YPD Officer will not be charged in alleged use of force incident - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

YPD Officer will not be charged in alleged use of force incident

Posted: Updated:

10-9-18 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - Prosecuting Attorney Joseph A. Brusic announced on Tuesday, October 9 that the Yakima Police officer involved in the use of force incident with a teen at the Yakima County Fairgrounds will not be charged.

Investigation documents state that Officers Ian Cole and Kevin Cays were working uniform patrol on foot at the fair when they got word of a group of Norteno gang members causing problems with other fair-goers, and later found a large group of people actively engaged in a fight. They announced themselves as police officers and ordered the crowd of 10-15 people to break apart, and then ordered them to get down on the ground. Several people ran away or obeyed commands, but a few continued to fight. 

Again, Officers Cays and Cole ordered them to stop fighting and get on the ground while taking out their pepper spray. Two people refused and kept fighting. Because of this, both officers used their pepper spray to stop the two people. One of them was the teen involved in this specific use of force investigation.

Officer Cole ordered the teen to get on the ground after spraying his face and head, but the teen refused and kept walking away from him. At this time Officer Cole delivered one single push kick from behind to the teen's waistline/upper buttock area, forcing him to fall to the ground. Officer Cole held him down as members of the YPD Gang Unit responded to assist.

Several eyewitnesses interviewed during the investigation confirmed the officer's account of a fight between multiple people, of which only some obeyed the heard commands of "Get down", "Stop", and "Police." The witnesses also agreed that the teen was only kicked once in the lower back area, and agreed they observed the officer was trying to "like pull him down so he wouldn't run away." One witness indicated it was more of a shove than a kick. All witness statements indicate that the kick/shove was intended to get the teen on the ground. 

The Yakima Police Department's Use of Force Policy states that "The 'reasonableness' of force will be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene at the time of the incident. Any evaluation of reasonableness must allow for the fact that officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force that reasonably appears necessary in a particular situation, with limited information and in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving."

Brusic completes his analysis by stating that when the officers reached the fight, "there was an immediate threat and potential severe situation with 10 to 15 fighting individuals", some of whom kept fighting, including the teen, who failed to comply before and after being pepper sprayed. Brusic says that because the officers were outnumbered, with several people yelling and approaching them, he found that Officer Cole reasonably believed he had to utilize the push kick to control the teen and bring an end to the situation in the safest way possible for all involved.

"Taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances known and perceived by YPD Officer Cole on September 23 and comparing it to what a reasonable officer would have done under the same or similar circumstances, I hereby find that Officer Cole lawfully used force," Brusic said.

YPD Officer Ian Cole will not be charged with the crime of assault for this incident.

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9-26-18 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - Yakima Police say an officer who used pepper spray on a teen and knocked him down while breaking up a fight has been placed on desk duty pending an investigation.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that Officer Ian Cole kicked the 17-year-old boy in the backside at the Central Washington State Fair Sunday. A bystander captured the incident on video on posted it on Facebook.

Interim Chief Gary Jones says the department in investigating whether the officer's actions were justified.

But the lawyer representing the teen, Bill Pickett, questions whether the department can conduct a fair investigation.

Pickett says the teen was attacked by a group of youths and tried to protect himself.

Police say four of the 15 people involved in the fight were arrested for investigation of fighting, a misdemeanor.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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9-25-18 ORIGINAL STORY

YAKIMA, WA - On Monday, September 24 the Yakima Police Department received information of a use of force incident that happened the night before, and there were some video images that were being distributed through social media.

YPD immediately began the use of force review protocol for when such incidents happen.

The officer involved in the incident has been identified as 31-year-old Ian Cole, who has 4 years of service with the Yakima Police Department.

Cole is currently assigned to the Patrol Division, but was temporarily re-assigned by the Interim Chief of Police to administrative duty during the review process.

Further information will be made available once the investigative process has concluded.

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