’10-minute’ flash riot targets Seattle police over shooting

By David Edwards
Monday, February 28, 2011 12:32 EDT
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A group of about 30 “anarchists” dressed in black and wearing masks allegedly caused mayhem in Seattle Saturday night at the site of an unjustified police shooting.

Police said the protesters attacked them with fireworks, flares and fire extinguishers.

The riot, which was said to have lasted all of 10 minutes, began at about 9 pm Saturday at the intersection of Boren Avenue and Howell Street, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported.

A fire extinguisher was discharged at the officer’s car as he drove through the intersection, police said.

Other officers responding to the disturbance claimed they found a group of about 30 protesters.

Demonstrators put up caution tape in the intersection and painted “Fucking Pigs” on the street and a nearby building, according to police.

Three members of the group that were arrested by the Seattle Police Department on rioting charges were released on their own recognizance Sunday morning.

The melee took place at the intersection where Seattle police Officer Ian Birk fatally shot John T. Williams, a Native American woodcarver, last August.

Dashcam footage of the incident showed that Birk gave Williams only seven seconds to put down a knife before shooting him. Birk claimed Williams lunged at him but photos showed that Williams’ carving knife was in the closed position.

A Raw Story report revealed the dashcam video late last year.

While the Firearms Review Board ruled that the shooting was unjustified, prosecutors recently said that criminal charges would not be filed.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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  • Rabid_Liberal

    “prosecutors recently said that criminal charges would not be filed.”

    Yep, that about says it all. Police and politicians are immune from prosecution.

  • Anonymous

    only lawmakers are allowed to break laws with impunity…
    po’ folk, brown folk, dissenters, loudmouths, and the lot (you know, us 90% getting trickled on), will have the full brunt of any/all laws, persecution, or railroading brought down upon us for stealing a crust to live (OR, a setup, a frame job, or simply made up whole cloth); no exceptions ! ! !
    most pigs are goons of the korporate state, they hate ‘us’ for being poor and pitiful…
    (though -of course- they are poor and pitiful, too; exactly why they hate us so much…)
    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy

  • http://twitter.com/DonCarlitos Charlie McHenry

    This kind of immunity is exactly what got Mubarak & his thugs run out of Govt. in Egypt. When the authorities feel that they can do no wrong, that there is no critical oversight, it is an invitation to abuse power. Inevitably, that is exactly what happens. Police & prosecutorial abuse of the common man/woman is on the rise in our country, as we signal through decisions like this one that there will be no consequences to that abuse. The authorities would do well to remember they are servants of the people, not instruments of government. Their duty is to protect & serve.

  • Anonymous

    To the police I’m sayin fuck you punk
    Readin my rights and shit, it’s all junk
    Pullin out a silly club, so you stand
    With a fake assed badge and a gun in your hand

    But take off the gun so you can see what’s up
    And we’ll go at it punk, I’ma fuck you up

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046573071 Matt Mosley

    They should have attacked the police station.

  • Guest

    I’ve always thought that Seattle would be “Ground Zero” for the start of a real revolution. Those folks out there seem to have a lot of guts and don’t like to be shit on by the “establishment”.

  • Gnat K. Coal

    When you make peaceful protest impossible or ineffective, VIOLENT REVOLT is made inevitable.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Cops are above the law. Even with video proving the cops shot down a man for the fun of it, prosecutors still won’t uphold the law.

  • Anonymous

    How dare a woodcarver have a knife. Refusing to throw down a folded pocket knife as a reason for homicide would have killed 90% of 8 year old boys back in my day. Watch out for cops. They are a gang of thugs that are well armed and have free rein to kill with the slightest of excuses.

  • Anonymous

    “Flash riot”…..I like it. Strike quick and fade into the background.

  • Guest

    Not unlike the first “Patriots” back in the late 1700′s, eh?

  • Anonymous

    SOUND: Click! White noise. Another Click! Movie background of car driving on busy street.

    NICK: …hate cops, Guido! I’ll always hate cops!

    GUIDO: Yeah, Nick! I hate cops too!

    PAOLO: Yeah! Me too!

    NICK: I’ll tell you guys what I’m gonna do! I’ll tell ya’ what! I’m gonna get even with every rotten cop in this city!

    PAOLO: Yeah! Me too!

    GUIDO: How ya gonna do it, Nick? How ya gonna do it?

    NICK: You know what I’m gonna do?

    GUIDO: No, no, Nick! Whatcha gonna do?

    NICK: I’m gonna turn in my badgel

    GUIDO: Yeah, yeah!

    PAOLO: Yeah! Yeah!

    GUIDO: Yeah! I’m gonna burn my uniform!

    Firesign Theatre
    How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?


