Teen kicked by Seattle cop files claim against city

Teen kicked by Seattle cop files claim against city »Play Video
This image taken from surveillance footage shows the teen, left, being kicked by the undercover officer, right.
SEATTLE -- The teenager who was kicked by an undercover officer during a drug bust in downtown Seattle has filed a claim against the city.

The 17-year-old suspect was kicked by an undercover officer inside a convenience store during the Oct. 18 incident, which was captured on tape.

The video shows the plainclothes officer attacking the teen, who has his hands raised.

"Despite the fact that (name redacted), then 17 years of age, promptly raised his hands in surrender, Officer Lee kicked him in the ribs and then stomped on his face," the claim states. "(Name redacted) made no resistance at any time, and merely curled into the fetal position in an attempt to protect himself."

That officer, James Lee, has been placed on leave. He is said to be a 10-year veteran.

The teen is now seeking $450,000 for damages. The attorneys representing the teen said they intend to pursue a civil suit if the city doesn't pay.

"What we're saying here is enough is enough," said attorney Christopher Carney. "We believe he's entitled to payment for pain and suffering his emotional trauma, and he's entitled to an apology. So we are asking for all those things."

The teen's attorneys know their client is no angel.

The boy has a violent criminal history and on the night of attack, was arrested in an undercover Seattle police drug sting, accused as an accomplice in an assault.

But Carney say whatever lead up to the kick, "the force was, by any reasonable measure, wildly excessive."

"That's a pretty scary thing to have happen -- to be attacked, kicked in the genitals beaten when you are down by somebody who is a Seattle Police Department officer," said attorney Jay Carlson.

The city's risk management team is reviewing the tort claim, and said an outsider adjuster will investigate before a decision is made.

Meantime, Washington State Patrol is investigating the kicking incident at the urging of the Seattle Police Department.