Poulsbo to pay $2 million to settle police killing lawsuit

The Associated Press

POULSBO — The city of Poulsbo and its police department will pay $2 million to settle a civil-rights lawsuit filed by the family of Stonechild Chiefstick, according to attorneys.

Police shot Chiefstick at a park during the city’s crowded 2019 Independence Day celebration. The lawsuit, relying on video and audio recordings and witness statements, alleged officer Craig Keller shot Chiefstick 12 seconds after arriving to investigate complaints that Chiefstick threatened someone with a screwdriver, The Seattle Times reported.

The lawsuit, filed last year by Seattle attorney Gabriel Galanda, said the Poulsbo Police Department had been lax in its de-escalation training and that Keller was prone to unnecessary uses of force.

The lawsuit alleges negligence, racist policing and excessive force.

Chiefstick was a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation in Montana, and Galanda said he was raised in Seattle.

“This settlement is part of accountability. It sends a message across this county that law enforcement must prioritize the preservation of life,” said Trishandra Pickup, a Suquamish tribal member and mother to four of Chiefstick’s children.

The Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office determined the shooting was lawful, and the police department said Keller acted within policy, citing witnesses who said Chiefstick refused to comply with the officer’s orders and lunged at him with the screwdriver.

More in News

Crews fighting wildfire south of Port Angeles

Crews from Clallam County Emergency Management, Clallam County Fire… Continue reading

State Senate hopefuls differ on pathways

Chapman, Kelbon make case for 24th District

EYE ON THE PENINSULA: Clallam continues discussion around mill closure

Meetings across Clallam and Jefferson counties

A set of electric vehicle charging stations stand ready for public use in the parking lot of the Clallam County Courthouse in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Electric vehicle charging stations now at courthouse

The Clallam County Parks, Fair and Facilities Department has… Continue reading

Recall hearing set for four Port Angeles City Council members

Superior Court to determine if recall will proceed to ballot

Olympic Connect aims to improve health care outcomes

Program director discusses future plans for community care hub

Traffic restored at Chicken Coop Creek

The state Department of Transportation has restored traffic to the… Continue reading

Lake Crescent road work slated next week

Maintenance crews from the state Department of Transportation will… Continue reading

Twyla and Doug Falsteisek, who split their time between Port Angeles and Sun City West, Ariz., take a break from their bike ride on the patio of the Dungeness River Nature Center along the Dungeness River in Sequim on Wednesday. The couple took advantage of summer weather for an excursion on the Olympic Discovery Trail. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Taking a break

Twyla and Doug Falsteisek, who split their time between Port Angeles and… Continue reading

The QFC grocery store and pharmacy in Sequim is one of three North Olympic Peninsula groceries scheduled for divestment by The Kroger Co. under terms of a merger between Kroger and Albertsons Companies, Inc. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Three QFC locations could be part of sale

Kroger, Albertsons release statewide list

Port of Port Townsend commissioners approve Short’s Farm plan

‘Master blueprint’ provides details on how to organize land

Lake Sutherland Management Distric t extends 10 more years

Residents of Lake Sutherland Management District 2 voted to… Continue reading