SEATTLE-- A candidate running for Congress in Washington`s 9th District is accusing Seattle police of roughing him up during a recent traffic stop. Jesse Wineberry claims he became victim of police bias and brutality and released a video of him being detained.
The Seattle Police Department also released dash cam video and a police report that gives a different account of the July 20 incident.
Wineberry said he`s been targeted since the release of a The Seattle Times editorial that mischaracterized his remarks about his white opponents` ability to lead the racially diverse 9th district. He said he`s received a threatening call to his campaign office and his campaign signs have been vandalized. Then, just six days after the editorial he says he had a frightening encounter with police.
In an incident report released by SPD Thursday night, officers say they pulled over Wineberry after receiving a stolen vehicle report. They say Wineberry repeatedly ignored officers orders to show his hands and throw the keys out the window. They also say he put his hand on an officer`s gun belt and that he tensed his muscles so he couldn`t be cuffed. The report also says Wineberry accused officers of a conspiring to derail his political campaign.
Wineberry says the stolen vehicle report came as a result of a payment mix-up with the rental car company. He also recalls his encounter with police differently.
“My hands are nowhere near his gun belt, but he is giving them code to shoot me and that’s what I believed at that time,” said Wineberry.
Wineberry says he`s gone public to protest what he believes was a case of racial profiling.
“I wanted to make sure that I was not going to be a victim of what I believe to be code language to authorize the use of lethal force in that situation,” said Wineberry. “If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody.”
Wineberry was released a couple hours after he was detained. He filed a complaint that night and SPD says they are reviewing the incident.
The Seattle Times also released a statement acknowledging they mischaracterized Wineberry`s remarks. They say they`ve corrected both their on-line and print versions. However, they also say they weren’t made aware of the concerns until his campaign wrote a press release Wednesday, days after the editorial had been released.