Posts tagged: Jay Olsen
Good evening, Netizens…
I'm mad as hell about the court ruling on behalf of former police officer Jay Olsen but I don't know if there is anything anyone can lawfully do about it at this late stage of the game. Olsen purportedly shot Shonto Pete in the head after a night drinking at Dempsey's, stating that he believed Pete had attempted to steal Olsen's pickup truck, although no evidence was ever brought forth to support such a charge. Olsen later quit the police force before Chief Anne Kirkpatrick could decide whether to fire him because of the charges against him.
When criminal charges against Olsen were dropped for lack of evidence, Shonto Pete attempted to file civil charges against Olsen and the City of Spokane and that, too, has now been dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Edward F. Shea upon a motion by Olsen's legal counsel.
Perhaps Shonto Pete said it best as he was leaving the court room when he stated in part, “That’s what you call justice? Justice is a joke.”
It does not seem to me that there will be any justice for Shonto Pete, much less anyone else who comes across a drunken Spokane City Police Officer. Approach at your own risk. Of course, your beliefs may differ.
Good morning, Netizens…
Yesterday, in Spokesman reporter Thomas Clouse’s story about Chief Ann Kirkpatrick’s decision not to file additional charges against former policeman Jay Olsen, which is here: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/may/07/olsen-wont-face-more-charges/ I was continually struck by the same odd other-worldly sensations that I felt during Olsen’s trial. To be emphatic about it, I do not know what actually took place that fateful night overlooking Peaceful Valley. I do not have a credible piece of factual evidence, whether admissible in court or not, that Shonto Pete was actually trying to steal Olsen’s truck and that will bother me for the rest of my days. All I have to go on are my suspicions, not based upon fact, and thus no better nor worse than anyone else’s opinions of the matter.
Short of that conclusive proof, I do understand that Chief Kirkpatrick more or less did what I would have done in her place, right up to the point she fired Olsen because he lied to the Infernal Affairs officers of the SPD. Her decision not to file additional charges against Olsen also smack of that same level-headed administrative acumen that she has exhibited since she first took office, but I also feel that is a personal decision she will have to live with, and perhaps not nearly as comfortably as it might seem.
I’ve heard lots of comments about how much money Olsen got from his back pay, some thirty-some thousand dollars, but I also remember Olsen is paying the bill for his own legal representation. Since neither he nor his attorney are publicly discussing his legal costs, I have to take it on my limited experience with trial lawyers that perhaps as much as half to three-quarters of that money has already been spent on legal costs and perhaps the rest might barely cover his personal expenses. In short. I believe Olsen is probably financially on the ropes after this tawdry affair. However, that isn’t news, that’s just conjecture.
At least for the moment, barring any appeals, Olsen’s legal issues seem to be at an end and thus the case is closed on this ugly piece of police work in Spokane. My opinions, of course, are that rather than Justice being served, Lady Justice somehow found herself lost in the dark of Peaceful Valley.
Is Jay Olsen’s case closed for you?
Good evening, Netizens…
Well, well… Imagine that…
The Spokesman-Review piece http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/apr/13/jay-olsen-resigns-spokane-police-department/ states that Jay Olsen resigned effective immediately this afternoon rather than be fired by Chief Kirkpatrick on official charges.
Of course by now if you haven’t heard the tale of Olsen shooting Shonto Pete in the head, with all the various permutations of fiction and fantasy that followed in the wake of that incident, you have been sitting too long in the outhouse.
He should have been fired before now. He should have been fired before he collected his back pay, saving the taxpayers from paying for his incompetence and untruthfulness. How much did Olsen cost the taxpayers?
Good morning, Netizens…
And such a fine and otherwise excellent day it is, with the exception of our beloved Spokane Police Department whose star has been inexorably sinking lower in the public opinion than ever before. They could have finessed this entire affair of Shonto Pete’s version versus the officially-approved version of events, including Marshall Tucker’s testimony, by simply waiting out the storm of public opinion. It isn’t that I believe Tucker lied on the witness stand; for good cops don’t lie and until someone steps forward and states that he is anything other than a good cop, that they can prove that beyond a reasonable question of a doubt, that he lied, he still is a good cop. Skepticism, however, can be an enlightening attribute in the face of conflict.
This morning a massive chink in the armor of the Spokane Police Department version of the Shonto Pete shooting appears in the Spokesman-Review, and like most Karen Dorn Steele articles, this one will knock the community’s trust or distrust of the Spokane Police Department clear out of the ballpark here: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/mar/18/caller-disputes-911-testimony/
Police Chief Ann Kirkpatrick has, of course, informed members of the Fourth Estate that she is convening a full formal investigation of Tucker’s testimony from the witness stand, but in the face of potential perjury charges, don’t you think it’s a little late for that? Isn’t asking the Guild members to investigate one of their own a bit much?
