Misidentified in a Viral Post: A Kansas Man’s Legal Battle Against a Congressman


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

The case, filed by attorneys for Denton Loudermill Jr. in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, claims that Loudermill suffered damages over $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,’ a ‘illegal alien,’ nor a ‘shooter’ and the assertions to the contrary were false and were circulated widely among Defendant’s followers,” according to the complaint.

In February, Burchett uploaded an image of Loudermill on X, describing him as “one of the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade shooters” and “an illegal alien.”

According to the lawsuit, the message went online on February 15 and was published over 21,000 times, with 7.2 million views by the morning of February 18. Burchett subsequently deleted the message, claiming in a new one that he had mistaken Loudermill for an undocumented immigrant while still implying that Loudermill was “one of the shooters.”

The case, citing Loudermill’s mental suffering and death threats received as a result of the tweets, seeks a jury trial and damages for propagating lies under Kansas privacy laws.

A Burchett spokesman did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Monday night.

When asked if Loudermill was seeking a specific cash figure in damages, the attorney declined to respond.

Federal courts require that lawsuits involving damages between parties from different states, such as this one, surpass $75,000. Loudermill resides in Olathe, Kansas, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Loudermill attended the Chiefs’ victory parade in Kansas City on Feb. 14 and was photographed in handcuffs by spectators after becoming involved in the conflict as police began sealing off the area after gunshots were fired. Although he was freed without being cited or charged with a crime, according to the lawsuit, his photograph proceeded to circulate on social media, finally getting on Burchett’s page.

Prosecutors charged two men, Dominic M. Miller of Kansas City and Lyndell Mays of Raytown, with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, and unauthorized use of a firearm in the shooting that killed one woman and injured more than 20 others. Terry J. Young, a third person, was charged in connection with Friday’s shooting. There have been no pleas entered yet.

According to prosecutors, three juveniles were charged in family court on Thursday afternoon.

Burchett is one of the Republicans who have targeted immigration ahead of this year’s election, following former President Donald Trump’s allegations of a migrant-driven crime wave in the United States, which lack evidence.

Burchett represents Tennessee’s second congressional district, which contains Knoxville. He takes office in January 2019, following an eight-year tenure as Knox County mayor and state politician. He is running for reelection this year, having won with 67.9% of the vote in 2022.

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