The Federal Government has launched two concurrent investigations into the Seattle Police Department.
We’ve known for some time that the Department of Justice would be scrutinizing the SPD for civil rights violations, and those investigations have begun.
What comes as somewhat of a surprise, however, is that the Feds will also be launching a completely separate investigation into the shooting of John T. Williams.
“The U.S. Department of Justice is now investigating the fatal shooting of Native American woodcarver John T. Williams.
The DOJ will to determine if former Seattle police officer Ian Birk deprived Williams of his civil rights when he fired those fatal shots last August.
Williams’ family says is pleased with the Justice Department’s announcement …”
Read the full article: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/119046124.html
This is great news, but I can’t help but be skeptical that Ian Birk will receive any additional punishment.
When disputes boil down to the people vs. law enforcement, most enforcement agencies large and small tend to circle the wagons.
Sure, they conduct “investigations”, “reviews”, and “inquiries”, but it’s always been my opinion that these are mostly for show. They are designed to placate the citizens by making it look like the offending officer/agency is being sent to the Principal’s office.
When all is said and done, however, changes are few and far between. When the dust settles, it’s usually business as usual. One need look no further than the LAPD for evidence of this.
While it’s possible that some meaningful policy changes or prosecutions could come from this federal attention, I think it’s unlikely.
As such, I’ll take these investigations with a grain of salt until something tangible actually comes of them.
All of this being said, I will keep my fingers crossed that Ian Birk goes before a jury.