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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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  • Wed., May 27, 2009

    City approves $200,000 for defense in Zehm case

    The Spokane City Council on Tuesday agreed to pay up to $200,000 to defend the city in a lawsuit resulting from the death of Otto Zehm, who died in police …


  • Sat., March 14, 2009

    Lawsuit filed in Otto Zehm death

    A federal civil rights suit against the city of Spokane and nine of its police officers says Otto Zehm died three years ago when police officers used batons and Tasers …


  • Fri., March 13, 2009, 4:20 p.m.

    City sued over Otto Zehm death

    A federal civil rights damages suit was filed this afternoon against the city of Spokane and nine of its police officers by the estate of the late Otto Zehm.


  • Fri., March 13, 2009

    Police ombudsman search thins field to 9

    Times are tough out there. One hundred and twenty-eight people applied to be Spokane’s first police ombudsman.


  • Thu., March 5, 2009

    Otto campaign pushes plenty of buttons in community

    Let me start today’s column by saying … Wow.


  • Tue., March 3, 2009

    As we wait for justice, we can remember

    March Madness has arrived, and I don’t mean basketball. I’m referring to my mood as we approach the third anniversary of one of Spokane’s more shameful and frustrating episodes.


  • Sun., March 1, 2009

    Otto Zehm case at crossroads

    On the eve of the third anniversary of the police-encounter death of Otto Zehm, a civil rights suit against the city of Spokane and its Police Department could be filed …


  • Sat., Feb. 28, 2009, 6:14 p.m.

    Zehm case may soon see legal action

    On the eve of the third anniversary of the police encounter death of Otto Zehm, a civil rights suit against the city of Spokane and its Police Department could be …


  • Tue., Oct. 21, 2008

    Defense funds OK’d in case Zehm suit filed

    The Spokane City Council on Monday voted unanimously to pay as much as $45,000 to a local attorney to defend the city against a possible lawsuit stemming from the death …


  • Wed., May 14, 2008

    Police powers in spotlight

    It sounds like a typical play rehearsal at first. “OK, places,” calls Brooke Kiener, a theater instructor at Whitworth University. “Let’s go, guys. Focus.” But Kiener’s students are preparing an …


  • Mon., March 10, 2008

    Verner says city can’t afford full-time ombudsman

    Spokane can’t afford a full-time police ombudsman, says Mayor Mary Verner. Instead, Verner has proposed contracting for ombudsman services to keep costs lower.


  • Thu., Feb. 21, 2008, 3:14 p.m.

    Few answers in Otto Zehm’s death

    Otto Zehm died two years ago Thursday, after a series of events that started at a cash machine outside a bank in north Spokane.


  • Wed., Nov. 14, 2007

    Attorney, law center join up

    It was a lawyer’s peak moment: arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. But Spokane attorney Jeffry Finer was pretty sure he’d lost in 1996 when Chief Justice William …


  • Sun., Aug. 5, 2007

    Police oversight a campaign issue

    In most elections, candidates for office in the city of Spokane face a basic question about police: Are there enough of them to do the job? Candidates might argue yes …


  • Wed., July 25, 2007

    Attorney for Zehm estate files claim against city

    An attorney representing the estate of Otto Zehm, the mentally disabled janitor who died last year after he was Tasered, beaten and bound by Spokane police officers, has filed a …


  • Fri., June 22, 2007

    Deaths of disabled discussed

    Civil rights advocates sat down with Spokane County’s highest-ranking law enforcement officials Wednesday night to discuss recent fatal confrontations between police and persons with disabilities. The public forum at Gonzaga …


  • Sun., June 17, 2007

    Zehm, Yohe catalysts for forum

    A mentally disabled man buying a candy bar dies last year after a struggle with police. A meth addict with epilepsy confronted by sheriff’s deputies on May 1 while possibly …


  • Mon., April 9, 2007

    Tucker won’t push coroner inquests

    Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker still believes coroner inquests would effectively get information out to the public whenever police officers, jailers or deputies kill someone in their custody. But he …


  • Sat., March 24, 2007

    ‘Excited delirium’ a debatable state

    Even if medical experts dispute “excited delirium” as a valid physical state, Spokane County’s first responders have decided to consider it real. “Excited delirium is an emergency condition,” said Spokane …


  • Tue., March 20, 2007

    Zehm death fallout

    Spokane police, firefighters, dispatchers and ambulance drivers will undergo training to better identify and respond to people experiencing “excited delirium,” the condition that investigators theorize Otto Zehm was suffering from …

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