Otto Zehm

Otto Zehm, a Spokane man with schizophrenia who worked as a janitor, died after a confrontation with police at a North Side Zip Trip store in March 2006.

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  • Redacted Zehm 911 call

    A redacted copy of the 911 call in the Otto Zehm incident released by Spokane police to the news media in July 2006.

  • Mary Verner: Otto Zehm

    Spokane Mayor Mary Verner reacts to the federal grand jury indictment of Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr., the first of several officers to confront Otto Zehm, a 36-year-old Spokane man who died after that interaction with police.

  • Officer Karl F. Thompson indictment 01

    U.S. Attorney James McDevitt prefaces and reads the first count of the grand jury indictment against Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson in Otto Zehm’s injury while in police custody in 2006. Zehm later died from his injuries.

  • Officer Karl F. Thompson indictment 02

    U.S. Attorney James McDevitt reads the second count of the grand jury indictment against Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson in Otto Zehm’s injury while in police custody in 2006. Zehm later died from his injuries.

  • Bob Apple on Zehm case indictments

    Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple talks Monday, June 22, 2009, about police Officer Karl Thompson’s indictment in the injuries to Otto Zehm while in police custody in 2006.

  • Ballad of Otto Zehm

    Doug Clark’s “The Ballad of Otto Zehm”

  • Otto Zehm case / Jack Lynch

    Deputy Mayor Jack Lynch on Don Pierce’s departure from Boise police

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  • SPD Chief Craig Meidl’s full answer about the Karl Thompson salute

    Newly-appointed Spokane police Chief Craig Meidl offered an apology for the hurt caused by his salute of former officer Karl Thompson following Thompson’s conviction for violating civil rights in the …

  • Thompson appeals Zehm verdict to U.S. Supreme Court

    Former Spokane Police officer and current federal prison inmate Karl Thompson earlier this month filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of his excessive force conviction in the March …

  • 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 …

  • Jailed Ridpath developer wants trial moved

    Spokane developer Greg Jeffreys, who is jailed on federal charges alleging that he defrauded investors of millions of dollars, has asked a judge for a change of venue for his …

  • Report: SPD lacks certified instructors

    None of the Spokane Police Department’s defensive tactics instructors are certified by the state and may have relied on a flawed legal interpretation while teaching officers when it’s OK to …

  • Thompson being held at Phoenix security facility

    Authorities have transferred 65-year-old Karl F. Thompson from the Federal Detention Center Sea-Tac in Seattle to a medium security facility in Arizona, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. …

  • Thompson appeals Zehm conviction

    Just as he promised last week after the sentencing, the attorney for convicted Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. filed notice today that he intends to appeal several aspects …

  • Clark: Otto Zehm Finally Gets Justice

    It’s a good day, Spokane. There’s no snow in the potholes, the river’s still running and Karl Thompson Jr. is already ensconced in a federal lockup on the other side …

  • Thompson Gets 4 Years, 3 Months

    Originally posted 5:08 p.m. Thursday Updated: After being handed a sentence Thursday of more than four years in federal prison – the culmination of six years of investigations, legal action …

  • Is this the closure we have been promised?

    Good morning, Netizens… Paraphrasing one of those woefully-hackneyed movies you often encounter on various Western TV channels once said, “Yesterday was a good day for a hanging.” That’s because Karl …

  • Federal prosecutor says Spokane has good police force

    U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby, whose office handled the excessive force prosecution of former Spokane police officer Karl Thompson, took deliberate steps Thursday to praise the trustworthiness of the local police …

  • Police guild “circled the wagons” after Zehm

    In addition to revelations that Spokane Police detectives were feeding information about the Zehm investigation to Officer Karl F. Thompson, Jr., the grand jury testimony of Detective Jeff Harvey had …

  • Thompson supporters invited to potluck

    UPDATE: Potluck for Thompson canceled. Officer John Gately just called Friday afternoon to say that the Nov. 3 event “An Evening with Karl” F. Thompson Jr. has been canceled. “It …

  • Oreskovich gets another week to file

    The defense attorneys of former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. have blamed a faulty email program for missing the deadline last Friday to file any objections to the …

  • Now on to the penalty phase …

    For nearly a year, former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. has avoided sentencing on his federal convictions for using excessive force in the beating of Otto Zehm and …

  • Judge Denies New Trial For Thompson

    A federal judge has denied the motion for a new trial for convicted former Spokane Police officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. (pictured). Thompson’s lawyer Carl Oreskovich argued on Aug. 31 …

  • Encounter with jurors sparks debate

    Buried in the transcripts unsealed last week of the secret jury hearings held by a federal judge in the Karl F. Thompson Jr. case, was an apparent chance encounter between …

  • Alternate juror blasts case against Thompson

    New documents released Thursday show that the only person who raised issues about juror misconduct in the trial that convicted former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. was an …

  • Juror: Thompson lawyers twisted words

    The forewoman of the jury that convicted former Spokane Police officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. of excessive force said in a letter to a federal judge that defense attorneys have …

  • Feds oppose Thompson prison delay

    Federal prosecutors appear to be growing frustrated with the ongoing delays that have kept convicted Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. out of prison. Eight months have passed since …

  • Department of Justice audit of Spokane Police Department

    The report delivered by the Department of Justice on Dec. 19, 2014, that is an audit of the Spokane Police Department.

