Two Seattle police officers who were cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a man last year have sued City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, saying she defamed them when she called the killing a "brutal murder."
Officers Scott Miller and Michael Spaulding filed the lawsuit last week in King County Superior Court. They sued her in her individual capacity, without naming the city as a defendant, saying they "do not want one red cent of public money."
The suit claims the officers "do a hard job for modest pay and little thanks - realities they accept. But what they do not accept, and what the law does not permit, is having their reputations ruined by an ambitious politician, doing so for personal gain."
"Prior to filing suit, the officers requested a retraction," according to the complaint. "Sawant did not even give them a courtesy of a response."
The lawsuit cites comments Sawant made after the officers, who are white, shot a 46-year-old black man named Che Taylor, next to an open car door in February 2016.
Taylor was a felon previously convicted of rape and robbery. The officers said he appeared to be drawing a gun when they fired, and a gun was discovered under the seat of the car. An inquest jury cleared them of wrongdoing.
Sawant did not immediately return a request for comment.