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#2: Police Brutality; Best of the Sable Verity

October 21, 2010

When a Seattle Police Officer was caught on camera stomping on a man and screaming “I’m going to beat the fucking Mexican piss out of you!” to a man in his custody, a wave of outrage washed over the city.  In terms of severity it’s just the tip of a very large iceberg of incidents and accusations of gross misconduct by members of the department.

Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes’ face became synonymous with police brutality, when in 2005 he was mercilessly beaten by members of Seattle’s Police Department on Capital Hill.

Maikoiyo’s story was my 2nd feature interview for KBCS One World Report, and also the first time he’s given an in-depth interview on what happened that April night.

As a story-teller, his experience was bittersweet; I was horrified as he recounted the event that forever changed him, yet also encouraged.  Here was a man who had done nothing wrong, yet easily could have been killed by a group of men who saw their actions as nothing other than justified.  Maikoiyo was just a professional, a respected artist, a loving father- he was also a Black man, a fact that gave most a reason to doubt he hadn’t provoked the assault in some way- simply put, he didn’t.


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