Langley Police Chief David Marks speaks at Monday’s city council meeting about his handling of a trespassing suspect last year. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

Langley Police Chief David Marks speaks at Monday’s city council meeting about his handling of a trespassing suspect last year. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

Police chief talks about investigation

David Marks gives his side of controversial incident

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.

More in News

ALERT aims to help residents prepare

Disaster preparedness may not be anyone’s idea of a good time, but… Continue reading

Harvest Feast feeds 600 families

Students and families celebrate an early Thanksgiving

Scammers using ballot signature issue in ruse

Voters who had an issue with the signature on their ballots should… Continue reading

Board to decide trail proposals

Commissioners with South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District are expected to make… Continue reading

Hospital suffers budget blow

WhidbeyHealth suffered an unplanned budget hit this year, making September “not such… Continue reading

Mobile Turkey Unit firing up

‘Nobody on this island needs to go without a meal on Thanksgiving

South Whidbey Jazz Ensemble shines at UW invitational

The South Whidbey High School Jazz Ensemble had great success at the… Continue reading

Fundraiser helping homeless is Nov. 18

The Whidbey Homeless Coalition is in the midst of one of its… Continue reading

Man accused of making threat at ‘drug house’

An assault was reported at a Clinton house that was the site… Continue reading

Most Read