LOCAL NEWS

Inquests into law enforcement-involved deaths resume in King County

Mar 15, 2022, 8:10 AM | Updated: 12:27 pm
police, car chases, inquests...
A barrier stands outside of the Seattle Police Department's West Precinct in June 2020. (File photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(File photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

After a delay of more than four years, inquests into deaths caused by police and law enforcement officers in King County are set to resume Tuesday morning.

Report details path to repairing ‘erosion of trust’ between Seattle police, protesters

King County Executive Dow Constantine paused inquests in 2018 and created a task force to help revamp the process amid fairness and transparency concerns. That led to multiple legal challenges from local jurisdictions, and an eventual decision by the state Supreme Court that upheld Constantine’s authority to make the changes.

The county is now set to resume the inquests “to provide clarity, accountability, and closure to the public and to the families of those killed by law enforcement,” reads a statement from Constantine’s office.

Inquest panels don’t decide guilt or innocence but answer questions about whether a death happened while officers followed department policy and training or whether it was a result of criminal means.

“The road has been long, but I am thankful we can begin conducting inquests and providing the public with answers,” Constantine said in a written release. “The pandemic and legal challenges aside, building a process that the public can have faith in has been a difficult but necessary task, and I hope it can provide closure in these difficult and heartbreaking cases.”

Inquests resume March 15, 2022, with the April 2017 death of 19-year-old Damarius Butts, who was killed in a shootout with the Seattle Police Department that started with a call to 911 about a shoplifted 12-pack of beer, donuts, and a bag of chips. The proceedings are expected to last two weeks.

KIRO Newsradio’s Hanna Scott contributed to this report.

Local News

Photo from Darren Dedo...
MyNorthwest Staff

Martin Luther King Way shut down as police investigate oil drum with Thin Blue Line flag

Seattle Police Department is currently investigating a mysterious blue barrel with a Thin Blue Line flag in Columbia City.
13 hours ago
Photo by John Moore...
MyNorthwest Staff

MyNorthwest’s daily crime report: Tacoma drive-by, stolen fire department equipment

A drive-by in Tacoma, a woman shot her neighbor outside their apartment and stolen saws from Shoreline Firefighters.
13 hours ago
Photo by Paul Bersebach...
Graham Johnson

COVID-19 cases declining slightly in Washington

COVID-19 cases in Washington are declining slightly, but health officials urge people to use caution over the Fourth of July weekend.
13 hours ago
FILE - Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson smiles as Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., arr...
Associated Press

Jackson sworn in, becomes 1st Black woman on Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ketanji Brown Jackson has been sworn in to the Supreme Court, shattering a glass ceiling as the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court. The 51-year-old Jackson is the court’s 116th justice and she took the place Thursday of the justice she once worked for. Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement took effect […]
13 hours ago
bus...
MyNorthwest Staff

Seattle Schools’ new bus provider scrambles to hire ahead of upcoming school year

SPS will contract with two yellow bus companies for the 2022-23 school year. The new provider, Zum, has a matter of months to hire to fulfill its contract.
13 hours ago
belltown...
MyNorthwest Staff

Apartments behind Belltown’s former Lava Lounge catch fire

The abandoned Lava Lounge in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood caught fire Thursday morning. 
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Inquests into law enforcement-involved deaths resume in King County