A Kansas man is suing Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., for falsely identifying him as an undocumented immigrant and one of the shooters in the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade that turned deadly. The lawsuit alleges that Denton Loudermill Jr. suffered damages of over $75,000 due to a false representation on Burchett’s X account. Loudermill was mistakenly labeled as an ‘alien,’ an ‘illegal alien,’ and a ‘shooter,’ resulting in widespread circulation among Burchett’s followers.

The initial post by Burchett on Feb. 15 identified Loudermill as one of the parade shooters and an illegal alien, garnering over 21,000 reposts and 7.2 million views by Feb. 18. Burchett later removed the post and acknowledged misidentification of Loudermill as an undocumented immigrant, while still implying his involvement in the shooting. The lawsuit claims that Loudermill has experienced mental distress and received death threats as a result of the false posts, seeking a trial by jury and damages under a Kansas privacy law.

Loudermill, a resident of Olathe, Kansas, attended the Chiefs’ victory parade on Feb. 14 and was photographed in handcuffs after being caught in the chaos caused by gunfire. Despite being released without charges, his image was shared on social media and eventually ended up on Burchett’s page. Prosecutors have charged three individuals with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the shooting, with additional charges pending for others involved.

Burchett, a Republican representing Tennessee’s 2nd Congressional District, has focused on immigration as a key issue in the upcoming election, echoing former President Donald Trump’s claims of a migrant-driven crime wave in the U.S. that lacks evidence. Burchett, who previously served as Knox County mayor and a state legislator, is seeking re-election this year after winning with 67.9% of the vote in 2022. His spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit, while Loudermill’s attorney also refrained from specifying a monetary amount for damages sought.

Federal courts require cases involving individuals from different states, like this one, to meet a minimum damages threshold of $75,000. Loudermill’s lawsuit aims to hold Burchett accountable for spreading false information that has adversely affected his life. As the legal process unfolds, both parties will have the opportunity to present their arguments in court. The outcome of this case could have implications for how lawmakers use social media to communicate with the public and the responsibilities they bear for the content they share.

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