Citizen's site makes Wash. cops' videos public
Eric Rachner won a $60k public-disclosure judgment against the Seattle Police Department for denying it had dash cam footage
By PoliceOne Staff
SEATTLE — A citizen who filed a lawsuit against Seattle police has created a public, searchable database of the department’s dash cam videos.
Eric Rachner, 35, was arrested three years ago while playing a game near the state capitol building, according to the Seattle Times. Rachner and another man were reportedly swatting giant sponge golf balls as part of a pub crawl. Police said Rachner refused to identify himself, which amounted to obstruction of justice. Charges were dismissed after he filed a complaint with the department's citizen-run internal investigation unit due to “proof problems,” court documents said.
Despite their dismissal, Rachner still won a $60,000 public-disclosure judgment against the department for denying it had dash cam footage of his arrest as well as logs of the recordings. Two weeks ago he filed a lawsuit against the officers involved in the incident, alleging false arrest, malicious prosecution and "spoliation of video evidence."
Rachner obtained one video of the incident and when he found out six others existed, he and his attorney analyzed dash-cam video logs shot by Seattle patrol officers and created www.seattlepolicevideo.com. The website allows any citizen who interacts with police to search by officer name or badge number to determine whether video of the incident exists.