SEATTLE -- With the results of the inquest released, the family of the woodcarver killed by a Seattle Police officer are now calling for the arrest of Office Ian Birk.
Of courseI want to see himprosecuted. Going to play God with my family? said Rick Williams, older brother of the victim, John T. Williams.
It's us that aregoing to have to live with it forever, Williamssaid. My daughters, my grandchildren. The process?Four point something seconds to make a decision... what are you, God?
Birk shot and killed Williams in downtown Seattle on Aug. 30, 2010.About three seconds elapsed from the time Birk got out of his cruiser to his first order for Williams to drop a carving knife he was carrying, according to police video, and about four seconds from that order to the fatal shooting.
Rick Williams agreed he was satisfied with the findings of the jury, which generally favored the prosecution.
John's sister Linda Williams reacted to the findings with measured caution.
It's not up to me to judge him, she said. I'm just going to truly miss my brother.
Williams' youngest brother Ericsaid he felt sorry for Officer Birk's family, but he had no sympathy for Birk himself.
The man can call his sister, right? he said. I can't call my bro. He can talk to her. I go to my brother's tombstone, that's who I got to talk to.
To me, he's guilty, said Eric.
While the family says today's decision affirms to them their brother was innocent, they now must wait, possibly until mid-February,for prosecutors to decide if Officer Birk will face criminal charges.
I just got to let my brother keep journeying towards our Creator and not hold him back with tears, said Linda Williams.
Ultimately, the Williams say they hope their brother's death prompts changes in the way officers interact with Seattle's homeless and with Native American and First Nation members.
It's going to take time, said Linda, but yes it can.