Seattle’s Police Chief moved to suspend an officer after audio surfaced allegedly of him using an anti-Asian slur directed at a Chinese American neighbor, reported KIRO.
The alternative Seattle newspaper the Stranger originally released the tape that it said contained Seattle Police Officer Burton Hill calling neighbor Zhen Jin a “ch*nk.”
The non-profit social service agency, Chinese Information and Service Center, filed a formal complaint with the Office of Police Accountability.
After the story became public, Councilmember Tammy Morales demanded the police hold the officer accountable, reported KUOW.
“The reality is that no other city employee would be excused from this behavior, where they can laugh and joke about killing somebody, spit racist slurs, and continue taking home a six-figure paycheck.”
Morales says that Hill has four bias police complaints filed against him.
“Although I will ultimately defer, as I am required, to the outcome of OPA’s investigation, racist language is completely unacceptable and is inconsistent with the high standards the department sets for its employees,” Chief Adrian Diaz said in his statement. “While I’m grateful the complaint was filed with OPA, not knowing about this for one year causes me concern. For this reason, I have instructed my staff to review this officer’s arrest and investigation history.”
Neither the Hills nor his Chinese American neighbor have commented.
The Chinese Information and Service Center told the Stranger that the dispute between Hill and Jin stems from Jin’s concern about the Hills allowing their dog to roam without a leash around the condominium complex.
Jin is concerned because the uncle he lives with has eyesight issues and fears the dog could be a danger to him.
The Stranger reported Hill is heard on the tape telling Jin’s uncle “You don’t own this place, you stupid f*cking c*nt.” At one point, he also threatens to take Jin to jail.
When Jin’s uncle laughs nervously, he reportedly said “You think that’s funny, you dumb fucking ch*nk?”
Chief Diaz has apologized to both Jin and the community for what happened.
“As I have said from the beginning of my tenure as Chief of Police, racist comments and behavior by department employees will not be tolerated.”
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please take advantage of a $30,000 matching grant challenge. An anonymous donor has offered to match dollar for dollar every tax-deductible donation made to Asian American Media Inc from November 1, 2023 until the end of the year. The money will be used to fund the addition of a new reporter and to produce content for limited English-speaking Asian immigrants. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.