Skip to main content

About the program

We welcome the opportunity to serve you and answer your questions about the Inquest Program and inquest process.

General inquiries
Dee Sylve, Inquest Program Manager, 206-477-6191

Media inquiries
Cameron Satterfield, DES Communications Manager, 206-263-9758


To sign up for email notifications about upcoming inquests, visit GovDelivery, enter your email address, then scroll down to look for "Inquest Public Advisories" under the "Department of Executive Services (DES)" section of GovDelivery. Check the box(es) next to the topic(s) for which you want to receive notifications, then click the Submit button. For assistance with the GovDelivery service, please email


In a ruling on July 15, 2021, the state Supreme Court upheld changes made by Executive Order to King County inquest procedures in 2018, and the Inquest Program resumed pursuant to the Order of Dismissal on Remand.

On July 28, 2021, King County Executive Dow Constantine signed an Executive Order enacting changes to the Inquest Program, setting the stage for restarting delayed inquests, and reviewing dozens of other officer-involved deaths. Read details.


Several cities, the King County Sheriff's Office, and individual law enforcement officers filed lawsuits challenging various aspects of the inquest process. Three families of the deceased also filed litigation.

A hearing regarding the lawsuit about the Executive Order took place via Zoom on July 17, 2020 in front of Judge Julie Spector. Audio recordings of the hearing are available here: Part 1, Part 2. Judge Spector issued a ruling on August 21, 2020. That ruling was appealed to the Washington State Supreme Court.

On January 19, 2021, the Washington State Supreme Court held virtual oral arguments in The Family of Damarius Butts v. Dow Constantine (King County Executive), Michael Spearman (King County Inquest Administrator). Watch the video of the proceeding from TVW.

More information

Related Executive Orders