Seattle Police reviewing video posted by West Seattle crash victim alleging ‘unprofessional conduct’

(10/24/11 photo taken, and shared with WSB, by Mark)
Two months ago, WSB traffic updates on the first weekday of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure nicknamed “Viadoom” included breaking news about a West Seattle man hit by a semi-truck while jogging to work east of the low bridge. Tim Nelson wound up in the hospital for more than a week with serious injuries, including broken bones, a collapsed lung, and lacerated kidney and spleen; friends raised money to help with his expenses.

Tonight, a new twist in the incident. Police are reviewing a video/audio recording showing the crash scene through the windshield of a Seattle Police car while insulting remarks are heard off-camera, apparently made by two people inside the car including a Southwest Precinct officer who responded to the scene. Nelson obtained the in-car “dash cam” video and posted an edited version on YouTube, adding music, captions, and his observations:

We first heard about this in a KIRO TV story published/broadcast earlier tonight; you can see it here. Though their online story didn’t link to the video Nelson posted on YouTube, we found it here (note added Tuesday morning – both the audio and Nelson’s onscreen captions include profanity). Just before 3 minutes into the clip posted by Nelson, you hear chatter between two people once they are back inside the police car, ridiculing Nelson for running instead of driving, and using a profane term to describe him (after he had been taken to the hospital).

KIRO’s story quotes Nelson as saying he just wants an apology. We contacted him and SPD tonight with followup questions. “I would have preferred to heal up from this without any contact from SPD, but this cop opened Pandora’s Box,” Nelson told WSB. “We pay these officers’ salaries, and from what I have seen, don’t be surprised if one shows up and calls you obscenities and laughs about your injuries for doing what the state and city asked us to do (not drive to work). … I have no confidence in SPD to do a professional job. If this is the reaction when you are near death, what is it when it’s a typical call? We pay their salaries, this cop was under no duress or stress, his conduct was unprofessional.”

Nelson says he contacted SPD after watching the video: “I called the SW precinct and left a message a week ago for the officer, and he did call me back. I asked if he remembered the date and the incident and he said yes. I asked him if he realized I had a copy of the video and he said no, and asked if he remembered making those remarks and he said no. I called him a stupid a**hole and told him he should watch the news in the coming week.”

Since posting the video online three days ago, Nelson says, “I’ve gotten some flame mails, like they were doing their jobs and took them for granted by reacting this way and posting the video. I don’t care. They invited it by acting unprofessionally. I know if I acted similarly around my boss, I would be fired. What’s the difference? They are public servants, shouldn’t they be held to a high degree?”

Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen tells WSB that SPD is looking into this. “I just received the video this afternoon. I reviewed the video and personally forwarded it over to the Office of Professional Accountability for further review and investigation.”

97 Replies to "Seattle Police reviewing video posted by West Seattle crash victim alleging 'unprofessional conduct'"

  • JN December 20, 2011 (12:07 am)

    Good for you to post this video Mr. Nelson. Honestly, the police never seem to respond to any inquiry unless it involves public humiliation/government investigations. You definitely do not deserve any flame mails, just the opposite in fact.

  • west seattlite December 20, 2011 (12:21 am)

    Wow. I’m stunned and speechless.

  • JN December 20, 2011 (12:34 am)

    And this is the problem with the police being stuck in their cars all the time. Ticket pedestrians for jaywalking 6 times more than motorists for running reds/jumping through crosswalks, and ridiculing someone who was almost killed for choosing a form of transportation other than driving. SPD just got my vote for worst police department in the country.

  • AIDM December 20, 2011 (12:56 am)

    Given the recent federal crackdown on the SPD by the Justice Department, this gives a flavor of the level of resentment that we are facing in trying to reform this broken police department. This officer needs to be terminated immediately.

  • cjboffoli December 20, 2011 (1:08 am)

    Seems to me something like this is an inherent liability of running a police department. You have around 1,800 officers who service a population of around 612,000 people. Those officers successfully respond to more than 650,000 calls a year on average. A large percentage of those interactions are perhaps with the most non-law abiding citizens on the fringes of society, many of them chronic offenders who, due to locally lax courts, are often riding the revolving door between the jailhouse and the street. And despite the fact that the department probably has fewer than 20 annual internal affairs investigations department-wide, all it takes is one unprofessional, insensitive comment (amplified with an incendiary piece of video) to make some people instantly paint the entire department with a broad brush. In PR terms, it seems the department is only ever as good as its weakest officer.
    I expect that Mr. Nelson will get his apology. He certainly deserves it. Though it is probably going to hurt the officer a lot less than the public embarrassment will, not to mention the ass-chewing he’ll get from the top brass.
    I’m encouraged to see Mr. Nelson appearing to be in good health in the video clip. When I read the coverage of the accident that day I cringed at how horrible his injuries must have been.

