We perish because we know not… #TLENews
William Wingate is a 70-yr-old retired Air Force veteran. Because he is elderly, he uses a golf club as a cane to help him stand. He has been using his golf club for more than a decade to assist himself on his daily walks.
All of that changed when Officer Cynthia Whitlach saw William with his club and decided to use force against him. The entire event was caught on her dashcam video. Officer Whitlach is seen pulling her patrol car over next to William.
She exits her vehicle and begins screaming at William to “drop the golf club.” William maintains his cool and explains to her that he’s been using it as a cane regularly.
Officer Whitlach continued to repeat “set the golf club down!”
William, sensing that the Officer was out of control, asked for witnesses to watch the encounter.
That is when Officer Whitlach can be heard on the video saying that William was “swinging his club at her.”
But William never once swung his club at her in the video.
“You just swung that golf club at me,” Whitlach screams.
William replies, “No I didn’t.”
“It’s like, c’mon lady. You were lying,” said former Democratic Washington State representative Dawn Mason, questioning Officer Whitlach’s assertion that she felt threatened by the golf club. Dawn became involved in the case when she witnessed the mistreatment of William on the video.
Officer Whitlach has not been disciplined since the event occurred, but was instead given counseling by her supervisor.
William, on the other hand — an innocent man who fought for Officer Whitlach’s freedom — was locked in a King County cage for a night for “obstruction” and “harassment,” according to reports.
William has filed a lawsuit against the city.
“Family members and friends will attest to the emotional distress caused by the racial profiling, arrest, and incarceration of this man whose only crime was ‘walking in Seattle while black,’” says the complaint.
After an inquiry by former Washington State Representative Dawn Mason in which she raised questions as to the necessity of the arrest and charges, Seattle Police Department later dismissed the charges and offered William an apology.