King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced Wednesday that he would not charge Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk in the fatal shooting of the homeless man John T. Williams (TNT, 2-17).
The law the prosecutor cites states that a police officer cannot be charged for homicide as long as he acted in good faith and without malice.
The police department’s Firearms Review Board said in its report that the shooting was unjustified and that Birk did not follow his training.
By not following his training he was not acting as he knew a police officer should. The only thing that made him a police officer at the moment of the shooting was a badge and a gun.
If he was not acting as a police officer, how could he be acting in good faith when he confronted and killed a man within four seconds?
Satterberg says police officers don’t have the option of walking away. Police officers do have the option to use non-lethal force and to give a drunken man more than four seconds to comply with an order before shooting him repeatedly.
Apparently, in Washington murder is legal so long as the killer has a badge and claims he had good intentions.