The officer who had devised the ruse he described as fun then set it in motion, unleashing events that spiraled into unforeseen tragedy when the man took his own life days later. Now, a police watchdog has found that the officer’s action “shocked the conscience” and contributed to the man’s death.
The two officers had not been involved in investigating the collision, which occurred in another precinct and involved several vehicles. They were asked to go to the home after the address was tied to the fleeing driver’s vehicle. They were told no one was injured, which made the hit-and-run a misdemeanor.
But as the woman searched her phone for the suspect’s number, the officer with the ruse plan told her they were looking for the man because he was involved in a hit-and-run that left a woman in critical condition.
The officer told her the injured woman “might not survive.”
Shortly after, the man died by suicide, according to the OPA report.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best upheld the findings, suspending the officer for six days without pay.
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/seattle-police-officer-contributed-to-mans-death-with-ruse-that-shocked-the-conscience-investigation-finds/While the officer told the OPA it was regrettable the man took his own life, he insisted he wasn’t responsible and said he had not abused his discretion or acted unprofessionally.