Attorneys for the family of John T. Williams filed a court petition Wednesday asking the King County Superior Court judges to convene a grand jury to determine if criminal charges should be brought against former Seattle police Officer Ian Birk in the fatal shooting of Williams last summer.
The unusual move comes days after King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes declined a request by the attorneys to ask the judges to summon a grand jury of citizens.
“In the circumstances here, Petitioners submit the public interest demands convening of a grand jury,” the attorneys said in the filing, asserting there is “clear evidence that criminal activity was involved” in the shooting.
State law allows a superior court to convene a grand jury “where the public interest so demands, whenever in its opinion there is sufficient evidence of criminal activity or corruption within the county.”
Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office, said Wednesday that his office had not yet seen the petition.