Family of Tommy Le – killed by police in Burien in 2017 – settles for $5 million
A lawsuit against a King County Sheriff’s deputy in the 2017 shooting death of 20-year old Tommy Le in Burien has been dismissed, with an out-of-court settlement awarded to the family for $5 million.
Le’s family and lawyers announced the news at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Mar. 24, 2021.
As we previously reported, in June 2017, King County Sheriff’s Deputy Cesar Molina shot and killed Le in Burien after the officer mistook a pen in his hand for a knife. Police initially reported that Le was threatening neighbors with a knife before charging towards deputies with a “weapon” in hand.
Police later admitted that Le was shot in the back and was only holding a ballpoint pen, not a knife.
While legal action against the deputy has been dismissed, “King County remains (a) defendant in this lawsuit,” according to court documents.
An outside review of the police investigation released in Sept. 2020 also found numerous “shortcomings” by the King County Sheriff’s Office in the way facts were collected.