KING-TV airs film of Seattle police brutality on August 9, 1968.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 8/22/2001
  • Essay 3507

On August 9, 1968, KING-TV airs film of Seattle Police Officers beating a suspect. Viewers see officers beat a man, crowd and insult the cameraman, and break the camera. Eighteen minutes of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson is preempted to broadcast the segment again.

Telephone calls to the station about the piece ran 50-50 pro and con. On August 12, 1968, news director Gordon Guykema decided to cut off further access to the footage because the station "did not want to get the whole thing blown out of proportion" (Helix). The station management felt that it had discharged its duty to the public. No copies of the film would be provided to requestors.

The story was not covered by either of Seattle's daily newspapers.


"Politics Is War," The Helix, August 15, 1968, p. 3.

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