Parents of Man Killed by Capitol Police File Lawsuit

Posted September 7, 2010 at 2:46pm

The parents of a man who was shot and killed by Capitol Police officers last year have filed suit against the department and the officers involved, alleging wrongful death and requesting $50 million in damages.

Officers shot Kellen White, 27, of Brandywine, Md., at least 12 times on July 15, 2009, during a traffic stop on the 400 block of Second Street NE, about two blocks from the Capitol. The incident happened during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider told the Washington Post at the time that White tried to run over two officers with his car, crashed into a police cruiser and fired an assault weapon at officers.

But in the case filed Aug. 31 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Leroy and Thomasine White allege that their son was not armed and his slaying was excessive use of force by the police, resulting in wrongful death.

At no time was White “armed with any weapon, nor was he a threat to the safety of himself or others. He had not committed any criminal offense,” according to the complaint. “White complied with the commands of the officer initiating the stop.”

Schneider declined to comment on pending litigation. Janai Reed, attorney for the Whites, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.