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Originally published Friday, September 21, 2012 at 9:51 AM

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City to pay $42,000 to teen kicked by Seattle police officer

The settlement stems from a lawsuit brought by D'Vontaveous Hoston, who was sentenced to prison in an unrelated case.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Video of SPD officer kicking suspect

KING5

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The city of Seattle has agreed to pay $42,000 to a man who was kicked by a Seattle police officer in a widely publicized incident in 2010.

The settlement, reached after mediation, stemmed from a federal lawsuit brought by D'Vontaveous Hoston, 19, who, among other things, alleged the officer violated his civil rights.

In light of the settlement, the suit was dismissed Sept. 11, with the city making no admission of liability.

In October 2010, Officer James J. Lee kicked Hoston, then 17, three times at a Belltown convenience store. The officer believed Hoston had been involved in the assault of an undercover Seattle police officer during a buy-bust drug operation.

The incident was captured on store video and broadcast widely in local media and online.

Hoston was acquitted of attempted robbery in the incident.

Lee was charged with fourth-degree assault, but the City Attorney's Office dismissed the charge last year after an expert witness for the prosecution changed his mind about Lee's criminal culpability. Lee was later cleared of wrongdoing in a Seattle police internal investigation.

The kicking incident, along with several other high-profile confrontations between Seattle police and citizens, was cited by civic groups that asked the U.S. Department of Justice to open a civil-rights investigation into the Police Department. In July, the city and Justice Department reached a settlement agreement that calls for comprehensive reforms to curb excessive force by officers.

In a separate case, Hoston was found guilty in February of unlawful possession of a firearm arising from a July 2011 incident in downtown Seattle. In March, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

During that incident, Hoston's cousin was said by police to have yelled to Hoston that he was endangering the lawsuit against the city.

Information from Seattle Times archives

is included in this story.

Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or smiletich@seattletimes.com

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