Cop punches teen jaywalker

Print More

Across the nation people are talking about this video of a police officer punching a teenage girl in the face during an altercation in Seattle.

What lead to this moment, captured by a witness with a cell phone, may well be a case study in police reaction and teenage judgment.  It started when Officer Ian Walsh spotted four girls jaywalking.  He asked them to step over to his patrol car.  According to police officials, the girls were “verbally antagonistic. “

The officer was alone on the street.  One of the teens allegedly touched his arm.  Pushing and shoving escalated into a struggle, and things quickly got out of hand.

The police department at first defended the officer and blamed the girls for resisting arrest. But now the police chief is reviewing procedures and conducting an internal investigation.   The police union says the officer was justified and followed his training.

The NAACP and the Urban League are critical of the teens, but condemning the officer’s violent reaction.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in comments below.

Click on the following sources for analysis:


The Seattle Times

Fox News

USA Today


2 thoughts on “Cop punches teen jaywalker

  1. Amen to Noah
    I would advise the union to shut up – they have a kneejerk tendency to make bad situations worse.
    Alternative methods of subduing a couple of sketchy actors are preferable. These two do have a history, according to print stories.
    Even more unfortunate is the fact that this video is already viral and media will be using any excuse to drag it out and air it.
    What I would like to hear is what critics of the officer’s actions would have had him do? If the answer is “Walk away” or some variant, at what point would critics advise that police ENFORCEMENT of an order is necessary and justifiable?

  2. As much as I hate to see this, the police officer was in a very dangerous situation, so I understand his reaction. The onlooking crowd was cheering for the girls as they resisted creating a hostile environment for an officer with no other support. I’m not sure if a punch was the best choice though. Maybe pepper spray?