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Assault and Arrest

Seattle, WA: (Nov-23-07) Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, an artist, brought charges against the Seattle Police Department, alleging that Seattle police violated his civil rights and assaulted him during an arrest outside a Capitol Hill nightclub. The suit claimed that Alley-Barnes, 29, was wrestled to the ground, punched, and kicked in a struggle that started April 13, 2005, over his questioning of an officer's decision to cite a friend for littering. The incident left the artist with a swollen and bruised face. The lawsuit named Sergeant Greg Sackman and Police Officers Brian Hunt, Kevin Jones, and Courtney Harris as defendants. It also named Chief Gil Kerlikowske, alleging that he neglected recommendations that officers undergo better training on how to prevent minor incidents from escalating.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other community activists capitalized on the incident, stating it as evidence that the Police Department's internal disciplinary system was ineffective. After intense publicity surrounding the case, and a citizen oversight panel's criticism of another controversial arrest downtown, Mayor Greg Nickels appointed a panel to examine the accountability system and recommend improvements by the end of 2007. Sources stated that Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes and the Seattle Police Department reached a settlement in which the city agreed to pay $185,000. [SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER: ARREST ASSAULT]

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