Seattle Cop Brad Richardson Caught Threatening to Make Up Evidence Against Josh Lawson & Christopher Franklin, Black Men Brutalized and Wrongfully Arrested
In a shocking case of police brutality and misconduct, a Seattle cop has been caught threatening to fabricate evidence against a pair of black men who were brutally assaulted and wrongfully arrested by officers.
KOMO News reports that Josh Lawson and Christopher Franklin have filed a claim against the city for excessive force and wrongful arrest stemming from a November 2010 incident in which the pair of young black men were held at gunpoint, brutalized and wrongfully arrested in connection with an unrelated assault.
The pair were walking near the Seattle Center on the night of November 16, 2010, several blocks away from a reported assault. A 911 call to police described the alleged assailants as “two tall, skinny African Americans.”
Lawson is six feet tall, Franklin stands just 5’9″. The 911 caller also said both suspects were wearing jeans, but a booking photo of Lawson shows he was wearing white sweat pants.
Regardless, Officer Brad Richardson made a “felony stop,” meaning he took cover behind his patrol car’s door and drew his gun on the pair of innocent men.
“I thought I was gonna die,” Lawson told KOMO.
Franklin called the ordeal “the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced.”
Richardson’s “Use of Force” report filed after the arrests claims that “both males ignored his commands to stop and continued walking right toward him,” an accusation the two men call crazy. Why would they walk toward a cop with his gun drawn?
“We got on the ground and we froze,” Franklin told KOMO.
“I thought I was gonna be murdered in cold blood,” Lawson added.
According to the two men, Richardson kicked Lawson in the face while he was on the ground and Franklin was roughed up and slammed into the pavement as he was being arrested. Richardson says he “only” kicked Lawson in the chest.
In a booking photo, Franklin’s jeans were allowed to fall down around his knees after his shoes were taken away, and his hood was pulled over his head at the scene of the arrest.
“I felt like he was making me look like the part,” Franklin told KOMO.
An audio recording of Richardson as he takes the two men to holding cells captured this explanation as to why they were being arrested:
“Well, you’re going to jail for robbery, that’s all.”
Franklin then incredulously asks, “for robbery?”
To which Richardson repsonds, “Yeah, I’m gonna make stuff up.”
“He showed me that he has the power to do whatever he wanted that night,” Franklin told KOMO. “He has a badge, and all we can do is nothing.”
Franklin and Lawson, neither of whom has a criminal record, were released after their arrests. There were no charges against them.
“These guys are guilty of being black in Seattle,” Lizanne Padula, the attorney representing the pair in their suit against the city, told KOMO. Padula says things would have probably gone down differently had the two men been white. “I think the most that would have happened with those kids, police officer would have rolled down his window and said ‘hey, were you guys over in this area?’”
Incredibly, the Seattle Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability, which found Richardson’s threat to fabricate evidence against the innocent men “inappropriate,” exonerated the officer of any wrongdoing.
“I can tell you we take [complaints] very seriously but people have to believe that and they have to trust the system, they have to trust the process,” Seattle Police Sergeant Sean Whitcomb told KOMO.
Tell that to Josh Lawson and Christopher Franklin.
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