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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  • Nicks’ badge reflected honor in Zehm case

    As former Spokane police Officer Tim Moses accepts his slap on the hand for the lie known as the Lunge of Otto, it’s worth remembering the local police officer who …


  • SPD’s Moses pleads guilty to lying to FBI

    Spokane Police Officer Timothy Moses resigned today before pleading guilty to making a false statement to FBI investigators during the case that ultimately convicted his friend, Karl F. Thompson Jr, …


  • Spokane police officer to admit lie in Zehm testimony

    A Spokane police officer will resign and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of lying during the investigation of the fatal 2006 police confrontation with Otto Zehm, authorities said Wednesday. …


  • Spokane cop expected to resign in Zehm plea deal

    Another Spokane police officer is facing a criminal charge in connection with the fatal 2006 confrontation with Otto Zehm. Officer Timothy Moses, 52, was quietly charged last week in Spokane …


  • Thompson won’t pay for Zehm restitution

    A federal judge rejected demands that former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson Jr. pay $825,000 in restitution to taxpayers and the family of Otto Zehm. Thompson is imprisoned in Safford, …


  • Spokane police to get federal review

    After years of controversy and calls for outside scrutiny, U.S. Department of Justice officials will arrive next week to begin reviewing police shootings and other uses of force by Spokane …


  • Feds to review Spokane Police uses of force

    After years of controversy and calls for outside scrutiny, U.S. Justice Department officials will arrive next week to begin reviewing police shootings and other use of force by Spokane Police …


  • Ombudsman power in the mail for vote

    The Spokane City Council has tried several times over the past two decades to craft a police oversight system with teeth. Now it’s the citizens’ turn.


  • Input sought on use of force report

    Several community members on Wednesday thanked the city of Spokane’s Use of Force Commission for months of work, and police Chief Frank Straub said he and Mayor David Condon will …


  • Thompson restitution challenged

    Former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr.’s attorneys argued Friday that Thompson shouldn’t have to pay restitution stemming from his criminal conviction for using excessive force against Otto Zehm. …


  • Thompson argues against Zehm restitution

    Former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr.’s attorneys argued today that a judge should not force Thompson to pay any restitution stemming from his criminal conviction for using excessive …


  • Police face reorganization

    The Spokane Police Department, hoping to restore public confidence, will embark on a major reorganization next month designed to make existing resources more efficient at achieving the ultimate goal of …


  • Organizational shakeup coming for Spokane police

    The Spokane Police Department, hoping to restore public confidence and rebuild its tarnished image, will embark on a major reorganization next month that’s intended to give the agency greater crime-fighting …


  • Use of force panel offers 26 recommendations to improve police department

    A yearlong review of the Spokane Police Department found a professional organization committed to public service but lacking in identity and needing improvements in how it investigates its own officers. …


  • Commission seeks list of changes for SPD

    The long-awaited draft report by the independent City of Spokane Use of Force Commission was released today and it calls the Spokane Police Department to change how it polices itself …


  • Clark: Justice finally served in Thompson case

    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 being held in federal center in Seattle

    Former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. is in a federal detention center south of Seattle, at least temporarily. The Federal Bureau of Prisons doesn’t yet have Thompson in …


  • Thompson now in Seattle federal detention

    Former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. is in a federal detention center in Seattle, at least temporarily.


  • Thompson gets 51 months in prison

    After being handed a sentence Thursday of more than four years in federal prison – the culmination of six years of investigations, legal action and community soul-searching – former Spokane …


  • Thompson sentenced to 4 years in prison

    A federal judge today sentenced former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. to 4 years and 3 months in prison.


  • Zehm lawsuit settled for $1.67 million

    A $1.67 million out-of-court settlement has been reached in the civil suit against Spokane police filed by relatives of Otto Zehm, the mentally ill janitor who died following a violent …


  • Mediation set in Zehm police lawsuit

    A federal judge has set a two-day mediation session to settle the $14.5 million civil suit filed against nine Spokane Police officers by the mother and estate of Otto Zehm. …


  • Thompson sentencing delayed again

    U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle agreed to another delay Friday in the sentencing of former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. Van Sickle agreed to a request by …


  • Are we finally accountable?

