NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
The family of Tommy Le — who was shot and killed by a King County deputy last year — said they are “disillusioned but not surprised” about a recent county report.
A review board concluded that the June 2017 shooting death was justified.
The King County Sheriff’s Office released the Use of Force Review Board’s findings on Aug. 22.
It said that Deputy Cesar Molina reasonably believed that Le, 20, was armed with a deadly weapon and that he had already attacked someone with a knife.
The board says that Le’s actions led Molina to believe that if not stopped, Le posed a serious threat of harm to Molina, as well as others nearby.
Le was shot and killed just hours before he was scheduled to graduate from high school.
His family has filed a civil-rights lawsuit against King County, Executive Dow Constantine, and John Urquhart, the sheriff at the time of the shooting.
Jeff Campiche, an attorney representing the family, said the court date is set for June of 2019.
He also said the Use of Force Report was missing key forensic evidence, including the fact that Le was shot twice in the back, which would refute the county’s insistence that Le was attacking officers when Molina killed him.
Joe Nguyen, a candidate for state senate representing parts of south King County, including where Le was killed, said the local Vietnamese community has been watching the case closely.
He told The Stranger, “The community is very aware of what’s going on and honestly we are torn because we do generally have a respect for authority and law enforcement, but this certainly does not build trust in terms of our existence in the community.”
A formal King County inquest of Le’s death is pending.
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