Tuesday morning's headlines

Feb 15, 2011

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Amanda Knox's Parents Indicted in Italy
  • Teen Kicked by Officer Seeks $450K
  • Wind, Rain Hit Western Washington
  • Lakewood  Police Kill Woman Who Pointed BB-Gun

 

Italian Authorities Charge Amanda Knox's Parents With Libel

 A lawyer says the parents of Amanda Knox, the University of Washington student convicted of murder in Italy, have been ordered to stand trial for alleging that Italian police abused their daughter.

The Italian news agency ANSA said Curt Knox and Edda Mellas were indicted Tuesday in Perugia for libel. Lawyer Luciano Ghirga confirmed the indictment and said trial was set for July 4. He said the couple did not attend the hearing.

The charge stems from an interview they gave Britain's Sunday Times years ago in which the father alleged police had physically and verbally abused his daughter during questioning after Meredith Kercher's 2007 slaying, before Knox was arrested.

Police have denied harming Knox.  A family representative said there was no comment. 

 

Seattle Teen Files $450,000 Claim Against S.P.D. and City

A teen shown on video being kicked in the groin, ribs and face by an undercover Seattle police officer has filed a claim for $450,000 against the City of Seattle.

 Lawyer Christopher Carney says the then-17-year-old youth was a victim of "unjustified and excessive" force from Officer James Lee last Oct. 18. The officer's actions were caught on a convenience store's video camera.

Seattle Police Officers Guild President Rich O'Neill says the officer ordered the teen repeatedly to get on the ground.

Police have said an undercover officer was attacked nearby on the same night while attempting a drug buy-bust.

KOMO-TV says the city's risk management team is reviewing the claim filed Monday. The State Patrol is conducting a criminal investigation into the incident at the request of Seattle Police Chief John Diaz. Lee remains on administrative leave.

Meantime, Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell says officers should start wearing body cameras. In an op-ed letter to the Seattle Times,  Harrell says :

"With the use of body cameras, the circumstances of what happens on the streets can be better understood and improve the work of policing."

But KING5's Linda Brill reports that "there are privacy issues that concern the Seattle Police Guild. It says the use of body cameras will have to be negotiated as part of their contract which expires next year."

 

Heavy Rain, High Winds Pound Western Washington

A storm that hit the Washington coast with thunderstorms moved on through the Puget Sound region, bringing heavy rain, hail and winds gusting to 50 miles per hour.

The Washington state Transportation Department says a tree fell across the three right lanes of northbound Interstate 5 in Seattle late Monday. The road was reopened by early Tuesday.

Puget Sound Energy reported power outages affecting about 40,000 customers, mostly in the Kitsap County area.

Power outages affecting thousands of other Western Washington customers were reported in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

The Kitsap Sun says two people were hospitalized after a south Kitsap County collision that fire and rescue crews say likely happened because power was knocked out to a traffic light.

 

Fatal Lakewood Shooting Labeled "Suicide by Cop"

 A woman fatally shot by Lakewood police after they say she raised a gun at officers has been identified.

The woman killed Monday at her residence in a mobile home park was 46-year-old Carolyn Moran-Hernandez.

Lt. Chris Lawler told The News Tribune of Tacoma, "It seems like a suicide by cop."

“Officers have only a split second to analyze the threat when a weapon is pointed at them, and these types of weapons make it extremely difficult to assess that threat based on their realism,” Lawler wrote in a news release.

Police say the weapon was a .177-caliber BB pistol that resembles a handgun.

Officers responded to a domestic violence call after the woman's domestic partner said Moran-Hernandez had punched her in the face and had a knife.

Lawler says the woman first came out without a weapon, saying "shoot me, shoot me." She went back inside and returned with the gun, refusing commands to put it down. When she raised it, police say three officers fired. The newspaper says nine rounds were fired.