Menu Close

Kansas man sues congressman over false posts on Kansas City Chiefs rally shooting

Kansas City Star
A Kansas man on Monday filed a lawsuit against a Tennessee congressman who falsely claimed on social media that he was in the United States illegally and a shooter in the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rally shooting.

Denton Loudermill, a Johnson County resident, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas against U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, a Tennessee Republican, who last month shared a photo of Loudermill and erroneously wrote that one of the Kansas City shooters had been identified as an “illegal alien.”

Burchett’s false post caused Loudermill to receive death threats, incur damages totaling more than $75,000, anxiety and loss of sleep, according to the lawsuit, which accuses Burchett of false light invasion of privacy. The lawsuit asks a judge to issue damages “to punish” Burchett or deter him and others from similar conduct in the future.

The false light claim alleged in Loudermill’s lawsuit is different from a defamation claim and requires a higher standard of proof. A false light claim has to be made to a large group of people while a defamatory statement only has to be made to one other person.

A spokesperson for Burchett did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Loudermilll’s lead attorney in the case is Arthur Benson, a longtime Kansas City civil rights attorney.

“With this Complaint we are beginning the process to obtain full redress for Mr. Loudermill for the damages he has suffered,” Benson said in a statement.

Monday’s lawsuit comes after Burchett’s false post sparked a social media firestorm in the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Kansas City that injured more than 20 people and killed 43-year-old Lisa Lopez-Galvan. A group of Missouri lawmakers also shared similar posts and have refused to apologize.

Loudermill told The Star last month that “everybody that put my name through the mud, everybody needs to be held accountable.” He said police detained him because he wasn’t leaving the area of the shooting quick enough, but that he was released after about 30 to 45 minutes. He has not been charged with any crime stemming from the events of Feb. 14.

On the day after the shooting, Burchett was in Washington, D.C. when his account on X, formerly known as Twitter, shared the photo of Loudermill writing that one of the shooters “has been identified as an illegal Alien,” according to the lawsuit. Burchett re-published the false claim in another post three days later.

Burchett “knew or should have known that his inflammatory post on social media would be seen and read nationwide, including in Kansas where the subject of his post was a resident,” the lawsuit alleged. The post was “quickly seen by more than one million viewers.”

The lawsuit makes clear that Loudermill, an Olathe resident, is not in the United States illegally and was not involved in last month’s mass shooting.

Earlier this month, a 20-year-old Kansas City man became the third adult to be charged with murder in the mass shooting. A third teen was also charged.

The shooting stemmed from a dispute between two groups that erupted into gunfire.

The Star’s Sarah Ritter contributed reporting.

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *