Ed Murray, Mayor
SUBJECT: Excessive Force Lawsuit Dismissed
8/15/2008 4:20:00 PM
Police Media Relations (206) 684-5520
Excessive Force Lawsuit Dismissed
A United States Federal Court jury denied an excessive force claim brought against the Seattle Police Department today.
The claim stemmed from a 2005 Mardi Gras arrest in Pioneer Square. The court found that officers lawfully arrested Michael D. Watson for alleged theft. Ultimately it took five officers and a Taser application to subdue Mr. Watson.
The question that the jury faced was whether or not the force applied during the arrest was excessive. All six jurors agreed that the officers acted appropriately and that the force used to take Watson into custody was both necessary and reasonable.