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Review board finds Yakima officer's use of force to break up state fair fight reasonable

Review board finds Yakima officer's use of force to break up fair fight reasonable

YAKIMA, Wash. - A review board has found a Yakima police officer's use of force while breaking up a fight at the Central Washington State Fair was reasonable.

Officer Ian Cole can be seen in a video posted to Facebook kicking a teen suspect to the ground after pepper spray was used to break up the fight on the evening of Sept. 23.

According to authorities, Officer Cole kicked the suspect after he continued to refuse to follow the orders of the two responding officers. Two suspects were arrested in this fight.

Yakima city leaders said the Use of Force Review board was made up of Sunnyside Police Chief Al Escalera, Ellensburg Police Captain Dan Hansberry, Heritage University’s Criminal Justice Department Chair Kim Bellamy-Thompson, Yakima Police Captain Jay Seely and Yakima Police Lieutenant Chad Stevens.

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The board reached its findings after review of the video that went viral on social media, conducting an investigation, examining available evidence and evaluating Yakima Police Department (YPD) policies.

The board also encouraged the YPD to undergo additional training, including better documentation of use of force incidents to ensure it was necessary.

Interim Yakima Police Chief Gary Jones says Cole, who had been assigned to desk duty following the incident, is now back to his regular position in the YPD patrol division.

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