In full uniform and armed with his service weapon and a can of La Croix, Seattle Police’s Frank Poblocki sat in a rolling office chair outside the AutoZone at 23rd and Jackson in the Central District on a clear but cool February day. “I got a little disrespected earlier today. So I’m going to hang out,” Poblocki told one passerby.
“I’m just cold kicking it.”
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Newly released body camera video shows the ridiculous — and needlessly provocative — actions last winter that got the East Precinct police sergeant demoted and suspended for 10 days. The Seattle Times posted the video this week after reporting on the investigation and Chief Carmen Best’s punishment and demotion of Poblocki for what the Office of Professional Accountability said was retaliation against a citizen.
According to the report on the investigation, the incident began when Poblocki ordered a car towed from the 23rd and Jackson lot and got into a heated argument with a woman and a man, an employee at the auto parts store. About three hours after the towing incident, the video shows Poblocki arriving in his SPD SUV in the shopping center parking lot, unloading an office chair, and rolling the chair across the pavement to sit in front of the AutoZone.
During his 40-minute stay, Poblocki talks with passersby and is confronted by a citizen who says he considers Poblocki’s actions “harassment” against the black man inside the store and asks for Poblocki’s badge number. “They’re fully aware of why you’re here,” the citizen says.
Between sips of sparkling water, Poblocki occasionally makes his case during the 17-minute edited video posted by the Seattle Times.
“Just doing some community oriented policing stuff,” Poblocki says at one point, explaining he had been called a “ho” and a “bitch” during the earlier confrontation over the towed vehicle.
“I’m going to be here pretty often until I get an apology,” Poblocki says at one point.
During the video, SPD officers called to the scene can be seen coming and going but none apparently convinced Poblocki to end his attempt to confront the man.
Another citizen approached Poblocki and engages in a long exchange trying to calm the cop down. “Both of you guys have a beef going on,” the man says.
“You’re gonna create an animosity between him and you.”
Eventually, the video shows Poblocki wheeling the chair to his police vehicle and loading it back into the back seat, before driving away from the store.
The Times reports that more discipline may be still to come in the case as the OPA has also opened investigations into the conduct of the other officers who came to the scene and whether Poblocki lied during the initial investigation.