Rally marks 2nd anniversary of John T. Williams’ death

Background on the fatal, unjustified shooting of a First Nations wood carver by a Seattle Police Officer here.

KiroTV News

Rick Williams carries a photo of his brother, John T. Williams, who was gunned down by a Seattle police officer two years ago. Rick led a rally of supporters through the streets to mark the anniversary of John’s death.

Friends and supporters marched in Seattle on Thursday to remember a deadly shooting that led to an overhaul of the city’s police department.

It was two years ago that then-Seattle Police Department Officer Ian Birk shot and killed First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams.

On Thursday, Williams’ brother led about 100 supporters on a march to the Seattle Center. That rally ended in the shadow of a Totem Pole that carvers, including Williams’ brother, created in his honor.

“My brother’s blood – my eyes still see it. Stained here because of something silly,” said Rick Williams, John’s brother.

Birk said he feared for his safety when he opened fire on John.

“It hurts,” Rick said. “Ain’t never going to go away. I’d rather keep smiling and shake the hand of the man that shook the world, and that was my brother, John T.”

John’s death helped shake up the Seattle Police Department. Birk resigned, and last December, the U.S. Department of Justice accused the department of engaging in a pattern of “excessive force.”

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About Vince

I am a Tlingit, born and raised in Tlingit Country, and a proud member of the Tlingit Nation.
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