I wrote on Radley's blog:
Where the video begins, the woman is being physically confrontational, and at that point the initial reason for the contact is really beside the point: she shouldn’t have done that. Add to that the obviously hostile crowd (very close) and the fact that he was alone, I find it kind of impressive that he didn’t put her on the ground, tase her, call in the cavalry, or pull his gun. In the heat of the moment, I think he showed a lot of restraint.
I’m *NOT* saying he was 100% correct in how he handled it, but I do think he made a good faith effort to diffuse an escalating situation with as little violence as possible. At least based on what we see here.
That said–yeah chasing down a jaywalker is kind of dumb, though my sympathy for her is limited by: 1) the law in Seattle is extremely deferential to pedestrians (if you hit a pedestrian, it is your fault no matter what, basically), so cracking down on dangerous jaywalking does make sense; 2) if she was crossing the main road in the shot, it’s a very busy one WITH A PEDESTRIAN OVERPASS RIGHT THERE, so I think it is fair to say this counts as dangerous jaywalking.
Regular commenter "LibCop" (who has been commenting there a long time and is credibly a police officer) makes some great points to the effect that the officer could have (and should have) backed down, even if it meant letting the jaywalking thing slide.
Here's the video...what say you?
(Disclosure: I live in Seattle and jaywalk daily.)