Suit against Sawant over ‘brutal murder’ comments dismissed

March 2, 2019

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge has thrown out a defamation lawsuit filed against Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant by two Seattle police officers over public statements she made calling the 2016 police shooting of Che Taylor a racially motivated “brutal murder.”

The Seattle Times reports U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman threw out defamation claims against Sawant as an individual and said they couldn’t be refiled.

Pechman concluded that officers Scott Miller and Michael Spaulding could not show that Sawant was talking about them specifically when she condemned the shooting.

When they initially filed the lawsuit, the officers named Sawant only, but after the case moved to federal court, they added the city as a defendant and included a claim alleging city officials retaliated against them after they sued. Those claims will continue.

The city didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.


Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com