Christopher Backus

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Service Record

Tukwila Washington Police Department

Rank Officer
Dates of Service 2014 - 2017.[1]
Salary $97,290 (2016)[2]
Last Known Status Terminated. Resigned.[1]

Tenino Washington Police Department

Rank Officer
Dates of Service Hired part-time in June 2022. Full-time in January 2023.[1] Ended April 21, 2023.[3]
Last Known Status Terminated[3]

Incident Reports

2015 Arrest of Marquez Riddle

On January 2, 2015, Backus and other officers responded to a call that a group of teenagers were "destroying things" at a fast-food restaurant. Backus entered the restaurant and, fearing that Riddle was "going to assault him", tackled and punched the 15-year-old. Riddle was tased by another officer.[1]

Riddle was charged with obstructing, attempted assault, and resisting arrest. [1]

Video was captured by a surveillance camera. Audio of the incident was captured by an in-vehicle camera.[1]

Response Timeline

An internal investigation found that Backus had arrested the wrong person, used "excessive force", and "falsified reports", noting that Backus' report was "inaccurate and a clear contradiction to what occurs on video".[1]

The charges against Riddle were dismissed.[1]

2015 Arrest of Christopher Stout

On August 6, 2015, Backus identified Stout at a restaurant, asked him to step outside, and refused Stout's request for an explanation. Stout claimed that Backus grabbed his wrist, threw him to the floor, and punched him. Stout claimed that the officers used "insulting and [abusive]" language during the arrest.[4]

Stout was charged with assault.[4]

Response Timeline

On August 3, 2018, Stout filed a lawsuit against the City of Tukwila, the Tukwila Police Department, Backus, and Officer Daniel Lindstrom, claiming a violation of his civil rights. Stout directly claimed that Backus assaulted him, inflicted emotional distress, and lacked probable cause.[5]

On November 21, 2018, the case was moved to federal court.[5]

On November 27, 2019, a judge dismissed the assault charge from the case for being over the statute of limitations. The charge of infliction of emotional distress was rejected as it "does not rise to the level to support a claim of outrage".[5]

2016 Excessive Force

In July 2016, Backus used his Taser on a man at a bus stop.[1]

Response Timeline

Investigators found that the man was not being aggressive towards officers or actively resisting arrest.[1]

2016 Excessive Force

In November 2016, Backus pushed a teenager head-first into a cement planter and threatened him with a taser.[1]

Response Timeline

Investigators found that Backus used poor decision making, excessive force, and he failed to document his actions.[1]

2016 Excessive Force

In December 2016, Backus encountered an intoxicated homeless man and tased him.[1]

Response Timeline

Investigators found that Backus had used excessive force as the man had not threatened Backus or made any significant attempt to assault him.[1]

In 2017, Backus was fired by the Tukwila Police Department, citing his "continued negative contact with the public" and "subsequent failure to respond to discipline".[1]

In August 2018, the City of Tukwila agreed to revoke Backus' termination, reverse the findings of misconduct, and remove the disciplinary records from his personnel file. The city paid Backus $75,000 in exchange for his resignation and signing a confidentiality agreement.[1]

2022 New Employment

In June 2022, Backus was hired part-time by the Tenino Washington Police Department, and converted to full-time in January 2023. The city of Tenino ran a background check on Backus before he was hired.[1]

Backus' hidden employment history was reported on by local media.[1]

Response Timeline

Backus was placed on "modified assignment" while an external firm conducts a review of Tenino's hiring practices and Backus' employment history.[6]

On April 21, 2023, Backus was terminated.<ref name="king20230502tm"> ‎

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