Prosecutor Won't Charge People Who Attack Cops If They Are Resisting Arrest

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has said his office won't prosecute assaults that result from resisting arrest.

UPDATE: The prosecutor's office is disputing some of this information. The response can be seen at this link.

King County, WA – Some law enforcement officers in King County feel like the prosecutor has declared open season on them after his office announced it would no longer prosecute assaults on officers that were the result of a suspect resisting arrest.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg’s position on assaults on law enforcement officers in his county was revealed after his office failed to charge a drunk woman who kicked an officer in the crotch, KTTH reported.

The 20-year-old suspect was wearing leather boots when she administered the kick.

She was arrested, but was ultimately not charged with assaulting the officer, according to KTTH.

Satterberg’s office told KTTH via email that they will only charge assault in the third degree (assault on a police officer), “if the assault can best be described as an intentional attack on the officer and the officer has an injury or experiences significant pain as a result of the assault.”

This brings up the problem with the prosecutor’s definition of “intentional,” and King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht called him out on it.

“From my reading of the deputy’s report, I would say it would seem like it was an intentional kick at the deputy,” Sheriff Johanknecht said. “And that I truly believe him when he says he was in pain about that. You know there’s all kinds of things that come into play here, as you know, as to filing guidelines and all those other things … but I believe the deputy was hurt, not enough to, thank goodness, be hospitalized. But a lot of pain.”

But the prosecutor’s office pointed to the fact they believed the suspect was inebriated at the time of the incident.

“Certainly, the suspect’s mental state did not diminish the pain the officer involved experienced as a result of her actions, but it does affect our ability to prove an intentional assault,” a spokesman for Satterberg’s office told KTTH.

The spokesman pointed to the charging guidelines and said the prosecutor’s office was following the standards.

“That [standard] is wrong on so many levels and makes it open season on LEO’s. It’s infuriating,” one deputy told KTTH.

The sheriff said she doesn’t think the policy is well-known to the public.

“I think the general public would be surprised by how the filing standards describe that from the prosecutor’s office,” Sheriff Johanknecht told KTTH. “Again, to be clear, I’m not trying to be critical of Mr. Satterberg’s office. I’m just coming from the law enforcement slant of this… you know, we do go out of the way in training to try to avoid physical contact with people… There are just times when you have to place your hands on people and when they resist, it is very frustrating. Very frustrating for me, very frustrating for my deputies.”

She said more law enforcement officers will be injured if a suspect knows that they won’t be charged with assault when they resist arrest.

The sheriff said the county prosecutor needed “to rethink this” and expressed a desire to work with Satterberg to come to a consensus.

Sheriff Johanknecht hoped “there’s opportunity to compromise on some of these things since every law enforcement agency deals with this more regularly each and every day.”

Comments (74)
View Older Messages
Daughter
Daughter

stupid ass prosecutor!!Let him be an officer for a day or two and him wrestle with crazy person or get stabbed or shot in the process and tell him to get a lawyer.....HIMSELF!!!some people have NO BRAINS AT ALL😡😡😡

Oldvlc
Oldvlc

Next time call a babysitter.

jerry 8842
jerry 8842

I agree this man should be kicked in the balls and let him see what it is like. I am a retired Law enforcement officer and have had that happen to me two times, One was when I came home from the military in the late 60's when I came through large air port and again a few years later during an arrest of a DUI person ( a female). Mr. Satterberg need to work with Law Enforcement rather than against them. Another words sir get your head out of your ass.

CharlesC.
CharlesC.

Well maybe officers should refuse to arrest someone assaulting a member of that prosecutors office and staff. What's next, refusal to charge drug dealers because they're just trying to get gold teeth and jewelry or refuse to charge junkies for breaking in entering or robbery because they cant help that they're druggies? I would say that this prosecutor is about as pathetic as they come and should me immediately removed from office for failing to adhere to the responsibilities of his office.

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

"But the prosecutor’s office pointed to the fact they believed the suspect was inebriated at the time of the incident"

So that makes punting him in the nuts okay? Will shooting him be okay too just because they're a little tipsy at the time and not in control of their mental capacities at the time?

I have to wonder whose side this guy's on anyway. I know I wouldn't want to work with him.....

Rushie Russian
Rushie Russian

I beg your pardon, but, WHAT?

chiefd
chiefd

I guess this idiot, who calls himself a prosecutor, would rather just have the cops shoot the assaulting assholes.

anna4599
anna4599

He needs to lose his damn job. What a piece of shit.

Fighting4u
Fighting4u

I hope he never needs to cal 911!!

Brasov04cluj
Brasov04cluj

Well now...the prosecutor could have an "accident". Problem solved. The clinton's make undesireables disappear often.

PSC 1060
PSC 1060

Why would anyone be in law enforcement anymore

LesH
LesH

Wouldn't that be something if the prosecutor suffered a bad beating by someone who is prosecuting and the police did not arrest them because he was prosecuting them they had a right to Beat his ass. Tables turned.

daprhu
daprhu

A judge in Murfeesboro, TN years ago had the same attitude. His logic was that the officer should expect resistance to being arrested. Caused me and two other officers to get sued because he threw the resisting charge out. The suit never went past the depositions, but I always wondered how many others got sued because of that idiot.

Paul S
Paul S

As an alternative how about resisting arrest must always result in a hospital stay for an arrestee before he/she is booked. Would that work? It would until these ass hat prosecutors get judges and legislators to rule cops can no longer defend themselves. California anyone ???