    • WSB December 20, 2011 (1:32 am)

      His full answer to my question “how are you doing now?” (I e-mailed him, then a round of phone tag ensued, and ultimately he answered my questions via e-mail): “I’m doing a lot better now. My Injuries were extensive; broken back, six ribs, fractured right arm, skull, collapsed lung, and lacerated kidney and spleen but all have healed up for the most part. Some of the ribs still hurt, and the back is very stiff but most everything is back to normal, with the exception of physical activity – nothing strenuous for now. I was actually at the hospital for 8 or 9 days, and then they released me.” – TR

  • Sgt. Hartman December 20, 2011 (1:47 am)

    I don’t care if the cop actually did believe it was just a broken arm as his comments in the video suggest. It still takes a special kind of guy to ridicule a fellow man when he’s down. Glad the jogger is on the mend and kudos to him for making this cop look like a fool. He deserves it. I’m really curious what made the jogger even think to request the video. That seems an unusual thing to think of under the circumstances he was in.

  • tk December 20, 2011 (2:30 am)


    I don’t see anything wrong with his behavior. We’re all adults now. Stop getting all butt hurt and grow some thicker skin!

  • twocents December 20, 2011 (2:43 am)

    The officers on SPD have a very difficult and taxing job. It’s extremely easy to become jaded. However, this is not a line of work where being jaded should be acceptable, no matter how understandable it is.
    Thinking about the comments that were made by that officer – on a video tape that is considered public property no less – I can’t think of many other professions where an employee could get away with that kind of conduct without a least a major reprimand.
    I work with at-risk youth, and if I made statements like those on a public record like that, I would lose my job immediately. My line of work is also high stress and it’s very easy to become jaded, but I don’t think about the kids I work with like that. If I did, it would become near impossible to help, protect, and serve them in the ways I which am obligated to do – obligated because I chose this job for myself. Much like no one forces a police officer to join the force, I was never forced to become a counselor.
    I don’t feel a police officer should be feeling that way about a man he has sworn to protect and serve… especially when that man just got hit by a semi truck. I don’t feel that I want someone who appears that jaded by society at large on a police force protecting me.
    If you are wondering how police misconduct escalates to a scale that an outside investigation needs to be done (as is currently happening with he SPD), it starts with attitudes like this one going unchecked. I am glad that Mr. Nelson posted his youtube video. These instances need to be brought to public attention. Things like this might not be surprising to some anymore… but really, they should be. These comments should be shocking, appalling, and unacceptable. Because they are horridly unprofessional. I am proud that West Seattle (at least from the comments thus far) does not find this behavior acceptable either.

  • s December 20, 2011 (4:04 am)

    @CJ, Seriously? I’m sure there are some good cops, but have you seen the Dept of Justice report on excessive use of force by Seattle Police? It’s not like this is a one time mistake by one guy. The Seattle police dept has more than a PR problem. If they can’t get use of force right, I’m not too surprised that there are incidents like this too. There needs to be some serious, systemic reform at the police dept. It’s not like every big police dept out there gets written up by the Dept of Justice.

  • sophista-tiki December 20, 2011 (4:08 am)

    Oh officer, your slip is showing.

  • Bligs Mander December 20, 2011 (4:38 am)

    Bad cop needs to be fired. Not put on “temporary suspension with pay” or whatever bull$-!t they will do.

  • Kayleigh December 20, 2011 (5:27 am)

    The lack of compassion and concern for a severely injured person is disgusting. WTH.

  • CandrewB December 20, 2011 (6:00 am)

    Not implying anything, I am honestly curious. Why request the police dashboard recordings? Was it for evidence for a civil case against the truck/driver?

  • AE December 20, 2011 (7:02 am)

    I think he should be fired. I don’t want him to be the one who responds to the call if I ever get hit on my bike. Nor the other idiot who said “Why ain’t he in a car?” I don’t even understand that level of stupidity.
    It’s difficult to control myself and not use stronger language.
    Best wishes to Mr. Nelson.

  • Craig December 20, 2011 (7:03 am)

    No excuse for the arrogance & unprofessionalism this officer shows.

  • ScottA December 20, 2011 (7:14 am)

    While the male officer’s words are certainly unprofessional and unacceptable I might be more shocked that the woman’s voice on the tape doesn’t say “umm – you know we’re being recorded” or something similar – maybe off camera she’s pointing to a big red blinking light some where on dashboard. Shows a culture of even when knowingly being recorded that they’re somehow untouchable (or really dim). Of course most cops are really great at what they do. I will give this guy great driving points to get to the scene quickly.

  • Katie December 20, 2011 (7:23 am)

    Absolutely appalling! Officers need to be held accountable for things like this. They too should be expected to have an iota of professionalism while on the job. Good for you for posting this video and for confronting the officer directly! I hope he is ashamed of himself and that the female in the car is also reprimanded. Hope neither of them, or someone they love, is in a serious accident!

  • Delridge mom December 20, 2011 (7:23 am)

    This makes me sick. Good for you for speaking up Tim. I am so sorry this happened to you and that you also had to hear this jerk mocking you as an added insult. I hope you get your apology!

