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Totem Pole To Honor Slain Seattle Woodcarver

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Downtown including Space Needle and Seattle Center (credit:Stephen Kacirek/GettyImages)

Downtown including Space Needle and Seattle Center (credit:Stephen Kacirek/GettyImages)

SEATTLE (AP) — A memorial totem pole in honor of John T. Williams is being raised at Seattle Center Sunday as a symbol of  justice and community.

A procession of hundreds of community members carried the totem pole from Pier 57 to the Seattle Center, where it will be gifted to the city of Seattle.

John Williams was shot bySeattle police Officer Ian Birk in 2010. He had just crossed a street while holding a knife and a block of wood when Birk ordered him to drop the knife and then shot him to death. The killing outraged many, who saw it as an unnecessary use of force. Birk later resigned.

Williams’ brother, Rick Williams, and others carved the totem pole to honor the 50-year-old and Native American and First Nations tradition.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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