Inquest ordered into death of sword-wielding man

King County Executive Dow Constantine has ordered an inquest into the death of Mike Chen, who was tased by Seattle Police Department officers after he used a sword to slice up a West Seattle apartment building in September.

Police received numerous calls about a man with a sword from people at a convenience store and at Chen's apartment building on Harbor Avenue Southwest Sept. 6.

When officers arrived, they found Chen holding a sword and sitting against an apartment door. According to police, he tried to sit up, and they tased him several times.

Officers administered CPR, but Chen had no pulse after being handcuffed and was taken to Harborview Medical Center.

Chen died four days later. According to the King County Medical Examiner's Office, the cause of death was association with excited delirium and acute methamphetamine intoxication.

The inquest, which is a series of fact-finding hearings and is not used to determine the guilt of any party, was recommended by King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. Inquests are used to determine the causes and circumstances of deaths in situations involving law enforcement.

"Inquests provide transparency into law enforcement actions so the public may have all the facts established in a court of law," according to a release from the King County Executive's Office. "The ordering of an inquest should carry no other implication."