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Cop pushes an 18-year-old for dangling a donut on a string. Now, the teen is arrested for assault.

While the teen is not seen making contact with anyone in the video—which brings into question the assault charge raised against him—he was shoved violently from behind by one of the officers before they arrested him.

Cop pushes an 18-year-old for dangling a donut on a string. Now, the teen is arrested for assault.
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Amelie Conston

A young man of color was arrested and charged with fourth-degree assault at a pro-police rally on Friday night after he taunted some police officers with a donut hanging from a stick. Videos of the incident which occurred in Everett, Washington, show the cops initially laughing at the sight of the donut before things took a dark turn. While the 18-year-old is not seen making contact with anyone in the video—which brings into question the assault charge raised against him—he was shoved violently from behind by one of the officers before they arrested him.

Image Source: Facebook/Amelie Conston

According to The Everett Herald, the young man—who identified himself as Benjamin Hansen to a teen who filmed the incident—came to the "Back the Blue" rally as part of a counter-protest. While most of the other counter-protesters stayed on the other side of the street, Hansen approached a group that included sheriff's deputies and marshals assigned to patrol the courthouse campus, one of whom was a lieutenant in plain clothes. A police report of the incident claims the young man shoved the stick with the donut toward the plainclothes deputy, prompting Marshal James Simoneschi to push him away and arrest him.



 

However, a video posted on Facebook by a teen—who stated that she brought the donut to the rally as a joke—tells a different story. As per the footage, the encounter started amicably, with one of the officers Hansen approached laughing at the sight of the donut and a man who appears to be a pro-police demonstrator even joking that he'd already eaten "like 10 donuts" before he came to the rally. Things quickly get out of hand when Hansen offers the donut again, asking if "any of you bootlickers want this." The lieutenant in plainclothes suddenly gets angry, telling him to "get that f***ing s**t away from my face or I'll whoop your a**."



 

This is when Simoneschi—who'd been amicable up until that point—violently shoves Hansen, causing him to stagger away. "Get your (expletive) out of here, man," he yells at the teen. When Hansen starts demanding names and badge numbers in order to file a complaint, Simoneschi arrests him saying "I think it's time for you to go." Meanwhile, the girl who was still recording asks why he's getting arrested when the cop who had previously laughed at the donut gag appears to shove or otherwise make contact with her, barking "back off!"



 

In the police report, Simoneschi wrote that Hansen had pushed the stick toward the plainclothes lieutenant's face, apparently leaving the lieutenant no space to back away. "I observed (the man) move closer to (the lieutenant's) face and that (the lieutenant) could not retreat any more or move out of (the man's) way," he wrote. "I pushed (the man's) arm and (the man) away from (the lieutenant)." Olushola Bolonduro, one of the organizers of the counter-protest, said he'd witnessed the encounter with the donut and that it had taken place after the rally ended and after most people had dispersed.



 

Bolonduro explained that from his perspective Hansen didn't do anything to deserve being jailed. "I thought, 'Oh, it's just a kid pulling a prank,'" he said, adding that he would understand if the deputies were annoyed or if they gave him a warning, but arresting him seemed petty. Meanwhile, sheriff's spokesperson Courtney O'Keefe claimed there had been no issues at the rally until counter-protesters crossed the street to confront the attendees. "The individual in the video was also intimidating and verbally attacking 'Back the Blue' rally attendees as they were leaving the area Friday night," she said in a statement.



 

Sharing her side of the story on Facebook, the teen who filmed the incident, wrote that she'd brought the donut on a string to the rally as a joke and that it had been well received by people gathered on both sides. During their rally I got SO MANY compliments on it from the Blue Lives Matter people AND EVEN THE POLICE. One person thanked me for bringing humor to "tense events" like this. I had the best conversation with a man holding a blue flag. Never in my LIFE have I ever thought I could have a positive conversation with those people, she wrote.



 

Recounting Hansen's arrest, she added: He asked me if he could borrow my donut on a stick, a lot of people were asking to see it (on both sides) so of course I said yes! He also asked if I would record him, so I did. I didn’t know what he was planning on doing but it ended up being just a funny joke for the cops that were at the rally border. You see in the video, the two uniformed police laughing with us, the other man (proud boy? plain-clothed police??) in the green get extremely aggressive. Within seconds of HIS threats, the officer lunged at BENJAMIN HANSEN, assaulting him. BENJAMIN HANSEN looked back at me making sure I got all of it on video, that’s when they decided to arrest him. When I tried to ask the officer why he was being taken, the other officer shoved me back screaming at me that he would arrest me. Hansen was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of fourth-degree assault and released the next day after making a bail of $1,000.

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