King County Executive Dow Constantine today ordered an inquest into the shooting death of Brian Scaman by an Auburn Police Officer on May 7, 2011.
Police say the 48-year old Auburn man wielded a knife after being stopped for a burned-out headlightin the 1400 block of Harvey Road NE in Auburn.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg recommended the inquest after his office reviewed materials from the Kent Police Department, which conducted the investigation at the request of Auburn Police.
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 Barbara Linde to assign a judge to set a date and conduct the inquest.
The ordering of inquests is a function vested in the county executive under the King County Code.
Read the Executive Order on Conducting Inquests in King County.