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Jan 12, 11:31 AM EST

Judge blisters Lakewood lawyers in upholding $15M verdict


SEATTLE (AP) -- A federal judge has upheld a $15 million verdict over a Lakewood police shooting in an opinion that blistered the city for suggesting the award was racially motivated.

The Seattle Times reports that the ruling from U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein found that the jury had plenty of reasons to conclude that the shooting of Leonard Thomas during a 2013 SWAT operation was outrageous. Thomas was unarmed and standing on his porch with his 4-year-old son, whom he had agreed to release, when a sniper killed him.

The defendants asked the judge to reduce or set aside the verdict and order a new trial. Lakewood's lawyers argued that the jurors sided with Thomas' family because they didn't want to have to tell their friends they sided with white police who shot and killed a black man.

Rothstein said that suggestion was insulting and entirely fabricated.

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