Seattle man awarded $1 for civil rights violation

According to the Seattle Times

A federal judge’s decision to award a Seattle man $1 after his civil rights were violated by an off-duty Seattle police officer could cost the city thousands in attorneys’ fees.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman granted a motion by the attorneys representing Andrew Rutherford, who was held at gunpoint by an off-duty officer after the car Rutherford was riding in ran a red light.

The officer followed the car, in his personal vehicle and dressed in street clothes, from Capitol Hill to West Seattle before confronting the men, alone and outnumbered, on a darkened dead-end street.

A six-person jury issued a confusing verdict in the case last month, finding that Officer Jonathan Chin and others arriving at the scene did not use excessive force, and found that Chin was within his rights to briefly detain the three men for investigative purposes. But the jury found that detention went on too long, in violation of Rutherford’s civil rights.

Rutherford was a passenger in the car.

Pechman said the jurors were given an improper instruction that said they “may” impose nominal damages, not to exceed $1, if they arrived at that verdict.

Read the full article HERE



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