Seattle Police Department Patrol Officer Eric Faust has been suspended for excessive force and unnecessarily escalating a confrontation in the October 2012 arrest of Leo Etherly.
Etherly had been suspected of hit-and-run driving with a cyclist at 29th and Jefferson and was reportedly being uncooperative as police attempted to detain him. A dashboard camera taped the incident and the video was released to the public, leading to a vocal outcry. Etherly later died of a suspected drug overdose.
The Seattle Times reports that Officer Faust has been suspended without pay; he is appealing his suspension.
Interim Seattle police Chief Jim Pugel has handed an eight-day suspension to a patrol officer, finding the officer used excessive force and unnecessarily escalated a confrontation with a man suspected of hit-and-run driving, according to newly released records.
The discipline, imposed on Officer Eric Faust, addressed the type of broad issues raised by the Department of Justice when it found in 2011 that the Police Department had engaged in a pattern or practice of constitutional violations regarding use of force. The finding led to a landmark settlement last year in which the department agreed to make broad reforms.
Pugel’s findings, outlined in a June 7 disciplinary-action report, were disclosed Tuesday in documents released to The Seattle Times under a public-records request. One day of Faust’s suspension was held in abeyance for two years if he doesn’t have the same or similar misconduct.
Faust, 37, who joined the department in 2006, is appealing the suspension without pay.