  • Zehm settlement between City of Spokane and its insurance company

    This settlement in the Zehm lawsuit was a separate agreement between the City of Spokane and its insurance company, the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania.

  • Settlement agreement to Zehm civil suit

    Settlement between the City of Spokane and Otto Zehm Estate agreed to in May 2012.

  • Ruling: Thompson doesn’t owe restitution

    U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle ruled March 11, 2013 that former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson will not have to pay restitution to the family of Otto Zehm.

  • Condon letter to Spokane Park Board

    Spokane Mayor David Condon wrote this letter dated June 18, 2012 to the Spokane Park Board requesting that the board dedicate the picnic shelter at Mission Park in honor of Otto Zehm.

  • Juror letter to Judge VanSickle

    A redacted copy of a letter sent by a juror on the Karl Thompson trial to the federal judge overseeing the case was unsealed on Aug. 7, 2012.

  • Condon letter to Ann Zehm

    In this letter to Ann Zehm from June 4, 2012, Spokane Mayor David Condon apologizes for the death of her son, Otto Zehm. City officials agreed to send Ann Zehm an apology as part of a legal s

  • Zehm settlement

    The Spokane City Council on Monday, May 21, 2012, voted 7-0 in favor of this settlement with the family and estate of Otto Zehm.

  • AhmedResponse12292011

    Justice Department counsel Aine Ahmed’s response to Grant Fredericks’ allegations that prosecutors withheld information from defense, and request to waive confidentiality agreement.

  • Order denying request to talk to Thompson jurors

    A judge has denied a request by former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson’s attorney’s to interview the jurors who convicted him last month of two felonies in connection with the 2006 death of Otto Zehm.

  • U.S. Attorney’s Office asks for stay in civil case (includes correspondence requesting to meet with mayor)

    U.S. Attorney’s Office filing from September 2009 requesting a stay in the civil case involving the death of Otto Zehm. Includes email correspondence in which Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Durkin requests to meet with Mayor Mary Verner, City Council President Joe Shogan and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick. “We were concerned that the subject of a serious criminal investigation was being provided confidential information at public taxpayer expense,” Durkins writes in one email.

  • Declaration about Zehm’s cause of death

    Declaration by Dr. Daniel Davis about Otto Zehm’s cause of death filed Aug. 12, 2011. Includes a timeline of the video.

  • Declaration of Assistant Police Chief Nicks

    Declaration of Jim Nicks, assistant chief of the Spokane Police Department.

  • Brief for Thompson seeking to exclude evidence

  • Prosecutor’s brief in response to request to exclude evidence

    Replying to a brief filed by Karl F. Thompson Jr.’s attorney in response to a government filing seeking to include evidence in Thompson’s excessive force case.

  • ACLU letter to Spokane

    A letter from Michael Kipling, an attorney representing the American Civil Liberties Union, to the Spokane city attorney’s office questioning Assistant City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi’s letter advising Breean Beggs to cease contact with City Council members about police oversight.

  • Breann Beggs letter to Mike Piccolo

    A letter from Breann Beggs, attorney for the estate of Otto Zehm, to Mike Piccolo, assigned attorney for City Council members. The letter is in response to an order from an attorney for the city of Spokane ordering Beggs to stop communicating with City Council members without counsel for the city present. Included is an article printed from the Washington State Bar Association regarding communicating with a represented governmental client.

  • Argument to expedite Zehm trial

    The argument filed July 2, 2010, by attorney Jeffry Finer seeking a federal judge to set an earlier trial date for Karl F. Thompson Jr. in the Otto Zehm case.

  • Defense witness and evidence list for Thompson trial

    Defense attorney Carl Oreskovich’s exhibit list for the trial of Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson, who is facing criminal charges stemming from the March 2006 fatal police confrontation with Otto Zehm.

  • Prosecution exhibit list for Thompson trial

    Prosecutors’ exhibit list for the trial of Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson, who is facing criminal charges stemming from the March 2006 fatal police confrontation with Otto Zehm.



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