Sirens & Gavels

Spokane looking for Police Ombudsman Commission volunteers

Spokane is looking for volunteers to serve on the new Police Ombudsman Commission.

Applicants must undergo a background check and interviews. Application deadline is June 6 and city leaders want to have the five-member commission empaneled by mid-July.

Application materials are available at spokanecity.org.

The commission will provide independent oversight of the city's police ombudsman, who reviews internal investigations into police misconduct. The ombudsman was created following disclosure of the department's sloppy and incomplete investigation into the role of its own officers in the fatal 206 confrontation with Otto Zehm, who had been erroneously implicated in a theft and beaten, shocked with a Taser and hogtied by officers in a convenience store.

The U.S. Justice Department later described the investigation as a departmental coverup. Three officers eventually were indicted on federal charges.




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David Wasson oversees coverage of politics and state and local government and assists with editing on the City Desk.

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