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King County Executive
Dow Constantine

Executive Constantine orders inquests into three officer-involved deaths


King County Executive Dow Constantine ordered three separate inquests into deaths involving police.


Executive Constantine ordered inquest into three separate incidents:

    • Eugene Dewan Nelson, shot to death by a Kent Police Officer on Aug. 9, 2017. Executive Constantine had called for an inquest on Sept. 26, 2017, but the process was put on hold during a moratorium to study the fact-finding inquiry that was lifted in October 2018.
    • Robert Lightfeather, shot to death by a Federal Way Police Officer on Oct. 30, 2017.
    • Curtis Elroy Tade, shot to death by a Kirkland Police Officer on Dec. 19, 2017.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recommended inquests in each of these incidents after reviewing separate investigations by police agencies.

The purpose of inquests is to determine the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of law enforcement within King County while performing his or her duty.

A pool of retired judges serves as pro tem Inquest Administrators to oversee the process. An inquest program staff attorney assists the Administrators.
A panel of  between four and six persons chosen from the courts’ jury pool will be asked to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the death and whether the officer complied with Department policy and training. 

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King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography