Some Thoughts on George Zimmerman and John T. Williams

Lingit Latseen

John T Williams March - September 16, 2010

by Frank Hopper

As the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman was announced on July 13 I couldn’t help thinking about a similar shooting here in Seattle that was also caused by racial profiling, the shooting of First Nations carver John T. Williams by Seattle Police officer Ian Birk on August 30, 2010. Both shootings were heartless attacks on unarmed minorities. Both were needless and unjustified, and both triggered understandable outrage from the communities where they occurred. But the response by the Native community in Seattle to John’s shooting was far different than the rage felt after Zimmerman’s verdict.

In Seattle the urge to vent frustration and anger at the police was palpable. There had been several incidents of violence against minorities by Seattle police in the years prior to the shooting. Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans had all suffered unfair treatment by Seattle cops. Minorities felt rage at being…

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