The City of Seattle has offered $105,000 to throw out a $1 award in a case involving an officer who is the subject of a separate upcoming excessive force case stemming from a shooting at 20th and Jackson, according to the Seattle Times.
Demetrius James pleaded guilty to third degree assault after two mistrials and more than 400 days in jail after the July 2009 incident. James had been charged with second degree assault for attempting to strike two officers with a vehicle in the parking lot of Moonlight Cafe, then abandoning the car before it crashed into a separate police cruiser on Jackson.
Now, James has filed a lawsuit alleging that police, including Officer Chin, used excessive force during the incident and violated his rights. Police claim they made the stop because the car driven by James had mismatched plates. They suspected the car had been stolen, though that was later shown not to be true.
When James attempted to drive away, one officer, Gerard House, Tasered James through the car window. Officer Chin then pulled his gun and stood in front of the car. When it accelerated toward him and officer House, Chin fired several shots into the vehicle.
Much of the incident was captured on video from the police cruiser:
James claims he lost control of the vehicle when he was hit with the electric volt from the Taser. A professional piano player, James’ wrist was shattered by one of the shots, rendering it too stiff to play.
James is seeking at least $15 million in damages. The trial for the lawsuit is set to begin in January.
Meanwhile, the city is currently trying to get a $1 judgment thrown out after a jury decided Officer Chin did not use excessive force in a 2007 off-duty traffic stop that started on Capitol Hill and ended in West Seattle. However, the jury decided Chin held the suspects at gunpoint for longer than legally allowed, and awarded the plaintiff $1 and the ability to collect legal fees.
The city offered the plaintiff, Andrew Rutherford, $105,000 (attorney fees plus a $15,000 “bonus”) if he would sign a request to have the judgment thrown out. Rutherford’s attorneys turned down the offer.
City Attorney Pete Holmes told the Times the proposed Rutherford deal was not related to the James case, telling the Times it was “business, pure and simple.”
However, attorneys for James and Rutherford claim the deal was an attempt to throw out the judgment so it could not be used in the James lawsuit as evidence of Chin’s previous conduct problems.
“the parking lot of Midnight Cafe”
A neighborhood news outlet should reflect an intimate knowledge of the neighborhood. With that said, there is no Midnight Cafe in the CD. The place you are referring to is called the Moonlight Cafe.
As long as you’re fixing things, untangle and clarify your pronouns in this paragraph:
“Meanwhile, the city is currently trying to get a $1 judgment thrown out after a jury decided Officer Chin did not use excessive force in a 2007 off-duty traffic stop that started on Capitol Hill and ended in West Seattle. However, the jury decided Chin held the suspects at gunpoint for longer than legally allowed, and awarded him $1 and the ability to collect legal fees.”
Who is “him?” Certainly not Officer Chin – that makes no sense. In fact, just copy-and-paste the following – no charge:
“Meanwhile, in another case involving Officer Chin, the City of Seattle is attempting to nullify a judgment against the officer involving a 2007 off-duty traffic stop. In that case, the jury ruled that Chin did not use excessive force, but held the suspects at gunpoint longer than legally allowed. The plaintiff in that case was awarded $1 and the ability to collect legal fees.”
Thanks for the coverate Tom – it all made sense to me, I would not have known if it was midight or greanlight cafe – cause it looks so awefull I wouldn’t bother trying it and the parking lot is frequented by thugs. OverSight – this is the internet. Fast and loose language is what we want. We have broken the shackles of the Catholic school marms and will not tolerate your hitting us with rulers any longer. Communication is to get a point across – it is not intended to be a trap for rule following poopheads to annoy us with.
And to the point of the article. Thank you SPD. Video shows an irreverant crack head who thinks he need not obey the law. Too bad they missed.
Oversight-Thanks for nothing. No one cares for your elitism and your contribution to this neighborhood site is pathetic. Tom, any chance we can get a like, dislike and a STFU with a middle finger icon for people like oversight and all the other whiners on here lately? I am surprised you still decide to help out with this site.
Tom, thanks for what you do, many of us appreciate your efforts to help keep us informed.
Ha! A middle finger button on comments would be interesting, though I’m not sure if it would contribute to much productive conversation. As for the vote up and down systems, I like them in theory. But most of the time, they are sort of annoying in practice. I feel like they shoot down minority points of view, which shouldn’t really be the goal, especially on a neighborhood site.
It would have made your life so much easier if they wouldn’t have missed right? Three words ”go to hell”
Tom! this is why you’re cool in my book. I appreciate what you do for this site.
“irreverant crack head”??? Where do you infer that this man is a crack head? I did see that he is a piano player. While I’m sure that there may be piano players who are also crackheads, but they are not one and the same.
And what about the “irreverant” police who stopped the man unprovoked? How could the police have possibly known that his plates mismatched if he was parked? They just wanted to racially profile the man, and then see if they can find anything. You want the piano player to obey the law, but you don’t mind if the police don’t obey the same structure that they’re supposed to enforce?
You probably just
@double wow – I’m not sure about you but when a police cruiser comes up to me and two cops jump out of the car, my first instinct isn’t to try and drive away, guilty or not. Furthermore, if you watch the video, you can clearly see that this guy drove away before being Tasered – so the excuse that he “lost control” after the Taser is clearly incorrect. Open your eyes, not every cop is corrupt.
@jomama-you’re right, he was an idiot to drive off, not a good idea, clearly, but if chin was involved im sure it was a case of racial profiling. i have been pulled over a few times by chin and i still dont know why.
This guy is at it again beating innocent guys up at liquor store on Union street