King County Executive Dow Constantine recently introduced positive reforms to the inquest process that addresses how investigations of the death of an community member at the hands of law enforcement are conducted.
“On behalf of our members throughout King County, OneAmerica strongly supports the positive steps taken by the King County Executive to strengthen accountability and sensitivity to the needs of families in the inquest process, by which investigations can be conducted into the deaths of individuals at the hands of local law enforcement. Our north star is a criminal justice system that reflects a profound commitment to racial and social equity and that restores trust and accountability in communities that have long experienced over-policing and have had reason to fear law enforcement to the detriment of everyone’s safety. The power and respect granted to law enforcement in our society must be balanced with responsibility and accountability. It is through actions, like this, that King County and other governments, can begin to heal the pain of families struggling with the loss of loved ones in a system that can protect some individuals while undermining fundamental values of justice.
County Executive Constantine, through his Executive Order, is demonstrating the strength of the movement for accountability and black lives and for re-setting the relationship between law enforcement and the communities, including lower income and people of color residents, that law enforcement agencies are charged with serving and protecting. We deeply appreciate the Executive’s commitment to work with all parties in the development of this Executive Order, including a broad coalition of social service, civil liberties and community based organizations representing marginalized communities in King County.”