Seattle police officer Ian Birk resigns after report finds fault

Feb 16, 2011

The Seattle police officer who fatally shot a woodcarver on a downtown street last summer has resigned.

Chief John Diaz says Officer Ian Birk resigned as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the King County prosecutor said no charges would be filed against Birk, who shot  John T. Williams seconds after he crossed a street in front of a patrol car carrying a knife and a wooden board he had been carving.

Meanwhile, a police review board found Birk had failed to follow standard police procedures and that the shooting was unjustified.

The decision not to charge Birk has prompted an outcry from Williams' family and supporters, who plan demonstrations downtown.

Birk has been on paid leave since the shooting. His badge and gun were taken from him after a hearing in October.

KPLU's coverage of the Prosecutor's Office decision and the findings of the S.P.D.'s  Firearms Review Board can be found here.