SEATTLE—King County Executive Dow Constantine has ordered an inquest into the shooting death of John T. Williams, the wood carver shot by a Seattle police officer on August 30th.
The inquest, or fact-finding hearing is routine. It helps determine causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of law enforcement on the job.
Inquests are fact-finding hearings conducted before a six-member jury. Constantine's office says Inquests provide transparency into law enforcement actions so the public may have all the facts in a case established in a court of law. The ordering of an inquest should carry no other implication.
The order signed by the Executive requests King County District Court Presiding Judge Barbara Linde to assign a judge to conduct the inquest.
The autopsy on a woodcarver shot and killed by a Seattle police officer in August shows the man was not facing the officer during the shooting.
The Seattle Times got a copy of the autopsy which reveals John Williams was hit by four bullets on his right side.
An attorney for his family questions whether Williams ever posed a threat.
The Times' report also says a pair of headphones was found with Williams's body, and that his family has said he probably didn't hear the officer's commands to drop his knife because he was wearing them.
Seattle police say the officer shot Williams from about 10 feet away.
The Firearms Review Board has completed its investigation, and submitted its findings to Chief John Diaz., who is expected to make his own confidential finding.