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Seattle cop killed partially deaf man over closed knife, attorney insists

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Recently released footage from a police cruiser’s dashboard camera shows the events leading up to the fatal shooting of a partially deaf man by a Seattle police officer.

John T. Williams, a Native American wood carver who was partially deaf, was killed on August 30th after walking past Officer Ian Birk, 27, on the street with a knife in his hand.

The dashboard camera footage shows Williams slowly crossing the street in front of Officer Birk’s police cruiser. Birk then approached Williams and repeatedly told him to “put the knife down.” Seconds later, Birk shot him four times.

The shooting occurred off camera, but can be clearly heard. The officer opened fire after only a few seconds.

Birk said he shot Williams because he refused commands to drop the weapon, putting Birk in fear for his life. Williams’ friends and supporters argued that he may not have even heard the officer’s commands.

King County District Judge Arthur Chapman ordered the dashboard camera video to be released after the Williams family, The Seattle Times and KING-TV requested it be made public.

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Williams, who came from a family of wood carvers, suffered from diabetes, deafness, seizures, mental illness, and drug addiction. He had been arrested over 100 times.

Photos released released to the public show the knife was folded in a closed position when it was recovered minutes after the shooting.

“Remember the very first thing that we saw was the picture of the knife wide open that the police department put out,” Tim Ford, attorney for the Williams family, told KOMO News. “And we know now that, as we’ve shown here, that the knife was closed.”

The Police Department’s Firearms Review Board found that the shooting was not justified.

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Birk was ordered to surrender his gun and badge. An inquest into Williams’ shooting death is set to begin on Jan. 10.

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Republican lawmakers ask judge to destroy smoking gun documents proving GOP’s white supremacy

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Republicans on Monday sought a court order to block damning documents from being used against them in a lawsuit.

"North Carolina Republican lawmakers on Monday asked a court to make sure the files of the now-deceased GOP strategist Tom Hofeller are destroyed, or at least kept secret, instead of being used in a high-profile gerrymandering lawsuit," the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

"The filing comes after the groups behind the lawsuit, including Common Cause, accused Republican lawmakers of making false statements in court in a previous gerrymandering case, when the state’s 2011 maps were ruled unconstitutional," the newspaper noted. "That blockbuster accusation made national headlines and was, it said, based on Hofeller’s files which had been secret until recently."

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Maddow slams Trump’s era of government officials ‘saving the country from the commander-in-chief’ with leaks

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Rachel Maddow on Monday worried about the pattern of government officials leaking to the press to stop President Donald Trump from sabotaging United States' interests to help Russia.

The MSNBC anchor broke down the key questions raised by the bombshell New York Times report that officials were keeping secrets from Trump to protect U.S. interests.

Maddow reminded of a June 2017 story by Michael Isikoff.

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Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy

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President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.

"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.

"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.

"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140804748423118848

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