MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Tacoma to pay $1.25M to man injured in high-speed police chase

Jan 5, 2023, 9:32 AM | Updated: 12:20 pm

Photo: Police arrested a man accused of shooting a Tacoma boxing legend...

Police arrested a man accused of shooting a Tacoma boxing legend (Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Police Department)

(Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Police Department)

The City of Tacoma has agreed to pay $1.25 million to a man injured in a high-speed police chase.

The Tacoma News Tribune reports the suit alleged a Tacoma police officer initiated a dangerous and unnecessary pursuit in 2018.

In his police report, officer Matthew Riche saw Rhoneasha Mitchell speeding on South Warner Street near the Tacoma Mall. Riche reportedly pursued her. Mitchell ran a red light at 60 mph and hit a truck driven by Tony Palas, who was injured in the crash.

In the lawsuit filed by Palas, he claimed Riche initiated a dangerous and unnecessary pursuit and accused the officer of racially profiling Mitchell because she was Black.

Mitchell pleaded guilty in 2018 to attempting to elude police and two counts of vehicular assault. She was also illegally possessing a firearm as a felon because there was a gun in her car at the time of the police chase, according to court documents.

Court papers said the city admitted liability because Riche violated department policy. Riche denied the allegations.

Tacoma Police shot and killed suspect during investigation

The Tacoma City Council approved the settlement on Tuesday.

Riche is still a Tacoma police officer and, according to a city spokesperson, got a verbal warning for the pursuit. The city wrote in court papers that Riche violated both rules by initiating the pursuit and then failing to terminate it.

“Ignoring the danger that high-speed police pursuits pose to the public is not acceptable,” an attorney for Palas wrote in a statement.

According to a lawsuit, Palas suffered “permanent and life-altering injuries” from the collision.

MyNorthwest News

Lynnwood...

Julia Dallas

90 Lynnwood residents — mostly seniors — on verge of homelessness

Seattle Morning News' Dave Ross speaks with the Lynnwood City Council president on protecting residents who live in manufactured home communities and are seeing massive rent increases on the land their homes sit on. 

6 hours ago

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

11 hours ago

Image: Boxes of the drug mifepristone sit on a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloo...

Associated Press

Unanimous Supreme Court preserves access to widely used abortion medication

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously preserved access to an abortion medication that was used in nearly two-thirds of U.S. procedures.

12 hours ago

starbucks supreme court...

Associated Press

Supreme Court, siding with Starbucks, makes it harder for NLRB to win court orders in labor disputes

The Supreme Court case began in February 2022, when Starbucks fired seven workers who were trying to unionize their Tennessee store.

13 hours ago

seattle FBI...

Frank Sumrall

SWAT arrests armed woman after she barricades herself inside Seattle FBI building

An armed woman barricaded herself in the visitor lobby of the FBI Seattle building in downtown Seattle Wednesday afternoon.

16 hours ago

windshield hammer...

Frank Sumrall

Customer threats cause Seattle barista to smash customer’s windshield with hammer

A barista in South Seattle used a hammer to bash in a customer’s windshield after he allegedly threatened her and the coffee stand's customers.

17 hours ago

Tacoma to pay $1.25M to man injured in high-speed police chase