A Seattle police officer was charged today with assaulting a handcuffed man who was being detained for attacking the officer’s wife, who is also a police officer.
The misdemeanor charge, carrying a sentence of up to 364 days in jail, was filed against Officer Chris Hairston by the City Attorney’s Office. Hairston is alleged to have committed the assault on Sept. 24 in the area of Seattle Central Community College.
City attorneys also announced that they have declined to charge Seattle police Officer Clayton Powell with assault in a separate, high-profile incident in August, during which Powell clashed with a young man during a street disturbance in South Seattle and in a holding cell. Both confrontations were captured on video.
The decision to not file a misdemeanor charge against Powell was based on the opinion of an outside expert hired to analyze the Aug. 2 incident, the City Attorney’s Office said.
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City Attorney Pete Holmes issued a statement, saying, “Although I find Officer Powell’s behavior extremely troublesome, it is critical that I exercise due diligence and fairness when making a decision to charge or not charge a person with a crime. Although I determined that criminal charges were not warranted in this instance, I will continue to hold police officers responsible for their actions that violate the law.”