Review: Seattle police acted reasonably in killing man

February 12, 2020 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Two Seattle police officers acted within policy and reasonably when they shot a man to death in May while responding to a call at a Lower Queen Anne apartment, the department’s Office of Police Accountability found in a recently released report.

Ryan Matthew Smith, 31, died of gunshot wounds on May 8, 2019. Officers had responded to a call from a woman who reported her boyfriend had a knife and was threatening to kill her, according to police.

After officers broke into the apartment, Smith moved toward them with a knife and they fired, according to the report and body-camera footage.

In a complaint, Smith’s mother said the officers improperly used deadly force, failed to de-escalate the confrontation, made biased decisions because her son was black and failed to provide timely medical care.

The Office of Police Accountability said it found no evidence to support the claims, noting that the officers feared for their lives in a confined space and were concerned for the safety of the woman, The Seattle Times reported.

Police made reasonable decisions on medical care, based on the circumstances and the grave nature of Smith’s wounds, the report said.