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City of Seattle

February 16, 4:47 PM click here to comment > 2

Statement on Officer Birk’s resignation

This afternoon Chief Diaz accepted the resignation of Ian Birk, the officer who shot and killed John T. Williams on a Seattle street in August. His resignation followed the news today that the King County prosecutor would not be filing criminal charges, but that the Police Department’s Firearms Review Board concluded Birk did not follow his training or department procedure in the Williams shooting.

While Chief Diaz and I both said today that disciplinary decisions would have to wait for a final review by the Office of Professional Accountability, it appears clear that Officer Birk saw the writing on the wall. He could read the same Firearms Review Board report that the rest of us did.

His resignation is effective immediately. The final OPA review will continue, so that the Department can properly close the case and recommend to the state whether Birk should be allowed to work elsewhere as an officer of the law.

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn


Comment from michael mendenhall
Time February 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm

He’d do well as a BART Officer.

Comment from Tyler Folsom
Time February 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Birk should be prosecuted for manslaughter. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, the city must send a clear signal that a police badge is not a license to kill and that an officer is not justified in using deadly force when someone looks at a cop the wrong way.