ACLU of Washington Statement on Kennewick Police Incident

News Release: 
Thursday, April 9, 2015

The following statement is by Jennifer Shaw, Deputy Director of the ACLU of Washington:

“Kennewick Police Officer Glenn Ball demonstrated the kind of behavior that no police chief should tolerate in his officers. The ACLU appreciates Chief Ken Hohenberg’s firm rebuke of the officer for his actions during the stop of Omar Abarca.  Telling an individual to “shut up” and refusing to answer when he asks the officer to identify himself, threatening the person with arrest for questioning the officer’s actions and telling the individual that he does not have permission to videotape the encounter are simply unacceptable. They should be violations of Kennewick Police Department policy. 

“Officers too often needlessly escalate encounters with civilians. Civilians have a right to record police interactions. The video shows a disheartening abuse of an officer’s powers and a disappointing disregard of civilians’ rights.  Fortunately, the young men were able to keep their cool in the face of this officer’s taunts and provocative behavior, and this encounter did not result in another officer-involved tragedy in the Tri-Cities.”