What happens in an inquest after an officer-involved shooting

I regularly read the Seattle Police Department Blotter for news on local investigations and on the police department itself. Check your story state and city for a comparable source; you’ll get info and ideas on all points of the horror-to-humor scale.

What caught my eye today was this blog entry outlining the investigation and inquest that followed a shooting death by an officer of a man who had led him on a chase and whom he believed posed a threat. The entry includes a copy of the list of questions given to the jury and other details, including video. If you write about cops, whether or not you plan to write about a shooting, I think you’ll find it interesting.

When the officer ordered the man to come out a shed where he was hiding, the man yelled that he had a pistol. He then aimed it at the officer, who fired several shots and killed him. Turned out to be a pellet gun with the tell-tale orange tip removed. The jury decided the shooting was justified, because the officer reasonably believed the man posed a threat of imminent threat of death or serious injury to him or other officers.

2 thoughts on “What happens in an inquest after an officer-involved shooting

  1. Thank you, Leslie, for an informative, behind-the-scenes look inside a subject much in the news recently. I always appreciate learning facts often masked by the media’s melodramatic hype.

    • You’re welcome. It’s good to see the SPD — or any big city PD — practicing the transparency the new chief preaches.

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