  • AE December 20, 2011 (7:52 am)

    The rest of the SPD should WANT these 2 (yes, the woman too) fired! Normally I am very appreciative of the police, but this ignorant bully and his idiotic sidekick who can’t even seem to understand why someone would ever do something BESIDES plant their butt in a car make me want to hate and disrespect the police. So yes, the SPD is only as strong as its weakest cop, and these 2 are some pretty weak links. I didn’t need the video to figure that out.
    Hopefully I will regain some respect for SPD, but only IF these nitwits are fired.

  • In the Dark December 20, 2011 (8:20 am)

    Couple things:

    1) This accident is horrible and I hope Mr. Nelson recovers to full health.

    2) Yes, the officer’s statements are over the line, but they are likely to blow some steam given their high stress jobs. I don’t want to be the one responding to a truck-pedestrian accidents and am glad there are others that can. Some minor reprimand makes sense in my mind.

    3) Why did Mr. Nelson also need to lace his video with profanity and why did WSB not provide a disclaimer that the link was NSFW? Mr. Nelson, you could drive home your point much more effectively if you refrained from calling the officer names as well.

    • WSB December 20, 2011 (8:53 am)

      In the Dark, sorry about omitting the NSFW label. I do need to add that. – TR

  • Rick December 20, 2011 (8:25 am)

    At least in the NFL taunting gets a yellow flag and a possible fine.

  • samson December 20, 2011 (8:29 am)

    oh boy, SPD, stop wasting our money for you to curse it out to victims.

    how do you feel if we do say something to you.

    SPD is getting out of control and look at these history overall with stomping in the face, punching in the face, cursing out of mouths, what’s next?

    Hope this officer is fired and disrespect.

    SPD – you better keep your eyes open widely as I have noticed SPD overlooked some things. Wake up and dont be lazy and collect our money! stop that!

    We do have rights to use our own transportation on foot, bike, or vehicle.

    Semi truckers are frigging dangerous and I am almost hit by trucker few times… I could call up the news and record what they do to roads

  • kate December 20, 2011 (8:32 am)

    I can not really wrap my brain around this one. Why would somebody make fun of a person jogging to work? That’s like making fun of someone for getting their mail or push a shopping cart or going to a restaurant; it’s just something people do. Why would judgement be attached to it? I understand that area is congested with traffic but that certainly does not justify the officers jabs. How can one mock a person after he’s been HIT BY A TRUCK? Watching that video was a nightmare. It really made me sad. I can not imagine how Tim must have felt viewing it. I hope that officer gets fired; I certainly don’t want his “help” if I’m ever in a bad situation. Making fun of the truck driver’s accent was appalling, too- really make me cringe. How does somebody like that become a police officer?

  • sbre December 20, 2011 (8:37 am)

    This video should be used as a part of new officer training, as well as used for periodical refresher courses.

    I hope it takes a few years for the officer to clean all this egg from his face, this is something he needs to wear everyday he’s wearing his uniform.

    Tim, I really hope you’re back in your running shoes soon, I’m sure they miss you as much as you miss using them.

    Heal quickly brother…

  • Trackguy1978 December 20, 2011 (8:38 am)

    How many of you can say you have never made disparaging comments about coworkers, customers, bosses, etc… while at work?? Not many of you I would guess can say they haven’t. Yes, I feel bad for the guy who got injured. Were some of the words the officer said harsh, yes. As previously being in law enforcement, I’ve been guilty to joke and say things that others not in law enforcement would seem harsh and unacceptable. Sometimes this “humor” is a good way to destress after a stressful call. I know it helped me through difficult times on the job.

    Now just think if you were in the spotlight of the media, videotaped by onlookers, even with videocameras at your desk watching your every move. How many of you would be facing being fired for saying something others would think was unacceptable??

  • Rhoda December 20, 2011 (8:55 am)

    I felt bad for that man that got hit by the log truck, and then the officer added insult to injury. That was not very smart on his part. He should have know that he would get caught throwing around his true feeling about the Seattle people. But, that is why the people of Seattle are so not trusting of there Police Dept. That just nailed the coffin shut for me.

  • Kayleigh December 20, 2011 (8:59 am)

    Trackguy, I think all of us say things privately to our friends with regard to our work that reflect our lesser selves, especially when we’re having a bad day. I certainly have, and I have regretted some of those things and been called on the carpet for them as well. But I have never made fun of a severely injured person. It’s called human decency, and if an SPD member doesn’t have it, they should not be paid by us taxpayers and they should not carry a gun.

  • AE December 20, 2011 (9:02 am)

    To the people who think that the cops should be forgiven for “blowing off steam,” I have 4 words: To Serve and Protect.
    They should not be cops. They seem to have the mental capacity and disposition better suited to something like, say, ditch-digging. Although I venture to say they are not up to the physical requirements of anything besides sitting in a car.
    No disrespect to ditch-diggers intended.

  • bridge to somewhere December 20, 2011 (9:24 am)

    So, Nelson contacts the SW and left a message, after which the officer returns his call, and Nelson “called him a stupid a**hole and told him he should watch the news in the coming week”? Umm, way to degrade your entire argument by essentially 1) hurling the same type of insult at him that you criticize him for, and 2) taunting him with the revelation that you are going to leak the video to the media. Zero class, but plenty of irony.

