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Cop vs John Williams, hard of hearing with pocketknife, didn't have time to comply b4 shot/killed

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-20-11 08:12 PM
Original message
Cop vs John Williams, hard of hearing with pocketknife, didn't have time to comply b4 shot/killed
Edited on Thu Jan-20-11 08:18 PM by uppityperson
Jurors in inquest said:
He didn't have time to comply with the cop. He wasn't an imminent threat.

He was hard of hearing, walking around with a board and a pocketknife. The cop agressively ran up behind him, getting within the "shoot if person bearing knife gets this close" zone, yelling at Williams. When Williams turned (with a "stern expression") to see who was yelling at him, he was shot. 4 times. I don't know what happens next, this was an inquest into whether or not the killing was ok or not.

I hope this goes further. I hope the Seattle PD take a good hard look at wtf is going on with their cops and makes some changes.



http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013989...
Four of eight jurors determined that woodcarver John T. Williams didn't have sufficient time to put down his knife before he was shot and killed by Seattle police Officer Ian Birk in August. Only one juror found that Williams had time to put down the knife before the shooting. Three other jurors answered "unknown."

(clip)

On another critical question, four jurors said that Birk believed Williams posed an "imminent threat of serious physical harm" when he was shot. Four jurors answered "unknown."

(clip)

On the next question, whether Williams posed an imminent threat of serious physical harm "based on the information available at the time," four jurors believed Williams did not. Only one juror believed he did, and three answered "unknown."

(clip)

Jurors weren't asked to weigh whether Birk was guilty or innocent of wrongdoing in the shooting. The King County Prosecutor's Office announced immediately after the inquest that it will conduct an independent review of the findings to determine whether criminal charges are warranted. That review is expected to be completed in mid-February.

(clip)
Federal prosecutors also could consider bringing a civil-rights case against Birk. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Miyake has viewed some of the inquest proceedings. Birk was stripped of his gun and badge after the tentative finding, and has been on paid leave since the shooting. The fact-finding inquest came amid growing criticism that Seattle police officers used excessive force in several recent incidents, particularly in dealings with minorities. The shooting of Williams a member of Canada's First Nations people and other incidents have prompted community groups to call on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the department's practices....(more)

Read the Jurors answers:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/theblotter/201398...

I've been posting as the hearing went on http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-20-11 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. There is thought that cop Birk (has been getting paid though off the streets) could...
"In an October preliminary ruling, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz and the Police Department's Firearms Review Board found that the shooting was not justified, according to sources familiar with the confidential proceeding. The board will reconvene and make a final ruling now that the inquest has concluded.

Federal prosecutors also could consider bringing a civil-rights case against Birk. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Miyake has viewed some of the inquest proceedings.

Birk was stripped of his gun and badge after the tentative finding, and has been on paid leave since the shooting."
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-20-11 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is a terribly sad situation. It is clear to me that the officer wasnt at all trying to defuse
the situation. There were other options available to him but he rushed into shooting multiple times. He wasnt defending himself, he was killing in cold blood. Yet our police state will most likely vindicate him.

Closer to were I live a young man was recently killed by an officer that many of the local know very well as a bully. Pulls over certain people and hassles them. In this case the officer shot the young man like 8 times at point blank range. Said the kid was going for a gun.

It seems that it doesnt matter how outrageous the killings are by the officers, they are always found to be justified by the police and the district attorneys.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-20-11 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Indeed. I hope that there is enough outcry to change things. I fear not though.
It is very sad and the officer was in no way trying to defuse anything. The vid from his car is telling. I wish he could look at what it shows and even begin to question himself.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-20-11 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. there wasn't anything to defuse. the guy was walking along minding his own business, carving a
piece of wood. no one near him, bothering no one, saying nothing.

streets were mostly empty of pedestrians.

totally out of control cop.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. I agree. Did you watch the dashboard cam video?
I was pissed before but watching the video, I don't think he was even carving. Looking at the pictures of the piece of wood, I didn't see any evidence he'd done any carving either.

