A 24-year-old Seattle woman, who was punched in the face by a Seattle police officer and spent several days in jail but was never charged with a crime, filed a lawsuit this week alleging assault, false arrest and violation of her civil rights.
A lawsuit has been filed against the city of Seattle and police Officer Adley Shepherd by a woman who was punched in the face by Shepherd in June after she kicked him while she was handcuffed and being placed in the back of a patrol car.
In late January, the woman, Miyekko Durden-Bosley, filed a $1 million claim, a precursor to a lawsuit.
Her suit notes 60 days have elapsed since she filed the claim with no answer from the city, leading to Thursday’s filing of her lawsuit in King County Superior Court. The suit seeks unspecified damages for pain and suffering, punitive damages and attorneys fees.
The suit also accuses the Seattle Police Department of negligent training and supervision of Shepherd and cites three violations of Durden-Bosley’s civil rights for excessive force, unreasonable search and seizure, and failure to train the officer.
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Patrol-car video showed that Shepherd punched Durden-Bosley once after she swore at him and kicked him in the jaw early on June 22, 2014.
Durden-Bosley, 24, suffered a fractured orbital bone in one eye and a severe concussion, according to the suit.
Durden-Bosley 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.
On the video, Shepherd can be seen stepping back and saying “She kicked me” before delivering the punch.
Her lawsuit says she spent several days in the King County Jail “before being released without the filing of any charges against her.”
During her time in jail, “Ms. Durden-Bosley suffered severe pain, partial blindness, a concussion, nausea and vomiting, all due to the assault by Officer Shepherd,” the suit says.
She “continues to experience significant physical pain and suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life,” according to the lawsuit.
Shortly after the incident, Durden-Bosley said she accidentally kicked Shepherd.
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 at the time, 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 Shepherd violated department policy.
As of February, Shepherd remained on paid leave at home pending the outcome of the matter. The Times couldn’t immediately confirm that he is still on leave.