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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

[WA] Rehiring fired Officer Miles is happening without clear answers

...If Miles is assaultive, then the Brame State is sputtering & needs further fixing. We are the national model of progress. If Miles is assaultive and yet getting his job back, something is still lethally broken...

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Fired Seattle police officer getting job back
Seattle Post Intelligencer
By Scott Gutierrez scottgutierrez@seattlepi.com
August 19, 2008
A veteran Seattle police officer fired last summer under a cloud of domestic violence charges will get back his badge, a Police Department spokesman said Tuesday. Last month, the city's Public Safety Civil Service Commission overturned Officer Felton Miles' termination, ruling that it was made prematurely before a felony harassment charge was proved in court. A Snohomish County jury deadlocked in the case, which ended with a mistrial. "We are complying with the Civil Service Commission's ruling to rehire Officer Miles. From what I understand, that process is under way," said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a department spokesman, on Tuesday. Miles, 51, of Monroe was arrested June 29, 2007, after allegedly barging into his ex-wife's Mill Creek home and threatening to kill her boyfriend. Chief Gil Kerlikowske fired him a month later, noting that department policy obligated him to dismiss an officer charged with a felony. But after the jury couldn't reach a verdict, Miles later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and was given two years' probation. An internal investigation later found the evidence was not sufficient to prove felony misconduct. The three-member Civil Service Commission ruled in July that a 20-day suspension would be appropriate and ordered the city to reinstate Miles with compensation for lost wages... Miles, a 20-year veteran who also worked as a paramedic, was unarmed and off-duty during the confrontation, his lawyer told the Seattle P-I last month. According to his attorney, Miles threatened to slap, not kill, the boyfriend, who later changed his story... [Full article here]

Dear Scott G,

In July of 2007 you wrote in an article that Seattle Police Officer Felton Miles "CRASHED" through the door of his ex-wife's house. Did he? Was there damage to the door? How much? NO article covering Miles in any news source mentions damages. They say he BARGED in, he showed up UNEXPECTEDLY, yada yada. I would bet the damages were there, but I'm uncertain enough to wish you'd say for certain. IF he crashed it in - did he use his strong shoulder, his shod foot, a police tactic? Is that domestic violence? Is it breaking and entering? Burglary? Wouldn't that be way too over the top for being rehired?

Why would the press not say? If there IS door damage is it ethical to start smoothing out the language now as he gets his job back?

In that same July 25th article you wrote, "...A POLICE DISPATCH LOG NOTES PRIOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REPORTS AT THE HOME..." How many? For what? Involving who? Aren't we too sadly smart in Washington now for simple explanations?

Tell us what kind of man is getting ready to pin the badge back on. Is he a batterer, a falsely accused man, or someone inbetween? How will the public know if the journalists don't ask the questions?

Has the topic of officer-involved domestic violence grown lukewarm in Washington already? If your earlier reports were wrong - just say sorry and give us the correction. We could handle that.

In a July 29, 2007 Seattle PI article, penned by "P-I Staff" it's written that, "NO ONE WAS SERIOUSLY HURT, BUT THE VICTIMS WERE FRIGHTENED..." What is UNseriously hurt? Who was hurt? His ex? Miles himself? We don't know unless you tell us.

Remember before he fatally shot Crystal and himself that Tacoma's Police Chief David Brame said that he had someone at the Tacoma Trib in his back pocket? I do.

The Seattle PI pushed the Tacoma Trib into asking more and more questions out loud after our tragedy here 5 years ago ("Who knew what when?") by also publishing articles of depth. The result & benefit to the public of the media competition was the public learning more and more truths about what had gone wrong. Without being armed with those flushed out truths of how-things-didn't-work the many things that have been achieved since the shooting would have never come to pass.

If Miles is assaultive, then the Brame State is sputtering & needs further fixing. We are the national model of progress. If Miles is assaultive and yet getting his job back, something is still lethally broken.

I understand the technicalities of this case, I'm just not acknowledging them. Some rules are wrong.

How's his ex-wife doing?
We should have learned that from Crystal's murder too - to find out, and to insure that she's okay and as safe as she can be. (What am I to make of her not being charged with perjury? That she told the truth?)

People knew Crystal was in danger but no one reached out to her. It was all about her husband and whether he'd be investigated or should be put on leave. Everything was about his job. The coverage of Miles feels the same. Crystal left her last message of fear on a recorded message to a personal service provider. No one reached out to her, no one surrounded her.

Please assure us that things are different for victims of officer-involved domestic violence in Washington State now.

Respectful of your powerful gatekeeper job,


Website to see:
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety washington state teflon policy rant]


  1. I have known Officer Miles for more then 20 years.He is NOT an abusive man,on or off duty.He would never ever hurt his wife ,this is a case of his wife trying to hurt him.

  2. You sleep with him?

  3. Reinstated Seattle cop sues city over firing
    A Seattle police officer whose firing over a 2007 domestic-violence incident was later overturned has filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit alleging the department failed to give him a fair hearing and damaged his reputation.
    Seattle Times
    By Mike Carter
    August 25, 2010

    A Seattle police officer whose firing over a 2007 domestic-violence incident was later overturned, has filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit alleging the department failed to give him a fair hearing and damaged his reputation.

    Felton Miles, a 20-year department veteran, was fired by former Chief Gil Kerlikowske in 2007 after he was arrested and charged with felony harassment of his ex-wife and her boyfriend at her Mill Creek home.

    At the time, Kerlikowske said he was following a department policy to fire officers charged with a felony.

    However, a Snohomish County jury deadlocked 10-2 to acquit Miles during a 2008 trial, and he eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge to avoid retrial.

    The city's Public Safety Civil Service Commission later that year disagreed with the firing, saying that merely being charged with a crime shouldn't be sufficient reason for termination. Two of the three commissioners concluded the department had evidence to suspend Miles, but not to fire him.

    The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, alleges Kerlikowske was prejudiced against Miles and, as a result, the officer — who had an unblemished history with the department — was denied due process.

    Miles has reclaimed his job as a patrolman and is now seeking wages he lost during nearly a year of unemployment, and damages for emotional distress, anxiety and depression.

    The chief's actions also "branded and tarnished his good name," the lawsuit alleges.

    Kerlikowske left the department last year to be President Obama's drug policy czar. He is being represented by the Seattle City Attorney's Office, which did not return a telephone call for comment.

    Miles' attorney, Cleveland Stockmeyer, said the department's policy of firing officers charged with crimes is a "predetermination of guilt" that makes it impossible for them to get a fair hearing, as required by the department's contract with the Seattle Police Officers' Guild.

    Miles was arrested while off-duty when he stopped by the house of his ex-wife to pick up a portable stereo for their 6-year-old daughter. Miles and his ex-wife had recently divorced after 20 years of marriage.

    He confronted his ex-wife's boyfriend in the living room, and the man said Miles threatened to kill him and placed his hand on his hip, as if reaching for a firearm.


    Miles said he threatened only to "slap the [expletive] out of him," because he thought the man was making faces at him.

    He was charged, placed on leave and an internal investigation was completed, recommending that Miles be disciplined.

    Miles was given an opportunity to explain himself to the chief before discipline was imposed, as required by the contract, but the lawsuit alleges the chief had already decided to fire Miles.

    Stockmeyer said Miles also will seek punitive damages against the department and chief.

    Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or mcarter@seattletimes.com


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