FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sadiqa Sakin, Seattle/King County NAACP
NAACP STATEMENT ON HOMICIDE OF IOSIA FALETOGO
The NAACP calls on King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg to independently investigate the New Year’s Eve shooting death of Iosia Faletogo by a Seattle Police Department (SPD) Officer.
This shooting death is a homicide. Homicide is defined in the Washington Criminal Code as: “the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another, death occurring at any time, and is either (1) murder, (2) homicide by abuse, (3) manslaughter, (4) excusable homicide, or (5) justifiable homicide.” RCW 9A.32.010. Thus, when a police officer has committed homicide, it is an act that falls under the one of the five categories defined in the Washington Criminal Code.
The King County Prosecutor must conduct an independent investigation to discover evidence surrounding the circumstances of this homicide and make an independent determination whether a crime has been committed, and whether this was excusable or justifiable act.
The investigation should be conducted at the direction of the King County Prosecutor by an independent law enforcement agency; the Washington State Patrol, the King County Sheriff; or by use of a grand jury or special inquiry judge. It is naïve to rely upon an investigation conducted by the SPD, the agency responsible for the death, as guidance for a decision whether or not to file criminal charges, to determine whether this homicide was excusable or justifiable.
The prosecutor must exercise discretion in the administration of justice that effects an acknowledgement and validation that every human life matters; that any citizen, even a police officer, that takes a human life will be addressed according to the law. An independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding this homicide, regardless of the outcome; is the proper exercise to ensure that the administration of justice occurs.