  • Amanda December 20, 2011 (9:29 am)

    I’m not sure what makes me more mad. The video of the incident – or the people commenting here defending him and his partner.

  • bridge to somewhere December 20, 2011 (9:30 am)

    Also: ever heard of Gallows Humor? It’s pretty understood that anyone working around a lot of injury/death develops gallows humor as a way of dealing with stress. It’s easy for an outsider to find it off-putting, but then again, seeing people badly injured day-in, day-out is pretty damn off-putting as well.

  • Cclarue December 20, 2011 (9:35 am)

    Wow. That is dissapointing;(

  • Kristi December 20, 2011 (9:50 am)

    Wow. I was not expecting to get that riled up, but what happened in that video is awful! My sense of justice and just plain humanity begs for there to be some consequence for the officers involved. Making fun of two people whose lives were greatly impacted that morning is heartless and completely tasteless. Let’s hope if either of the officers ever find themselves in a position like that others will be more compassionate. Come on, SPD, hold people to a higher standard!

  • KBear December 20, 2011 (9:55 am)

    I agree with In the Dark. Let the officers’ words speak for themselves. Calling the officer an a**hole was… unprofessional… and Mr. Nelson ceded some of his moral high ground in doing so.

  • Norma December 20, 2011 (9:58 am)

    I’m sorry about the addident. Sorry for the runner and the truck driver. In general I’m supportive of our local police department and think they do a wonderful and difficult job. But this time their behavior was just plain awful and they should be ashamed of themselves. They can be better. We all have bad moments but come on guys you’re better than that!

  • lipbone December 20, 2011 (10:09 am)

    Should the officer apologize. Absolutely, and so should the woman with whom he speaks. Is Mr. Nelson’s indignation and anger just, absolutely. And yet, it seems to me that a little bit of calm injected here might serve all parties better than escalated vitriol. I’m speaking mostly to the commenters here.
    There are many things going on here that need to be considered before condemning anyone. In defense of Mr. Nelson, he’s angry and wants this to be seen and heard so that his suffering is not ignored. My guess is that he got the video for some other purpose and was completely side-swiped by the comments that the police officer made. When you’ve been completely broken, are in the middle of a long recovery and searching for answers, being confronted by the directed anger of someone who is sworn to protect you is jarring at the very least. The way our media works these days with its “it leads if it bleeds” mentality makes me understand why Mr. Nelson went over the top in his video editing and language.
    In defense of the police officer and his dispatcher (I think that’s what she was)… I don’t think they are stupid nor do I think they are so arrogant that they believe they can get away with anything. The cameras and recordings are so much a part of their daily activities that they simply forget that they are there. You can bet both employees and probably their families are trying to figure this out. Probably worried and angry about the impact that this will have on their lives. Maybe even upset for the victim. Most people don’t operate that way though, they think about them and theirs first.
    Who here hasn’t, at some point in their lives, seen a gruesome accident report or criminal report and not had a knee-jerk reaction that somehow implicates the victim. It’s almost human nature to get angry at the person who got hurt. I have. I correct myself, but the impulse is there along with the impulse to feel horrible for the victim. Those two reactions can and do live side by side. I can’t imagine the frustration and anger that lives under the surface of an officer who witnesses horrible accidents and crimes regularly (far more regularly than we do). I have no idea if this is true for the officer involved, but I’ll be surprised if he hasn’t had some kind of work-related stress in his life lately.
    Maybe he has a kid that jogs and they’ve gotten into arguments about it with the officer arguing that it isn’t safe. Who knows??
    For those who feel that this is a great place to start a flame war about the SPD and corporations and etc., don’t. This isn’t about you. This isn’t about the 99%, this isn’t about some deep conspiracy. It’s about humanity and the various good and bad aspects that accompany it. I doubt anyone here truly wants another person to be hurt. Please try to remember this when you comment.

  • WSTroll December 20, 2011 (10:09 am)

    Great, now I am sure this cop will get fired now. Good job everyone. Merry Christmas. All of you are throwing stones but remember that you also live in glass houses.

    Funny, the main thing I notice about the video is the douche’ness of the jogger.

    Again, Merry Christmas everyone. Good job today.

  • Norma December 20, 2011 (10:12 am)

    I really do know how to spell accident. I just don’t type very well.

  • Bob on the Beach December 20, 2011 (10:14 am)

    Oh, boo-hoo. What a big crybaby this Nelson guy is.

  • MyEye December 20, 2011 (10:26 am)

    This cop should be fired as should the lady he’s talking to. From the thinly veiled racist comment to the complete lack of empathy for the victim, it shows two people who just don’t care about the community they are supposed to be serving.

  • Scubafrog December 20, 2011 (10:33 am)

    Mr. Nelson I’m so glad you’re recovering, and I wish you all the best!
    Unfortunately I’m not at all surprised about the SPD abuse. We do pay their salaries, and it’s time to vote out the mayor, the DA, and city council members that are responsible for enabling it. We need to remove the cancer in this city, and reform our police department.

