City of Kent, Washington, Will Pay $4.4 Million to Settle Police Shooting Lawsuit

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Yellow police tape with black writing: “Do Not Cross.” Image by David von Diemar, via Unsplash.com.

Giovonn Joseph-McDade was shot dead after a slow pursuit for an expired vehicle registration.

The city of Kent, Washington, has agreed to pay $ 4.4 million to the family of Giovonn Joseph-McDade, a 20-year-old black man who was killed by local police after a brief persecution.

Joseph-McDade’s parents, according to the Kent Reporter, filed a civil rights lawsuit in May 2020. The complaint was filed in the US District Court in Seattle against the Kent Police Department, alleging that officers used excessive force and wrongly killed Joseph-McDade.

Bailey Stober, a communications manager for Kent, announced the deal early Wednesday.

“Every loss of life is tragic, regardless of the circumstances,” said Stober. “Our thoughts and condolences go with the Joseph-McDade family. This settlement is a step in the right direction to close the family, the officials involved, and the city as a whole.

“This case has been going on for several years and it was in the best interests of all parties to resolve the matter.”

The Kent Reporter notes that the city has also agreed to install a memorial bench for Joseph-McDade in one of the city’s parks.

Even so, Stober and the City of Kent claim that local law enforcement didn’t get it wrong.

Police car roof illuminated with blue light; Image from Pixabay via Pexels.com.

“We claim that the officers involved acted within the guidelines of the Kent Police Department and Washington State law,” said Stober. “Investigations have been conducted, including the establishment of an investigative jury in King County, and it has been confirmed that our officers have acted within the limits of the department’s guidelines, state law, and the scope of their authority.”

“This is a case where we have been fully prepared to have and defend litigation, but in the best interests of the family, officials involved and our community recognize that we must resolve the matter and try to get those involved to close.” to bring, “added Stober.

The Seattle Times reports how Kent Police Officer Matthew Rausch stopped Joseph-McDade in a supermarket parking lot on June 24, 2017.

While Rausch said the car had an expired registration, his report showed that he was concentrating on the vehicle because one of the three black men inside appeared “scared” and got out after spotting the officer.

Rausch then called for support and turned on his light. Joseph-McDade drove further away from intoxication.

Although Rausch swore in court that Joseph-McDade “hit [the gas]As he drove away, evidence presented to the bank showed that Joseph-McDade had actually driven below the 35 mph speed limit.

In the pursuit of Joseph-McDade, Rausch is said to use a technique known as a PIT maneuver to force Joseph-McDade to lose control of his vehicle and come to a standstill. While the maneuver was unsuccessful, Joseph-McDade drove on – and interestingly, continued to use indicators and designated turning lanes.

Joseph-McDade eventually hit a dead end and traveled about 10 miles an hour.

Although Rausch claims that Joseph-McDade accelerated toward him after exiting his cruiser, evidence shows that another Kent Police car rammed Joseph-McDade’s vehicle and brought it closer to Rausch.

Rausch responded with two shots at Joseph-McDade’s car; They punched Joseph-McDade in the chest and he died on the scene.

Attorneys for the Joseph-McDade family argued that the actions of Rausch and his colleagues were unjustified and negligent – in large part because an expired vehicle registration should not have triggered the use of intense, potentially fatal, violence, including Rausch’s PIT attempt and the subsequent one Shoot-out.

“Defendants Davis and Rausch took action that no sensible police officer would take with intent and ruthless indifference to the rights of others in violation of clearly established laws,” the lawsuit said. “Defendants are liable under the law for depriving Giovonn Joseph-McDade of his life, liberty, and property, as well as punitive damages, damages, and reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses.”

The terms of the settlement include a payment of $ 4.4 million to Joseph-McDade’s family and the establishment of a memorial bank.

Joseph-McDade, notes the Seattle Times, was unarmed at the time of his death and had been traveling under 9 mph when Rausch shot him dead.

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The $ 4.4 million Kent settlement brings families together to mourn for their dead and protest police violence

The City of Kent is settling Joseph-McDade’s civil rights lawsuit for $ 4.4 million