  • Anonymous

    I have personally been beaten up by cops 5 times and I didn’t do a thing.
    No charges filed againest me or jail time.
    And I knew if I defended myself then they would really put the boots to me, so you just take it and ask them to please stop.
    You’re helpless, and if you file charges you have to move.
    And I’m a white guy
    Law enforcement is totally out of control

  • Anonymous

    That wasn’t a flash riot, that was a legitimate expression of natural law in action.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ONMKHYWYFBRFKGY4TTSOEJG6CM Judy

    Why, oh why can’t these evil libruls, homosexurals, lesbeterians and secret mooslims just follow what Baby Jesus said in the HOLY BIBLE about doing whatever the authorities say to do? After all, they were put into authority by GOD.

    Except for that Obama feller. He’s the antichrist, and is of the devil.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PCHLMPBJKYTW3LJBHZEZMO3TXQ What Ever

    Business as usual.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/42THFKXIPMJHQBIH6OPI4RVIDY Thebes

    The Uprising begins.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/42THFKXIPMJHQBIH6OPI4RVIDY Thebes

    The Grandchildren of Liberty, not anarchists, then?

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    Fireworks, fire extinguishers and flares? Hardly an attack.
    The ‘rioters’ didn’t harm anyone. The police murdered a man. Whose the anarchist?

  • Anonymous

    While the Firearms Review Board ruled that the shooting was unjustified, prosecutors recently said that criminal charges would not be filed.

    WTF IS THIS SHIT – THIS is why police feel it is them vs us, they started that mentality. I come from a law enforcement family and even I avoid all police (that are not family) at all costs.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    If I were a cop and found myself surrounded by such an unexpected event, I might have crapped my breeches just the same, wondering what was coming next. I suspect that might have been the intended effect. A warning, perhaps.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah our brave men in black and blue………..
    Shooting a DEAF man after SEVEN SECONDS in cold blood………..
    What do you expect from a steroid addled ex black opps hero………..

  • Anonymous

    Gutsy bastrards. Seattle cops seem to have itchy trigger fingers…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5Z4JRNXBCO4ZYSUY3WGC3S554I nathan

    even though these cop’s are fucked up killing them won’t do any good. the people we need to worry about are higher up in the chain.

  • Anonymous

    as someone who saw John T. Williams weekly for nearly twenty years, you would have to be a complete coward to think he was in anyway a threat.

    that cop should be in jail, for life.

  • Phil E. Drifter

    That’s next.

    anyone heard anything about the guy plinking out windows at the Pent last year?

  • Phil E. Drifter

    tl dr

  • DriveBy

    In a Police State, the police are above the law…. or as any RWer will tell you, cops are incapable of acting stupidly (remember Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley at the Obama beer summit?).

  • Johnny Warbucks

    A group of about 30 “anarchists” dressed in black and wearing masks allegedly caused mayhem in Seattle Saturday night at the site of an unjustified police shooting.

    Gawd bless those international law exchange programs. The same “anarchists” dressed in black and wearing masks were also responsible for creating all kinds of havoc in the UK during the student protests and G-20. Later on it was discovered that they were all cops, agents provocateurs for the elite but funded with our tax dollars.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    I guess that is the reason why Texas is trying a pass allowing students to carry guns on college campus. That’s gonna be interesting to watch. No rocks here just guns.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    You strike in a different way, by getting yourself the sleaziest shyster in town and suing the pants off them. Each and every single time. If it doesn’t teach them anything, at least, it puts some of your money back where it belongs: your pocket.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    You forgot the abortionists. They be the ones out there killing babies and eating them.

  • Anonymous

    “While the Firearms Review Board ruled that the shooting was unjustified, prosecutors recently said that criminal charges would not be filed.”

    i dont think its the same people this time… i think anyone who has heard about this incident is justified in being as angry as they fucking want to be…

    this case should be one of those examples used to change history.. and instead its just getting swept under the rug.

    those “kids”, and honestly you have to know thats who they are, want people to remember, and want the cops to know they havnt forgotten. NO ONE SHOULD.

  • Anonymous

    When it all goes to hell, and law goes out the window, people will remember the corporate enforcers, and what they have done, then comes the real justice.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Let’s hope you’re right.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah I know but I would have had to sell my house and move, that’s what the
    lawyers told me on two of the beatings.
    The other three no witnesses my word againest thiers
    2 in Seal Beach
    2 in Huntington Beach
    1 in Newport Beach
    These a-holes get off on hurting people


  • Anonymous

    Seattle has become the epicenter for cops killing people, they shoot first and walk later. There has been a pattern and ALL cops get away with it, they can not be responsible for their actions, WTF……………

  • Johnny Warbucks

    You’re absolutely right. Once you take that step, you have to be ready to go all the way and take all that comes with it. Every once in a while, I still have a brain fart and for a few seconds entertain the delusion that the law, the Constitution and all that still matters. I should know better.

    I have a buddy who had an encounter with the local cops. Can’t exactly remember the details but it was something stupid like he boudmouthed them. They ended up throwing him in jail where he spent a couple of days, they roughed him up and when he finally came out, they had kicked the crap out of his car. There was nothing he could do.

    Yet, we have the audacity to “liberate” rich oil countries so that we can “spread” that to them. ha!