A King County Sheriff’s deputy who viciously beat a teenage girl in a holding cell may wind up facing federal charges for the incident that was caught on video.
And that could result in a longer prison term for Paul Schene, who attacked the 15-year-old girl after she flipped her sneaker at him.
Schene said the sneaker caused him “injury and pain” – which is why he pounced on her; kicking her, punching her and dragging her down by the hair before planting his knee on her back and punching her a couple more times.
The girl was charged with third-degree assault, which is a Class C felony in Washington, punishable by up to five years in prison.
After the video emerged, Schene was charged with fourth-degree assault, which is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
Apparently, the gross discordance wasn’t lost on the U.S. Justice Department, which rejected a plea deal conjured by prosecutors that would have allowed Schene to serve between six to nine months in jail if he resigned from the sheriff’s office.
If the Justice Department decides to indict Schene, he could serve up to three-and-a-half years in prison, according to the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
His trial is set for September 9. He remains on paid administrative leave.
Schene has been involved in two-officer involved shootings during his eight-year career, including shooting a mentally ill man 11 times in the back during a 2006 traffic stop.
Shortly after the shooting, he was stopped for driving under the influence after mixing alcohol with prescription medicine. He received a deferred sentence and was placed on probation.
As Injustice Everywhere (formerly Injustice in Seattle) could tell us, justice in King County is far from just. And the fact that it needs the feds to step in to ensure that justice gets served should be a complete embarrassment to them.
Of the more than 100 comments in the Seattle P.I. article, the following came from somebody who claims to be former King County deputy Joseph Pellegrini.
As a former deputy (and whistle blower) with the King County Sheriff’s Office, I would just like to clarify the difference between “excessive force” (the use of more force than necessary to effect a lawful action) and “unnecessary force” (the use of force when no force is necessary or lawful)… and from what I saw on the video footage, the deputy in question clearly used unnecessary force… Even if the deputy in question legitimately felt he needed to control or restrain the young girl after she had flipped her shoe(s) at him, all the deputy had to do was simply close the door to the holding cell… She was already in custody! There was absolutely no reasonable excuse for the deputy to use any force whatsoever… So, PLEASE, tell me why this “deputy” is still being paid on administrative leave and has not terminated already? Again, way to go, King County Sheriff’s Office! What a disgrace.
Pellegrini was fired from the King County Sheriff’s Office for complaining about fellow deputies who were instructing rookies to profile people based on race and income. In a 2005 Seattle P.I. article, he stated the following:
“They seem to protect their own at any cost. That’s the cost of someone’s career like mine,” said Pellegrini, 37. “They have these renegade deputies running around in the field. It’s a can of worms and they don’t want to open it up. They don’t want to clean house, or they aren’t able to clean house.”
That can of worms looks like its beginning to spill over.