Rally planned in wake of police shootings

Members of Anchorage's Polynesian community are planning a rally in response to two recent fatal shootings of suspects by police officers.

The rally is aimed at drawing "APD awareness for better protocols on shooting to disarm versus shooting to kill," according to a release from organizer Miriama Aumavae, the executive director of the recently-founded Polynesian Community Center.

The release says the rally is open to all concerned citizens.

On June 9, APD officer Boaz Gionson shot and killed Shane Tasi, a 26-year-old Mountain View man police said wielded a broken broom handle. The state found no basis for charges against the officer in that shooting.

On Sunday, officers shot 59-year-old Harry Smith at his home off Dimond Boulevard. Police say he pointed a BB gun replica of a Smith & Wesson pistol at them. The names of the officers involved in that incident have not yet been released. Police detectives and state prosecutors are investigating the latest incident, police said.

According to the release, the "One Voice, One Cause" rally is planned for noon Saturday at the Far North Bicentennial Park softball complex off Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.

Anchorage Daily News