Thursday, February 17, 2011


Demonstrators filled the lobby of Seattle's City Hall, and marched into traffic late in rush hour yesterday. They were protesting news that Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk would not be charged by King County Prosecutors for killing Native American woodcarver John T. Williams last year.  Prosecutors claimed they could not charge Birk because they couldn't show malice.  Hogwash!

Lem Howell is a longtime civil rights attorney in Seattle. He disagrees with that reasoning.
Howell: "Saying we can't prove malice. The police officer had his gun out before he ever approached Williams. It was right there on the film. Satterberg is disappointing. His conduct is outrageous. Not even negligent homicide? That's inexcusable. He does not deserve to be a prosecutor."

The following is from NWCN News.

Protesters plan more rallies in wake of woodcarver decision

Credit: Jeff Christian,
by KING 5 News
Posted on February 17, 2011 at 1:15 PM
SEATTLE -- Protesters against the fatal police shooting of a First Nations woodcarver are using Facebook to organize more demonstrations.
Several groups and invitations have been created since Wednesday night, when nearly 300 people marched from Westlake Center to where John T. Williams was shot and killed by former Seattle Police officer Ian Birk last August.
Birk resigned Wednesday, hours after King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced no criminal charges would be filed against him for the shooting. 
One Facebook event, named "Another rally at Westlake--Birk's resignation changes nothing" calls for protesters to meet Friday from 6-9 p.m. So far, 50 people say they are planning to attend.
"One night of amazing protest is not enough," reads the event description. "The only way things will ever change is if we change it, and that will take more and more people in the streets."
Another protest is planned for Saturday at Victor Steinbruck Park from 1-4 p.m. Organizers plan to hold a "carve in" at the "John T. Williams woodcarver rally" and then meet for another protest at Westlake Center at 6:00 p.m. 
"Never has there been a clearer message that police officers are held to a different set of standards (and NOT beholden to the same laws) as the rest of the citizenry," one person wrote on the invitation. "This is an outrage. I am gonna make a point of being there at the park at the end of Pike Place Market this Saturday at 1:00 pm."
Wednesday's protesters were mostly peaceful, aside from a few minor scuffles. Several people shouted at Seattle Police officers dressed in riot gear. Others sat in the street, but no one was arrested.

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