King County Executive Dow Constantine Orders Inquest into the Fatal Police Shooting of Giovonn Joseph-McDade

Shortly after midnight on June 24, a Kent police officer shot and killed 20-year-old Giovonn Joseph-McDade after pursuing his car into a local cul de sac. It was the third fatal police shooting in King County that month.

On Wednesday, King County Executive Dow Constantine ordered an inquest—a fact-finding mission with a six-person jury—into the circumstances of Joseph-McDade’s death. We don’t yet know when that inquest will take place, but Constantine’s order requests that King County District Court Presiding Judge Donna Tucker assign a date and a judge to oversee the inquest process.

Kent police released a trove of statements, video, and photographs at the request of McDade’s family nearly a month after the shooting. Police reports released by the department showed that the officer who initially pursued McDade wrongly suspected his car was stolen. The officer who shot McDade, William Davis, said in a statement that he feared McDade was about to run him over before he shot. The passenger in McDade’s car, however, told police investigators that McDade was trying to escape from the police pursuit, and that he didn’t believe McDade would attempt to run over a police officer.

McDade’s family members have since called for the investigation of the shooting to be handed over to the King County Sheriff’s Office rather than the Des Moines police, which are being investigated by the Kent police for an unrelated matter.

Inquests don’t determine whether officers committed any crime; instead, the jury is asked to answer a series of factual questions about what happened during the shooting. Still, sometimes the facts determined during an inquest can be used as a basis for a civil case at a later date. Prosecutors also look at fact-finding conclusions to when deciding whether to file charges against an officer who uses deadly force. In McDade’s case, the county prosecutor’s office recommended an inquest.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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