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Family of Kevin Peterson Jr. files federal lawsuit

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 5:38 PM PDT
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CLARK COUNTY, Wash. (KPTV) – The family of Kevin Peterson Jr. has filed a federal lawsuit against the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. This comes roughly 18 months after Peterson was shot and killed by Clark County deputies in October of 2020.

“It’s just tough, man. I mean, moving forward without your child is a nightmare for anybody,” Kevin Peterson Sr. said.

Deputies said that Peterson ran from a drug sting operation and that he had Xanax that he intended to sell. Deputies also said he was suggesting violence toward law enforcement. Deputies fired 34 rounds and Peterson was hit four times. Prosecutors later determined that the deputies’ actions in this case were justified.

“A prosecutors office found that the officers in this case were not criminally liable and it’s important to understand that there is a vast difference between a criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit,” Mark Lindquist, the family’s attorney, said. Now the family has filed a federal lawsuit claiming wrongful death, negligence and excessive use of force and brutality.

“It’s been horrible it’s been 574 days that I haven’t seen him, holidays, mother’s days, Christmas, nothing -- it’s terrible,” Tammi Bell, Peterson’s mom, said.

The lawsuit refers to two other instances where Clark County deputies shot and killed two people. First, in February of 2021, deputies shot and killed Jenoah Donald after a traffic stop and in January of 2022, off-duty Vancouver officer, Donald Sahota, was shot and killed outside of his home. A deputy mistook him for a suspect. A common thread in these instances is Deputy Feller, who shot both Peterson and Sahota.

“At this point we know from the autopsies and video surveillance that Kevin was initially shot at while he was running away,” Lindquist said. FOX 12 did reach out to the Clark Count Sheriff’s Office for comment but they said they do not comment on pending litigation.