State Auditor’s Office Issues First Audits of Police Use in Deadly Force Investigations
The two first of their kind audits focused on two separate officer involved incidents in Kitsap County and the investigations led by Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team.
The first report involved David J. Pruitte, who was killed by a Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office deputy on Aug. 4, 2020. The other incident involved Sean Howell, who died on May 15, 2020, after being forcibly restrained while in custody at the Kitsap County Jail. The county prosecutor declined to pursue criminal charges in both cases.
The audits are not designed to determine if the officer was justified in using the level of force that they chose, but to look at the process used to determine if State law was followed and if best practices were used.
The State Auditor's Office determined in the cases of Pruitte and Howell, that that Independent investigation team followed State laws and best practices for the most part. The Office then made recommendations on areas of improvement for future investigations.
The State Auditor's office also created a website for the public to read about the use of deadly force audits.
The Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team volunteered to be the first agency to go through this process with the State Auditor's Office.