Protester hit by driver during BLM march files suit against city

Jun 17, 2022, 4:18 PM
Photo by David Ryder...
Photo by David Ryder

A protester badly injured during a Black Lives Matter protest on the I-5 highway has filed a lawsuit against the state, the city of Seattle, and the driver.

Diaz Love and Summer Taylor were part of the July 4, 2020 protest on I-5 when a driver, Dawit Kelete, sped up on an offramp onto the highway in the wrong direction and plowed into them, killing Summer and severely injuring Love. In an exclusive interview with Omari Solsbury from Converge Media shortly after the accident from her hospital bed.

The lawsuit says that Kelete was driving negligently when he drove into the protesters.

Love sustained traumatic brain injuries, multiple fractures, lacerations, displacements, and other physical wounds.

“SPD should be so mad that I didn’t die,” Love said. “I am the exact wrong person to leave alive in this situation. Settlement is not a word I’m open to whatsoever until we get the justice that we deserve.”

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Now she’s filed a lawsuit against the city, the state, and the driver who’s charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault among other charges, and remains at home on electronic monitoring pending his trial.

The lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court alleges the lawsuit names the Washington State Patrol (WSP), Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle Mayor’s Office, and Seattle Police Department as defendants, stating each failed to protect protesters.

The suit details that the agencies failed to reinstate a policy banning pedestrians from obstructing freeways during protests and wrongly prohibited and removed protesters’ support vehicles, which are sometimes used as protective barricades. Kelete was able to access I-5 because the agencies failed to block the offramps.

This is just the latest lawsuit over that incident. Taylor’s family had filed their own lawsuit, which is set to start in October.

Kelete pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and reckless driving charges in late July 2020.

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Protester hit by driver during BLM march files suit against city