Crime

Bellingham Police officer with alleged domestic violence history arrested again

A frame grab of Bellingham Police Cpl. Brooks Laughlin pulled from police body camera footage filmed on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.
A frame grab of Bellingham Police Cpl. Brooks Laughlin pulled from police body camera footage filmed on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A Bellingham Police officer who has a history of alleged domestic violence issues and was arrested in early February for criminal trespassing (domestic violence) has been arrested again, according to Everson Police.

Cpl. Brooks Owen Laughlin, 33, of Everson, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of violating a no-contact order and stalking, both felonies.

He is expected to make a first appearance on the new charges in Whatcom County Superior Court late Wednesday afternoon.

Around 10:30 p.m. Monday, Everson police were contacted by an individual who wanted to report numerous violations of a no-contact order involving Laughlin. The violations spanned the course of a month, according to Everson Police Chief Daniel MacPhee.

MacPhee said probable cause was also established for stalking, and the investigation is ongoing. Laughlin was contacted and agreed to turn himself in at the Bellingham Police Department Tuesday afternoon. He was taken into custody without issue, MacPhee said.

A no contact order was put in place after Laughlin was arrested the first time in February after he showed up at a residence in the 3700 block of Clearbrook Road looking for a woman and refused to leave. Laughlin had to be escorted from the house by an officer, according to records obtained by The Bellingham Herald.

The night before, Laughlin allegedly threatened to shoot the woman in the face, and then later responded while he was on duty to a welfare check that was called on her, according to the records.

Laughlin is the third Bellingham Police officer in as many years to be arrested for alleged assaultive behavior. The records obtained by The Bellingham Herald show Bellingham Police were made aware of Laughlin’s history of behavior in January 2017, after Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of domestic violence involving Laughlin and a woman known to him.

Everson Police officers also responded to Laughlin’s home in the 1000 block of Ridge Lane at least once in the last year on a report of domestic issues, records show. Some sheriff’s deputies, and the woman’s family however, have had concerns about Laughlin’s conduct since 2015, according to records.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the incidents. In addition, an outside independent person identified by the city’s legal office will also be conducting an assessment of the department’s specific policies that would deal with the arrests of two of its officers, and the firing of another. Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville said the assessment will help her determine whether the department needs to look at changing its policies.

Bellingham Police Chief David Doll said Laughlin’s recent arrest will be added to the current administrative investigation to determine what actions will be taken.

“We wish to be respectful of the investigation that Everson Police are doing, so we will not be commenting on any details of their case,” according to a prepared statement from Lt. Danette Beckley. “We will be making a decision about the internal steps we will be taking on this matter as soon as we receive all of the information from the Everson Police Department.”

Laughlin will remain on paid administrative leave, per the Bellingham Police Guild’s collective bargaining agreement with the department.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt
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