Two protesters settle lawsuit for $100,000
[Seattle, WA]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(SEATTLE) -- Two art students who were pepper-sprayed by a since-fired deputy during the World Trade Organization protests last year have settled their lawsuit for $100,000, the Associated Press reported.

Art Institute of Seattle students Melissa Ann Benton and Shauna Ballast claimed in a federal lawsuit that former Deputy John Vanderwalker violated their civil rights and that the King county had failed to properly supervise the deputy.

The county agreed to pay $100,000 to settle their claims, the AP reported yesterday.

Vanderwalker had tried to open the driver's door. He then told Benton to roll down her window and, when she did so, shot pepper spray into her face as the women had been parked in a supermarket lot taping the Dec. 1, 1999 demonstrations, according to the lawsuit.

A 19-year patrol officer for the department, Vanderwalker was fired earlier this tear for using unnecessary force during the protests, the AP reported.

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