    Good morning, Netizens… Interim Spokane Police Chief Scott Stevens publicly acknowledged yesterday that the Spokane Police Department made troubling mistakes while investigating the 2006 confrontation that resulted in the death …


  • Feds dispute Zehm trial defense claims

    The forensic videographer whose allegations of prosecutorial misconduct have indefinitely stalled the sentencing of former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. is depicted in new court documents as an …


  • DC: Justice For Otto Zehm At Hand

    Four or five other customers were ahead of me when I sauntered into the convenience store on Sunday’s sunny afternoon. No worries. Despite the Zip Trip name on the signage, …


  • Use of force panel holds 1st meeting

    The interim Spokane police chief and a Gonzaga University Law School professor were among the presenters Wednesday at the first meeting of Spokane’s commission on police use of force. Jason …


  • Judge grants Thompson interview request

    A federal judge Friday granted a request by the attorney for former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. to interview a government expert witness who claims that federal prosecutors …


  • A look at Spokane police use of force

    To understand why the Spokane Police Department’s use-of-force training is under a microscope, consider this disconnect: Although the state’s top police trainer concluded that the fatal 2006 confrontation with unarmed …


  • Jury convicts man of threatening officer

    A jury has convicted a Spokane man of felony harassment for threatening to kill a Spokane police officer. Rudy Ray Cordova, 38, was acquitted of fourth-degree domestic assault, which is …


  • Cop questioned over Thompson support

    A Spokane police officer who says he feared for his life after being threatened by a felon was asked in court Wednesday about supportive comments he posted on a Facebook …


  • DC: Thompson’s Hail Mary Defense

    And now for the latest in legalized leg pulling. Ex-Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson Jr. has “accepted responsibility” for pounding Otto Zehm to pulp in 2006 and lying to investigators …


  • Is this a harmless coincidence?

    Good morning, Netizens… Is this a coincidence or not? I’ve never met Tom Clouse, a reporter for the Spokesman-Review, although if I did manage to meet him, I’d thank him …


  • Ex-justice to serve on Zehm committee

    Gerry Alexander, who retired last year as the chief justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, will serve on the city’s Use of Force Commission. The commission was created last …


  • Thompson seeks sentence reduction

    A federal prosecutor is objecting to a request by convicted former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. to reduce his potential prison sentence because he claims to have taken …


  • Retired chief justice will serve on Zehm overview committee

    Gerry Alexander, who retired last year as the chief justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, will serve on the city’s Use of Force Commission. The commission was created last …


  • Thompson Seeks Sentence Reduction

    A federal prosecutor is objecting to a request by convicted former Spokane Police officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. to reduce his potential prison sentence because he claims to have taken …


  • Judge: Steve Tucker recall won’t proceed

    A recall petition against Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Tucker was dismissed this afternoon by a visiting Superior Court judge. Judge Craig Matheson of Benton and Franklin counties said that …


  • Thompson’s motion to acquit denied

    A federal judge Monday again ruled that government prosecutors provided enough evidence to allow a jury to convict former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. of using excessive force …


  • Tucker disputes recall effort’s claims

    Prosecutor Steve Tucker said Tuesday that he sees nothing in a petition to recall him except “rumors and hearsay, and ‘facts’ that are not true.” The petition for a recall …


  • Prosecutors’ motion on opening statement in Thompson trial

    An argument by Victor Boutros of the U.S. Department of Justice in support of allowing exhibits for his opening statement in the trial of Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr., who faces criminal charges stemming from the March 2006 fatal police confrontation with Otto Zehm.


  • Durkin’s motion to include AMR report about blows to Zehm’s head

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Durkin’s motion to include in Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson’s June 7 criminal trial a report from a American Medical Response paramedic from the night of Otto Zehm’s confrontation with police.


