Michelle Horton has agreed to a $250,000 settlement with San Diego County to resolve her claims arising from when she had accompanied her college-aged children to peacefully protest in May 2020 and was shot by a less-lethal projectile.
Ms. Horton had left the area of the active protest and was waiting for her children to meet her to go home. She was standing on a sidewalk near a well-lit gas station when a four-car caravan of San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputies drove past her. She was unarmed, not engaged in any criminal conduct, and posed no threat to the officers, but was suddenly shot in the breast with a non-lethal projectile.
“The right to peaceful protest is an essential right of every American,” said Kimberly Trimble, Counsel at Singleton Schreiber. “Michelle Horton and her children were exercising their Constitutional rights by coming to the protest that evening. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department policies recognize that law enforcement officers must not only address threats at mass gatherings, but also protect citizens who do not pose a threat like Ms. Horton. We are grateful the County has acknowledged that Ms. Horton should not have been injured that evening, and we hope this case will inspire the County to improve deputies’ training on how to manage mass gatherings so that all citizens’ rights are protected.”
The case is Michelle Horton v. County of San Diego, Case No. Case No.: 21-cv-00400H-BGS.