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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

Topic: excessive force

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October 29, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Pierce County deputies face excessive-force suit in man’s death

The family of a University Place man who died last May after being taken into custody by Pierce County sheriff’s deputies has filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit alleging five deputies used excessive force when they beat and used a Taser on Ronald Hillstrom and then laid on top of him, breaking most of his ribs and collapsing his…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: excessive force, Pierce County, U.S. District Court

November 13, 2013 at 5:28 PM

City to pay $75,000 to man stepped on by off-duty SPD officer

The city of Seattle has agreed to pay $75,000 to a Bellingham man who alleged his civil rights were violated when an off-duty Seattle police officer stepped on his head as he lay prone and handcuffed.

The settlement resolved a federal lawsuit brought by Jake Baijot-Clary, stemming from a December 2010 fight outside the BalMar nightclub in Ballard.

The confrontation came to light at a time the Police Department was already under intense scrutiny over several high-profile incidents involving use of force, which ultimately led to a federal Department of Justice investigation that found Seattle officers had regularly used excessive force.

As part of the settlement with Baijot-Clary, who is now 23, the city made no admission of wrongdoing on its part or by the officer, Garth Haynes. The settlement was finalized today, ending the suit without a trial.

“We want to commend the city for doing the right thing and giving some measure of justice to our client,” said Seattle attorney Christopher Carney, who represented Baijot-Clary along with Maria Lorena Gonzalez and Shaun Van Eyk.

Haynes, whose action was captured on patrol-car video, was charged with misdemeanor assault as a result of the incident but was acquitted by a Seattle Municipal Court jury in March 2012.

Later, the Police Department determined Haynes had used excessive force on a detained and unresisting suspect. However, then-Police Chief John Diaz withheld a 10-day suspension if Haynes stayed out of trouble.

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Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: excessive force, Seattle Police Department

August 9, 2013 at 1:40 PM

City to pay $1.75M to settle SPD excessive-force lawsuit

The city of Seattle will pay $1.75 million to settle a federal civil-rights lawsuit filed by the father of a mentally ill man who suffered severe brain damage when he was held down, choking on blood and vomit, after being handcuffed and gagged by Seattle police, according to the man’s lawyers. The Seattle City Attorney’s Office confirmed the settlement…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: excessive force, Seattle City Attorney's Office, Seattle Police Department