The attorney for the Seattle police officer who fatally shot woodcarver John T. Williams said Tuesday that he won’t decide until an inquest begins in January whether to allow the officer to testify.
Seattle attorney Ted Buck, who represents Officer Ian Birk, revealed his plan during a pre-inquest hearing in Seattle before King County District Judge Arthur Chapman.
Buck, in an interview after the hearing, said he will base his decision on whether the jury selected to hear the case has been tainted by news-media coverage of the Aug. 30 shooting. Buck has complained that coverage of the shooting has cast Birk in an unfair light.
Buck said he was concerned secondarily that Birk’s testimony could be used against him in a possible subsequent civil or criminal proceeding, although he emphasized that wasn’t the “driving issue” behind holding off on a decision