Local families whose loved ones have been killed by police plan to join others from around the country in protests scheduled for this week in New York.
After a Seattle police officer fatally shot woodcarver John T. Williams five years ago, Lanna Covarrubias joined protests to denounce the killing.
At the time, Covarrubias felt like she’d done her part to bring attention to the issue. Now, she looks back with regret.
“There was so much more I could have done,” Covarrubias said Saturday during a gathering of families impacted by police killings.
Earlier this year, two Lakewood police officers fatally shot her unarmed brother, Daniel Isaac Covarrubias, in a lumberyard.
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Lanna Covarrubias and others from Washington state are now looking to take their grievances to the national level next week. Saturday’s event was held as a send-off for families who will travel to New York for the Rise Up October protest gathering Oct. 22-24.
Covarrubias said she hopes the demonstrations, involving families from around the U.S., will be empowering and help drive change.
“It’s never done until we get change. I’m going to keep fighting until we see that change,” Covarrubias said.
The 2010 killing of Williams in Seattle sparked outrage when footage revealed that then-Officer Ian Birk had given the First Nations woodcarver only about four seconds to drop a knife before opening fire. While the Police Department found the shooting unjustified under its policies, no criminal charges were filed.
In the Covarrubias killing, prosecutors have found the officers’ actions justified. Officers who had responded to a report of a suspicious person apparently believed the 37-year-old had pulled out a gun, when actually it was a cellphone.
Saturday’s gathering at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Seattle brought together friends and family of Covarrubias and Williams, along with those representing others killed by police — Danielle Willard, Oscar Perez-Giron, Kenneth Boyd, David Walker and Victor Duffy Jr.