  • Oreskovich’s motion not to admit AMR report

    Defense attorney Carl Oreskovich’s motion to not allow in Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson’s June 7 criminal trial an American Medical Response report from the night of Otto Zehm’s confrontation with police.


  • Spokane police report on Otto Zehm (May 31, 2006)

    A report by Spokane police Detective Terry Ferguson on the March 18, 2006, police confrontation with Otto Zehm.


  • Ruling of no conflict in Karl Thompson’s defense

    U.S. District Court Judge Philip M. Pro’s ruling of no conflict of interest in Carl Oreskovich’s representation of Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson in the Otto Zehm criminal case as well as serving as special counsel to the city of Spokane in a civil lawsuit brought by Zehm’s family.


  • Zehm: Response to defense counsel conflict

    Read the argument responding to the federal prosecutor’s claim that a conflict of interest exists with how Carl Oreskovich was hired by the city of Spokane to defend Officer Karl Thompson in the civil matter and how Oreskovich has proceeded with the criminal defense of Thompson for the upcoming June 2 trial.


  • Zehm: Defense counsel conflict

    Read the court filing, detailing why the federal prosecutor believes a conflict of interest exists with how Carl Oreskovich was hired by the city of Spokane to defend Officer Karl Thompson in the civil matter and how Oreskovich has proceeded with the criminal defense of Thompson for the upcoming June 2 trial.


  • Proposed Spokane police accountability ordinance

    Proposed changes to the powers of the Spokane Office of the Police Ombudsman, dated May 6, 2010. Among other things, the changes would allow the ombudsman to initiate investigations and talk to the complainant and witnesses rather than just sitting in on internal investigations. The Spokane City Council will consider the changes at its May 24, 2010, meeting.


  • Karl F. Thompson waiver of potential conflicts

    A court filing in which Karl F. Thompson, a Spokane police officer, acknowledges and waives potential conflicts of interest arising from his attorneys’ prior representation of Detective Larry Bowman, who could be called as a witness against Thompson in the Otto Zehm criminal case.


  • Prosecutors allege Karl Thompson’s divorce concocted

    This court filing by the prosecution in the federal criminal case against Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson alleges that he essentially concocted his 2008 divorce to hide assets in a civil case in the death of Otto Zehm and to ensure that taxpayers would pay for his criminal defense.


  • Quit claim deed for Karl Thompson

    This document transfers the deed for Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson’s Kootenai County home to Diana Jean Thompson (Harrison), the woman from whom he filed for divorce in 2008. Federal prosecutors are alleging that Thompson concocted the divorce to conceal his assets in the civil case in the death of Otto Zehm.


  • Memo in support of Otto Zehm case computer modeling

    A memorandum filed by U.S. prosecutors supporting the admissibility as evidence of 3-D modeling of the Zip Trip convenience store where Spokane police confronted Otto Zehm.


  • Memorandum to drop evidence of Otto Zehm’s innocence

    A memorandum filed by the defense for Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson in support of a motion to exclude evidence supporting Otto Zehm’s innocence from Thompson’s federal trial.


  • Memorandum to exclude Zehm witnesses’ testimony

    A memorandum filed by the defense for Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson in support of a motion to exclude from Thompson’s federal trial witness testimony from the two young women who first called in suspicious person report on Otto Zehm.


  • Federal filing in Otto Zehm investigation

    Document filed by prosecutors presenting allegations of a cover-up in the Spokane police investigation of Otto Zehm’s death in 2006 after a confrontation with officers.


  • SPD deposition 01 - Detective Mark Burbidge

    Deposition of Spokane police Detective Mark Burbidge filed by the City of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 02 - Officer Erin Raleigh

    Deposition of Spokane police Officer Erin Raleigh filed by the City of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 03 - Officer Steve Braun

    Deposition of Spokane police Officer Steve Braun filed by the city of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 04 - Asst. Chief Jim Nicks

    Deposition of Spokane police Asst. Chief Jim Nicks filed by the City of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 05 - Officer Zachary Dahle

    Deposition of Spokane police Officer Zachary Dahle filed by the City of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.

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