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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive Constantine announces new members of inquest review committee, first public focus group

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced two new members of his King County Inquest Review Committee, which he convened in December to review and recommend changes to the police shooting inquest process. The Review Committee will hear from the public in three special meetings, the first on Jan. 27.

Story

The King County Inquest Review Committee selected two additional members:

DeVitta Briscoe is the founder of the McCaney Project, a grass-roots organization that aims to promote awareness and find solutions to the escalating problem of gun-violence among youth. She lost her son, Donald McCaney, to gang violence in 2010, and her brother Che’ Taylor, who was fatally shot by Seattle police in 2016.

Corey Palmer is a 25-year-old Seattle native who represents the young QTPOC community. He graduated from Garfield High School and is earning his RN from Shoreline Community College. After graduation, he hopes to work in either neonatal intensive care or LGBTQ+ focused community health.

The five members of the King County Inquest Process Review Committee include:

Jeffrey Beaver, Seattle attorney since 1986 practicing commercial and real estate law. He is also a member of the Washington State Supreme Court’s Minority & Justice Commission.

Fabienne “Fae” Brooks, retired as Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division with the King County Sheriff’s Office after more than 26 years of service. She is an experienced trainer and consultant nationwide on police/community relationship and coalition building as well as the co-director Law Enforcement Programs for the National Coalition Building Institute, an international non-profit leadership development network.

Sandra “Sam” Pailca, Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft who served two three-year terms as the City of Seattle’s Director of the Office of Professional Accountability, a police oversight agency. She is a past board member of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement.

Rick Williams, brother of John T. Williams and member of the Nitinat Band (Eagle Clan).

Judge Dean S. Lum, King County Superior Court judge, currently assigned to the criminal department. He currently serves on the ABA Commission on Immigration, the President’s Minority Community Advisory Committee for the University of Washington, and the Board of the Washington State Superior Court Judge’s Association.

The Review Committee will hold a public focus group on Saturday, Jan. 27, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave South, Seattle WA 98118.

State law authorizes elected coroners or appointed medical examiners to investigate the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of law enforcement in the performance of their duties. The King County Charter requires an inquest, and King County Code gives the Executive control over the inquest process.

An Executive Order lays out the sequence, which begins when the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recommends the Executive convene an inquest. The Prosecutor recommends an inquest after every officer-involved shooting death.

Since the 1970s, inquests have been conducted by District Court judges, who have traditionally accepted the delegation of the Executive’s fact-finding duties in his capacity as Coroner. Inquests have been held before a six-member jury who listen to testimony and then answer questions to determine the significant factual issues involved in the case.

The Review Committee is charged with reviewing and reexamining the inquest process to determine what, if any, changes could or should be made to improve the process both for the public and the affected parties.

The Review Committee is expected to issue final recommendations in March.

Executive Constantine announced that all police shooting inquests will be put on hold while the Review Committee considers potential reforms and submits its recommendations.


For more information, contact:

Calli Knight, Executive Office, 206-477-9627


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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