Suspect in officer's killing again lashes out at court hearing
For the second time since his arrest, the man charged with killing Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton angrily spoke out in court against police and alleged a subculture of officers who protect corrupt colleagues.
Seattle Times staff reporters
For the second time since his arrest, the man charged with killing Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton spoke out against police brutality and alleged there was a subculture of officers who protect corrupt colleagues.
Christopher Monfort, speaking moments before a pretrial hearing on Friday, suggested citizens have a responsibility to "defend ourselves and our children."
"If I look out my window and I see my neighbor's child being beaten, I'm going outside," Monfort said as his defense attorneys sat quietly by his side. "It doesn't matter what color the child is or what color the person beating her is, I'm going outside. We are an American family, and we have to start acting like it."
Police risk their "livelihoods and their own lives" if they cross "the blue line" to report misconduct, he said. "If we won't defend ourselves and our children, we can't expect them to come forward."
During Friday's hearing, Judge Ronald Kessler ordered the disclosure of hundreds of pages of Seattle police reports related to the incidents. The disclosure came at the request of The Seattle Times, which filed a public-disclosure request for the documents.
Suzanne Elliott, one of Monfort's defense attorneys, said the defense planned to file an immediate appeal with the state appellate court and asked for Kessler to stay his order. Kessler agreed, granting a 25-day delay in disclosing the documents.
At the end of the hearing, Monfort asked to speak with Kessler in private. Kessler told Monfort to write to him instead.
Monfort shocked his attorneys and a King County Superior Court room full of spectators in March when he lashed out at a former King County sheriff's deputy who was accused of assaulting a teenage girl in a holding cell in 2008.
During the March 11 hearing, Monfort discussed what he saw as limitations on freedom and his own condition during a more than five-minute outburst. He compared the former deputy, Paul Schene, and another deputy who was also in the holding cell to Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin.
Monfort is charged with one count of aggravated murder — and could face the death penalty — as well as three counts of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree arson. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has said that he will not announce whether his office will seek the death penalty until this summer.
Along with the Oct. 31 fatal shooting of Brenton and the wounding of Brenton's partner, Britt Sweeney, Monfort is accused of firebombing four Seattle police vehicles on Oct. 22.
On the day of Monfort's arrest, three Seattle homicide detectives confronted him at his Tukwila apartment. Charging documents say he twice aimed a handgun at officers before police shot him. Monfort was left paralyzed after being shot, and he suffered a bullet wound to the face.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
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