Seattle woman punched by officer during arrest files $1 million claim

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 05, 2015 4:04 PM

By Victoria Cavaliere

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A 23-year-old Seattle woman who was punched in the face by a police officer as she was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence has filed a $1 million claim against the city, saying her rights were violated, an official said on Thursday.

Miyekko Durden-Bosley suffered a fractured orbital socket in the June 22 incident, which was captured on police video.

In the video, Durden-Bosley, who was intoxicated, can be seen kicking at the head of officer Adley Shepherd as she is handcuffed and placed in the patrol car. He then draws back and punches her in the face.

The $1 million claim, which is a precursor to a formal lawsuit if a settlement isn't reached, was filed last week, the city' clerk's office said.

Durden-Bosley's attorneys could not be reached for comment.

Video of the incident and photos of Durden-Bosley with a swollen eye emerged last year as protests swept the country over use of police force against minorities following the killing of unarmed black men by officers in Missouri and New York City. In this case, both the officer and the woman are black.

Shepherd did not face criminal charges in the incident.

"Evidence reviewed in the case shows that Officer Shepherd acted professionally and with restraint up to the point where he was kicked in the head by the suspect as she was being placed into the patrol car," King County prosecutors said in December.

Shepherd was placed on administrative leave while an internal investigation was conducted, the Seattle Police Department said. Shepherd could not immediately be reached for comment.

In cases in which an officer injures a suspect, Washington state law places the burden on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the use of force was not necessary.

King County prosecutors said Durden-Bosley was combative as she was taken into custody on suspicion of assaulting a family member and was wearing boots when she kicked at the officer, justifying use of force.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle is conducting a separate review to determine if Durden-Bosley's civil rights were violated.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)