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Lawsuit: Tacoma cop at mall threw teen girl around ‘like a child’s doll’ | The Seattle Times

Posted using Press This.

By Christine Clarridge, Seattle Times staff reporter

Even though Monique Tillman, now 17, knew what had happened to her during an encounter with a Tacoma police officer in a mall parking lot two years ago, seeing the video for the first time was staggering.

“I was absolutely in shock, anger and disbelief,” said Tillman, who is black, about the video that shows the white officer pulling her around by her hair, throwing her to the ground, tasing and arresting her.

Monique Tillman  (Courtesy of Vito De La Cruz / )

Monique Tillman (Courtesy of Vito De La Cruz / )

“I feel like I was targeted because I am a person of color,” she said. “It was frustrating because I knew I didn’t do anything wrong, but I couldn’t stop them.”

Tillman filed a lawsuit in Pierce County Superior Court seeking unspecified damages from the officer, the private security firm he worked for and the owners of the mall. The officer couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, while the other parties declined to comment.

The suit is being filed at a time of rising pressure on police departments to increase officer accountability for the use of force, and amid a burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement that emerged after a series of killings of black people by white police officers in cities across the country.

In Seattle, community members most recently questioned police actions in the death of Che Taylor, a black man who was fatally shot by white officers in Wedgwood in February.

Tillman was 15 years old on May 24, 2014, when she and her brother dropped off some clothes at a consignment shop, had a meal at McDonald’s and then headed home at about 5 p.m., cutting through the Tacoma Mall parking lot near their house, her attorney said. Read the rest of this entry

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