Seattle Police Abuse Video Raises Many Questions


Video that seems to show a Seattle Police officer kicking a suspect is raising more questions than just about the behavior of the cops. It has come down to who owns the video and whether news organizations have a responsibility to report the news.

Back in mid-April, Jud Morris, Freelance photog for Seattle’s KCPQ Q13 was heading home after his late shift and caught a police situation on his personal camera. After an armed robbery in the Lake Union section of Seattle, police thought they had their suspects. As police detained the suspects, one officer racially berates the suspect and appears to stomp on his arm while a second cop seemingly stomps on his leg. In the end it was a case of mistaken identity. The individual wasn’t even involved in the crime and was allowed to walk away.

View the raw video posted by The Stranger.

Morris took this video back to Q13 and after a few executive discussions, it was decided the video was not egregious enough to air on that channel.

Since Morris claimed to have shot the video on his on time with his own gear, he felt it was his right to shop the video around. Eventually, KIRO-TV bought the video and aired the story.

Now Q13 claims Morris shot the video on company equipment and on company time, thus wasn’t authorized to sell the video to another station. Mr. Morris has since been fired from Q13.

KIRO-TV‘s original story

KIRO-TV’s raw interview with photographer, Jud Morris

The story in The Stranger

In an attempt at full disclosure, I work for Cox Media Group which owns KIRO-TV.


  1. Jud Morris says:

    Im really overwhelmed with this whole thing. I did not expect it to get this big!

  2. Thorne Anderson says:

    “Morris claimed to have shot the video on his on time with his own gear, he felt it was his right to shop the video around. ”

    Hang in there, Jud. Freelancers are much under appreciated and you taking the extra effort to get important footage on the air is a good example of why freelancers should be celebrated for sticking their necks out day after day.

  3. Paul Newsome says:

    Good job Jud. A lot of guts taking this to the limit. Not sure I would have gone that far biting the hand that fed you but all in all it shows you to be an upstanding true ethical journalist and you brought out the scum in the channel that fired you. Kudos to KIRO for taking up the cause but one thing I have to say about it all is this, $100 ????? Are you kidding me ? I wouldn’t sell a weather shot for less than $200. You have to up your rates my friend. I commend your ethics and your honesty. All the best.

  4. Jud Morris says:

    Thank you very much for the support. I know I did the right thing by making sure this video went to air! Anybody who would sit by and let this video go unseen does not belong in this business!

  5. I just came across this… AMAZING JOB! Jud you have true journalistic integrity. Pushing for his to air, and sticking up for your own rights. Shame on Q13!

  6. […] in May, we saw the drama begin when freelancer Jud Morris, sold video of alleged police brutality to a competing station. This […]

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