Jury: Ex-Seattle officer discriminated against black man using golf club as a cane

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SEATTLE (AP) – A federal jury has found that a white former Seattle police officer who arrested a black man using a golf club as a cane engaged in racial discrimination.

The Seattle Times reports (https://goo.gl/iiqzfm ) jurors reached the unanimous verdict Tuesday against Cynthia Whitlatch after starting deliberations Monday in the civil-rights lawsuit. The eight-member jury awarded $325,000 in compensatory damages to William Wingate.

The lawsuit stemmed from Whitlatch’s arrest of then 69-year-old Wingate while he was walking with the golf club in Seattle in July 2014.

Whitlatch, a 49-year-old longtime officer, was fired as a result of the incident.

In court, she denied race played a role in her decision to detain Wingate after she says he swung a golf club toward her patrol car as she drove by him.

Wingate maintained he never swung the club.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com

 

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