The lawsuit initiated by a group of Black Lives Matter protesters says that the state of Washington and the city of Seatle are responsible for the death of one of the protesters – Summer Tayler, who died on July 4. The 24-year-old Summer Taylor and another protester were peacefully protesting when they were struck by a vehicle. The driver Dawit Kelete, who is 27 years old, pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the collision.
Matt Taylor, Summer’s father, said that the Washington State Patrol troopers failed to protect peaceful protesters, which led to such tragic consequences.
The 100-page lawsuit against the police also claims that the Seattle Police Department did not properly respond to the protests in May, June, and July. Police negligence resulted in assault and battery, injuries, deaths, and infringement on constitutional rights..
The Police Department has been also accused of excessive use of crowd control weapons, such as rubber bullets, tear gas, and flashbang grenades, which led to injuries of protesters of varying severity. The protesters, named in the lawsuit as plaintiffs, said that they were doused with pepper sprays or tear gassed, and beaten by police officers during Black Lives Matter protests. They accuse the police of their engagement in discrimination and brutality while exercising protesters’ Constitutionally mandated rights to participate in peaceful protests. One of the plaintiffs is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
Here is the list of injuries caused by the Seattle Police actions during the Black Lives Matter protests:
- Loss of consciousness
- Temporary blindness
- Shattered bones in the hand caused by exposure to a blast ball
- A partially amputated limb
- Breathing problems
- Burning skin
- Chemical burns of different degrees
Protesters sustained the injuries listed above after being exposed to chemical agents, including pepper sprays, tear gas, blast balls, or direct contact with police officers, which lead to using batons and shoving.
The lawsuit is also accusing the city of Seattle of violating the state’s Constitution and other local and state laws.