Lawsuit: Witnesses dispute Lynnwood cop’s shooting account

LYNNWOOD, Wash. (AP) — A dozen witnesses in a federal civil-rights lawsuit are disputing findings by investigators that a Lynnwood officer acted reasonably when he fatally shot a man.

The Seattle Times reports the witness statements are contained in the lawsuit filed Monday by attorneys Ed Budge and Erik Heipt. The suit was filed on behalf of Jeremy Dowell’s mother, Suzette Dowell, and stepfather, Robert Dowell, accusing Officer Zachary Yates of “outrageous and reprehensible use of deadly force.”

Detectives found that Dowell came at Yates with a knife minutes Jan. 30, 2017, after Dowell had frightened people at a carpet store, made a reference to the Islamic State and darted into traffic.

Witnesses contacted by an attorney for Dowell’s parents have signed sworn declarations challenging the official version in stark and sharply critical language with half the witnesses describing the shooting as a murder.

Yates’ attorney didn’t respond to a phone message seeking comment.