SEATTLE (CBS/KIRO/AP) Apparently they take jaywalking very seriously in Seattle.
The Seattle Police Officers' Guild is saying Patrol Officer Ian P. Walsh was justified in punching a 17-year-old girl in the face after she shoved him during a dispute over jaywalking.
Rich O'Neil, president of the Officers' Guild, said that Walsh used "appropriate" force when he punched the teen during a struggle with the teen and another woman, 19-year-old Marilyn Levias, according to local station KCPQ.
But many community groups are outraged over what they call an example of police brutality. Seattle Urban League CEO James Kelly says the cell phone video of the incident brings to mind an April 17 video of Seattle police kicking a Hispanic suspect.
"Force never looks good. It's never pretty," acting deputy police chief Nick Metz said of the jaywalking incident. "We do train in the use of punching [but] we do have a number of concerns about the tactics the officer used and employed at the time."
Seattle police are conducting an internal investigation into the incident, but Metz has said the women bear much of the responsibility for resisting arrest.
Levias was arrested and booked into the King County Jail for obstructing a police officer. The 17-year-old was handcuffed and booked into the Youth Services Center for investigation of felony assault.
According to court records, Levias had previously been arrested for assaulting a police officer while resisting arrest last year at a youth center where she was a resident at the time. The documents say that Levias kicked a King County Sheriff's deputy in the stomach during the confrontation at the Ruth Dykeman Center in Burien, Wash., about 15 miles south of Seattle.