We apologize for starting the long holiday weekend on such a sad note. This story out of Seattle is pretty intense, concerning as it does the fatal shooting of a First Nations carver by a city police officer.
Yesterday, Native American and First Nations people gathered in Seattle to demand a full investigation into the shooting of 50-year-old John Williams, saying it was unjustified.
As Lynda Mapes of the Seattle Times reports:
John T. Williams, 50, a member of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Dititdaht First Nations people on Vancouver Island, was killed by Officer Ian Birk near downtown Monday afternoon. Birk saw Williams with a knife and repeatedly ordered him to drop it just before shooting Williams four times from a distance of nine to 10 feet, according to Seattle police.
Williams, it turned out, was a First Nations totem carver carrying a 3-inch folding knife, and a chronic inebriate who had told people he was deaf in one ear, and often had trouble understanding what was said to him.
The reaction to the shooting has involved hundreds of people, including Seatle Mayor Mike McGinn, who attended a candlelight vigil for Williams Thursday night in front of the Chief Seattle Club.
A protest is being planned for Sept. 10.