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Lawsuit filed over ‘09 police shooting

Spokane police and sheriff's investigators examine the scene and cover the body of Jason Poss, who was shot on July 10, 2009. (SRphoto/Jesse Tinsley)

A federal lawsuit has been filed by the parents of a man shot and killed by Spokane police in 2009 after he attacked a woman with a skateboard and stabbed a dog.

The suit alleges that either Spokane police Officer Kellee Gately or Officer Jason Curtis fired the fatal bullet – testing apparently was not able to determine the gun of origin – after 23-year-old Jason Poss had already been shot once, knocked down and disarmed of his knife.

The suit alleges that Gately and Curtis violated Poss’ civil rights by using “excessive force, deadly force, and/or inadequate training.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

July 10, 2009: Spokane police kill knife-wielding man

Why was Jason Poss killed?

Good morning, Netizens…

Everyone in the neighborhood, save the victim of the assault committed at her house on Glass Street, are asking the same questions. What happened to Jason Poss? There is hardly a day goes by this week that someone asks that question. Yesterday, while delivering our mail, the postman spoke up, stating that he recognized Poss’s face immediately, as Poss had walked through our neighborhood many times, and always seemed like a cheerful, amiable enough person, which came as quite a surprise because the postman talks to everyone while making his rounds.

What is even worse than the conflicting stories about the assault and eventual shooting of Jason Poss is there is a vacuum from the Police Department when it comes to the facts surrounding Poss being shot. There are conflicting stories, including witnesses who saw the shooting take place. Coming the in the face of a string of officer-involved deaths, were the police statements given after the death of Jason Poss truthful? Was this a case of police over-reaction?

Why was Poss shot after he was down on the ground and the knife out of his hand?

A person who I implicitly trust and admire, a tax-paying God-fearing woman has stated that, “…cops these days scare me. If I see one driving behind me, I simply leave the area rather than take a chance they will stop me.”

This isn’t right.

Innocent citizens should not fear the police. The death of Jason Poss only augments the argument that our police need training on how to deal with mentally-impaired citizens. My guess is that they are studying the situation, and perhaps if we are lucky, someone will come down off the police administration mountain and promise us that. Perhaps not.