A motorcyclist who had a gun pulled on him by a King County Sheriff’s Office deputy during a traffic stop sued the deputy and King County on Tuesday, alleging excessive force.
Detective Richard Rowe, who was in plainclothes and driving an unmarked car, pulled over Alex Randall in August 2017. On footage of the incident, Rowe is seen walking up to Randall with a gun pulled close to his chest pointed at Randall. The suit claims Rowe did not properly identify himself.
The suit alleges Rowe used excessive force, and King County’s training policies did not adequately train their officers to handle these daily occurrences.
"The Sheriff’s office clearly demonstrated that they feel no need to hold Deputy Rowe accountable for his actions, that violated Sheriff's office policies as well as my 4th Amendment rights," Randall said in a written statement.
Randall is asking for punitive damages and for a correction to King County’s policies that violate state law.
"That’s why I’m following through on this lawsuit, it’s my only recourse to try to [elicit] any change to the King County Sheriffs Department, and in doing so protecting myself and other King County residents from dangerously unstable officers," he said.
King County Sheriff’s Office said it learned of the allegations Wednesday.
“We will be evaluating the claims in this complaint and working with the Prosecutor’s Office to decide next steps,” King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott said in an email.
Rowe was placed on administrative leave after the video surfaced in August, and he was suspended in April for five days without pay.
Rowe is a detective with the Woodinville Police Department, which contracts with the King County Sheriff’s Office. He has been with the department for 19 years.