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Cops mock West Seattle man struck by truck while jogging to work

“That’s why you drive a car!” said one Seattle Police officer responding to the scene of a man struck by a semi truck near the foot of West Seattle’s lower bridge while he was jogging to work during the October Viaduct shutdown. The city encouraged people to find other ways of getting to work during the closure, especially from West Seattle.

Dashboard video provided to KOMO captures the disgusting conversation on tape as two officers make fun of the critically injured man for not driving to work during the highway closure (see also coverage from West Seattle Blog):

“They say he flew up in the air and landed on his noggin,” one officer is heard saying on dashcam video obtained by KOMO News.

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“Hey, that ain’t my problem,” responds a second officer.

“That’s why you drive a car!” the first one remarks.

“Yeah, don’t try to jog to work, you dumb (expletive),” said the other.

The responding officer has been identified as Doug Jorgensen, according to the PI. The officers also mock the truck driver’s speaking skills and foreign accent.

Fortunately, Tim Nelson survived, but has been recovering from skull fractures and a broken back. He obtained the video in the hopes of discovering who was at fault and was shocked instead to hear Seattle’s police force standing around his unconscious body calling him a “dumb fuck.” (OK, they called him that after he was taken away in an ambulance)

This video comes on the heels of not only a federal investigation into SPD’s culture of unnecessary use of force (often in incidents that begin with a jaywalking stop), but also revelations that police are disproportionately ticketing people for jaywalking. Police gave five times as many jaywalking tickets as “failure to yield” tickets to people driving, despite the fact that a driver failing to yield is responsible for seven times as many collisions between people walking and driving:

Enforcement of traffic laws is an important part of making our streets safer. The data suggests that either SPD’s ticketing practices are not addressing the actual causes of injury and death or there is a culture of bias against people who walk, which is just crazy.

Either way, there needs to be a clear, purposeful overhaul of traffic enforcement priorities. This was also and issue identified during the Road Safety Summit, and we should demand accountability and results from SPD proving that they are making changes. Policing should be about protecting keeping people safe.

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17 responses to “Cops mock West Seattle man struck by truck while jogging to work”

  1. Makes you wonder about SPD back in the olden days before they got all politically correct…

    1. Gary

      The rumor is that they used to take suspects out for a row on Lake Washington, tie a rock around their neck and ask for a “confession.” Miranda rules pretty much put an end to that era.

  2. Ballard Biker

    “That’s why you drive a car!” Pretty much sums it up. The SPD really are not with the alternative transportation program. The lack of “Fail to Yield” tickets clearly demonstrates this. The south end of the Ballard Bridge has not one, but two signs posted that cars must yield to bicycles. Few do. I’ve never, ever, seen SPD enforcing these signs.

    1. Fortunately most, but not all, drivers seem to be obeying the yield signs. As for the city, we all know this is nothing new, and it doesn’t matter if people elect a mayor who is cycling-friendly. Cops are known to create their own environment almost similar to a criminal network, and if anyone crosses it that individual is to pay, not the cops of course.

      There are very good cops, and doughboys like this one. I love the “It ain’t my problem”. That alone should be worthy of a firing, at the minimum. This POS took a oath to serve the public, and the best he can muster is about how its not his responsibility and make fun of the victim.

      That’s what I call priceless!

  3. Gary

    On a completely different note, my kid was riding to work from Ballard, got a flat, didn’t have the skills to fix it, cell phone died and was losing it, when a Seattle Bicycle cop, while driving a patrol car, stopped, and offered a ride to work.

    So just because some of these cops don’t have a clue, at least some of them on bicycles do understand the issues.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Totally! I don’t mean to suggest all the cops are terrible bike and walking haters. But some seem to be out of touch, and the culture allows this stuff to happen systematically.

      Efforts to get more foot and bike patrols could be a great way to change this dangerous windshield perspective, as your anecdote illustrates.

    2. Gary

      It’s the old “walk a mile in my shoes” thing applied to bicycles.

      I hope I’m a better driver because I ride. I know I’m a better bicyclist because I drive. I know what a driver can see, how far it takes them to stop, what cues I can give to help them get around me easily. And how annoying certain behavior is and what’s reasonable given that a bicycle operates solely on human power.

  4. basketlover

    How many citations or traffic investigations have been tainted by the bias of these two public servants?

  5. DrGeoduck

    Nice to know the contempt non-drivers are held in.

  6. TN

    SPD is in denial, and the police union is blocking progress. The police department needs a complete overhaul, top to bottom. The bad eggs are rotting the core.

    1. And they ALWAYS will be. No one can tell a cop he/she did something wrong. So we end up with this screwed up system where we have criminals trying to protect the public.

      SPD cops will never admit to any wrong doing, because they believe no matter what their decision is, that it is the right one. Their union is one of the very reasons America is upset with the labor movement. They waste our money defending guys who shouldn’t get a dime of our taxpayer money.

  7. Rodney Dwyer

    Thanks for sharing. People often think I am being paranoid when I tell them that I do not trust cops and I feel like I am being profiled.

  8. johnnymountainbiker

    Besides being insensitive and racist. The big question I have did the SPD officers even get the accident report right. Video of the accident has come up from a dash cam from a truck driver diving toward the accident. It appears that the jogger was on a bike. It looked like he was sideswiped by a truck as he left the bike lane of the lower West Seattle Bridge and entered the side of Spokane St. Did anyone yells see this video?
    Way to go SPD. Quick recoveries

  9. johnnymountainbiker

    I have investigated the story more he was indeed jogging.

  10. […] I refrained from commenting on the current state of the Seattle Police Department. […]

  11. I’m not a jogger very often but I am a road cyclist and I occasionally deal with drivers on the rural roads where I ride that treat passing like a video game where the timer is going to run out and they’ll lose their turn.
    I also think that people have embraced the term “road-rage” and allowed it to make irresponsible driving seem legitimate in their eyes. Of course, the police are not immune to this attitude!

  12. Erik Busse

    How do people on the Seattle PD get away with this? If I told a customer (citizens are the Police Officers’ customers) something like that I’d be fired. Accountability goes both ways.

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