A Seattle city council member is facing a defamation lawsuit by two SPD officers, with the lawmen alleging that she falsely accused them of a “brutal murder” before they were even cleared of wrongdoing by an inquiry board.
Filed in King County Superior Court by Officers Scott Miller and Michael Spaulding, the lawsuit has been filed solely against councilwoman Kshama Sawant, with the suit clearly stating that the officers do not want “one red cent of public money.”
Citing police work as a “thankless” profession, the officers target Sawant for putting the “guilty” cart before the horse when it came to the shooting of 46 year-old Che Taylor, an individual with a criminal record who allegedly pulled a handgun on the officers. In the aftermath of the shooting, Taylor was found with a handgun and an inquiry cleared the officers of wrongdoing.
However, that did not stop Sawant from accusing the men of murder- well before the hearings had concluded.
“With gravitas established, she went on to pronounce Che Taylor’s death a ‘brutal murder’ and product of ‘racial profiling,’ ’’ the suit says.
“Miller and Spaulding do a hard job for modest pay and little thanks- realities they accept,” the suit adds. “But what they do not accept, and what the law does not permit, is having their reputations ruined by an ambitious politician, doing so for personal gain.”
According to the Seattle Times, the officers note that the councilwoman’s statements before the inquiry weren’t broadcasted as opinion- further stating that she did not acknowledge the ongoing investigation.
“She, instead, tried and convicted the officers herself in the court of public opinion,” the suit alleges.
Despite the inquest ruling, Sawant continues to refer to the shooting as a “murder” and publicly asserts the officers avoided “accountability,” the suit continued.
Despite the shooting -which took place last year- falling within the guidelines of department policy, the two officers were also lambasted by the president of the Seattle King County NAACP, who called the shooting a “coldblooded murder.”
The officers are expected to face an uphill legal battle and Sawant has not responded to the suit.