Kent City Attorney Pat Fitzpatrick says the city is prepared to “vigorously defend” the police department and individual officers in a civil rights lawsuit filed against the department.
The parents of Giovonn Joseph-McDade filed a suit May 22 in U.S. District Court in Seattle against the Kent Police Department alleging officers wrongfully killed Joseph-McDade on June 24, 2017.
“The city is prepared to vigorously defend the Kent Police Department and the individual officers in this matter who acted appropriately and within the confines of the law to protect themselves and the public as Mr. McDade purposefully and aggressively drove his vehicle directly at a Kent Police officer,” Fitzpatrick said in an email.
Joseph-McDade, 20, of Auburn, died June 24, 2017, from multiple gunshot wounds after he reportedly tried to use his vehicle to run over Officer William Davis after a short pursuit on the East Hill that ended on a residential cul-de-sac near Canterbury Park at 99th Avenue South and South 244th Street.
Attorneys Craig Sims, Kaitlin Wright and Pat Bosmans filed the suit on behalf of Joseph-McDade’s estate and his parents Sonia Joseph and Giovanni McDade, against the city of Kent, the Kent Police Department and Officers Davis and Matthew Rausch, who began a vehicle pursuit of Joseph-McDade. The complaint is for damages for violation of civil rights. Attorneys requested a jury trial.
“Officers violated Mr. Joseph-McDade’s constitutional rights when they shot and killed him after a pursuit that began with Mr. Joseph-McDade driving his car with an expired vehicle registration,” according to a press release from the Seattle law firm of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender. “Mr. Joseph-McDade was not armed.”
A six-member King County inquest jury decided in December 2017 that Davis believed Joseph-McDade while driving his car posed a threat of death or serious injury bodily injury before Davis fatally shot him.