Let’s remember when Seattle Police Sergeant Frank Poblocki harassed a private citizen at his job, on this day in 2018 (February 10)

Photo by Spenser, on Unsplash.

I’m “just cold kicking it … just doing some community oriented policing stuff,” said Frank Poblocki, a 19 year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, and alleged adult.

What happened was this: One year ago today, Poblocki towed a man’s car, and the man, for some reason, didn’t immediately express gratitude to Poblocki for taking away his primary mode of transportation. Poblocki wasn’t happy that he didn’t get a “thank you for your service” from the area man and decided to hang out in front of the man’s place of employment, AutoZone, until he got the apology his badge and gun entitle him to.

The Seattle Times reported:

A Seattle police sergeant has been disciplined and demoted after retaliating against an angry citizen whose car he had towed, sitting in a chair in full uniform in the parking lot of the man’s workplace for most of an hour and telling passers-by he was waiting for an apology, according to findings of an internal investigation.
“I got a little disrespected earlier today, so I’m going to hang out,” Sgt. Frank Poblocki reportedly told several citizens who passed by the AutoZone in Seattle’s Central District. Some of the citizens approached him and complained about his behavior, including one who described it as harassment, documents say.
The sergeant pulled a chair from his patrol car and planted himself in front of the business, staying for about 40 minutes, according to a summary of the Feb. 10 incident obtained by The Seattle Times. At one point, he was joined by other officers, who are now also under investigation for allegedly not reporting the incident.
Poblocki, 47, a 19-year SPD veteran, has a history of being disciplined and has been suspended twice before for improper citizen contacts, according to the documents.

The report, written by Chief Best says, in part:

Then-Department Policy 5.001 (9) (which is now subsection 10 of Policy 5.001) requires that Department employees “strive to be professional at all times.” The policy further instructs that “employees may not engage in behavior that undermines public trust in the Department, the officer, or other officers.” The policy states that:
“Any time employees represent the Department or identify themselves as police officers or Department employees, they will not use profanity directed as an insult or any language that is derogatory, contemptuous, or disrespectful toward any person.” Lastly, the policy proscribes: “unnecessary escalation of events even if those events do not end in reportable uses of force.”
Your conduct throughout this incident violated Department Policy 5.001 (9). Your comments about the male being “a big man” and that you would “see [him] for sure” were contemptuous and served no purpose other than to escalate the situation. You significantly escalated the situation by driving to and waiting outside of the man’s workplace for an apology. You further exacerbated the issue by causing several other officers to go to the scene.
This behavior was threatening and reflected poorly on both you and the Department, as did your numerous comments made while sitting outside the AutoZone. You also made repeated comments that you were engaging in “community policing”. These comments showed, at best, a misunderstanding of what community policing means. At worst, the comments sarcastically mocked community policing, which is a vital and highly valued part of modem policing and crucial to this police service. Your flippant comments may have given community members the impression that “community policing” is a route to harass someone who questioned an officer’s actions. Nothing could be further from the realities of community-based policing.

Poblocki was demoted from sergeant to officer after the embarrassment he caused to the SPD’s already tarnished reputation.

Again, from the Times report:

The incident began when Poblocki saw a car parked illegally and issued a ticket, ordering the car towed, according to the document.
A man and a woman objected, with the man saying the car belonged to his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend and that he used it to get to work. The woman said she was in the process of transferring the car’s title but that she didn’t have enough money to get it registered.
“Both she and the man grew angry and frustrated” over the car being towed, according to the report, cursing Poblocki and calling him names.
Poblocki responded, “you’re a big man, huh, talking some smack,” and directed the tow-truck driver to take the car, according to the report.
As Poblocki drove away, he rolled down his window and said, “I’ll see you guys, good night,” and addressed the man specifically: “I’ll see you for sure,” he reportedly said.
At that point, Best wrote, no further police action was necessary.
Just the day before this incident, Poblocki had been counseled about inappropriate comments made during a traffic stop.


Read the whole thing:

Here’s the report: