John T. Williams

Erin Hennessey / KPLU

A 34-foot totem pole honoring slain First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams was carried from the Seattle Waterfront to Seattle Center and raised by some 90 people on Sunday. The pole was carried to its final destination with traditional singing, drumming, and dancing. 

Charla Bear / KPLU

It’s been more than nine months since a Seattle police officer killed First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams, and tensions are still running high among Native Americans. They say the shooting brings up the long history of brutality Native people have faced.

The anxiety has also affected children, who’ve had a tough time putting Williams’ death in perspective.

This coming weekend, a local theater group will debut a performance to help young Native Americans move forward, starting with a look at the past.

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

"We have nothing to hide" – those were the words of Seattle's chief of police yesterday.  The department is under fire. 

The questions stem from a federal review of the fatal shooting of a first nation's wood carver last August, as well as what many people perceive as a prior pattern of  abusive violence against minority groups.

WSDOT / Flickr

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Carpool Tolls Likely on I-405
  • Not Guilty Plea in Prison Guard Murder Charge
  • Grand Jury Request by Woodcarver's Family

 

I-405 Carpool Tolls Coming?

As drivers get ready to pay new tolls this spring to cross the Highway 520 floating bridge – more tolls could be on the way.  State lawmakers have proposed charging cars with only one or two people in them to use carpool lanes on I-405 from Lynnwood to Bellevue. 

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

An ancient cedar tree was delivered earlier today (Tuesday) to the Seattle Center. Several totem poles carved from it in public will commemorate the life and art of native carver John T. Williams.

His shooting by a Seattle police officer last August has escalated tensions between law enforcement and people of color. But Williams' family says the "carve-in" that has just begun is about remembering his cultural legacy. 

jseattle / CapitolHillSeattle.com

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Hundreds Protest in Seattle After Birk Decision
  • Agreement Reached on Deficit Cutting Package
  • Wet Snow for Parts of Western Washington
  • More Charges in Lakewood Police Shooting Case

 

Surprise, Anger, Emotion Follow Birk Rebuke, Resignation

Protesters numbering in the hundreds marched from downtown Seattle to a Capitol Hill Police precinct following a day of dramatic developments in the case of Officer Ian Birk. In the span of a few hours Wednesday:

Liam Moriarty / KPLU News

The shooting death of a Native American woodcarver by a Seattle police officer last summer was not justified. That’s the finding announced by the police department’s Firearms Review Board today. 

The review found Officer Ian Birk took actions that were "outside of policy, tactics and training."

The case is “among the most egregious failings that I’ve seen in my thirty years with the Seattle Police Department,” said the board chairman, Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer.

AP

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Prison Guard's Memorial Tomorrow
  • Pierce County Misses Out on Thousands in Census Count
  • Seattle Planning for Memorial to Native Woodcarver

 

Service for Officer Jayme Biendl on Tuesday

Thousands of mourners are expected at Everett's Comcast Center tomorrow for Officer Jayme Biendl's memorial. The Monroe Correctional Center guard was killed two weeks ago in the prison's chapel. An inmate, serving a three-strikes felony life term remains the prime suspect. The Herald of Everett reports the service will touch many lives, and many Snohomish County communities:

A motorcade is planned, with the route visiting the Monroe Correctional Complex where Biendl worked and then heading into Everett on U.S. 2. That journey is expected to last from about 10:30 am. to noon.

Another peer review of Seattle's handling of the John T. Williams shooting has found the police department conducted a fair and thorough investigation. 

KOMO-TV

Hundreds packed a Seattle forum on police accountability Thursday evening, an event which quickly turned into a showcase of public anger over recent incidents involving questions of excessive force against ethnic minorities.

The event, sponsored by Mayor Mike McGinn and The Stranger, was organized in the wake of tensions following the shooting death last year of First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams by Officer Ian Birk. 

Here's what's making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Angry Crowd at Seattle Police Accountability Forum
  •  Investigation of John T. Williams shooting Deemed Fair
  • Legislature Nixes Governor's Plan for Regional Ferry Authority

 

Anger, outbursts at forum on Seattle Police conduct

A Seattle police accountability forum at City Hall turned into a shouting match at times, and some demanded the resignation of Police Chief John Diaz. 

KOMO News reports the goal of the Thursday night meeting was to restore trust between police and minorities.

Gary Davis / KPLU

Making headlines this morning:

  • Key Document Surfaces in Woodcarver Shooting
  • Education Department Idea Moves Forward in Olympia
  • Packed Hearing Backs Saving a Tacoma High School

 

Woodcarver's Shooting: Evidence Surfaces

A city councilman's email plea to Seattle Police Chief John Diaz for an independent investigation following the  fatal shooting of John T. Williams by a cop last August was omitted from a public disclosure request. 

Some Seattle high school students plan to walk out of class tomorrow, Wednesday, as part of a protest against police brutality and misconduct.  They plan to rally at Victor Steinbrueck Park near Pike Place Market at 1 p.m.

Courtesy Ray Garrido / WSDoE

Making headlines this morning:

  • Inquest of Woodcarver's Shooting Raises More Questions
  • Everett to WSU: Shall We Dance?
  • Here Come the High Tides
  • Huskies Zap Arizona for Pac 10 Lead

Four of eight jurors in a coroner's inquest say woodcarver John T. Williams didn't have enough time to put down his knife before he was shot and killed by Seattle police Officer Ian Birk.

Only one juror found Williams had time to put down the knife. The other three answered "unknown." Thursday's conclusions are only findings of fact by the jury, which did not have to be unanimous. 

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