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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.

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


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 1Part 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.

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