No Criminal Charges for Seattle’s Racial-Slur-Slinging Cop

Shandy Cobane still faces FBI and Internal Affairs investigations.

By Julianne Hing Dec 15, 2010

The Seattle City Attorney has decided not to press charges against Shandy Cobane, the disgraced Seattle police officer caught on video in April of this year stomping on a Latino man and shouting: "I’ll beat the fucking Mexican piss out of you, homey! You feel me?"

"Though the incident was marred by an unacceptable and unnecessary racist comment, our office concludes that neither officer’s conduct was criminal, and I decline to file misdemeanor charges," Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said yesterday, Seattle’s KOMO reported. Holmes declined to press misdemeanor assault charges against Cobane.

Cobane and another gang unit officer involved in the incident, Mary Woollum, were investigating reports of an armed robbery in the neighborhood on April 17 when they slammed Martin Monetti down on the sidewalk and stomped on his head and back. It later turned out that Monetti and his friends had nothing to do with the reported crime, and that Woollum had a history of excessive force. In November Cobane was reassigned after he was accused of yet more brutality.

In September Cobane managed to duck potential hate crime charges too. The prosecuting attorney Dan Satterberg said that because Cobane and Woollum were looking for suspects who were reportedly Latino, it was okay for them to detain Monetti and his friends. The attorney found that Cobane and Woollum’s actions were not malicious nor intentionally racially motivated.

Without the blurry video of that night, the public reports and lengthy legal proceedings would never have seen the light of day, and might not have happened at all. The hate crime crime and criminal charges were both highly unlikely, it’s true, but the real burn is that Cobane continues to work on the Seattle police force without any formal consequences besides the shame and notoriety he’s brought to the local department.

Both the FBI and the Seattle Police Department’s Internal Affairs Department have ongoing investigations into the incident. They may find that Cobane used excessive force that night, or, if historical precedence is any clue, will more likely find that Cobane was perfectly within the law when shouted racial profanties at Monetti and stomped on the innocent man’s head.