Over City Opposition, Seattle Lawyer Goes to High Court on Police Tasers


Ignoring Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, a private attorney hired by Seattle to defend three officers who were sued after they repeatedly tased a pregnant woman in a traffic stop has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, the Seattle Times reports. The city told attorney Ted Buck he was not authorized to ask the high court to take the case on appeal, and that the city won’t pay the costs of pursuing it.

Buck defended his decision, saying he was “ethically and sensibly” obliged to seek the review. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said in October that the three officers cannot be sued in federal court, despite evidence they used excessive force, because the law governing Taser use was unclear at the time. In a 6-5 ruling, the court said Malaika Brooks could still sue the officers on a state claim of assault and battery. Brooks, whose baby was born healthy, is pursing a state claim in federal court.

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