SEATTLE – A Seattle police officer fired for punching a handcuffed woman in the face in the back of his patrol car in 2014 can return to work, following arbitration.
Two sources familiar with the matter tell Q13 News that Officer Adley Shepherd will be restored to full duty, nearly two years after he was fired by former Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole in 2016.
The decision followed a review by a three-person panel, which included a civilian.
“The civilian arbitrator found that the termination was too severe of discipline and ordered that the termination be dismissed,” The Seattle Police Officers Guild said in a statement.
Officer Shepherd was one of three officers who responded to a domestic violence call on June 22, 2014. During the call, a 23-year-old Miyekko Durden-Bosley became combative and was handcuffed.
When Shepard tried to put her into his car, Durden-Bosley kicked him in the face, and he responded by punching her. Durden-Bosley suffered a broken eye socket and concussion.
In one of her first actions on the job, former Chief O’Toole fired Shepherd for his conduct.
"The decision to end one’s employment is not easy, and it is one I take very seriously," O'Toole said at the time. "After much deliberation, based on the substantial evidence presented to me during this very comprehensive process, I believe this is the right decision for the Seattle Police Department and the community we serve."
Criminal charges were not filed against Shepherd in the case.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office found in December 2014 that Shepherd acted professionally and with restraint until he was kicked in the head.
Durden-Bosley later settled a lawsuit with the city and Shepherd for $195,000.