"This is another case where we are standing here, saying 'Shame on you' to the Seattle police," James Kelly, head of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, said at a news conference Tuesday.
But Kelly also said Rosenthal was wrong to resist the officer and told reporters that the teenager's behavior "only helped escalate an already tense situation." Still, he said, "two wrongs don't make a right."
O'Neill also dismissed claims that the incident was racially charged.
"The race issue gets old after a while; it really does," he said.
Rosenthal and Levias are expected to be charged today in Seattle, Levias with obstructing an officer and Rosenthal with third-degree assault of an officer, which is a felony.
Both teenagers have criminal records. Last year, Rosenthal was charged with second-degree robbery when a 15-year-old boy said his cell phone and $20 were stolen after he was punched in the face; and in 2008 she was charged with theft of a motor vehicle. The robbery charges were later dismissed,The Seattle Times reported.
Levias was charged with third-degree assault in 2009 after pushing a sheriff's deputy and was given probation.