Man cuffed but not charged after Chiefs' Super Bowl rally shooting sues congressman over online post

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MISSION, Kan. (AP) — A man who was briefly handcuffed in the chaos that followed a deadly shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl rally is suing a Tennessee congressman who falsely accused him in social media posts of being one of the shooters and an immigrant in the country illegally.

Denton Loudermill Jr., of Olathe, Kansas, filed the federal lawsuit this week against U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, alleging that the remarks were “highly offensive, derogatory in the extreme, and defamatory.”

Burchett, a Republican, is serving his third term representing a district in east Tennessee. His spokeswoman, Rachel Partlow, said the office doesn’t comment on pending or active litigation.

The Feb. 14 shooting outside the historic Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, killed a well-known DJ and injured more than 20 others, many of them children. Loudermill, who is not among those charged, is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

The suit says that when gunfire erupted, Loudermill froze, standing in the middle of the chaos so long that police had put up crime scene tape when he finally walked away.

As he tried to go under the tape to leave, officers stopped him and told him he was moving “too slow.” They handcuffed him and put him on a curb, where people began taking pictures and posting them on social media, the suit says.

Loudermill ultimately was led away from the area and told he was free to go.

The suit says that Loudermill, who was born and raised in the U.S., was never detained, cited or arrested in the shooting. The suit stresses that he had no involvement and didn't know any of the teens or young adults who argued before gunfire erupted.

But the next day, a picture of Loudermill was posted on Burchett's account on X, formerly known as Twitter. Above the picture were the words: “One of the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade shooters has been identified as an illegal Alien.”

A follow-up post on Feb. 18 blamed incorrect news reports for the “illegal alien” identification. But the post, which was included in the lawsuit, still described the cuffed man seated on the curb as “one of the shooters.”

The suit alleges the “false assertions” were reposted and widely circulated to more than 1 million people worldwide.

The suit describes Loudermill as a car wash employee — not a public figure — and a “contributing member of his African-American family, a family with deep and long roots in his Kansas community.”

The suit says he received death threats and experienced periods of “anxiety, agitation, and sleep disruption.”