Campus Notebook: Police Seek Dismissal in Lawsuit

Posted January 7, 2011 at 6:04pm

The Capitol Police is denying wrongdoing in the 2009 shooting death of a 27-year-old man near the Capitol and is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the man’s parents.

Kellen White, of Brandywine, Md., led police on a car chase near the Capitol in July, about a block from the Capitol grounds, police said. Officers shot back and White later died at the hospital.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said at the time that White tried to run over two officers with his car, crashed into a police cruiser and fired an assault weapon at officers.

But in the lawsuit filed in August, Leroy and Thomasine White allege that their son was not armed and his slaying resulted from excessive use of force by the police.

On Tuesday, lawyers for the Capitol Police moved to dismiss the case. The department is seeking to remove itself as a defendant in the case, citing Supreme Court precedent. Lawyers for the police claim that federal agencies acting in their official capacity are not subject to federal tort claims and that they should instead be filed against the United States.

Capitol Police also said they are not to blame in the death. They said the Whites have no way of knowing whether their son was armed or at fault. “Any injuries or damages sustained by plaintiffs were due to Mr. White’s own fault, contributory negligence, and/or assumption of the risk,” according to papers filed in the in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Schneider declined to comment.

Garage Near Longworth Undergoing Maintenance

Starting today, 700 House workers, including Members, staffers and support staff will be displaced from a parking garage near the Longworth House Office Building while the Architect of the Capitol conducts a yearlong maintenance project.

The East Underground Garage sits directly under the House East Fountain Park, between C and D streets Southeast.

The House Superintendent’s Office sent notices to House employees last month, informing them that the maintenance is to replace “badly deteriorating concrete,” enhance special needs spaces, improve traffic flow, update the fire protection system, install energy-efficient lighting and improve the ventilation system.

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