Protest held over violent confrontations with Seattle Police

November 20

SEATTLE – On a Saturday afternoon in Victor Steinbreck Park, protesters gather around a wood carver.

“We’re not going to live in a world where people are gunned down and brutalized and killed by police,” yelled organizer Emma Kaplan.

She’s angry over the death of John T. Williams and the latest videotape showing an undercover officer kicking a black teenager.

“They think they’re the judge the jury and the executioner,” she said.

They want the officers involved in both incidents arrested and charged.

“There’s always two sides to every story but it’s a real shame if someone died for unneccesary causes,” said Barbara Reibsamen as she passed the protest.

Marlyn Taylor has a different view.

“It’s a concern what they’re doing today to black folks and minorities,” she said.

Earlier this week Seattle Police Guild president Rich O’Neill told KING 5 this is not an issue of race, and videotapes like this one, do not tell the whole story.

“It happens every time snippets like this come out and misinformation. It doesn’t give the whole story,” he said.

This group however, is unwavering.

“They need to be held accountable!” yelled Kaplan.

They say they will continue to protest until there is action. The detective involved in the video is on paid administrative leave. The 17-year-old in the video has a criminal history and faces charges of attempted robbery.

A preliminary police investigation determined the shooting of Williams was not justified and Officer Ian Birks’ gun and badge were taken away from him.

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