An appeals court ruled Monday to uphold a 2019 King County Superior Court decision to fire Seattle Police Officer Adley Shepherd.
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The saga with Shepherd dates back to 2014, when dash camera footage showed him punching a drunk, handcuffed woman in the back of his patrol car, after she had kicked him while she was being forced into the vehicle. He was then terminated by then-Chief Kathleen O’Toole for violating SPD’s use of force policy, before a three-member disciplinary review board (DRB) overturned his firing, instead giving him a 15-day suspension.
The DRB justified its decision at the time by noting that Shepherd had acted “perhaps reflexively” in punching the suspect, that his “patience was being tried,” and that he and several of his colleagues were “insistent that he did nothing wrong.”
“Our head [use of force] trainer went in there and said ‘he did it perfect and did what he was trained,’” Shepherd told KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show in 2019. “All of SPD’s witnesses that they used all agreed with me that my force was necessary and within policy.”
Then, a King County Superior Court vacated the arbitration board’s ruling, overruling the reinstatement and upholding Chief O’Toole’s original decision to fire Shepherd.
The case next went before a Washington state court of appeals, which affirmed the superior court’s decision on Monday. In the appeals court’s written ruling, it stated that the DRB’s decision to overturn Shepherd’s firing was “so lenient it violates the explicit,

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