Officer who shot B.C. native won't be charged
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | 3:06 PM PT Comments63Recommend3
A Seattle police officer won't be criminally charged, but he could be out of a job, following the fatal shooting of a B.C. man.
Officer Ian Birk shot John T. Williams in downtown Seattle in August 30, 2010.
Birk "committed serious tactical errors" in the confrontation, but did not act with malice or criminal intent, King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg said Wednesday.
However, Seattle police chief John Diaz reiterated after the prosecutor's announcement that there was no justification for the shooting and that the force would start internal proceedings that could result in Birk being fired.
In a video of the shooting, Birk could be heard telling Williams before shooting him to drop his knife.
Williams was a woodcarver and a First Nations member from Vancouver Island.
Satterberg acknowledged that he was troubled by Birk's decision to confront Williams in the first place and also by the officer's quick decision to open fire.
Native groups and others held several demonstrations following the incident, protesting against what they described as racism in the police force.