WATCH: Seattle Settle ‘Mexican Piss’ Civil Rights Lawsuit For $150,000

June 27th 2012

SEATTLE — Attorneys for the man kicked by a Seattle police detective who threatened to beat the “Mexican piss” out of him say the city has decided to settle a civil rights lawsuit over the incident for $150,000.

Martin Monetti, Jr. claimed in the lawsuit that police used excessive, racially motivated force when detained during a robbery investigation.

The terms of the settlement have not been finalized, but Monetti’s lawyer said the city will likely not admit any wrongdoing.

Monetti released a statement after the settlement was announced expressing relief the case was over.

“I am happy… that the Seattle Police Department has recognized the harm they caused me two years ago,” the statement read. “I hope that this case… will lead to long-lasting change of SPD’s treatment of the people of Seattle but especially minority communities.”

The stomping incident was videotaped in April 2010 near Westlake Avenue North and shows Seattle Police Officer Shandy Cobane stomping on Monetti. Cobane also can be heard on the video telling Monetti he would “beat the (expletive) Mexican piss” out of the man.

The officers eventually realized they detained the wrong man and Monetti was released.

The video’s wide circulation prompted a tearful apology from Cobane, who told a news conference, “I know my words cut deep and were very hurtful.”

Cobane was suspended for 30 days without pay but got to keep his job, and prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against him.

Monetti filed his civil lawsuit last year, seeking $750,000 in damages for physical and emotional pain, lost wages, medical expenses, attorney fees and costs.

The city tried to get the lawsuit thrown out, but last week a federal judge ruled that the case could go forward.

Video of the incident involving Monetti was one of a series of high-profile incidents cited by the Justice Department in its investigation into the Seattle Police Department’s use of force.

The DOJ issued a report last winter saying that Seattle police had a pattern or practice of using excessive force, often in response to minor offenses, and it’s threatening to sue Seattle in federal court unless the city agrees to make a wide array of changes.

In the findings, the department wrote that Monetti’s case was troubling because “the use of this racial epithet failed to provoke any of the surrounding officers to react, suggesting a department culture that tolerates this kind of abuse.”


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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