King County Executive Dow Constantine has ordered an inquest into the fatal police shooting of a man in Greenwood in February. Here’s the press release:
King County Executive Dow Constantine today ordered an inquest into the fatal police shooting of Jack Sun Keewatinawin on February 26, 2013.
The 21-year old was fatally shot after Seattle police responded to calls about a man holding his father hostage with a knife at a home in the 10100 block of Fourth Avenue Northwest. In a confrontation, police said the man brandished a piece of rebar and approached an officer who had slipped on wet ground. Three officers fired, hitting Keewatinawin several times.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg recommended the inquest after his office reviewed materials from the Seattle Police Department, which conducted the investigation.
Inquests are fact-finding hearings conducted before a six-member jury. Under a standing Executive Order they are routinely called to determine the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of any law enforcement agency within King County while in the performance of his or her duties.
Inquests provide transparency into law enforcement actions so the public may have all the facts established in a court of law. The ordering of an inquest should carry no other implication. Inquest jurors answer a series of interrogatories to determine the significant factual issues involved in the case, and it is not their purpose to determine whether any person or agency is civilly or criminally liable.
The order signed by the Executive requests King County District Court Presiding Judge Corinna Harn to assign a judge to set a date and conduct the inquest.