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caption: In this screenshot from a Seattle Police Department video, Officer Adley Shepherd holds down a woman in the back of a squad car after the confrontation in which he punched her in the face while handcuffed.
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In this screenshot from a Seattle Police Department video, Officer Adley Shepherd holds down a woman in the back of a squad car after the confrontation in which he punched her in the face while handcuffed.

Seattle Police officer who punched woman can't get his job back, says judge

A King County judge has handed the city of Seattle a victory in its quest to fire a police officer who punched a handcuffed woman in the face.

The city had terminated Officer Adley Shepherd after the incident in 2014, which left her with a severely bruised face. But an arbitrator reinstated him last fall, saying he broke department policy but deserved a suspension instead.

The case has taken on a larger significance, because the arbitration process for officers has been criticized by the federal judge overseeing police reform in Seattle. As a result, the judge found the city out of compliance with a decree meant to ensure constitutional policing.

The city just filed a proposal to try to regain compliance.

King County Superior Court Judge John McHale ruled Friday in the city’s favor, saying Shepherd’s reinstatement violates established policy and sends “a message” that excessive force against handcuffed people “is allowed when officer patience is stretched thin.”

Shepherd said the woman kicked him in the face during a domestic violence call. The case against her was dismissed, and he wasn’t charged in the incident.

You can see SPD video of the incident here.