A jury verdict that awarded $1 to a man who was held at gunpoint too long by a Seattle police officer has cost city taxpayers more than $300,000, and the final bill could more than double, says the Seattle Times. Attorneys for Andrew Rutherford have asked U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman to approve attorneys’ fees and costs totaling more than $419,000. The private law firm retained by the police officers involved, has already billed the city $331,000 to defend the case
Rutherford was awarded the $1 verdict by Pechman in response to a confusing verdict after his seven-day trial. Rutherford was one of three men held at gunpoint by off-duty Seattle police Officer Jonathan Chin, who followed them in his personal car after the men allegedly cut him off in traffic and ran a red light. Rutherford was a passenger. Chin confronted the men alone on a darkened street and ordered them at gunpoint to sit and wait for the emergency backup he had called to request. At issue are the provisions of a 1968 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that holds that police may briefly detain someone they reasonably suspect is involved in criminal activity.