Judge Dismisses Cop’s Suit Against City

A King County judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the city by a Seattle police detective who shot a member of the Hells Angels during an altercation at a South Dakota bar in 2008.


Filing the suit in April, Detective Ron Smith claimed the department maligned him in the days following the shooting when investigators there made an erroneous claim that Smith was armed with a department-issued pistol when he shot and wounded a Hells Angel during the Sturgis motorcycle rally. Smith also took issue with comments made by then-Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske shortly after the incident.

In response, the city asserted the police statements were protected under a state law protecting communications with government. On Friday, King County Superior Court Judge Michael Hayden agreed, dismissing Smith’s suit outright.

“Detective Smith specifically told the department it was his personal handgun that was used, and they completely dismissed that,” [Smith’s attorney Liam] McCann said. “They were blatantly wrong.”