Girl in video apologizes to officer who punched her

Girl in video apologizes to officer who punched her »Play Video
SEATTLE -- The teen who was captured on video getting punched by a Seattle police officer after she intervened in his arrest of her friend, met with and apologized to that officer during a private meeting Friday.

17-year-old Angel Rosenthal and Officer Ian Walsh met face-to-face at a North Seattle community center, said James Kelly with the Urban League of Seattle.

"Ms. Rosenthal and Officer Walsh have been in every major media report in the country since their Monday confrontation," Kelly said in a statement. "At my request, the two met today just to see if we could calm down a growing volatile situation. This is the first steps toward reconciliation and healing."

Kelly says Angel wanted to apologize directly to the officer and "the officer was good enough to meet with her and accept her apology." Sources tell KOMO News the officer then gave a lecture to the woman about not putting hands on police officers.

Also present at the meeting were Rich O'Neill, President of the Seattle Police Officer's Guild, Deputy Chief Nick Metz and Rev. Reggie Witherspoon, Pastor of Mount Calvary Christian Center.

"(Walsh) did not have to do this," said Interim Seattle Police Chief John Diaz. "But he felt it was an important first step in the beginning of the healing process. I want to personally thank Officer Walsh for his willingness to participate in this dialogue in what has been, undoubtedly, a very stressful period. I would also like to thank Angel. I think her willingness to reach out to Officer Walsh shows bravery and maturity."

The incident began when Walsh spotted four young women jaywalking the 3100 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way S. Walsh asked the group to step over to his patrol car, but the women were being "verbally antagonistic toward the officer," according to officials.

Police said the 19-year-old woman, identified as Marilyn Levias, was resisting when Walsh tried to place handcuffs on her. Officials said the 17-year-old intervened and placed her hands on Walsh's arm, "causing the officer to believe she was attempting to physically affect the first subject's escape," police said.

Walsh pushed Angel, but she came back at him, police said. Walsh then punched her, police said.

Levias has pleaded not guilty to obstructing an officer. The Angel was charged Friday with third degree assault.

But Kelly said Friday was not about cameras, charges and lawsuits.

"I want to personally thank Angela for coming forward to apologize for her part in the situation on Monday over by Franklin High, and I want to thank Ian Walsh for meeting with her and accepting her apology."

Editor's Note: KOMO News typically does not name juveniles charged with a crime, but has made an exception in this case since Angel's name has been released by the Seattle Police Department and multiple media outlets.