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Woodcarver's Family Awarded $1.5 Million

This is a settlement for the Wrongful Death lawsuit.

Seattle, WA: The family of a woodcarver who was killed by police in the summer of 2010, will receive a settlement from the city of Seattle of $1.5 million. John T. Williams, a native American, was shot to death by officer Ian Birk, after he crossed the street in front of Birk's patrol car. Birk was carrying a small knife at the time. The police department's firearms review board ruled the shooting unjustified, and Birk has resigned.

William's mother will receive part of the settlement and part will be held in escrow for his estate, according to the Seattle City Attorney's Office. In a written statement, Williams' brother, Rick, says the settlement is a step toward justice.

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Published on May-5-11


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