Good evening Netizens…
We have been bystanders for over five years as the Otto Zehm homicide has inexorably ground its way through the news, and until recently we were none the better-informed for it. All we knew for a certainty was that an innocent man was beaten to death and asphyxiated by a group of cops in a Zip Trip Store. Fortunately, there were damning videotapes which showed the grisly beating, and the total lack of violent behavior on Zehm's part. Every time anyone got too close to the truth of the matter, they were either ignored entirely or the City Government sought to nullify their actions and words.
Our own Mayor, who I gleefully call Queen Mary, for her imperious, high-handed manner of governance, has apparently sought to sweep the entire affair beneath the rug. The reign of terror hardly stops there, which is more a condemnation of our City Government than other incidents of the past involving our Spokane Police Department. There is no lack of corruption in City Hall, nor in the Police Department. So it doesn't surprise me in the least that our Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick and Assistant Chief Jim Nicks are both bailing out of the Police Department while the chances are still good they might get away unscathed.
Chief Kirkpatrick has made no bones about the fact she was leaving, and has bid on several jobs in other police jurisdictions in the past. Unfortunately, the Spokane Police Guild cast a vote of “no confidence” in her leadership just days after federal documents revealed that Nicks had reversed his earlier statements and was expected to testify against Karl Thompson, the man who ceaselessly beat Otto Zehm that ill-fated night.
Now that the zipper has been unzipped from City Hall, and various other elements of government, we can see the filthy hands of Ernie Wuthrich, the head of the Police Guild, is not necessarily working toward justice for all. Rocky Treppiedi, like Wuthrich, works for his own designs, best-known for suing citizens who have an ordinary grievance with City Hall. More sweeping goes on in City Hall in 2008 and 2009 when Rocky Treppiedi, according to court records, begins preparing “the majority” of Spokane police officers for testimony before the federal grand jury and debriefs them afterward about what they said. This also includes non-police witnesses.
Too little too late, Queen Mary announces in a press conference that she will be conducting a full internal and external review of the city’s handling of the case of Otto Zehm. Why did she wait so long? Was this the power the Police Guild has over Queen Mary?
Wait until the criminal trial works its way onto the federal Court docket. There may be other surprises which wait unseen, and other names may come into play. Perhaps Queen Mary will descend from the throne of the City of Spokane and somehow manage to put a good face on all the corruption.
Of course, your results may differ.