Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes issued the following statement:
“After hearing from community voices and our Seattle City Councilmembers, and after conferring with our police chief, I intend to withdraw the City of Seattle from the lawsuit challenging the revised King County inquest process. While the new inquest procedures are vague and leave much room for interpretation and inconsistency between inquest hearings, I heard the community’s call loud and clear.
“Separately, while focus is on King County as it establishes new inquest protocols, Pierce County doesn’t have inquests at all. Manuel Ellis and those before and after him will not have an inquest.
“Washington state needs a consistent statewide inquest process that is designed to provide a thorough and systematic review of officer-involved fatalities in our modern day society. In light of recent events, I believe the state legislature, not a lawsuit, is the best place to create this new system, and I hope that my fellow elected officials will join me in calling for comprehensive statewide inquest reform and an update to Washington’s 150+ year-old statute by the legislature in its next session. Every county in the state should have a modern inquest process that all members of the community consider to be transparent, accountable, fair, and legitimate.”