  • M December 20, 2011 (10:35 am)

    What are the names of the officiers? I would want to make sure to give them a wide distance if I ever see them…

    • WSB December 20, 2011 (10:46 am)

      M – If you click through to the clip Tim Nelson posted on YouTube, he names the male officer in text both with his captioning and in the titling of the clip. I do not have independent corroboration of that at this point (Capt. Paulsen did confirm to me that the officer Nelson named is a SW Precinct officer) so, as with other investigation/complaint stories in which charges have not been filed, we are not publishing that name at this point. – TR

  • really? December 20, 2011 (10:44 am)

    why is there so much effort to sidestep the atrocious behaviour by rationalizing it as ‘detressing’? the choice of HOW someone destresses is very telling of how a person really is. the comments are unacceptable, the mindset driving the comments by both is unacceptable. as a citizen, paying the salary of these officers, who are sworn to ‘protect and serve’, i fail to see how this is protective behavior, and it serves only the two engaged in the derisive dialouge. the blinding lack of compassion and empathy should be a raging red flag to everyone. it also seems from previous posts that this recent episode is only the glaring tip of the iceberg.
    excerpt of definition:
    Psychopathy: is a personality disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy.

    Sociopath: they have little regard for the feelings of others around them, lack of empathy.

    and then we give them guns……

  • Kelly December 20, 2011 (11:11 am)

    I hope Mr. Nelson makes a 100% recovery.
    Too bad that, now, when I commute by bike on East Marginal Way S I have to be wary of the semi trucks, construction vehicles, *and* SPD. I’ve only had once interaction with SPD on my commute in that area: I had to ride out of a segment set aside for bikes/peds and go into the street to get around a motorcycle cop who was parked directly in the path–with his eyes closed. Thanks for all your help directing traffic, sir.
    I can’t honestly say that I believe there are just a “few bad apples” in SPD anymore, with the barrage of bad news we’re getting from that department.

  • cratewasher December 20, 2011 (11:16 am)

    When are the heads gonna actually start rolling?

  • goodgraces December 20, 2011 (11:17 am)

    The way the officer spoke was not only unprofessional, it was extraordinarily uncompassionate. I cannot imagine witnessing an accident such as this and not feeling profoundly sad for the victim. The fact that the officer is angry and blaming makes me think that he is a very unhappy man. As recent studies have shown, empathy is a hard-wired trait in mammals — if one is no longer capable of expressing deep concern in a horrible situation such as this that would elicit that emotion from almost any warm-blooded creature, that person must, sadly, be a very wounded soul.

  • cratewasher December 20, 2011 (11:17 am)

    Professionalism is a requirement in most other fields of employment.

  • noLongerUsingTheStreets December 20, 2011 (11:22 am)

    I’m calling out the dim bulbs who offer the explanation “gallows humor”. Humor is complex, but involves something funny. E.g., “his mile splits are trashed now”. What the officer said is, and should be, classified as callous, cruel, mean. Mr Nelson used some strong words too, but then he had quite a bit of skin in the game didn’t he?

  • betterourcommunity December 20, 2011 (11:24 am)

    Sounds like burn out is a big problem for Seattle police. Having contempt for a pedestrian victim for his mode of transportation is really going out of one’s way (intellectually) to express this feeling (contempt is classic emotion in professtional burnout).
    I don’t get why the Seattle Police Union doesn’t do political work beyond making sure they have funding. They need to be politically active supporting funding for services that will prevent them having to be mental health workers, drug counselors, emergency workers (having to wait a little longer for aid cars due to lack of outpatient services for example), parents, nurses . . . more than neccesary.
    Being public saftey officers entails all these roles but with the massive disinvestment in our communities in favor of corporate profits/bailouts I suspect first responders are getting to see more than what is usual for them.

    Seattle Cops Occupy your Guild Union Halls and do something about your growing alienation from the community and the growing alienation within our communities in general!

    Good for this citizen for bring his experience to the light of day.

  • Diane December 20, 2011 (11:35 am)


  • buddy December 20, 2011 (11:39 am)

    If I got caught doing something like that at work I would be fired, no doubt. What’s going to happen to the officer? Probably very little.
    I’m surprised this isn’t being picked up by the major news organizations…this behavior is totally unacceptable.

    • WSB December 20, 2011 (12:02 pm)

      Buddy – don’t know what you consider a “major” news organization, I noted in the story that this was first reported by KIRO (TV channel 7), which is one of the four TV stations serving Western Washington, so it has as big an audience as any (although more West Seattleites read WSB than watch any single TV station, fwiw, I have to note as a former TV person). As for the others, I didn’t ask Tim Nelson whether he had contacted anyone besides KIRO, but believe me, also from my experience, the other regional news organizations watch each other (and major neighborhood sites like this one) closely and they all know about it by now, so it’s their decision to chase it or not.
      D – Another quote I didn’t include in the story but, as he did somewhere in the YouTube clip, Nelson told me he went to Station 36 and thanked the firefighter/paramedics. (He told me that in response to my question about whether he thought what he saw/heard in the SPD video had affected what happened to him at the scene.) – TR

  • D December 20, 2011 (11:51 am)

    On the bright side of things at least Mr. Nelson you lived to see the video and stir the pot once again for SPD. How about a thank you for those that worked quickly to stabilize you for transport and for those that worked together in the ER and surgery to make sure you lived. I bet while you were out for surgery there were comments made. Only difference there was no video. Surgeons and ER doctors to have a type of ‘gallows’ humor also.
    As you pointed out the city announced to the citizens not to drive, however in that same sentence the city stated to stay home. Don’t blame the officer or the city because you decided to run to work and against the traffic light.
    Be Happy you are alive and thank those that were professional. You have taken away from their efforts by focusing on the negative. It is rather sad.

