Jun 20

Brian Augenthaler

Shannon and Brian win excessive force trial in federal court

by Brian Augenthaler

Shannon Ragonesi and Brian Augenthaler recently received a defense verdict on behalf of two police officers at the Issaquah Police Department. Back in August 2018, the Issaquah police responded to to a 911 report of domestic violence. Under state law, police officers in Washington have an affirmative duty to investigate domestic violence and take appropriate steps to protect victims of domestic violence. During their response, the officers used low-level force that – due to a severe preexisting condition – led to the plaintiff’s death a month later. The plaintiff sued in federal court claiming civil rights violations, including unlawful entry, unlawful detention, and excessive force. Prior to trial, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the plaintiff’s unlawful entry and detention claims. The case went to trial based on excessive force only. Following a two-week trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the Issaquah police officers.

“It was very apparent to me that Stew's skillful representation of our officers was personal to him, they were more than simply another client”

Bill Hamilton, Interim Chief of Police, Kirkland Police Department