On August 30, 2010, John T. Williams, a Native American woodcarver [Ditidaht First Nation, Vancouver Island, BC.] was walking across the street carrying his carving knife and a small piece of wood when he was shot four times by Officer Ian Birk of the Seattle Police Department.
Police say Officer Ian D. Birk' yelled three times for him to drop a knife and Williams did not. William's was deaf in his left ear.
John T. Williams died. The shooting was ruled "unjustified" by the police department's Firearms Review Board.
King County prosecutors have decided not to file criminal charges against Seattle police Officer Ian Birk in the fatal shooting of woodcarver John T. Williams.
This needs to stop! This is the reason I stand with the people protesting. This type of behavior cannot continue to be swept under the rug.
UBCIC “shares the disbelief, disgust and deep disappointment of the Williams family, the Ditidaht First Nation and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. When an indigenous person dies at the hands of a police officer, it does not matter what jurisdiction it happens in, the officer is not held to account to the same degree as any other member of the general public.”
"These young officers are a re-lection of modern-day policing where funding for pre-screening and training are growing scarce at a time when more veteran officers are retiring."
"His life and death reverberate in other, less visible ways. The shooting triggered a Department of Justice investigation, resulting in the consent decree that placed SPD under federal monitoring. And in June 2020, when a police standoff with protestors for Black lives resulted in a 23-day occupation known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP, leaders invited Rick Williams to participate. He carved there with one of his sons—and told protestors he was proud of them and that they should remain peaceful."