The sight of the sidewalk where John T. Williams was killed made Trina Thornton stop mid-sentence and point.
“My uncle got killed right there,” she said.
She stood at Boren Avenue and Howell Street Tuesday evening, joining about 80 others gathered to draw attention to police violence and in particular the slaying of Williams, 50, a Native American woodcarver killed by Seattle police Officer Ian Birk on Aug. 30. Williams, who was often homeless, was also known to be a chronic inebriate.
A Seattle affiliate of the October 22nd Coalition, a national group concerned about police violence, organized Tuesday’s “vigil and speakout.” Several people spoke into a megaphone, held signs with Williams’ photo and clutched some of his carvings. Williams often carved and sold miniature totem poles.