Video showed that Officer Adley Shepherd punched Miyekko Durden-Bosley after she swore at him and kicked him in the jaw while she was handcuffed and being placed in a patrol car.
A $1 million claim has been filed against the city of Seattle by a woman who was punched in the face by a Seattle police officer after she kicked him while she was handcuffed and being placed in the back of a patrol car.
The claim, filed last week, alleges that the woman, Miyekko Durden-Bosley, was falsely arrested during a June 22 incident and then assaulted by the officer, Adley Shepherd.
Patrol-car video showed that Shepherd punched Durden-Bosley once after she swore at him and kicked him in the jaw.
Durden-Bosley suffered a fractured orbital in one eye and a severe concussion, according to the claim. The claim, unless settled, serves as a precursor to a lawsuit.
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Durden-Bosley, 23, was initially arrested for investigation of domestic violence during the incident outside the South Seattle home of a man whose mother had called the police.
Video showed that Shepherd weighed whom to arrest before putting Durden-Bosley in the patrol car. She ultimately was booked for assaulting a police officer.
Her claim says she spent several days in the King County Jail “wrongfully incarcerated and suffering the effects of her injuries caused” by the officer before being released without the filing of any charges.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office declined in December to bring a felony assault charge against Shepherd, concluding that state law grants police the power to use “all necessary means,” up to and including deadly force, to make an arrest or overcome resistance to arrest.
While an officer’s use of force is subject to a reasonableness test, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said, senior prosecutors concluded the circumstances Shepherd found himself in justified the force he used, at least in the eyes of the law.
Shepherd may have had other options or alternatives, prosecutors said, but they would be unable to prove his use of force was criminal. They described his punch as instantaneous.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle is separately conducting a criminal review of the matter to determine if Durden-Bosley’s civil rights were violated. The FBI is assisting in the review.
The review has put on hold the Seattle Police Department’s internal investigation into whether Shephard violated department policy.
Shepherd remains on paid leave at home pending the outcome of the matter.
Shortly after the incident, Durden-Bosley said she accidentally kicked Shepherd.
Leaders of the Seattle King County NAACP have criticized prosecutors for their decision not to charge Shepherd, calling the punch a retaliatory act for which he should be fired.
On the video, Shepherd can be seen stepping back and saying “She kicked me” before delivering the punch.
The claim was filed by Seattle attorney Felix Gavi Luna and Tomás Gahan.