  • M December 20, 2011 (11:53 am)

    Google “City of Seattle By Name Earnings” and you will come to a site that will show you how much the officier named in the video earned in salary and O/T…your tax dollars at work…

  • ScottA December 20, 2011 (12:01 pm)

    The injured man definitely thanked the SFD for their great work at the end of his video. It is too bad he resorted to name calling but I can almost accept that.

  • AE December 20, 2011 (12:26 pm)

    Mr. Nelson thanked those who helped him profusely. And whoever mentioned gallows humor doesn’t understand what they are talking about. Gallows/dark humor actually calls for something to be funny, however inappropriate. Being jaded and bitter has nothing to do with attempting gallows humor. The cops weren’t even attempting humor. Watch Pulp Fiction or Donnie Darko and try to keep up.

  • JimBob December 20, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    Fire the cops involved. We can no longer tolerate a bully police force that apparently cares nothing about citizens, even when they are gravely injured. We need a no-tolerance policy for this kind of behavior and we need to get cameras on the uniforms of each and every officer. Seattle police had the benefit of the doubt, and they abused it and abused citizens. Enough is enough. Without an honorable police force, we cannot expect a well ordered society.

  • Dave December 20, 2011 (12:58 pm)

    Next time I roll through that area on my bike as I commute to work downtown, I’ll be sure to flip off a SPD car/officer if I see one. It’s the least I can do. Just my way of commending them on a job well done.

  • Genevieve December 20, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    I would fire the police officers. Period. They are supposedly trained to treat everyone even-handedly and be accountable for their actions. This shows an extraordinary disregard for the citizens they are paid to “protect and serve.” The critically injured guy was doing what the city and cops recommended – not driving that day. And I saw the report on KOMO-TV with the video.

  • D December 20, 2011 (1:32 pm)

    M- a good part of that OT you can thank occupy Seattle. Again our tax dollars

  • west Seattle since 1979 December 20, 2011 (2:11 pm)

    @two cents: OK, next time I feel like it, I’ll make a rude. insensitive comment to a client where I work. As my boss is firing me, I’ll say “That client is an adult–why did they have to get all butt-hurt about one little mean comment?”

  • WSratsinacage December 20, 2011 (2:30 pm)

    How did the accident happen? Did the jogger run right in front of the truck, which had no time to stop? I mean, why did the truck driver not get a ticket?

  • Scubafrog December 20, 2011 (2:31 pm)

    D you must be a JOY to be around. I’m sure you have alot of family and close friends that *adore* you – go gingritch in 2012 right?

    In all serious though, it’s nice to see that the vast majorty of the respondents on this thread are caring and compassionate, and have good moral compasses.

  • operator December 20, 2011 (2:50 pm)

    So what!! They did not say it in front of onlookers, they said it amongst each other. Soon SPD will be accountable for their thoughts too? I’m sure the guy bagging groceries at your local Safeway never says anything to his co-workers about weirdos in line while in the break room. Grow some thicker skin, and a new arm

  • bridge to somewhere December 20, 2011 (3:13 pm)

    What an amazingly self-righteous bunch who claim that someone makes an untactful comment to a colleague deserves to be fired. Are you *really* willing to submit that you have never made a comment to a coworker, spouse, or friend about someone at work? As we see on the tape, the officer did his job and helped the accident victim. Afterward he made some bad comments to a coworker, but that isn’t quite the same as making a “rude, insensitive comment to a client at work.” That, I would agree, would be worthy of getting someone fired. But making a rude, insensitive comment about a client to a friend in private? Who cares.
    It’s very easy to get passionate about such a subject, and raise the pitchforks in anger. But I think that if most of us think about ourselves we’d find one or two comments we’ve made in private about people we work with that we aren’t proud of. That’s all this is too. There’s far too much in the world to worry about then to get angry over an officer making off-color jokes with a friend.

  • bridge to somewhere December 20, 2011 (3:20 pm)

    @noLongerUsingTheStreets who called me a “dim bulb” for suggesting this could be gallows humor, read this article:
    Also, do you really need to resort to name calling? Have some class, and learn how to construct an argument without resorting to name calling–which, ironically, is what you’re so indignant about regarding the video, no?

  • Bicyclist December 20, 2011 (3:46 pm)

    I don’t have sympathy for the SPD, or any PD. Being a police officer can be extremely difficult. Everyone knows this. So why do they complain that they need slack or special privileges once they become officers because they say it’s so stressful and difficult?

