SEATTLE – A new lawsuit says the city of Seattle and Washington state failed to protect protesters from drivers who could hurt or kill them while also allowing protesters to be injured by the police response.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Friday include the family of Summer Taylor, who was killed by a driver on Interstate 5 in July, and protester Daniel Gregory, who was shot during a demonstration on Capitol Hill in June, the Seattle Times reported.
Other plaintiffs include protesters, live-streamers and a student journalist who say police grabbed them, hit them with explosives or doused them with pepper spray during protests. Along with physical injury, some have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares and other effects, the complaint says.
The lawsuit is the latest legal action against the city following months of protests against police brutality in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Protesters in Seattle have called for reducing police budgets and increasing funding for Black-led community organizations.
Other lawsuits and claims have been filed by protesters, by the father of a 19-year-old man fatally shot in an area that became the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) and by residents and business owners in the CHOP area.
“We intend to investigate these alleged claims and will defend the City in this matter,” Seattle City Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Nolte wrote in an email about the latest lawsuit.
The Seattle Police Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The state has not yet had a chance to review the complaint, a spokesperson for the governor’s office said.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.