by Paul Kiefer
(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
The Washington State Court of Appeals issued a ruling on Monday, April 5, upholding the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) 2016 decision to fire Officer Adley Shepherd for punching a woman while she was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.
After then-Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced she was firing Shepherd, Shepherd and his union, the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG), appealed her decision to an arbitrator — in this case, an attorney who can approve, adjust, or overturn disciplinary actions for police officers. In 2018, the arbitrator sided with Shepherd, directing SPD to rehire him and offer back pay.
But Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes stood by Shepherd’s firing, asking the King County Superior Court to vacate the arbitrator’s decision — a rare challenge to the authority of arbitrators in police disciplinary cases, whose decisions are typically final. The Superior Court agreed with Holmes; after another appeal by SPOG, so did the Court of Appeals.Continue reading Court Upholds Firing of SPD Officer Who Punched Handcuffed Woman