Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell sends this statement:
I am very disappointed in the King County Prosecutor’s decision not to file criminal charges regarding the death of Mr. John T. Williams. This matter demonstrates that changes to state law regarding the Public Inquest proceedings should be made. The public must have a restored confidence that the inquest process is fair, impartial and thorough. This result erodes public confidence in that process.
Officer Birk should be disciplined to the fullest extent provided under the internal process used by the City of Seattle. Our recruitment and training of police officers must prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again. We must adopt a zero tolerance culture relative to the unlawful use of force.
My proposal that officers be required to wear body-mounted cameras when they are dispatched to potentially violent situations, as opposed to relying on their stationary dashboard cameras to provide evidence, remains a feasible solution to restore public confidence in any process that examines police accountability and possible misconduct.