John T. Williams Memorial Fund

The family of John T. Williams has set up a memorial fund to abate some of the costs of the funeral, which was paid for by the Ditidaht Band and cost them twice what they had allocated.

Here are instructions on how to donate to the fund:

Deposits to the John T. Williams Memorial Fund may be made by mail to the branch where the account was established, here in Seattle.

Deposits should be mailed to the following address:

Bank of America
Attn: Hydie Swedelius
701 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

Please be sure to identify the account as “The John T. Williams Memorial Fund.”

You can also walk into any Bank of America in the state of Washington (and ONLY in the state of Washington) and make a counter deposit to the fund.

Ms. Connie Sue Martin is representing the family and is pursuing the matter in civil court, where a lawsuit for wrongful death or civil rights infringement may be brought against the Seattle Police Department. Ms. Martin is representing the family pro bono; give her your thanks! Any proceeds resulting from the lawsuit will go to the descendants of Mr. Williams. In the words of one family member who is NOT an expected beneficiary of the lawsuit: “We’re getting ready to put the gloves on.”

An autopsy has revealed that Mr. Williams was shot 4 times in the right side of his body, “indicating he was not facing the officer at the time the shots were fired.”

Whitcomb, the police spokesman, said autopsy results were available to the department’s Firearms Review Board, which completed a confidential inquiry into the shooting during a one-day proceeding that ended Monday evening.

The board was to determine if the shooting was justified, not justified or accidental and submit its preliminary findings to Police Chief John Diaz.

Members of the Firearms Review Board include:

  • Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer
  • Capt. Richard Belshay, the former commander of the department’s training section
  • Capt. James Dermody, the commander of the East Precinct
  • Lt. Scott Bachler of the training section
  • Seattle attorney Rebecca Roe
  • Sgt. Rich O’Neill, president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild
  • It will certainly be interesting to see how 5 cops weigh in on the shooting death of an unarmed First Nations man by another police officer. Their confidential finding has been submitted to Police Chief John Diaz. Eventually, and after an inquest involving more review of the incident, King County prosecutors will have to decide whether or not to proceed with criminal charges.

    I would like to eventually see the results of the Firearms Review Board’s findings. This looks like an unjustifiable murder to me. Barring any other evidence proving otherwise, I wonder how the Firearms Review Board could possibly absolve Officer Birk of any wrong doing. Let us not forget that police departments across the nation are willing to circle the wagons after they have killed, including manufacturing evidence as is the case in this incident in post-Katrina New Orleans and this incident in Atlanta.

    In order to prevent such a cover up from happening we must keep our eye on those responsible. We must spread the word. We must realize that this fight is, for now, going on in the court rooms of the empire. If our cause is lost, then don’t forget! Use this incident as a reminder of why it is important that we build our own society, with our own justice! Let us build our tribes to be strong and independent, so that this sort of tragedy becomes a regrettable relic of the past.

    About Vince

    I am a Tlingit, born and raised in Tlingit Country, and a proud member of the Tlingit Nation.
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    3 Responses to John T. Williams Memorial Fund

    1. Pingback: John T. Williams Memorial Fund | American Indian/Alaska Native – Attack The System

    2. Pingback: John T. Williams Shooting Ruled Not Justified | Lingit Latseen

    3. Pingback: John T. Williams Shooting Ruled Not Justified | American Indian/Alaska Native – Attack The System

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