SEATTLE – Sunday was declared John T. Williams Day in Seattle, in honor of a homeless man who was shot and killed last summer by a Seattle Police officer.
"This is the least we could do for the Williams family, to restore peace," said Seattle Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith, who made the proclamation on behalf of Mayor Mike McGinn at the Chief Seattle Club.
Sunday would have been Williams' 51st birthday.
"We lost our brother," said one family member. "Today we remember and celebrate his life."
Williams, a Native woodcarver, was shot by Officer Ian Birk on Aug. 30, 2010. Williams was carrying a knife and a piece of wood at the time.
The King County Prosecutor announced earlier this month that state law prevented him from filing criminal charges against Birk. A Seattle Police Department firearms review board determined the shooting was not justified. Birk resigned the same day.
The decision not to charge Diaz set off numerous protests in downtown Seattle that week.
Seattle Police Chief John Diaz attended the proclamation ceremony.
"The reason I'm here is out of respect for the Williams' family," said Diaz as he accepted a carved piece of wood from the family. It was considered to be a peace offering.
Those standing behind Birk have also put together an unofficial proclamation in support of him on their Facebook page.