Seattle police announced Thursday that police detective Shandy Cobane, who last year stomped on a suspect and told him he would "beat the (expletive) Mexican piss out of" him, will not lose his job.
Police Chief John Diaz announced at a press conference that Cobane will instead face a 30-day suspension without pay. Cobane will also be required to complete community service with an undecided Latino organization.
Cobane also agreed to attend meetings with members of the Latino community and share his experience with other officers in the department. Chief Diaz said Cobane agreed to participate in a video that would show what the department learned from this incident.
Moments after the Chief announced his decision, Cobane publicly apologized for a second time. "I’m grateful for a second chance" Cobane said. "I am a good person and a good officer, I care about people and public service." He went on to say "I look forward to doing my part to restoring some of the community trust that the department lost because of my actions."
Chief Diaz said he wanted to fire Cobane but believed a review board would have overturned his decision. "He has done some amazing work, but I do believe that all went up in smoke that day," Diaz explained. "He has to spend a lot of time trying to rebuild his reputation."
Activists who wanted Cobane fired can't believe the decision. "Essentially this person gets off with what`s a slap on the wrist," NAACP President James Bible said. "Ultimately they should be fired from the job, even if it is a difficult task."
Estela Ortega from Centro de la Raza said they also wanted to see the officer fired but believe the extra training and community service will help. "I know that there's a lot of good Police officers out there but we do have a group of them that there are issues," Ortega said.
In December 2010, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes declined to press criminal charges against Cobane or Woollum.
"Though the incident was marred by an unacceptable and unnecessary racist comment, our office concludes that neither officer's conduct was criminal," Holmes wrote in a statement.
An attorney for Martin Monetti, the man seen in the video with Cobane, filed a tort claim with the city seeking compensation. The claim is not a lawsuit, but can serve as a first step towards litigation.