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WA Lege Day 19: Shedding light on officer-involved deaths

 OLYMPIA – Medical examiners would be able to discuss the results of autopsies in case involving police shootings, giving them a chance to clear up what Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich refers to as “misinformation and myths” in some controversial cases, under a bill being considered by the Senate.

The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, is designed to lift some confidentiality restrictions on autopsy reports when a death occurs in the custody of a law enforcement officer or during police contact.

Confidentiality restrictions, which under state law cover most autopsy and post-mortem investigation reports, also would be lifted for deaths that occur in a prison or jail.

If the proposed law were in effect, Knezovich said he’d be able to explain details of cases like the Sept. 5 death of Edward Gover . . .

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Valley shooting probe expected soon

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Monday that he expects within days that detectives will complete and turn over to prosecutors the probe into last week's deputy-involved shooting.

Deputies Aaron Childress and Eric Werner remain on paid administrative leave as Spokane Police detectives work to complete the investigation into their shooting last Wednesday of 47-year-old Edward S. Gover.

Knezovich had indicated earlier in the investigation that deputies knew Gover was suicidal or homcidal prior to the car chase, foot chase and eventual shooting.

Asked where that information came from, Knezovich indicated that the reports will include comments that Gover made to another woman prior to his returning to the home at 1309 N. Skipworth Court.

The incident began when Gover returned there driving his girlfriend's Mercedes convertible as deputies were taking a domestic violence report from the night before where the girlfriend claimed that Gover had held her captive and cut her with a knife.

Read previous coverage here.