Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Schene on Trial for Assault Against Malika Calhoun

Former King County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Schene is pending trial now on one count of Assault Fourth Degree for allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old girl he arrested.  Below is a copy of the jail footage of the incident.

So this was a while ago.  Deputy Paul Schene has since been fired.  The latest is that Paul Schene is now pending trial on one count of Assault Fourth Degree and the trial will resume this Tuesday.  So the system works, I guess.  Schene is facing trial.  I guess what bugs me is that on top of the fact that he roughed up Malika Calhoun, Paul Schene also attempted to charge her with assaulting him.   I had to watch the video a few times before I figured out that Paul Schene justified his take down on Calhoun by the fact that she flicked her shoe at his leg when she took it off.   It is also a little disturbing that the other police officer pretty much just stands there while this is going on.  He doesn’t seem particularly disturbed when he sees what his fellow officer does, although I guess he does seem a little taken aback when the punches start.

Jurors give a lot of deference to police officers, and are slow to disbelieve them when they allege that they have been assaulted.  If it weren’t for the video, Malika Calhoun could be the one on trial for assault, and she would probably be convicted.

See the story in the Seattle-Times.  The police officer Paul Schene is being represented by defense lawyer Peter Offenbecher of Seattle.  The story in the paper explains the defense approach.  It seems like Offenbecher has a pretty big challenge in light of the video tape evidence, but then again everyone thought the LAPD would be convicted of the assault of Rodney King too.

What does everyone else think about this case?  Obviously our system should protect the police as much as we can from assaults, but other than video-taped proof, how can we tell when the police lie or exaggerate?

3 Responses to “Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Schene on Trial for Assault Against Malika Calhoun”

  • Wendell S:

    I love how the reporter refers to the an “alleged” assault, but the trailer reads “washington cop brutalizes female teen”! He is already been fired form his job – let him move on already.

  • Deb Siemens:

    Let him move on??? The officer is an out of control man that used excessive force on a teenage girl. I am so angry at how he treated her. The law is supposed to be above the crime done. He does not represent the law well at all. He should spend at LEAST one year for the assault he did to this girl and NEVER be allowed to deal with young people again. He should be never be allowed to uphold the law again. His partner, by the way, is a wimp and an idiot for not standing up for what is right!

  • Rol G:

    Stop wasting public resources trying on courts where criminals in uniform plead not guilty dispite having been caught on camera. I’m glad I don’t live in your country.

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Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking:
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