The Spokesman-Review

Letters to the Editor

SATURDAY, DEC. 29, 2012

Zehm case hurt credibility

Don Brockett’s Nov. 25 article, “Justice system needs fixing,” made excellent points regarding the imbalance between crime victims’ rights and the rights of criminals. His assessment of the need to address the “us against them” attitude adopted by some law enforcement officers in their “war against crime,” and the periodically unsatisfying results of that adoption, was right on the money.

Two big questions: Will other police officers involved in Otto Zehm’s death, who later apparently lied to a federal grand jury, be prosecuted? If not, why not?

This case already has many unseemly aspects: first, collusion by on-the-scene officers and their superiors to invent a reality more favorable to them following Otto’s death, including attempts to suppress security camera footage showing what actually transpired; second, the need for federal intervention to belatedly prosecute Karl Thompson Jr.; third, the excessive time required to convict and sentence Thompson, costing taxpayers over $500,000 for his defense fees; fourth, his laughably lenient sentence; and fifth, other involved officers getting a free pass.

Spokane, what makes you think you can really trust Thompson’s co-workers to do better next time? Or don’t you care?

David Fietz

Springdale, Wash.



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