  • bridge to somewhere December 20, 2011 (3:51 pm)

    @Bicyclist: by the same token then, do you feel no sympathy for teachers, Peace Corps workers, or civil rights champions who go into work we know is extremely difficult? Is it your position that anyone who goes into a difficult profession does not deserve sympathy, for they know the difficulty and stress of their profession before they choose it?

  • westcoaster December 20, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    Everyone who cares about having decent police please call the SW precinct at 733-9800 and leave your comment.

    With enough response, this officer will be transferred (I hope) out of West Seattle – but no telling what piece of cr@p they’ll send in to replace him.

    You can see I have no faith in the SP to treat people with dignity and compassion. To many rotten apples.

  • Mike December 20, 2011 (4:07 pm)

    It is sad when your police department continues to show a lack of professionalism repeatedly. Almost makes you sick to your stomach that these officers are supposed to be civil servants. Where is the Service, Pride, and Dedication?

  • Sean December 20, 2011 (4:23 pm)

    I think Mr. Nelson is totally justified and should pursue this as far as it will go.

    The officer in question showed a total lack of professionalism – and when combined with SPD’s history of questionable behavior on the part of so many officers, it really makes me wonder about them.

    I know we have many good officers on SPD – but things like this should not be tolerated at all by the department – and the officer in question should be (at a minimum) reprimanded.

    Clean it up, SPD!

  • datamuse December 20, 2011 (4:25 pm)

    Gallows humor would be the time I called the paramedics because a guy had stumbled into the street and passed out in front of my (moving) car, they got the guy upright, he threw up all over them, and one of them said, “Hmm, looks like he had spaghetti tonight.”
    THAT’s gallows humor.
    Calling someone a dumbass is just rude.
    Of course people with stressful jobs blow off steam. I count active duty military, firefighters, trauma nurses, and oncologists among my friends. But they don’t blow off stress while at work and certainly not while they’re being recorded. THAT’s being a dumbass, and yes, I am being rude.

  • Tracy White December 20, 2011 (4:28 pm)

    As part of his rehabilitation, Mr. Nelson should try and grow some thicker skin. What many of you are asking for borders on “thought police.” Both sides acted like juveniles, but if we follow the tenants of “innocent until proven guilty,” we must believe the offices acted professionally in public.

    I’m inclined to call it a wash and let the matter drop.

  • JP December 20, 2011 (4:30 pm)

    Since the union will undoubtedly prevent the actual termination of the officers involved, I suggest mandatory assignment to six months of foot patrol, followed by six months of bike patrol, before either officer is allowed behind the wheel of a government vehicle.

    The attitudes expressed reflect open contempt for the rule of law, and lack of understanding of the large segment of Seattle’s population that chooses not to, or cannot afford to, commute by car.

  • CB December 20, 2011 (4:36 pm)

    Never take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

  • Nick December 20, 2011 (5:08 pm)

    This is the same dept that is under investigation. No one should be that suprised. They really need higher standards and I support unions but they should end their union it allows bad cops to stay on the job and harms the public while protecting there own

  • D December 20, 2011 (5:57 pm)

    “A witness told police that the jogger ran against the traffic signal and in front of the semi, according to a Seattle police report. Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamison said that no arrests are expected to be made and that the department is still investigating the accident.”

  • I. Ponder December 20, 2011 (7:32 pm)

    Can you imagine a firefighter making fun of what someone looked like who escaped from their burning house in their underwear?

    Can you imagine medics joking about a heart attack victim who crapped his pants?

    Can you imagine a SPD cop maligning an accident victim?

    The policeman’s guild (union) protects, excuses, and condones all bad behavior by cops. I always here “the cop can’t be fired because of union contract”. Those contracts need to be changed.

  • west Seattle since 1979 December 20, 2011 (8:22 pm)

    I want to apologize for directing my comment to the wrong person–I meant TK, not Two Cent.

  • yes December 20, 2011 (8:27 pm)

    I.Ponder: Yes I can imagine everyone of those scenarios. The only difference is that what is discussed over chili in the firehouse the next day isn’t recorded. Cops are human like everyone else; like it’s been pointed out a few times already, we’ve all been guilty of a rude comment made in private. While I agree they should be held to a higher standard, talk of firing a guy for pointing out the stupidity of a jogger who runs in front of a truck is ludicrous. I agree with TracyWhite; it’s a wash.

  • Mark December 20, 2011 (9:08 pm)

    I was at the scene of this accident shortly after it occurred. The picture used by WSB was taken by me. I witnessed a very professional response by all of the emergency responders. As a bicyclist and a runner, my heart went out to the person injured. My hope that if I was injured in the same way I would receive the same treatment. I also felt badly for the truck driver, who I saw as visibly upset and witnesses told me was totally not at fault.

    I watched and listened to the video. What I heard was an effort at humor, obviously with the expectation that the accident victim would never hear it. Although it may be difficult to accept in these circumstances, humor like this is how people in these types of occupations deal with their jobs. I have great friends and siblings that have worked in trauma, ICC, 911 dispatchers and yes, they use humor to help manage the stuff thrown at them.

