Police Sued for “Execution Style” Killing

Auburn, WA cop has long history of violence, including the alleged unlawful killing of another man last year

SEATTLE, WA – The police department and an Auburn, WA police officer with a lengthy record of alleged brutality were sued in federal court here today for allegedly killing an already-subdued man “execution style.” The killing took place in broad daylight in 2017.

Isaiah Obet, a 25-year-old Pacific Islander, was behaving erratically as the result of an apparent mental disturbance when Officer Jeffrey Nelson released his trained K-9 attack dog on Obet and the dog latched onto his arm with its jaws.

Despite Obet presenting no threat to Nelson or anyone else, Nelson shot him in the torso with his .45 caliber service revolver, instead of subduing him with the taser that he was armed with and equipped to use.

Obet fell to the ground and continued to be mauled by the dog. According to witnesses, he made no attempt to stand up, let alone flee the scene. Nelson then pointed his gun at Obet’s head, stood over him, and shot him dead.

Another man whom Officer Nelson recently shot and killed, Jesse Sarey, was also a Pacific Islander. Nelson is white. As with Obet, Nelson shot Sarey once, then killed him with a second shot, the lawsuit alleges. In his first fatal shooting, in 2011, Nelson shot and killed an Auburn citizen—Brian Scaman—during a traffic stop. Like Isaiah, Nelson shot Mr. Scaman in the head.

Nelson has had 65 excessive force complaints lodged against him. On a force with 57 patrol officers and at least 115 officers total, he has committed three of the entire force’s five officer-involved shootings since 2011.

Mr. Odet is survived by his siblings and parents in the Pacific Northwest and in the Pacific Islands.  

A copy of the suit, Slaughter Motin Obet, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Isaiah Obet, and on his own behalf, v. City of Auburn, Washington and Officer Jeffrey Nelson, No. No. 20 CV 883, can be found here.

Isaiah Obet’s estate is represented by David B. Owens and Mariah Garcia of the civil rights law firm Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law. Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms and has won more multi-million-dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country.

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