Wingate spent the night in King County Jail.
That moment from the video, when Wingate had trouble getting into the paddywagon on his own, said former Democratic Washington State representative Dawn Mason, “was awful. That one touched my soul.” She took an interest in the case after a neighbor told her what happened.
“The man is 69 years old,” she said, speaking with me on Tuesday by phone. “Seventy years of beating the odds of never having been arrested—a black man. Served in the military for 20 years. Worked with the police, because you do that as a bus driver.” (Wingate turned 70 in September of last year.)
“And here he is standing on the corner,” she continued. “He ends up handcuffed and put in a police wagon and put in jail overnight… The system failed this man. He never should have been stopped. Once he got to the precinct, reason should have prevailed.”
But the system kept on churning.
The next day, prosecutors at the city attorney’s office decided to file a misdemeanor charge of unlawful use of a weapon against him, “based on the SPD incident report,” according to spokesperson Kimberly Mills.
“On that day,” she writes, “Mr. Wingate, who was represented by an attorney, agreed to enter into an agreement under which the case would be dismissed after two years if he complied with all conditions ordered by the Seattle Municipal Court judge.”
What the city attorney’s account of events leaves out, according to Mindenbergs, Wingate’s current attorney, is that the elderly man was told, “If you sign this stipulated order of continuance, it will all be over, basically.” She said her client followed a public defender’s instructions.
On September 19, however, municipal judge Fred Bonner dismissed the case following an outcry led by Mason.
via Video: Seattle Police Jail Elderly Military Veteran for “Walking in Seattle While Black” | Slog.