There’s no lack of complaints about law enforcement officers using their racial biases in the line of duty, and so many of those result in a person of color being shot and killed.

Former Seattle Police Officer Cynthia Whitlatch didn’t use lethal force when she violated an elderly black man’s constitutional rights back in 2014. If she had, the settlement reached last month that gives this disgraced officer more than $100,000 and the ability to claim a pension would have been an even more painful slap in the face.

You can read the background on this on Page One, because there isn’t enough room here to go into how terribly this white officer overreacted during an exchange with an old black man walking around with a golf club as a cane. We’re sure she is not bothered by reports of white nationalists with assault rifles marching in our city, not that any of that is her problem these days.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole doesn’t appear to have changed her opinion that Whitlatch’s treatment of William Wingate was wrong and warranted her termination.

“This particular case — involving bias, abuse of police discretion, and escalation of a contact that should have been resolved without any confrontation — is of great concern to the Seattle community and the Seattle Police Department,” O’Toole wrote in her termination letter.

A civil jury finding that Wingate’s 14th Amendment equal protection rights were violated and that Whitlath was liable under the Washington Law Against Discrimination really drove that message home. It also put the city on the hook for $325,000 in damages, since she was harassing Wingate while on the clock.

Why is the City of Seattle paying this discredit to the force more than $100,000 in back pay and letting her change her status to retirement in lieu of termination, thus guaranteeing she’ll receive her pension?

Nothing new came to light that provided any indication that Whitlatch hadn’t acted shamefully toward Wingate. No, she prevailed due to provisions in the Seattle Police Officers Guild’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that states she had to be notified of O’Toole’s disciplinary decision within 180 days of her supervisor finding out what she did. Basically, the investigation didn’t start soon enough, and so some union-imposed statute of limitations on police brutality had passed.

We should thank former SPOG president Ron Smith for really getting ahead of this, you know, before having to resign because he  blamed the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers on the “minority movement.”

City Attorney Pete Holmes, inundated with questions from the public and the Community Police Commission, did something rare and  issued a public statement regarding the settlement.

He notes the guild had a case regarding the 180 days, which he felt could have been disputed. What’s sad is that the city attorney decided it was better to settle than to risk having this cop reinstated and back out patrolling our streets or any others.

He’s damn right the city needs to be able to hold officers accountable for their poor actions without being blocked by terms in a collective bargaining agreement. Will this fresh example change the debate when bargaining starts again? We live here, so we’ve stopped being optimistic.