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Comatose Victim Chris Harris' Family Files $25 Million Claim Against Seattle

Comments (9)
Chris Harris was severely injured in a Seattle Police arrest back on May 10, 2009.  Harris has been in a coma since and doctor's say there is little hope he will come out of it.  His wife, Sarah Jorgenson, took the first steps this week to begin a civil case against the Seattle Police Department.

The brutal injury has left Harris with permanent brain damage and he will require life long care.  His medical bills are already approaching $1 million. 

Although prosecutor's elected to not file any criminal charges against Seattle Police Officer Matthew Paul, that does not mean that he was not negligent.  Harris was injured due to a mistaken identification from a fight earlier that evening.  Paul's conduct might not have risen to the level of a crime, but it may meet the legal elements of negligence, excessive use of force, or another civil cause of action.

Questions surround whether or when Seattle Police identified themselves to Harris.  It's also worthy of note, that the two police officers who chased Harris were not dressed in typical uniforms.  Officer Paul and his partner wear wearing all black commando or swat team type gear.  Harris may not have perceived them as police at all but rather threats to his safety.  These issues will likely be front and center in the coming civil lawsuit.

The City of Seattle has 60 days to respond to the claim filed by Harris' family.  If the City of Seattle fails to respond then the Harris family may file a lawsuit seeking damages for the incident that led to Harris' catastrophin injuries.
If your not willing to risk your own life to protect the innocent or even a suspect, you shouldn't be a cop. Think of the thousands of citizens that have been killed by the police and without video evidence, the officers statements are always taken as true.
Posted by Jim on January 29, 2011 at 06:05 PM
That cop deserves to be shot.No place in our society for brutal bullies and thugs. None at all.
Posted by anon on January 26, 2011 at 12:15 PM
Obviously he was not sure what was up, the cop was much bigger and used excessive force. That was just pathetic and the cop should have been charged with a crime in that regard.
Posted by Mike on January 12, 2011 at 06:28 PM
Actually-In response to Dayat. The police officer identified himself SEVERAL times. Loudly, yelling stop police. He looked at him, heard him and ran.
Posted by katie on January 10, 2011 at 01:56 PM
I believe he ran because: It was after 1:00 a.m....He was being pursued in BELLTOWN by two men claiming to be the police dressed in all black from a dark alley nearly a block away. He ran to a well lit area with people...that is what I would have done. KING COUNTY IS LIABLE FOR HIS INJURIES...THEY MADE A MISTAKE AND SHOULD HAVE TO PAY!
Posted by Charles Key on October 20, 2010 at 05:07 PM
I have the highest respect for police officers. However what happened here was wrong on many levels.I understand the defense that the officer was just following "proper protocol" but the protocal is seriously flawed. When a victim is posing no threat and is just standing there (even following a chase), why not just scream at him to get face down? Why are officers allowed to use such force? Officers should also be required to wear identifying clothes when attempting to stop a suspect. I don't know anyone with half a brain that would stop in a dark alley for two men just because they claimed to be officers. Good for the family for suing. Their argument should be that the police policy here is SERIOUSLY flawed and dangerous.
Posted by Christopher supporter on July 8, 2010 at 11:22 PM
Remember, the officer was NOT in uniform. Christopher must've thought he was a mugger or something. Who won't run from a large guy in black running towards you? I agree with Tracy. Just because he's an officer doesn't mean he shouldn't be charged. How sad..
Posted by Dayat on May 21, 2010 at 01:44 PM
Nothing this person did justified this type of force. This is not just a horrible accident, this is a crime. Wearing some state-approved costume and badge should not exempt you from being held accountable.
Posted by Tracy on January 22, 2010 at 02:59 AM
The police didn't do anything wrong. If this guy wouldn't have ran then this wouldn't have happened. We always try to blame someone else, but Mr. Wilson could have changed the outcome of this event. The police officer was only doing his job.
Posted by Bob on September 1, 2009 at 09:35 AM

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