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. If you cannot confront a man who holds a knife, what kind of combat training did you go to? Fat cops nowadays…….
    I have seen cops who can’t even run a mile.

  2. Ian Birk would have a made a great SS officer in the Nazi regime, wouldn’t you agree? Its this kind of thinking that you can trade one human life for many(facist/marxist) thats going to land a nuke on us. Everyone wants to play GOD, but do much better at playing DOG! Congratulations Mr. Birk, you’ve KILLED an innocent man, take your badge away, put you in Texas, you’d be playing musical chairs with ol’ sparky. I hope you dedicate the rest of your life to fixing your mistakes, and don’t spend an eternity in the kharmatic wheel.

  3. The old man was crouching, cop shoots him in the back. Sounds like a text book execution to me.
    Maybe the P.D. wouldn’t have been so critical of the cop if he hadn’t wasted ammo, one shot to the back of the head, should have sufficed.
    The trouble with things like this is the effect it will eventually have on the populace. That is, if you figure the authorities are going to kill you anyway, you have nothing to lose. And when people have nothing to lose they fight back.

  4. Its PUNK cops like this I just LOVE to hear about in the news thatget clipped in the line of duty! Worthless P O S

  5. I have a problem with this, it says that he crouched confrontationally yet got shot in the back. What, did he crouch facing the officer then quickly turn aroud?!

  6. How does a 1.5 mil pay for this, where do you think that money is gonna come from.. taxpayers.

  7. i currently know that there is a group searching out this corrupt dog of a police officer and when he gets 4 bullets in the back of his head justice will be done. this message is brought to you by GOD.

  8. What pisses me off is that people who didn’t give a fuck about this homeless guy are now cashing in on his wrongful death.

  9. Cop sees man doing something creative.

    Cop is not creative, cop is baffled.

    Cop draws gun.

    Cop approaches and yells at man.

    Man doesn’t immediately cower in terror.

    Cop shoots man to prove who has bigger balls.

  10. There is really nothing more despicable these days than a “cop.” They are simply America’s largest gang of murderers, torturers, and thieves with badges. And when one of them gets caught they call him a “bad apple,” even though they all try to circle the wagons and protect him as long as they can.

    That’s what really stains the badges. Not that there are a few “bad apples,” but that the rest of those scum automatically act to protect him, including lying to the media and in police reports.

    Again, there is really nothing more despicable these days than a “cop.” Fuck them all. They are despicable scum.

  11. Unbelievable! From what I saw on the video, this man was CASUALLY WALKING across the street ALONE. I saw no one in front of him or behind him close by. His head was facing down towards his hands & his attention seemed 2b focused on what he was doing with whatever he had in his hands. He was NOT RUNNING, his body language did not suggest that he was acting out, nervous or posing a threat to anyone.

    The officer approached him from the rear coming from a diagonal position & he did not first identify himself as a police officer! In my opinion, this officer “assumed” that this man may have been a threat because of the knife. Had he just “responded” which requires some thought first, instead of “reacting”, which is based on emotion; I m sure the outcome would not have been a loss of life. This officer’s approach to this poor man should have been different…PERIOD!

    I wonder if the victim was even aware that having his knife out in public in the manner in which he did was against the law or was a possibility that he would draw trouble. In this case, perhaps his possible lack of knowledge along with the ignorant manner & ignorance of the officer-cost him his life.

    Also, I wonder how the officer feels now that he learned that this man was deaf in one ear & he was simply carving something.
    He does not even deserve the title of officer! More like a renegade cop.

  12. This man deserves to go to hell. I hope someone in his family is shot mistakenly by the police so that he can experience the same pain he caused this family. I am so outraged, this man should be in prison.

  13. Puzzling – you and the officer in this video disgust me. The fact that you even ATTEMPT to justify this irrationality proves to me that you are obviously some sort of enforcement officer trying to watch out for his fellow officers. This is murder in almost the purest form. Misuse of power and just plain stupid. If the person in question shows no evidence of understanding or even hearing the commands issued that does not allow the officer to shoot. I would understand if the victim had started coming at the officer with the knife, but that is obviously not the case. 1.5 million dollars does not cover the fact that this, in a word, stupid officer took an innocent life.

  14. Don’t you just love our Law Enforcement. They murder innocent people so we don’t have to.

  15. What video did the guy who made the first post see? I saw a guy whittling who probably didnt even notice somebody pull up. He shot a guy that might as well have been my grandfather whittling a stick. Criminal charges should have followed, they would have for anybody else.

  16. Without a gun and a badge, what do ya got?
    A sucka in a uniform…

  17. Knive huh?

    You killed a man for walking with a knife?

    How will you live with yourself?

    Maybe you’ll kill yourself from the misery you will relive over and over again…” He had it open.” “I told him multiple times”. I feel sorry for your family, when they find out just how important it was for you to kill that innocent man.

    Maybe before you do you do off yourself you will educate other bad cops about their fate?

    Nothing worse than a rotten cop.


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