County orders inquest of fatal shooting of Native woodcarver
King County, Washington, has ordered an inquest into the fatal shooting of a John T. Williams, a traditional woodcarver, by a police officer in Seattle.

The county will assign a judge to preside over the inquiry. A six-member jury will hear the case and help recommend whether criminal charges are warranted for the shooting of Williams, 50, who was a member of the Dididaht First Nation of British Columbia.

Officer Ian Birk has been on leave since the August 30 incident. He shot Williams four times in the side after Williams reportedly ignored orders.

At the time, Williams was carrying a woodcarving knife and a piece of wood. He was known to carve his wood in public parks in the city.

Get the Story:
Inquest ordered into Seattle officer's fatal shooting of woodcarver (The Seattle Times 10/12)

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