After sitting through six days of officer and civilian testimony, the eight-member inquest jury tasked with reviewing the circumstances surrounding the death of Native American woodcarver John T. Williams was handed a list of 13 questions to answer this morning.
"You are the sole judges of the credibility of each witness," presiding Judge Arthur Chapman explained to the jury yesterday. "You are the sole judges of the weight and value of each witness’s testimony. You are responsible for noting any bias or prejudice the witness may have shown."
Each member of the jury will answer each question, and the total number of 'yes,' 'no,' or 'unknown' answers will be recorded next to the question. Judge Chapman added that, "You should endeavor to answer each question 'yes' or 'no' based on what the evidence supports," i.e., only answer 'unknown' as a last-resort cop out. The court will reconvene when each member of the jury has answered the questions. I'll update when that happens.
For those of you who've been following along at home for the past week, I dub thee my internet jury! The questions (.pdf) for you to answer are below the jump.
Some of the questions are pretty straight forward. Others have already been strongly debated in the courtroom. Emphasis mine:
1. On August 30, 2010, did Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk observe John T. Williams crossing the street?
2. Was John T. Williams holding an open knife at the time he was first observed by Officer Birk?
3. Did Officer Birk get out of his patrol car to contact Williams?
4. Did Officer Birk gesture to John T. Williams to come back to Officer Birk's location?
5. Did John T. Williams have a knife in his hand when Officer Birk contacted him?
6. Did Officer Birk order John T. Williams to put the knife down?
If your answer to question 6 was yes, please answer the following questions:
6a. Did Officer Birk order John T. Williams to put the knife down more than once?
6b. Did John T. Williams have sufficient time to put the knife down after Officer Birk's order?
6c. Did John T. Williams try to put the knife down after Officer Birk's order?
6d. Did John T. Williams put the knife down before Officer Birk began to fire his weapon?
7. Was the front of John T. Williams' upper body partially turned towards Officer Birk when Officer Birk began to fire his weapon?
7a. If no, was John T. Williams turning towards Officer Birk when Officer Birk fired his weapon?
8. Did Officer Birk fire his weapon at John T. Williams on August 30, 2010?
9.When Officer Birk fired his weapon, did John T. Williams have a knife in his hand?
9a. If yes, was John T. Williams blade open when Officer Birk fired his weapon?
10. Did Officer Birk believe that John T. Williams posed an imminent threat of serious physical harm to Officer Birk at the time Officer Birk fired his weapon?
11. Based on the information available at the time Officer Birk fired his weapon, did John T. Williams then pose an imminent threat of serious physical harm to Officer Birk?
12. Did John T. Williams die in King County on August 30, 2010?
13. Did John T. Williams die of gunshot wounds caused by Officer Birk?