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Seattle Times: Inquest Witnesses Deny Birk's Account of Shooting

By Erica C. Barnett January 14, 2011

The Seattle Times, reporting from the fourth day of the inquest into the shooting of Native American woodcarver John T. Williams  by Seattle Police Department rookie Ian Birk, says two witnesses have contradicted Birk's claim that Williams was crouching and behaving in a threatening manner when Birk shot and killed him.
"I heard the officer yell and then the gun fired, ... " [witness Deanna] Sebring said, adding she then saw blood appear on the front of Williams' shirt.

At the time he was shot, Williams wasn't acknowledging, engaging, threatening or attacking Birk, Sebring said under questioning from Seattle attorney Tim Ford, who is representing Williams' family in the hearing.

Asked if Williams did anything that justified the shooting, Sebring replied, "Not that I can recall."

Birk, 27, testified earlier that he pursued Williams after he became concerned Williams appeared to be impaired while carrying a knife and board. Williams was shot about four seconds after Birk issued the first of three commands to put down the knife.

More here.
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