The King County Council unanimously passed a proposal Monday ensuring public defenders are made available to the families of people killed in officer-involved shootings during the inquest process.
Last year, on June 24, a 20-year-old named Giovann Joseph-McDade was shot to death by Kent police. The inquest hearing investigating the circumstances of his death by law enforcement was held in December. His mother, Sonia Joseph, was not prepared emotionally or financially for what befell her.
After a legal victory by activist group Ending the Prison Industrial Complex against the funding calculation of King County’s Children and Family Justice Center, construction at the 12th Ave project is still fully underway.
“There’s what we think should be happening and then there’s what appears to be happening and they’re not the same,” said EPIC’s attorney Knoll Lowney.
Tommy Le was a 20-year-old high schooler shot and killed by King County deputies on June 13 after responding to a disturbance call in Burien. Le was to graduate the next day. Le recently bought a tuxedo for his brother’s wedding, but it had to instead be used for his funeral. The family, due to legal concerns and religious practice, will not be available for interviews for 49 days after his death.
In an effort to get answers for Tommy Le’s family, members of the community organized a forum at Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) in which officials listened and answered questions. Young Vietnamese Americans were given priority after the family throughout the evening.
Going out on a limb, parent Becky Bisbee, decided one day to use Access, a $61 million ADA transit program under King County Metro. Her non-verbal and physically disabled daughter was supposed to attend a day camp sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation but Bisbee couldn’t get her there. At noon, someone from the day camp called asking if the young girl was coming. This was three hours after Bisbee’s daughter first journeyed to catch the Access van.
Bisbee, recounting this at Tuesday’s King County Council meeting, began to tear up. Deep down in the pit of her stomach, the ghost memory of panic churned.
Auditors found that, over the past eight years, Transit only billed contractors for half of their missed trips, collecting $97,000 instead of over $250,000. Transit also awarded less than $24,000 incentives which were mostly paid in error. Nearly half of the 29 performance-based payments were paid even though performance standards were not met.