Executive Constantine has ordered an inquest into the fatal shooting of Robert Burgess Jr. by a Kirkland Police officer in October. The purpose of the customary inquest is to determine the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of law enforcement while performing his or her duties.
King County Executive Dow Constantine today ordered an inquest into the fatal shooting of Robert Burgess Jr. by a Kirkland police officer on Oct. 15, 2015.
According to the police investigation, officers responding to reports of a carjacking in the 11500 block of NE 118th Street encountered an armed 35-year-old man. In a struggle for an officer’s gun, police say an officer fatally shot Burgess.
The King County Prosecutor recommended the inquest after reviewing materials from the King County Investigative Response Team, consisting of investigators from the Bellevue, Kirkland, Bothell, and Redmond Police Departments, and the King County Sheriff's Office.
Inquests are fact-finding hearings conducted before a six-member jury. Under a standing Executive Order, inquests are convened 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 that King County District Court Presiding Judge Donna Tucker 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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250