SEATTLE, May 25 (UPI) -- A verbal exchange among alleged gang members and three Seattle police officers using coarse language led to the suspension of the officers, records show.
Seattle Police Chief John Diaz suspended officers Corey Williams, 30, and Brett Schoenberg, 26, for 20 days without pay, and suspended Officer Casey Steiger, 27, for 15 days without pay. Schoenberg and Williams were also given transfers. All were disciplined for using "demeaning and unprofessional language," Seattlecrime.com reported.
Seattle Police Department records were disclosed Tuesday, although the traffic stop incident involving the police officers and two alleged members of the MS-13 gang occurred more than a year ago and was resolved in February.
An internal investigation records and a police report said all three officers, along with an additional unidentified officer, stopped a motorist driving "recklessly and failing to yield." A 22-year-old passenger allegedly threw his arms out and balled up his fists when officers attempted to remove the man out of the car.
The officers, driver and passenger of the car exchanged verbal hostilities with one of the men provoking a fight and Steiger saying, "If we were to fight, I'd break your (expletive) neck."
Williams said to one of the men his badge was "the only thing preventing [him] from skull-(expletive) the [man] and dragging him down the street."
The case against the driver in municipal court for negligent driving was dropped for lack of proof and the passenger was not arrested.
Investigators declared the officers used unprofessional language in their dealing with the men.
"Officers should be able to accomplish their mission and make their point in most situations without resorting to gutter language," one investigator wrote in the case report.