By: Vulture (cross-posted from The Vulture Lurks)
February 17, 2011
’cause a cop think a badge give him the authority to kill a minority.
NWA, F*** tha police
Some time back, I referenced a tragic shooting in the Seattle area of a Native American man by a
police officer donut-eating self-important bully. John T. Williams is still dead. And the tax-fed waste of oxygen who killed him is still a free man, as per standard procedure in this type of case.
“If you’re going to prosecute a cop for excessive force amounting to manslaughter or homicide, you have to prove that the officer acted with malice,” says Strait. “(The standard requires proof) that (the officer) acted with intent to harm (the victim). You have to prove he really wanted to get the guy.” Birk has presented the shooting as an act of self-defense.
The inquest brought out the cloudy nature of some of the aspects of the case. Witnesses and Birk presented several different versions of the afternoon’s events — Birk believed that Williams presented a threat to passers-by, while civilian witnesses perceived Williams as a normal pedestrian.
The jury leaned somewhat toward the witnesses’ version of events. Four jurors out of eight believed that Williams “pose(d no) imminent threat of serious physical harm to Officer Birk.” Three jury members were undecided and one agreed that Williams was a serious threat.
Several other key points of the incident are in dispute: Jurors were split on whether or not Williams was facing Birk when he was shot, if Williams was able to put down his knife before he was shot, and whether or not Williams’s knife blade was open or closed.
With a demanding burden of proof, Washington prosecutors are often loath to pursue prosecutions of police officers who have fired on citizens.
Often loath? OFTEN?!?!?! How about ‘virtually never’. Cops literally get away with murder in over 90% of these cases. Why? Because cops and prosecutors are on the same “team”, and it’s bad form to throw a member of your “team” under the bus.
The reactions of citizens and local officials to the decision not to prosecute are telling. The few private citizens quoted are foursquare in the Williams camp. The tax feeders and union hacks are foursquare behind Birk. And the prosecutor does his best Pilate.
The policy of this state is to give police officers this special protection. The underlying policy, passed 25 years ago, is a sound one. My first and foremost responsibility is to follow the laws in the state of Washington. I had to look and see, ‘Is there malice, is there a lack of good faith?’
Translation from lawyer-speak: Cops get special treatment. Go pound sand if you don’t like it.
I, for one, don’t like it.
Apparently, a badge DOES give a cop the authority to kill a minority…or anyone else…and will continue to do so until right-minded people demand that policies like the Seattle area “the cop is innocent unless we say so…and we won’t say so” policy are abolished and cops are treated the same as ordinary citizens who commit acts of violence.
- No charges in woodcarver shooting by Seattle police officer (seattlepi.com)
- Police shooting: Day of anger, emotion and surprise (seattlepi.com)
- No criminal charges in police shooting of native artist (ctv.ca)