• Dead man's mother confronts judge at start of inquest

    By: Deborah Horne

    Updated:

    It was an unusual beginning to an inquest into a police shooting. The mother of the man shot dead last June by Kent police asked if she could speak to King County District Court Judge Susan Mahoney. The judge denied the request.

    "Well, it looks like I've been denied everything in this court," said Sonia Joseph.

    "If you speak out and interrupt,” said Mahoney. “I don't want to have you removed. That's the last thing I want to have happen. So you have to follow the rules and we'll get to you."

    "I was only allowed seven weeks to obtain an attorney, and I did," said Joseph. "And I was denied my rights to legal counsel to represent me during this trial. It is unfair. And I am protesting and I'm boycotting this trial."

    This is not the first time the family has said it is being treated unfairly.

    "We're still not provided with any answers," a tearful Joseph told reporters in July.

    In the weeks after 20-year-old Giovonn Joseph-McDade was killed, his family demanded that Kent police release records from their investigation.  Six days later, Kent police released surveillance video of Joseph-McDade's final moments.

    In the video, you can hear two shots fired.  Then someone says, "He tried to ram me. Shots fired."

    Now, Joseph-McDade's mother said, the judge overseeing the inquest into how her son died won't give her lawyer time to be involved.

    "Where's the justice?" she asked.

    The inquest is proceeding without her. Testimony is expected to wrap up Wednesday.  Then, the jury will review the evidence and decide whether police have some culpability in Joseph-McDade's death.
     

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