Isaac Ocak punched in the face by Seattle Police
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Published on Jan 4, 2013
1:03 - Audio on
6:24 - Ocak pressed to hood of car
7:10 - Officer hitting Ocak in the face
On December 29, 2010, 20 year old Isaac Ocak (pr. "O-jack") of Turkish descent was parked outside a private shopping center and ran in to return a Christmas gift. He left his car running but it was locked (he had a separate door key). He returned to find officers around it, and he explained he just ran in to return something. He apologized for doing this. Officers detained him on the hood of a patrol car for an excessive time after they'd already established he had a non-suspicious reason to park there and had no weapons on him. Although the officers said it was "wrong" to have left it running there, it is neither a crime nor a traffic infraction to do this at a private mall. Mr. Ocak complied with a demand to put his hands on the patrol car and continued doing so long after any potential threat to officers was negated.
The encounter went from strangely counting Mr. Ocak's house keys to repeatedly ordering his hands to remain on the hood, to violently grabbing him after 8 minutes of car hood detention, thrusting him down to the hood and handcuffing him, all where there was no probable cause to believe any crime was committed. Then after determining that Ocak's hands were under control, Officer Larry Longley grabbed and pulled the client's upper jaw with his left hand and started wailing on his face with a right fist, reportedly because Officer Longley was being bitten.
Mr. Ocak was booked in jail for two days, released, and later charged with "assault" for biting the officer's left pinkie. This assault charge was dismissed finally by prosecutors who watched the video.
To me, this video illustrates pure unnecessary escalation of what is not a crime or an infraction at all, but is a routine civilian encounter. Once the "suspicious vehicle" was determined not to be so suspicious, the officers should have let Mr. Ocak go at most with a warning or a trespass admonishment issued by the strip mall security, since this was not a public roadway. To me the encounter raises the specter of biased policing. The officer who hit Mr. Ocak is quite clearly being a bully, and appears keen on doing some damage to Isaac Ocak in one way or another, and ultimately succeeds. Any injury the officer received to his finger was a consequence of Officer Longley's own aggressive recklessness.
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