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Letters to the Editor

Thu., Nov. 12, 2009

Zehm posed little threat

It’s rare that a letter to the editor gets my goat, but Joanne Vincent’s recent letter (Nov. 7) regarding who is at fault over what happened to Otto Zehm sure did. She wrote “Perhaps the Zehm family and caretakers should share in the blame for what happened” that day. What?

For clarity, let’s skip the “who’s at fault” bit and focus on “what happened.” Poor Otto had the misfortune of standing there in a convenience store holding a two-liter pop bottle minding his own business. Then Officer Thompson walked up and started wailing on him with his baton.

The video shows that Otto didn’t “lunge” at the officer. I also find it highly debatable whether or not the two-liter plastic bottle of Pepsi Otto was holding can be considered a “dangerous weapon” as was alleged by the Spokane Police Department.

If Officer Thompson perceived that his life and that of the other patrons and employees in that store were in mortal jeopardy from poor ol’ Otto, Thompson could have done as is seen on TV cop shows all the time: stand back, draw his gun, and command “OK, drop the Pepsi! And don’t even think of going for that Hostess Twinkie!”

Greg Lloyd

Spokane Valley

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