Advertisement

Burchett sued for falsely IDing Chiefs Super Bowl parade shooter

A Kansas man is suing Rep. Tim Burchett for defamation after the Tennessee Republican falsely claimed on social media he was involved in the mass shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade last month.

The suit, filed Monday in federal court in Kansas, argues Denton Loudermill Jr. received death threats and suffered mental distress after Burchett posted a “false representation” of him on his account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Loudermill was among an estimated 500,000 people who attended the Feb. 14 Chiefs parade to celebrate the team’s recent Super Bowl win. Toward the end of the parade, a shooting broke out that left one person dead and nearly two dozen others injured.

A day after the shooting occurred, Burchett posted a photo of Loudermill seated on the curb in handcuffs, with the text attached, “One of the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade shooters has been identified as an illegal Alien,” per the suit.

Within three days, Burchett’s post amassed 7.2 million views and was reposted 21,600 times, Loudermill’s attorneys wrote. On Feb. 18, Burchett reposted his initial post, and wrote, “It has come to my attention that in one of my previous posts. One of the shooters was identified as an illegal alien. This was based on multiple incorrect news reports stating that. I have since removed the post.”

While he deleted the initial post, Loudermill’s attorneys noted Burchett’s repost still misidentified their client as “one of the shooters.”

Loudermill’s attorneys said their client had never met or interacted with any of those involved in the argument that led to the shooting. When gunshots rang out, Loudermill “froze” while trying to determine his next steps, per the suit. While waiting for his ride, he tried to go under police tape, causing officers to briefly place him in handcuffs while he sat on the curb, where the photo was taken.

Authorities later walked him away from the area, removed his handcuffs and told him he was free to go, per the suit. He was “not charged, nor cited, with any crime of offense,” the suit stated.

Loudermill’s attorneys argued 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.” They said the lawmaker “caused the false representation to appear on thousands of cellular phones, computers, and other electronic devises in Kansas where those acts would cause damage” to Loudermill.

Loudermill was never an “alien,” an “illegal alien” or a “shooter,” and Burchett’s claims were “not made in good faith,” his attorneys argued.

The suit alleges Loudermill sustained damages in excess of $75,000. Loudermill’s attorneys declined to say if they are seeking a specific amount at this point.

Two men — Lyndell Mays of Raytown, Mo., and Dominic Miller of Kansas City, Mo. — were charged last month with second-degree felony murder in connection to the shooting. Prosecutors said the two did not know each other prior to the parade and an argument among several paradegoers prompted the incident.

Burchett’s office declined to comment on the lawsuit. He is one of several Republicans in recent months to push for stricter border security measures, alleging migrants are bringing violence and crime to the country.

Earlier this month, Republicans revived this argument after the death of a 22-year-old Georgia student — Laken Riley — who was allegedly killed by a 26-year-old Venezuelan citizen. U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement said the suspect, Jose Ibarra, entered the country illegally in September 2022 near El Paso, Texas, from Mexico and was released from detention for further processing.

Updated: 2:10 p.m.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.