Lawsuit: City, state failed to protect Seattle protesters

In One Week There Were At Least 8 Instances Of Police Using Excessive Force Caught On Camera
Washington State Police uses tear gas to disperse a crowd during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis Police, turned destructive in Seattle, Washington on May 30, 2020. - Clashes broke out and major cities imposed curfews as America began another night of unrest Saturday with angry demonstrators ignoring warnings from President Donald Trump that his government would stop violent protests over police brutality "cold." (Photo by Jason Redmond / AFP) (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — 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.