Edmonds police officers vindicated in civil rights lawsuit

EPDpatchA U.S. Federal Court jury unanimously found in favor of three veteran Edmonds police officers accused of violating the civil rights of a man who had assaulted a citizen following the close of the A Taste of Edmonds event in 2012, the City of Edmonds announced.

Further, the jury — in its Nov. 11 decision following a four-day trial — found unanimously in favor of the officers in their malicious prosecution counterclaim against the man, Sheldon Soule.

Soule’s accusations against police stemmed from an evening incident in August 2012, during which officers David Machado, Ryan Speer and Justin Lee apprehended him near the intersection of Fifth and Main in Edmonds. According to court documents, Soule refused to comply with officers’ requests, and hurled threats and obscenities while physically resisting arrest, forcing the officers to take him to the ground and apply handcuffs. Once in custody, he was delivered to the Snohomish County Jail.

Soule was later convicted of assault and resisting arrest.

The federal jury rejected Soule’s allegation of excessive force during his arrest, and also found in favor of the officers’ malicious prosecution counterclaim — that the plaintiff misused the judicial process by filing an action known to be false and with malicious intent. The jury awarded each of the three Edmonds officers the statutory maximum of $1,000 in damages. The jury also left the door open for the City of Edmonds to petition the court for attorney fees and court costs.

The attorney defending the city and the officers in the case was Edmonds resident Mark Bucklin of Seattle law firm Keating, Bucklin & McCormack Inc. PS.

My Edmonds News attempted to contact Soule’s attorney for a statement and to inquire about a possible appeal, but our call was not returned.




  1. I would like to point out the this incident occurred at 1 AM, well after the 9:45 PM closure of the Taste beer garden. The courts correctly noted this fact and removed A Taste of Edmonds from the case very early on. So glad to hear that our police officers were vindicated at the conclusion of the case. We appreciate the hard work of our Edmonds Police Department.

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