Lights & Sirens

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UPDATED: Inquest today in Clemmons’ death

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on April 5, 2010 at 6:00 am |
April 5, 2010 12:58 pm

The inquest begins today in the deadly shooting of cop killer Maurice Clemmons.

Inquests are more routine in King County. They are fact-finding hearings to determine the circumstances when deadly force in used by King County police officers and whether the use of force is justified under the law.

Seattle police officer Benjamin Kelly fatally shot Clemmons on a residential Seattle street less than 48 hours after he killed four Lakewood police officers in a Parkland coffee shop.

The inquest begins at 9 a.m. and is expected to last two days. Kelly will be among those testifying.

UPDATE: The Associated Press reports the inquest is underway with jury selection.

Here’s the latest from the AP.

An inquest into the shooting death of cop killer Maurice Clemmons is underway Monday morning in Seattle.

King County judge Arthur Chapman is questioning potential jurors, asking them whether they can be impartial, about their experience with law enforcement and whether they know any of the people involved in the case, among other things.

He hopes to pick the six-person jury by the middle of the day.

Seattle Police officer Benjamin L. Kelly is also expected to explain what happened when he was confronted by Clemmons early Dec. 1. Police have said Clemmons was shot when he reached for a gun. It was a weapon he had taken from one of the four Lakewood officers he killed two days earlier at a coffee shop.

An inquest is standard in King County in fatal police shootings and will provide information that the prosecutor would use in deciding whether to file a charge. The main question is whether the officer feared for his life when he used deadly force.

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