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June 17, 2024

Tennessee Republican sued over post falsely identifying Kansas man as Chiefs parade shooter and ‘illegal Alien’

Tennessee Republican sued over post falsely identifying Kansas man as Chiefs parade shooter and ‘illegal Alien’

A Kansas man is suing Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., over social media posts that falsely identified him as an undocumented immigrant and one of the shooters in the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade that turned deadly last month.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys for Denton Loudermill Jr. in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, alleges that Loudermill sustained damages in excess of $75,000 as a result of a “false representation” of him appearing on the Tennessee Republican’s personal X account.

“At no time was Plaintiff an ‘alien,’ an ‘illegal alien,’ nor a ‘shooter’ and the assertions to the contrary were false and were circulated widely among Defendant’s followers,” the lawsuit states.

Burchett in February posted an image of Loudermill on X, identifying him as “one of the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade shooters” and “an illegal Alien.”

According to the lawsuit, that post was live on Feb. 15 and reposted more than 21,000 times and had 7.2 million views by the morning of Feb. 18. Burchett then removed the post, indicating in a new one that he had misidentified Loudermill as an undocumented immigrant, while still suggesting that Loudermill was “one of the shooters.”

Citing Loudermill’s mental distress and death threats he has received following the posts, the lawsuit seeks a trial by jury and damages for spreading falsehoods under a Kansas privacy law.

A spokesperson for Burchett declined to comment.

An attorney for Loudermill declined to comment when asked whether they were seeking a specific dollar amount in damages.

Federal courts require cases seeking damages between people in different states, such as this one, to exceed $75,000. Loudermill is a resident of Olathe, Kansas, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Loudermill had attended the Chiefs’ victory parade in Kansas City on Feb. 14 and was photographed by bystanders in handcuffs after he got caught in the fray as police began closing off the area after gunshots were fired. Although he was released and not cited or charged with a crime, the lawsuit states, his image began circulating on social media, eventually landing on Burchett’s page.

Two men identified by prosecutors as Dominic M. Miller of Kansas City and Lyndell Mays of Raytown were charged last month with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon in the shooting last month that killed one woman and injured more than 20 others. A third person, Terry J. Young, was charged in connection with the shooting on Friday. No pleas have been entered yet.

Three juveniles as of Thursday afternoon faced charges in family court, according to prosecutors.

Burchett is among the Republicans who have targeted immigration ahead of this year’s election, with former President Donald Trump making claims of a migrant-driven crime wave in the United States that is not backed by evidence.

Burchett represents Tennessee’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Knoxville. He took office in January 2019 after an eight-year stint as Knox County mayor and working as a state legislator. He is seeking re-election this year after winning in 2022 with 67.9% of the vote.

Zoë Richards

Zoë Richards is the evening politics reporter for NBC News.

Diana Paulsen



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