Force complaint prompts Seattle officer’s suspension

SEATTLE — A 19-year veteran Seattle police officer has been suspended after other officers said he used excessive force as they investigated a drive-by shooting involving a pellet gun.

A YouTube video shot at the scene Thursday night shows an argument that involves an officer pushing a man. Seattle police said the officer allowed himself to be baited into unprofessional conduct by an angry crowd.

One person was arrested but later released.

The Seattle Times says police confirm the officer placed on paid leave while the incident is investigated is 51-year-old Clayton S. Powell. The Times reports Powell declined comment Friday.

Police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said other officers reported the incident immediately and the acting chief learned of it within 90 minutes. Whitcomb said the police chain of command took immediate action.

Just last week, Seattle officials agreed to an independent monitor and court oversight of the city’s police department as part of a deal with the federal Justice Department following a report that found officers routinely used excessive force.

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