Monetti settles civil rights lawsuit against Seattle

SEATTLE — Martin Monetti has settled his civil rights lawsuit against the City of Seattle for $150,000, his lawyer said at a news conference Wednesday.

Monetti was stomped on by a Seattle police officer as the officer threated to beat the "Mexican piss" out of him. 

Lorena Gonzalez, a lawyer for Martin Monetti Jr., announced the settlement.

Monetti was out celebrating his 21st birthday in 2010 when he and two friends were detained in a robbery investigation. As he lay prone in a parking lot, Seattle officer Shandy Cobane stomped on his hand and referred to Monetti's Mexican heritage while threatening to beat him up.

Monetti was not involved in the robbery.

Cobane later made a tearful apology for the language he used, though Gonzalez says that in his deposition he acknowledged he didn't write the apology.

"The City has consistently maintained that Officer Shandy Cobane’s use of language was unacceptable and unprofessional, having no place in policing. However, my duty to defend the City’s treasury and its employees required a vigorous defense when presented with the $750,000 claim for damages asserted by Mr. Monetti," Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said in a statement Wednesday.

Holmes added that attorneys’ fees alone could easily exceed the amount of the settlement.

"As the negotiations with the Department of Justice continue, we aspire to police conduct that goes well beyond the constitutional minimums at issue in this lawsuit," he said.

The settlement came a week after a judge declined to dismiss the case.

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