SEATTLE—With three people dead after run-ins with police, there are a lot of people talking about how officers go about their use of force. Many people in the community are wondering if police officers are going too far and using too much force.
A man died in an officer-involved shooting involving Federal Way police Tuesday afternoon. An officer shot a suspected car thief after a low-speed chase. The officer said he thought the man was trying to run him over.
In Parkland, David Fidler says he witnessed Pierce County Sheriff's deputies using extreme force to take down the man who refused to leave an apartment unit onn Tuesda.
"I heard the Taser go off, four five times they tased him," said Fidler.
The 27-year-old Spanaway man later died at the hospital. But, Dr. Jonathan Wenderm who is a University of Washington professor and former police officer, says that short electrical burst might not be to blame for his death.
"Most of these cases the death is not caused by the Taser itself," said Wender. "The Taser is an energy-conducting weapon, but it's not the cause, per se, of the death."
It wasn't a Taser but four shots from Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk's gun that killed John Williams. Deputy Chief Nick Metz says Officer Birk told investigators he felt threatened when Williams did not drop his knife.
"This officer was not equipped with a Taser so he did not have that available to him, however, if he had a Taser available to him, we do not recommend our officers use a Taser in a situation like that. A knife is considered a deadly weapon," said Metz.
Wender says it's still too early to tell if Birk handled the situation correctly.
"Somebody with a knife can cover distance very quickly and somebody armed with a knife can literally be on top of you and stabbing you in 1 or 2 seconds in a distance of 21 feet," said Wender.
Seattle Police Chief John Diaz says officers are learning peaceful resolutions.
"We are working on a whole variety of de-escalation training, we currently do de-escalation training," said Diaz.
Jonathan Wender says police have to think on their feet in the field, and that's far from easy.
"Officers have to perform a balancing act that's tactical and legal and ethical about what is what the law calls reasonable and necessary, what's the least amount of force an officer can use to get that person safely into custody," said Wender.
That seems to be especially true in Spanaway when you have people like David Fidler second-guessing your actions.
"Evidently, someone overreacted because he's dead," said Fidler.
Q13 Fox News has learned, John Williams, the man shot and killed by Officer Birk, used to sell his artwork to the Ye Old Curiosity Shop down on Seattle's waterfront. The owner says the Williams family has sold Indian artwork to the shop for the last 100 years.