What sort of resolution should be sought for the killing of John T. Williams? Thus far, we have promises of a peer review, overhaul of the department and an inquest of the incident. I have no doubt that public pressure from the Native community of Seattle has played a large role in getting a response from the City of Seattle. Here’s a article and video of a demonstration held last Thursday at the Seattle Police West Precinct:
What of a charge of murder for the police officer? How would one of us be treated if the tables were turned? If a police officer was gunned downed after incorrectly being determined a threat by a citizen, then that citizen would count himself lucky to survive the first night of custody intact. Certainly the book would be thrown at him. Shouldn’t police officers be held to an even higher standard? Instead, immediately following the shooting of this deaf, 50 year old First Nations carver we were told:
The officer could see Williams had a knife and was doing something to the board. “What he was doing we’re not quite sure,” Metz said. “But he was definitely doing something with this knife.
Brilliant. Williams’ 3.5 inch folding knife is to be considered a deadly weapon when employed in wood carving. Considered a deadly weapon by a man wearing body armor and wielding a pistol.
My feeling is that we should stand ready in our communities. If we do not see justice done then let our voices be heard. On October 11, the Old Growth Alliance is holding a Columbus Day protest in downtown Seattle. Come if you can. Otherwise, say prayers for John T. Williams and his family in our tepees, sweat lodges and long houses. Hold a vigil, however large or small on October 11th in your own community. Start networking. Start talking to neighboring clans and tribes. Post his picture(here, and here) in our community centers. This battle will be fought in our hearts. Do we have the strength? Of course. We survived the last 500 years, haven’t we?