ON TRIAL BY XII: Auburn officer’s violent past brought up at pre-trial hearing

ON TRIAL BY XII: Auburn officer’s violent past brought up at pre-trial hearing

Episode 6 of this special podcast series exploring Jeffrey Nelson’s history of violent interactions with members of the community prior to Jesse Sarey’s murder.

This episode explores Nelson’s history of violence against members of the Auburn community prior to the murder of Jesse Sarey. Those cases, recounted during a pretrial hearing, include using a Taser and choking a man until he was unconscious, then exaggerating the police report and Nelson’s celebratory reaction after a K9 of the police attacked a child.

This is the sixth installment of a special podcast series about Nelson, who is the first police officer charged with murder since Washington voters passed Initiative 940, which shifts the burden of proof for homicide prosecutions police officers



Episode 1: A month after Nelson shot and killed Jesse Sarey in 2019, he sat down at an Auburn police station with his attorney to read a prepared statement about the killing. However, Nelson’s account of the killing conflicts with the eyewitness account in key details. The Auburn Reporter obtained audio of those statements through public records requests.

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 all other officers in the department.

(Warning: This episode contains graphic language and depictions of violence)

Episode 3: This episode explores King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg’s decision to charge Nelson with second-degree murder and first-degree assault. We also take a closer look at Initiative 940. Warning: This podcast contains audio from the shooting of Jesse Sarey, who was killed by Officer Nelson in 2019.

episode 4: This episode explores Jesse Sarey’s life through the eyes of his adoptive mother, Elaine Simons, who discusses 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 published photos they show parts of Nelson’s body covered in tattoos of skulls, spider webs, a grim reaper and other dark images.

You can also listen to it here on Spotify.

About this podcast

King County’s local dive is a new weekly podcast highlighting Sound Publishing newspaper headlines from Washington State’s largest and most diverse county. A new episode is available every Friday. Each episode features original reporting from our local reporters with a focus on how we hold our public entities and public officials accountable.

Stories for local King County immersion are first published 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.

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Jennifer Ahdout

Jennifer Ahdout

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