Jury finds SPD officer not guilty in Ballard fight

A jury has found Seattle Police officer Garth Haynes not guilty of assault from an altercation outside the BalMar in Ballard December 2010. Haynes was off duty at the time, and he accused a woman of stealing two coats that belonged to him and his friend. Prosecutors said three other men came to the woman’s defense, and a brawl ensued. The three men were arrested.

Dashboard video from a police car (above) shows what appears to be Haynes stomping on the head of a hand-cuffed suspect, and two officers who watched the video testified that he did not use appropriate force. Haynes’ attorney said his client was assaulted after identifying himself as a police officer, and he added that the attack was racially-motivated because the officer, who is African American, was called a derogatory word during the fight.

“I feel like justice was served here today,” Haynes said after he was acquitted today. “It’s unfair it had to go to this.”

“Officer Haynes kicked a man in the head while the man was handcuffed and face down on the sidewalk,” said City Attorney Pete Holmes in a statement. “I am disappointed that the jury chose not to convict in these circumstances, but I respect the jury process. Today’s verdict will not deter us from doing what we can to hold all people, including police officers, accountable under the law.”

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