated in what was then called an encounter group with my church’s youth group that replicated the Stanford Experiment at a small town’s jail. The pastor of my church acting as a jailer/cop knocked down a girl acting as a prisoner. That ended the experiment and tears were shed. We had all assumed the roles designated to us and learned some good lessons, including the adults who were our counselors.

  • Jon

    All police need to undergo education in Constitutional rights of all US citizens and human rights for all people, regardless of citizenship. And let superior officers enforce that education!

  • Jon

    Agreed, Sharpton seems to be the quintessential opportunist. Here’s an analogy; Sharpton is to Malcolm X as Trump is to JFK.

  • Not much I can (belatedly) add to this — I am not only quarantined against the covid plague (as are all elderly Washingtonians), but temporarily reduced to slowest slow by the arthritic flare-up of an old back injury — save a couple grafs of history:

    (1)-The founders of Washington state and its post-1865 white settlers were for the most part ex-Confederates: traitors and war criminals the lot. The genocidal racism therein was subsequently confirmed by (a)-Seattle’s huge support for the Nazis prior to our entry in WWII, which is google-able (or was as recently as six months ago); (b)-the now-carefully hidden racism that is the primary reason Seattle (and the Salish Sea area in general) are 50 years behind Portland in public transport; (c)-Raymond Gastil’s subtle but telling documentation of Seattle’s xenophobia (Cultural Regions of the United States: University of Washington Press: 1975); and (d)-the carefully euphemized antisemitism of which, in the early ’80s, repeatedly sandbagged a secular-Jewish friend, former business partner and erstwhile employer of mine — a comfortably retired advertising executive who was notably successful everywhere else. — until Seattle’s closet-Nazi treachery drove him from the so-called “Emerald City.”

    (2)-My own personal history, gory 1972-1976 details unnecessary, which not only confirmed Seattle’s hatefulness but that — verily — it extended even to the epicenter of local alternative media.

    Thus — to me — the conduct of the Wasps is no surprise, not the least because they’ve already been caught using their stingers against resident First Nations folk much as other fascist hornets deploy them against peoples of color elsewhere in the Empire’s homeland slave-pens.