Seattle Pays $1.5M to Family of Victim of Police Shooting

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

John T. Williams, a Native American woodcarver, died after being shot 4 times by Officer Ian Birk on August 30, 2010. Dashcam video is shown below.

Birk resigned Feb. 16 after the release of a scathing report by the Firearms Review Board report that found, among other problems, that Birk didn’t identify himself as a police officer as he approached Williams from behind. Williams was crossing the intersection while carving on a piece of wood with a legal knife (shown here in a police photo). The knife was folded shut when found by officers.

Williams, who was deaf in one ear, was shot in the side, not facing the officer.

Officer Birk was not criminally charged in the shooting.

H/T: Daily Kos, The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, Seattle Pi.

72 thoughts on “Seattle Pays $1.5M to Family of Victim of Police Shooting”

  1. That person who was curving is deaf!! He did not see the officer comes out and he was walking innocently!! Police always think large group of citizens are NOTHING!! Citizens, it is time for all of you to stand up and win the war!! I can’t do alone..

  2. It is stupid shit like this that just irritates me. It makes me loose just that much more faith in law enforcement. The police officers now today are a product of their environment. The thugs get more vicious so something has to change. The change justs creates more protocol and procedure to adapt and adjust to the new way of things. And in that process something becomes lost. So small and minute, but lost regardless. Not noticible till 5, 10, or 15 years later when you think back and compare to what was once then, to what is now. We have been so hyped up on terrorism, and just not thinking, but just to react and handle the situation. I don’t think there is a real honest cop whom at some point hasn’t read these posts and realize that he can’t answer truthfully and say “it doesn’t happen, every incident is justified”. But we already know that it does, has, and will happen again. And with the expansion of technology, with cameras in cell phones, cameras getting smaller and cheaper, and more prolific, a different perspective is gradually being more revealed. If anyone has read over the report, and examined the course modules provided in the training, there is one not listed. An important one- COMMON SENSE 101.

    I don’t believe this officer had any malice toward the individual, but I do believe the officer screwed up. And I have to imagine the officer knows it as well. Another side not really revealed, is the side of stress that officers go through. There is a large portion of officers who can not handle it, some get help, and others end up making their wives into widows. Daddy has gone off for an eternal rest.

  3. To Mr puzzling at the top….he was def in one ear shot in the side not facing the cop the cops dash board cam clearly sees the so called suspect never look in the direction of the officer that had pulled up and stopped at a red light when he saw the the so called suspect ( victim cross the road with a legal knife not threatening a sole. So I don’t think you watched the film at all rather just now jumped in to sound important. Then you have the nerve to ask other officers not to second guess and go ahead and do what this officer did? then I saw this to you if you ever harm a member of my family like this cop did to this man I will hunt you down and do to what you did to them in front of yours. Now that don’t sound good to say as I know its terrible to say but you are the type of cop that is giving the good cops I know a bad name and you are also the type of swine that does not deserve to wear a badge as you have an oath to protect and serve to defend the constitution! How dare you defend that cop shame on you sir shame on you!

  4. It is clear to me from reading comments on this story that too many of my countrymen are fucking insane cowards. A man strolled innocently down the street. A cop jumped out to bully him, and within 4 seconds, the man with the closed knife was dead. This cop is a giant fucking P U S S Y. I am so tired of these cops nationwide claiming they feel threatened when they’re the only ones with the fucking gun! I couldve done better, ya douchebag cop! I coulda put the guy in a choke hold, if nothing else. It really makes me sick that anyone would think there was anything right about the 4 second death of a Native American. You’re fucking sick, Seattle cop Ian the prick pussy pants. May you rot in hell.

  5. Stupid fucking trigger happy pig. Isnt this the exact reason they have tazers and pepper spray? Fuck that pig, put him in prison just like any other person would be in this situation. At the LEAST he should be charged with manslaughter.

  6. This officer NEEDS to be held accountable for MURDER or manslaughter at the very least! If this had been a civilian shooting, they would have crucified the son of a bitch.

    I hope that poor guy died instantly at least “the only justice he’s getting out of this”

  7. Hi, I hope someone in Seattle sees this comment and acts on it.

    A tech geek friend recently was talking about a pocket-sized video projector that plugs into his iPod that cost him like 200 bucks.

    If someone has the money or people can donate, someone should buy one, stick it on top of a bicycle helmet, and get two other people to carry a bed sheet on poles in front of them so you can project this video big enough for the people in the cars driving by to see.

    So they can see what happened instead of just seeing people with signs who’re slowing them down on their way to Applebee’s.

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