Created in 2021, The Public Integrity Team of the King County Prosecutor's Office (PAO) has 2 important duties:
- Assist in the independent investigation of police use-of-force cases that result in:
- Substantial physical injury
- In-custody deaths
- Analyze if the police action was justified or if criminal charges should be filed.
Check the investigation status and reports for police use-of-force and in-custody deaths
What we do
Our team consists of veteran deputy prosecuting attorneys. We are on-call and available 24/7 to respond to police use-of-force cases and in-custody deaths in King County. We work with the independent law enforcement investigative team, medical examiner, forensic scientists, and others involved in the investigation. We verify that the investigation team follows required laws and procedures for an independent, transparent, and thorough investigation.
A member of our team may assist in:
- Preparing search warrants or other legal process
- Providing legal advice to investigators
- Coordinating and participating in witness interviews
- Organizing expert testing or review
Once the investigation is complete, the assigned deputy prosecutor reviews the investigation to determine if sufficient evidence exists to file criminal charges or if the use of force appears justified and our office will decline to file charges. We also prepare a memorandum detailing the investigation and analysis.
In those cases, in which there is insufficient evidence to support criminal charges, we refer the investigation to the King County Executive for an inquest when required by Executive Order PHL 7-1-5 (291KB).
We also work with community partners, law enforcement, and other invested parties on collateral issues. These includes law enforcement training, public policy on use-of-force, and legislative needs. After an inquest, we will review the inquest results to see if additional admissible evidence was developed that may impact our previous analysis of the case.