I know I'm going to get flak for this, but as someone who has hearing damage, and carries this scares me.
Knowing how far away from me that someone can be, and still be a threat with a blade, I am inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the officer. I suspect that the preliminary finding was such to appease a certain segment of Seattle society.
I hope that the involved officer's actions are ruled justifiable in a more formal setting. Granted this looks bad, but sometimes even good things have no good appearance.
At least there was a knife, not a garden hose nozzle. Murder 1 too possibly, as the other case.
In the video it is really really clear the guy was just going across the street doing his thing and minding his business when
the officer followed him up and around the corner and out of sight-- and out of sight of the dash cam-- where the deed was done.
The news folks 7 second thing doesn't concern me, we all know someone can cover a lot of distance in even 1 or 2 seconds.
Is there evidence the man shot turned and made any aggressive move toward the officer? From what we have no.
From the fact that he was relieved of duty and this, "A preliminary police finding was that the shooting was not justified, and from this, "Birk has been stripped of his gun and badge," it can be inferred that no witness saw a hostile move. You can even note the lack of justification from the female witness' shouting, " He didn't do anything."
Not justified is probably the most mild thing that can be said.
As I posted in the other related thread about the garden nozzle, this isn't an anti-LEO issue, it is a public safety issue. We, [especially those of us who carry concealed weapons and knives, can't have cowboys doing stuff like this. The more some cowboys get away with it, the less safe the rest of us are. That isn't law enforcement.
Always, ability, opportunity, jeopardy, AND intent. It may not be easy but without that last factor, intent being in the mix, none of us are safe.
Jeopardy only flows from intent, and intent flows from jeopardy, but they are different things. This fine point is discussed in Gravest Extreme and often overlooked. It seems like many just figure if there is ability and opportunity there must be jeopardy, which it would seem was this officer's error.
Sometime in 1971 I was almost shot myself for no reason by an LEO. I was with a group on land where we had permission from the owner to be, and to go diving. The officer came up and demanded that we leave. When I took one step toward him and said "we have permission," his quivering hand on his gun (I'll never forget it) was about to draw on me as he rudely shouted, "well I'm taking it away."
I have no doubt that had I been shot he would have said, well, they all had knives (true); there were several of them and one of me--disparity (true), he took an aggressive step toward me (debatable, there is a difference between stepping forward to speak and an aggressive step). One thing that absolutely was absent was real jeopardy stemming from intent.
And factually, we were assaulted, as we had every right to be where we were doing what we were doing, as in these two incidents we have been discussing.
I cannot understand the news what the news reporter is trying to say by bringing up the time issue. Unless she left out some other facts the time involved has nothing to do with the shooting. Another thing I do not understand is why the officer decided to try and detain this individual. Did someone call and make a complaint? Did the officer see him breaking a law? Was this man a know threat?
All that aside, if the man made a threatening move towards the officer with the knife then I'm afraid the officer was justified in his response.
Is walking around carving on a piece of wood illegal there? I dont think I would take a second look at someone doing this myself.
If this guy was using a legal knife I don't see what the issue was to begin with.
It might be in some places , but then I doubt the officer would have been dismissed if that was the case.
Michael wrote: "I cannot understand the news what the news reporter is trying to say by bringing up the time issue." Agree. The timing is irrelevant.
Michael wrote: "if the man made a threatening move towards the officer with the knife then I'm afraid the officer was justified in his response" Agree with one slight qualification. Sometimes an innocent move can be misperceived as a threatening move. Here the officer was yelling at the guy to stop. If that prompted the dead guy to turn around and look in the direction the shout was coming from while he was holding the knife, a big misunderstanding might happen.
Guns must be the last resort not the first. And that goes for all of us.
Doesn't look justified to me. This scares the crap outta me.
You seem to have an inability to consider that this may in fact be a justified shooting. If you read my previous post you will see that while I am inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the involved officer, I also wish for a more formal forum for this to be decided. It wouldn't be the first time that an agency has cast it's employee to the wolves based on nothing more than public opinion and an attempt at appeasement.
I will now add another to my "Ignore" list.
We don't have as many facts as we will have after the inquest, but we do have the fact that he has been stripped of his badge and weapon by the department. Given that he was not put on admin leave, we can infer that the department meant it when it said the shooting was not justified. Other facts in hand, the dead guy was armed with a knife, although he did not use it in a threatning manner when we could see it. Further, the officer shot at least 5 times very quickly. We also have a person saying that the dead guy did not do anything immediately after the shooting. Those are the facts that we have from this report, so yes, there are some facts. Would I hang my hat on a verdict with these facts, no, but I would say it is not looking too good for the cop.
When tazers are a major part of police gear yet are not used to prevent loss of life. This is a prime case IMHO.
The bias is certainly present in that report. We don't know both sides of the story...all we know is the audio from the tape, one testimony from a friend of the man and tiny bits and pieces of information.
I don't know the laws in Seattle but hopefully the officer had sufficient cause to stop him. To me and in my town/state walking while carving a block of wood isn't really cause to be stopped by police.