The Seattle Police Department’s Firearms Review Board convened at Boren Avenue and Howell Street Monday morning as the department opened its confidential inquiry into an officer’s fatal shooting of a First Nations woodcarver on Aug. 30.
The shooting at the intersection touched off public protests and prompted critics to question whether the officer acted too quickly, without considering options. It also led to major changes in the Police Department aimed at bolstering officer training and improving community relations.
The board’s deliberations were to begin either late Monday or Tuesday, and its confidential preliminary finding is likely to be submitted to Police Chief John Diaz by midweek, Kimerer said.
Diaz will make a preliminary determination on Birk’s actions, which will be confidentially submitted to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office before it oversees an expected court inquest into the shooting. An inquest jury will determine whether the shooting was justified, a finding that is taken into consideration by the prosecutor’s office in deciding whether to bring criminal charges.