A new federal lawsuit says a King County sheriff’s deputy violated the civil rights of a man he shot to death last June.
Deputies were responding to 911 calls in Burien about a man making threats when they encountered 20-year-old Tommy Le.
Deputy Cesar Molina shot Le in the back. At the time, the Sheriff’s Office said Molina believed Le was armed with a knife. But police found no knife at the scene.
Jeff Campiche, an attorney for Le’s family, said that’s because Le didn’t have a knife — only a pen.
The suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court alleges Molina was poorly trained. It also alleges Le’s Vietnamese heritage was a factor in the shooting.
The suit names Molina, King County, county Executive Dow Constantine and former Sheriff John Urquhart.
A King County inquest scheduled in the Le shooting has been put on hold while a committee appointed by Constantine examines whether there should be changes to the process.