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Spin Control

Posts tagged: SWAT

Human rights group asks police for transparency on military equipment

Spokane's Human Rights Commission has requested the Spokane Police Department do more to inform the public on the military-grade equipment it buys.

In a letter dated Monday, Blaine Stum, chairman of the five-member city commission tasked with battling “unjust discrimination” in the community, asks Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub to open up about weapons, gear and vehicles ordered in part through a federal grant program that has gained increased scrutiny since the response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

“While we understand the need not to publicly advertise the equipment and weapons available for their use in protecting the community, we recommend that the Spokane Police Department be more transparent in providing information” on military gear ordered, Stum writes on behalf of his group.

The letter from the Human Rights Commission can be read in its entirety here. For more of the group's recommendations, go inside the blog.

Remain calm. Repeat: It’s only a drill

Spokane residents should not get too jumpy in the coming weeks as a couple of different groups run a couple of exercises here abouts.

Later this week, the U.S. Army Rangers will be conducting night time exercises at Fairchild Air Force Base. West Plains residents living nearby, and motorists driving by on Highway 2 or other byways, are likely to hear lots of low-flying aircraft — airplanes and helicopters — as well as gunfire. The ammunition isn’t live.

There won’t be anything to see, off-base, but it will be kind of noisy, from Thursday night through Monday night.

Then on Aug. 4, the Spokane Police Department will be holding a SWAT team demonstration involving a school bus, in a Riverfront Park parking lot north of the river off Washington Street. They’re hoping folks in the park and downtown workers don’t mistake it for the real thing.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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