We have these two credible witnesses, Carol A. Blackburn and Michael R. Dale, who seem to substantiate the statements made by Shonto Pete of what happened that ill-fated night, and they directly contradict the sworn statement by Tucker on the witness stand. Somebody is lying. Suddenly my semi-facetious and impulsive comment “Win One for the Gipper” seems quite rational.
one of my trusted associates just stated to me in e-mail, “…this
just keeps getting weirder and weirder.” Does this seem utterly
beyond credible belief to you? Kudos to Karen Dorn Steele for digging out that reasonable doubt that lives in the most trusting of souls.
Good morning, Netizens…
Like most citizens reading the history of the Jay Olsen trial, I sat disconsolately in my chair each day watching the testimony unfold like a badly-wounded badger pinned in a corner against the wall. I was not at the scene of the crime(s), nor even was I in Dempsey’s that ill-fated night when Olsen broke with police policies and guidelines just prior to shooting Shonto Pete in the head and this smelly case began inexorably sliding down hill. I felt sanctimoniously self-assured that Olsen was guilty, right up until Marvin D. Tucker, a police dispatch supervisor who appeared for the defense team, suddenly materialized as if he had risen up out of the ground.
Suddenly, instead of a toss-up trial, weighted slightly in favor of a conviction for Olsen, the Defense had induced as close to a reasonable doubt as you could possibly get without smudging your fingerprints. In one fell swoop, they had seriously undermined or undone the not guilty verdict of Shonto Pete, and thus created a reasonable doubt that Shonto Pete had, despite evidence to the contrary, stolen Olsen’s truck, and admitted it to a sworn peace officer.
But if so, where was the evidence? That fragile 911 tape, which contained the conversation that purportedly took place, which should have been kept and presented as evidence at trial, but was missing in action. I was comfortable with a guilty verdict for Olsen, myself being holier-than-thou pious sitting in my imaginary judge’s chair, calling the shots as I perceived them to be, right up until Tucker testified he had heard evidence that exculpated Olsen.
The terrible question, one which others that may follow in history, will ask perpetually is, did Marvin D. Tucker commit perjury to save one for the Department? If you presume Tucker lied on the witness stand, you need proof, which does not exist. However, until you can conclusively prove that he lied, the Defense Attorney has introduced a reasonable doubt in the mind of the jury that Olsen was innocent of all charges, save those to be studied by police internal affairs.
If they had that tape, where Pete admitted to stealing Olsen’s truck, this would be a clear-cut case, the kind that legendary television attorney Perry Mason could not rebut.
However, the Tucker testimony as it stands, created a reasonable doubt in the jury’s mind. That is all you need to find Olsen not guilty of the charges.
Does this case stink to high heaven? You bet! It positively reeks of racism, deception in high places in the Spokane Police Department and the frailty of our justice system. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and adds even more distrust to an already-reeking pile of malfeasant barnyard odors that seemingly waft out of the Police Department without end.
However, as badly as it smells, it is legal. That doesn’t make it RIGHT. Jump right in, because I imagine this debate will last for a long time.
Good morning, Netizens…
The Jay Olsen trial, currently nearing its logical end, has opened Pandora’s box and revealed how discredited the Spokane Police Guild truly is. There are lapses, and then there are huge gaps of fact which never have been allowed to happen, were justice truly blind.
To set the stage a bit, the phone calls made shortly after the shooting took place were to his Guild representative and his lawyer. You or I would have called 911, but Olsen, it seems, obeys a different law. The Guild comes first.
Shonto Pete, by comparison, was interviewed by detectives at Sacred Heart Hospital while he was still drunk, under sedation and in no condition to be talking with detectives. Paraphrasing Pete’s own words, the detectives were more interested in putting words in his mouth than they were in search of justice. Of course, they waited two days until Jay Olsen sobered up, got “his story straight” and obtained legal counsel before they interviewed him. After all, he is one of their own.
Then we have the fanciful tale of Shonto Pete purportedly trying to steal Jay Olsen’s pickup truck. In testimony when Shonto Pete was charged with stealing Olsen’s truck, expert testimony has stated that there were no fingerprints belonging to Shonto Pete inside Jay Olsen’s pickup truck. There was one set of latent prints on the outside of the door, but not one fingerprint or any DNA evidence inside the truck: thus we can safely assume Pete was never inside the truck.
Yesterday, we have a witness to the crime whom it seems interviewed or at least ostensibly spoke with Shonto Pete shortly after the shooting in Peaceful Valley. Marvin D. Tucker, a 14-year Police Department employee, enters stage right and makes a series of rather preposterous statements, including that he had spoken with Shonto Pete by phone, that Pete admitted to him he stole Olsen’s truck and that all record of this incriminating conversation has been erased from the 911 tapes. WHAT? Why didn’t the Police give Tucker a lie detector test? Probably because the Police Guild would raise objections. They are not interested in justice. They are interested only in protecting their own it might seem.
Today ostensibly Jay Olsen will take the stand. Ostensibly this might be his last-ditch effort to save his career as a police officer.With pending litigation, Shonto Pete is still looking for justice, and/or revenge.