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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Thu., April 25, 2013, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

Judge J. Stanley Webster ruled that Elizabeth Weber, 17, was in fact illegally imprisoned by Spokane authorities. He instructed the jury in her civil suit that the only question they had to answer was how much money she should be given in damages.

The judge said, “There is no place in the law which provides that an officer may arrest a juvenile who has committed no offense without first causing a complaint and summons to issue.”

The jury went on to award Weber $1,250 in damages. The defendants, Spokane city and police officials, moved for the case to be retried because the damages “appeared to have been given under the influence of passion and prejudice” and because the jury had been influenced by a “newspaper cartoon and editorial.”

They were apparently referring to a cartoon on the front page of The Spokesman-Review that depicted the police chief and two other police officials covering their eyes, mouth and ears in the “See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil” posture. The caption said “Our Motto: We Never Sleep – Our Police Department.” The three were surrounded by posters saying, “Reward: Unsolved Murders.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1859: Ground was broken for the Suez Canal.

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