Zoom panel discusses Jesse Sarey’s killing by Auburn police

Panelists include students from Harvard, Sarey’s family and local activists.

Students, activists and the family of Jesse Sarey, a man killed by Auburn police, will host a “Justice 4 Jesse” Zoom panel from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 18.

The panel will discuss Sarey’s life as well as the upcoming trial for Auburn police officer Jeffrey Nelson, who shot and killed Sarey in 2019.

You can register for the Zoom meeting online through this link.

Hosts of the panel include the Khmer Student Association at Harvard College, the Pan-Asian Coalition at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Forced Trajectory Project and activists from the Black Panther Party, Panther Party, and the Justice 4 Jesse Sarey campaign.

The Zoom panel coincides with Asian American and Pacific Islander month and was intended to bring attention to police violence and humanize Sarey, according to the organizers of the event.

In May 2019, Nelson shot and killed Jesse Sarey after attempting to arrest Sarey for jaywalking. Over a year later in 2020, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg filed assault and second-degree murder charges against Nelson for the killing of Sarey.

Nelson is the first officer in Washington to be charged with murder since the passage of Initiative 940, which changed the standard for holding police criminally liable for excessive use of force.

Prior to Initiative 940, prosecutors had to prove a police officer acted with evil intent when they killed someone in the line of duty in order to charge that officer with murder — essentially an impossible standard to meet, Satterberg said.

Under Initiative 940, prosecutors now have to prove that a different, reasonable officer would not have used deadly force in the same situation.