    By the way, I really liked the music on the video. What is the band?

    • WSB December 20, 2011 (10:05 pm)

      Mark – forgive me for not re-adding the credit on this story, which we usually do – don’t ever want to take credit for somebody else’s work, we value the contributions (and your first word that this had happened that day) … TR

  • nonya December 20, 2011 (9:43 pm)

    wow TracyWhite and Yes – respectively you both come across as completely lacking intelligence and compassion. The police officers were both wrong – it’s just not funny – what uniform you happen to be wearing is irrelevant, what title you bear is too – seeing someone in that condition is not funny period. Additionally, I’m enraged at you referring Mr. Nelson as “stupid” – you don’t know the facts, you weren’t witnesses. Are you suggesting he somehow deserved to be ridiculed? ponder that “yes” – seriously people get off your high horses, appreciate human life, and recognize when a department is riddled with less than professional civil servants who need to be held accountable for their actions. when in uniform nothing you do or say is private. end of!
    Shame on you both!

  • WTF December 20, 2011 (10:11 pm)

    Can’t wait to read John Fowler’s report on this one!

  • WSratsinacage December 21, 2011 (8:40 am)

    Mark, the music sounds like Foo Fighters to me but not sure.

  • DaMama December 21, 2011 (9:26 am)

    Wait a sec – per reports – the guy ran AGAINST the light, in front of a semi. If true, the guy broke the law, caused an accident, traumatized the driver. I’m glad he’s ok – but I have to say, I’d have some choice words to say myself.

  • bridge to somewhere December 21, 2011 (11:23 am)

    Well put Mark

  • yes December 21, 2011 (7:29 pm)

    Nonya: I’m sorry for anyone who gets hit by a truck. I’m glad the guy is expected to make a full recovery. I hope he continues to enjoy jogging. I hope he learned his lesson and doesn’t run in front of a truck. If the multiple witness accounts are accurate, he ran the red which, in my opinion is stupid. I’ll admit I walk against the red all the time when I’m downtown crossing a two lane road and I can see no traffic for a good distance. Now, if I screwed up, got hit by a truck, and someone, even a cop, called me dumb for doing so, I wouldn’t cry about it.

  • ME December 22, 2011 (7:04 am)

    We all say stupid things! Thank God we aren’t usually recorded … most of have crossed traffic in a wrong place or against a light, but again Thank God haven’t been hit!

    I’m not saying the police should be excused … I’ve had some very bad experiences with a few Seattle Police Officers, who were very arrogant and down right scary (one instance pulling a gun on us when we were the ones reporting the crime!) Another time,being Insensitive to a scary situation in our neighborhood … But I’ve also been greatful to police ( when my car was hit by a “red light” runner a police officer stayed with me and said very comforting words while we waited for the medics).

    We as citizens should NOT have to be afraid of the police, but lately it seems maybe we have reason to be!

  • bob December 22, 2011 (11:52 am)

    I am not a fan of the SPD but if the jogger had followed common sense rules and stopped at the light like a good little boy he wouldn’t have been hit.Quit whinning and go after the real problems FALURE TO ENGAGE BRAIN BEFORE PUTTING MOUTH IN GEAR.ON ALL PARTIES CONNECTED WITH THIS INCIDENT. DONT RUN REDLIGHTS AND DON’T SHOOT MOUTH OFF WHILE BRAIN IS IN NEUTRAL. DON’T GO AFTER THE COP IN THIS INCIDENT . IF YOU WANT TO GO AFTER SOMEBODY go after the KICKERS. THE SHOOTERS AND THE STOMPPERS.IN THE SPD.

  • Cheryl December 22, 2011 (2:12 pm)

    I am saddened to hear this. I drove by Mr. Nelson within minutes of his being hit (thought he was a bicyclist actually) and tweeted to the WSB that it had just happened, and that it looked pretty bad (which it clearly was). Though I know for a fact bikes and peds frequently cut through the lights along that stretch, it doesn’t mean someone deserves to get hurt, let alone ridiculed by the SPD. Shame on them for being such insensitive a*holes in this instance. But I don’t think they should lose their jobs over this. Sorry, but I don’t.
    I’m very glad to hear that Mr. Nelson is recovering. I’ve often wondered how he was doing since that day.
    We’ve got much bigger fish to fry Seattle… let’s move on.

  • lt fd December 22, 2011 (8:42 pm)

    Sticks and stones may break my bones (or trucks),
    but names will never hurt me.

    Ran in front of the truck, by mistake.
    Ran in front of the words on purpose.

    After searching, I have been unable to find any constitutional guarantees (either state or federal) preventing people from making fun of you for being injured after making a mistake.

  • JennySimonds December 23, 2011 (9:48 pm)

    Hm, the video’s been pulled (taken “private”).

    • WSB December 23, 2011 (10:16 pm)

      Interesting. I haven’t looked at it since the day I published this so don’t know when that happened … TR

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