This episode explores recent release of unredacted photos of Auburn Police officer Jeffrey Nelson’s tattoos. Nelson’s defense previously objected to the release of the photos, but during the hearing on Aug. 31, the defense withdrew that objection. The majority of tattoos previously removed were composed of Latin phrases and are often concerned with death.
This episode is 7th in a series of podcasts on Nelson. Nelson is the first officer to be accused of murder after Initiative 940 was approved by Washington voters. Initiative 940 changes the burden-of-proof for police homicide prosecutions.
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Episode 1 Nelson had shot and killed Jesse Sarey a month earlier in 2019. In 2019, Nelson sat down at Auburn’s police station with his lawyer, to review a prepared statement regarding the murder. However, Nelson’s statement regarding the killing conflicts with the eyewitness’s account on key details. Through public records requests, The Auburn Reporter obtained audio recordings of the statements.
Episode 2 This episode explores Nelson’s pattern of violent behavior and misconduct while working with the Auburn Police Department. Records show Nelson used force against civilians 92 times between May 2011 and November 2018, and 57 of those incidents resulted in injuries that required medical attention — a higher rate than the rest of the department’s officers.
Warning: This episode includes graphic language and violence depictions.
Episode 3 This episode explores King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg’s decision to charge Nelson with second-degree murder and first-degree assault. Initiative 940 is also examined. Warning: This podcast contains audio recordings of Jesse Sarey being shot by Officer Nelson on March 19, 2019.
Episode 4: This episode explores the life of Jesse Sarey through the eyes of his foster mother, Elaine Simons, who talks about Sarey’s struggles with mental illness and homelessness.
Episode 5 This episode explores how a judge ordered the release of 38 unredacted photos of Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s tattoos on his arms, back and legs, but not his chest or stomach. The released photos show portions of Nelson’s body covered in tattoos of skulls, spiderwebs, a grim reaper, and other dark imagery.
Episode 6 This episode explores Nelson’s violent history against members of the Auburn community prior to the killing of Jesse Sarey. These instances, explained during a pretrial hearing, include using a Taser and choking a man until he was unconscious then exaggerating on the police report and Nelson’s celebratory reaction after a police K9 attacked a child.
More about this podcast
The King County Local Dive is a new weekly podcast that highlights headlines from Sound Publishing newspapers throughout Washington state’s largest and most diverse county. Every Friday, a new episode will be available. Every episode includes original, watchdog-reporting from local journalists. The focus is on accountability and how public agencies can be held accountable.
Stories for the King County Local Dive are first reported in Sound Publishing’s King County newspapers: Federal Way Mirror, Auburn Reporter, Kent Reporter, Renton Reporter, Enumclaw Courier-Herald, Mercer Island Reporter, Snoqualmie Valley Record, Kirkland Reporter, Issaquah Reporter, Redmond Reporter, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, Bellevue Reporter and Seattle Weekly.