The Vigil for Williams

Comments

1
Does anyone know of any newspaper or blog articles praising John Williams and his work, prior to the shooting.

Maybe an old SLOG post or something?
2
@1 Nope, nothing good to say about him on Slog... course, there's nothing bad to say either- which is more than anyone could say about you, should you do us all a favor and shuffle off this mortal coil.
3
@1 oh snap! you just got served by #2. think before you post dude.
4
@2 FTW
5
whomp
6
Thanks for this great article, Dominic.
7
"Officers are responsible for our own actions."

This is bullshit. You see, whenever someone does something against a cop, any cop, they all close ranks & take that person down. Why? Because it doesn't make any difference who the individual was, they were a cop. Every cop has the protection of the collective. But then cops want it both ways, where if a cop screws up, he's to be judged as an individual, not as a member of a collective. It's the classic double-standard.

So end this. Trying to make cops individuals won't work, because they're a gang. They've got colors, initiation rituals, etc. So they all need to be judged as a collective. What one of them does, they all do. So Ms. Hypocritical of Native Descent, it's an injustice for you to have it both ways. You're a cop, and everything cops do is what you are.
8
"But it speaks volumes that McGinn and Holmes were there, for the victim."

You know what would speak even more volumes? ENDING POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER.
9
Ballsy move, Linda Hill, wearing the uniform while not on duty and (presumably) not in transit between your home to your workplace, as allowed by SPD policy.
10
this is how i see it

if the police officer who killed John T Williams is not personally held responsible...

then I assume that the message the SPD is sending us is that all of its 27 year old (and younger) SPD officers should not be out in public carrying guns, and that they should not be on the streets without an older wiser more experienced partner by their side

either the officer did wrong or the SPD's SOP's are wrong in that they put the officer in a situation that he couldnt handle due to lack of training and/or a lack of maturity and wisdom
11
When referring to the Yakima tribe it is actually spelled Yakama. I got caught up in that spelling snafu when I was working with them and trying to send an email.
12
@9: Makes me wonder if her presence was a cynical move on the part of SPD. "Officer Native, get out there and represent the department."
13
she's a nice lady who just came very quietly. said hello to some people she knew. she's a native who came to pay her respects. i was standing right behind her and i've seen her around before. i'm glad we have native people like her on the police department and wish we had more. we are a diverse community but first and foremost we are native.
14
Linda came as who she was, a cop, a native woman, in some ways one of the street people. Had Linda been there for the tragedy, it wouldn't have happened.
I stood in a field one day, hot and dry, on a small reservation north of here, a traditional elders gathering (I am not a traditional elder, just trying to learn). I watched as the traditional circle grew around the ceremony fire. At one point the tribe's one and only "cop" came up, in his uniform, with his armory all on his belt. People gasped and whispered, shame on him. An old man there, an old Hopi man, who had taught peace and healing all his days, named Thomas Banyaca (if you don't know who he was you haven't been around long enough, google it). Thomas said, we welcome him into the circle, he is one of us. Thomas said we try to get our people into these positions so we can be treated fairly, then when they step up and do it, we should not turn our backs on them, they are one of us. The cop joined the circle, no lightening struck us, it was all good. Apparently the spirits thought it was ok for him to be in the uniform, his prayers were as strong as anyone else's.
This is the lesson, when our people get there, become a cop, a social worker, a politicion, A doctor a lawyer an indian chief as the song goes, if we turn our back on them and leave them isolated, then we lose what gain we might have had. Rather we need to embrace them, keep them in the circle. I been in ceremony with this lady Linda, my kids and grand kids go to her for comfort and understanding when their mom's and dad's get in jail, she is a healer, a traditional dancer in the pow wow, an auntie, a cop.
I have been beaten by the cops, some say wrong place wrong time when actually it was the right place right time, just the wrong cops. If Linda had been a cop some 35 years ago, I probably wouldn't need a cane now and walk with a bad limp. Linda knows all this about me, about my children, grandchildren, foster children. I lean on her when my hip and knees go out and I still have to keep up. She keeps many of the youth from ending up in jail.
What should she have worn? Her pretty dance dress? Would the beadwork and feathers made her "more indian". gees, I didn't wear any beadwork and feathers. Her ceremony clothes? A ball gown? She wore her clothes. it is who and what she is, she's not just a cop, she's an indian and a woman. If you are thinking those nice white man cops embrace her being there, think again. Some of them are great to her, some even understand how hard it is for her, some just wish she'd leave. She never complains about how she is or isn't treated at work, she doesn't complain about our own people who won't accept her. She is just herself, what ever clothes she wears, where ever she is. Would it be ok for her to be a butt head if she wasn't wearing a blue suit like that? she is just who she is, honest fair and courageous.
Me and mine, we are real proud of her, staying indian in spite of and in honor of her blue clothes. My family has plenty of reason to "hate cops", or to be wary of them. by the time my kids are five I have started teaching them how to be "detained" and "arrested" and "interrogated" and stay alive, I know I have to teach them that, they are indian kids and more likely to be shot by the cops, beaten by the cops, treated unfairly by the cops.
But it doesn't make me hate all cops, just like it is wrong for folks to hate all indians because they had one bad experience with one of us. I am not a transient but get treated like it by the cops most of the time, I am not a drunk but suit and tie people assume I am, I am not ignorant but many professionals assume I am.
Now here we are, assuming all kinds of things about this woman who became a cop to see if she could make a change for our people. and we punish her for it.
This is our land, these are our people, we have to stand for them all, for Mr. Williams who was shot in what looks to me like a real wrong shooting and I will be standing and demanding justice for his death, but I will also stand and say Linda can wear her blue suit and still be an indian woman ... and still grieve this man's passing.
15
On the other hand, she knew the job was dangerous when she took it, and doesn't really need me to defend her. You could take a minute to talk to her yourself.
16
It is a tragedy that someone had to die over this incident. No question. But does any rational person out there truly believe this was related to the deceased being native? If it was really like that wouldn't they have just taken him out many years ago when he was wagging his junk at strangers or fighting?

*and the reason he had a knife is does not count - if he were carving at the time he would probably have been left alone. He was walking down the street with an open knife in his hand - nothing normal and native about that unless he was born 120 years ago.

Does anyone remember 15 years or so ago when a disabled, homeless man (I thought native but not 100%) stabbed a Seattle Firefighter to death in a crosswalk in Pioneer Square? Walking down the street with an open knife is not normal or safe.
17
You are assuming the initial police reports were accurate, updated witness statements say he was seated and carving with the knife. And, if you read a few stats for the city of seattle, you will find that native people are assaulted by police far more than white folks. Of course, some people just don't want to read stats that prove there is racism in their fine city and prefer to stay in the little dream world they have.