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A Matter Of Opinion

Our ombudsman drumbeat

From our editorial today:

The furor over police videos and a report that surfaced late in the legal process directs the spotlight once again on the Spokane Police Department. And, once again, competing stories will battle for public opinion. Critics say the episode shows that the department cannot be trusted. The department says honest mistakes led to the trial delay for a protester arrested at a July 4 rally in Riverfront Park.

The best-case scenario for the department was uttered by spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe, who said the delay resulted from "the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing." The department, she says, takes full responsibility and will investigate how this mishap occurred. A day later, it was revealed that a report citing the existence of the video had not been turned over to the prosecution or the defense.

Sounds like a job for that independent ombudsman the city has been promising to deliver. Unfortunately, formation of the position has been dragged out for months. It is especially frustrating to have to rely on a police inquiry into a situation where possible evidence wasn't turned over in a case involving an anti-police protest.

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A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of three opinions – those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review. Check in regularly to find out what they’re up to, what they think and where they differ and to joust with them if you want.