Langley Police Chief David Marks said he welcomes outside scrutiny of a November incident involving his treatment of a mentally ill trespassing suspect.
“I do think it’s important to have an outside expert,” Marks said at a Monday Langley City Council meeting, adding that he’d respect the expert’s findings.
“If he comes in and says I’m wrong then I’m wrong,” Marks said. “I deserve to get whatever punishment I get.”
Langley Mayor Tim Callison has hired a former police officer who is an expert on use of force to review the evidence.
Chief of the Langley Police Department for four years, Marks is alleged to have engaged in unwarranted and aggressive handling of trespassing suspect Camren Procopio after he trespassed in the Star Store on Nov. 20, 2017.
Last week, the Island County prosecutor declined to charge Marks with a crime, igniting a storm of social media commentary.
Prosecutor Greg Banks reviewed documents from a Washington State Patrol criminal investigation in which Marks is alleged to have kicked a handcuffed Procopio causing him to fall face first on the ground.
Procopio, who has mental health and cognitive problems, has a history of trespassing in businesses and resisting arrest.
Banks concluded that a jury would be unlikely to convict Marks of gross misdemeanor assault.
Marks said he hoped an outside investigation will lead the community to take a “step back.”
The chief addressed the mayor and council after a half-dozen people made statements about him during the meeting’s public comment period.
Five spoke in glowing terms about Marks and his police work with some describing years of witnessing the problematic behavior of suspect Procopio.
One resident questioned Marks’ treatment of vulnerable suspects, wondered why the chief hadn’t publicly told his side of the story and questioned the cost of the investigation.
Hiring the outside expert is costing the city an estimated $1,100, Callison responded.
Marks’ actions on Nov. 17 were witnessed by two law enforcement officers, Deputy Thomas Brewer of the Island County Sheriff’s Office and Langley Police Officer Mason Shoudy.