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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.

Shawn Vestal: Video expert from Zehm case was wrong pick for review of bike incident

When police officers investigating the death of a teenager killed in an encounter with a speeding Spokane County deputy needed an expert to analyze video footage, they made an unusual choice: the guy accused of whitewashing the infamous Otto Zehm videos. That’s the bad news. The good news, so far as it goes, is that once concerns were raised about “credibility problems” with the work of Grant Fredericks, the owner of Spokane-based Forensic Video Solutions, the brass ordered a separate review, according to investigative files released last week.

Condon, Straub lead Spokane delegation to White House to highlight police reforms

Efforts to reform the police department and enhance community involvement have made Spokane a national model, said Mayor David Condon and police Chief Frank Straub, who were at the White House on Thursday as part of a forum on community policing. Condon said Spokane’s voluntary two-year review by the U.S. Department of Justice, the creation of the Criminal Justice Commission and the citizen-led effort at expanding oversight through an empowered ombudsman have put it ahead of other cities struggling with trust and legitimacy in their police departments.

Three members of police oversight panel, including Rachel Dolezal, asked to resign

Spokane’s independent police oversight panel is in turmoil. Three of its five members, including former Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal, likely will be removed by the City Council if they don’t immediately resign following an investigation that found multiple instances of misconduct including records tampering, disclosure of sensitive information, demeaning treatment of city employees and attempted overstepping of their authority.

Spokane Use of Force Commission wraps up with praise for police progress

In its final meeting before it disbands, the city’s Use of Force Commission lauded the improvements made by the Spokane Police Department in the last two years. But members also questioned why two of its recommendations have not been fully completed: a culture audit of the department and departmentwide use of body cameras. The two recommendations were among the 26 the commission gave to the police department for implementation.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear ex-police officer’s appeal of Zehm case conviction

Former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson Jr.’s legal battle to overturn his conviction in the 2006 death of Otto Zehm ended at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. The nation’s highest court declined to hear Thompson’s appeal, which argued that the Yakima jury that convicted him of civil rights violations heard evidence that legally should have been withheld. That evidence concerned the crime Thompson suspected Zehm of committing before the fatal encounter.

Doug Clark: Thompson verdict is the gift that keeps on taking

Think of the post-conviction phase of Karl Thompson as a big, colorful piñata that his Scheme Team defenders get to whack and whack at until it finally bursts open and a new trial spills out. And the worst part of this bad dream?

Karl Thompson’s conviction upheld in Otto Zehm death

A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday upheld the conviction of former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson. The three judges denied claims by Thompson’s attorneys that courtroom errors following the 2006 beating death of Otto Zehm justified sending the case back for a new trial.

Appeals court upholds Karl Thompson’s conviction in death of Otto Zehm

UPDATED: Tue., June 17, 2014, 12:46 p.m.

A federal appeals court panel has upheld the conviction of former Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson. The three judges ruled that Thompson doesn’t deserve a new trial in the 2006 beating death of Otto Zehm, and denied claims by his attorneys that courtroom errors should send the case back for a new trial.

Karl Thompson appeal argued in court

Attorneys for imprisoned former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson argued Monday that prosecutors did not turn over important evidence before trial. Defense attorney Carl Oreskovich told the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle that the evidence could have been used to attack conclusions drawn by use-of-force witnesses in the 2006 death of Otto Zehm.

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