There was no situation until Birk made one.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 01:31 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. yes, i saw the video from the police car, if that's what you mean.
Edited on Fri Jan-21-11 01:32 AM by Hannah Bell
it wasn't clear to me what he was doing, only that he wasn't looking at anyone or bothering anyone & no one was threatened.

and within less than a minute after the cop got out of his car the guy was dead.

the cop needs jail time.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. That is the one I mean and I agree. He wasn't bothering anyone.
I kept hearing about him carving, but it wasn't really clear what he was doing. Looking at the photos of the board, and knowing the knife was found closed, makes me wonder.

Cop needs jail time. I hope they go for at least a civil suit. He over reacted from the time he left his car. He testified that they were trained if someone with an edged tool was within a certain distance, it was dangerous and ok to shoot. So WHY the hell did he run up that close? Seriously. Run up close, Williams turns, omg I'm close bam bam bam bam .

Pisses me off royally.

And he continues to defend his actions, no remorse, no sense of anything done wrong. W.T.F.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 02:08 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. the time alone shows that he was out of control. i think it was 7 seconds from the
Edited on Fri Jan-21-11 02:11 AM by Hannah Bell
time he got out of his car to the time the guy was shot. i timed it when i saw the video but can't remember exactly now.

i found it really shocking. i used to disbelieve in these matters when people said they weren't doing *anything*. i thought they must be doing something, even if the police may have overreacted.

this guy was literally doing *nothing*.

blatant police murder.

oh, & then the media coverage. they got it so wrong. half-a-dozen phony stories; wrong place, wrong actions, wrong timing.

now, i have known for years the media usually got everything wrong, this was just one more confirmation.

i wonder why they always get it wrong?
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #4
14. I completely agree. What I meant was that even if there was a "situation" the officer's job should
be to calm things down and try to fix the situation w/o violence. In this case the officer hurried up to the man and screamed at him then 4 seconds later shot him multiple times at point blank range. The officer acted deranged.
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. It's interesting to note that Birk did not have his Taser
The Taser was supposed to defuse situations like this.

There was a demonstration earlier tonight at the intersection where John Williams died regarding the inquest findings. There were several arrests.

John Williams was no threat to anyone but himself. The eyewitnesses to the shooting all said the same thing: He wasn't lunging towards the officer. His back was turned. It was four seconds between the command to drop the knife, and when the officer fired four shots.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I read that he wasn't taser certified/qualified/trained whatever.
The only situation that needed defusing was officer Birk and his attitude. Maybe if John Williams had had one?
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. he wasn't a threat to himself either. he was a threat to no one. he was just crossing a street
minding his own business.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. it wasn't 4 sec between command to drop and shots. It was 4 secs from
the beginning of yelling "drop the knife, drop the knife, drop the knife" to bam bam bam bam.

Did you watch the dashboard cam vid from "officer" Birk? It is incredible. No time. Even if Williams wasn't hard of hearing, even if he weren't drinking, if you are walking along down the street in Seattle and hear someone yelling "hey hey hey", would you turn? If you heard "drop the knife...", would you turn to see who was being yelled at, if you were in danger? Would you be smiling or look "stern"?

Pisses me off. There was no excuse.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. I need to apologize to you.
I am sorry if I came off angry at you in my other reply to this post. It wasn't meant to be aimed at you but at the killing of John Williams. I apologize that it sounded harsh towards you as I didn't mean that.
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Thank you so much for such a nice apology
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in what I wrote.

As I wrote in another thread a few minutes ago, I was born here. I've lived here my entire life. I never thought I would see a time when I would actively consider moving away because of what I view as out-of-control law enforcement, or actively avoid downtown Seattle. My husband works in Pioneer Square; I'm worried for his safety. It's become apparent that there are NO consequences here for law enforcement that commit criminal acts in the guise of "public safety".

Mr. Williams wasn't harming anyone. He was using a legal-to-carry whittling knife in broad daylight, and he got shot because he evidently didn't hear or understand that the cop was yelling at him. I am expecting no charges filed by the prosecutor's office in this incident as well.
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
10. Thank you for posting these updates
K&R
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
16. K and R


Thanks for keeping DU up to date on this senseless shooting.

:kick:
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