HomeChinese AmericanSeattle police officer fired for use of racial slurs

Seattle police officer fired for use of racial slurs

By Sacha Wedner, AsAmNews Intern

AsAmNews today confirmed that a Seattle police officer has been fired for hurling racist and sexist slurs towards his Chinese American neighbor, after an investigation by the Seattle Police Department (SPD).

According to a complaint filed by the Chinese Information of Service Center (CISC) and obtained by AsAmNews, on August 29, 2022, Officer Burton Hill, and his wife, Agnes Miggins, president of the area’s Homeowners Association (HOA), aggressively pounded on the door of his neighbor, Zhen Jin, demanding that she open the door. When Jin and her elderly uncle opened the door, Hill spewed multiple obscenities and threats towards Jin, such as calling her “a dumb f*cking ch*nk” and a “c*nt” and threatening her by saying “you’re going to jail”.

CISC submitted the complaint on September 15, 2023 to the Office of Police Accountability (OPA). Audio that captured the incident was uploaded on The Stranger’s YouTube channel on September 22, 2023, where it received further attention.

As reported on by Northwest Asian Weekly, Jin mentioned that Miggins “made it a point to tell me that her husband is a police officer. He carries a gun daily, which is very frightening to me. The two of them told me, ‘You’re going to jail.’”

During an emailed interview with the OPA, as detailed in the official OPA report, Jin stated that she had no prior relationship with Hill or Miggins prior to the incident but said that she saw Hill frequently wear his gun. Jin also said that Hill accused her of leaving bones in a common area, and that Hill “continued to act in intimidating ways, including lingering in common areas staring at me and taking a photo of my trash” after their August 29, 2022 encounter.”

Miggins was also interviewed by the OPA, and said that the two had a “friendly relationship” that turned sour following Jin’s involvement in HOA meetings. According to Miggins, Jin had previously filed complaints about her dog, and accused Miggins of leaving bones in common areas that could be hazardous to the dog. This boiled to both parties filing restraining orders against each other.

Miggins also said that Hill had a history of alcoholism, and that they were both drinking that day, with Hill being “highly intoxicated” when confronting Jin. While they were walking, their dog had a strange looking bone in its mouth, which was found under a bush. As a result, Miggins assumed Jin was to blame, and rushed over to confront him.

Investigations by the SPD levied three allegations against Hill. The first sustained allegation was of unprofessionalism, for Hill’s use of “directed threats, profanity, and a racial epithet.”

The second allegation surrounds Hill using his position and authority as a police officer for personal gain, but it was deemed “inconclusive”. Despite Hill threatening to arrest Jin twice, he told the OPA that the “evidence was insufficient to go anywhere”.

The third allegation of bias-based policing, referencing Hill’s racist and sexist remarks towards Jin, was found to be sustained.

In an email sent to AsAmNews, the Seattle Police Department said “OPA Director Gino Betts concluded that Hill violated SPD policy and “recommended “Termination” as a disciplinary action.” Hill was terminated from his position by interim Chief Adrian Diaz on May 2nd, 2024.

“CISC worked with OPA during their investigation to ensure accessibility to Seattle’s police accountability process,” said CISC executive director Michael Hill in a statement emailed to AsAmNews. “This case exemplifies the importance of strengthening and maintaining law enforcement accountability measures and continuing the vital work of making the process equitable and safe for all survivors.”

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. 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.

1 COMMENT

  1. Plain and simple his actions were a hate crime. Now that he has been fired, Burton Hill may be a more dangerous threat to Zhen Jin, her family as well as Asians in his community. Were his weapons taken from him?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest

Worth the Time

Must Read

Regular Features

Latest

Discover more from AsAmNews

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading