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Moose moved from Indian Trail neighborhood

WILDLIFE — A rutting bull moose and the cow moose he was pursuing near Woodridge Elementary School was tranquilized and removed from the Indian Trail neighborhood Monday, but not before his 900-pounds made kindling out of a section of the wood fence around the Dave and Marcia Hardy's home.

Marcia, who watched the events through the window of her house said she was amazed at the size of the animal.

She also praised the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers for their safety and efficiency in handling the situation, even when crowds of neighbors showed up to take photos and after a neighbor drove by and spooked the moose into a more difficult place to handle.

Incidentally:  The bull already had a red tag in its ear after being rescued in 2010 when it had become entangled in an electrified fence on Green Bluff, WDFW officers said.

Hunters with a moose permit should avoid these moose because the tranquilizing drug remains in their system for a month, WDFW says.  Both animals were transported and released near Lake of the Woods in north Spokane County near the Pend Oreille County Line and the Idaho border. 

The cow has a yellow ear tag and the bull has a red ear tag — and it's antlers have been sawed off for safety during transport.

Romance lost?  Both moose were released together.  After the ordeal, it may be the bull who tells the cow, “Not tonight, I have a headache.”

High-speed chase ends in collision

A high-speed chase ended in a collision at Perry and Baldwin Streets. The suspect is in custody.

Police report the suspect was wanted in connection to an incident involving a gun yesterday. The suspect fled from police when they began chasing him, striking one car. Police executed a PIT maneuver, stopping him at the corner of Perry and Baldwin.

They were unable to provide more information about the suspect or his identity at the scene of the crash.

Funeral Set In Police-Involved Killing

Eric Byron Johnston died of multiple gunshot wounds in Sunday morning’s confrontation with a Coeur d’Alene police officer, the county coroner said, but investigators are not yet disclosing how many times the Dalton Gardens man was shot. Witnesses described hearing up to five shots. Johnston’s body has been released to his family, and they are making arrangements for a funeral this Saturday afternoon. The Idaho State Police also has not named the officer who shot Johnston inside the apartment of a friend near downtown Coeur d’Alene/Scott Maben, SR.

Thoughts?

Friends Recall Man Shot By CdA Cops

A submitted photo (from Wendy Woods) of her friend Eric Byron Johnston, the man shot and killed Sunday morning by a Coeur d'Alene Police officer. (Courtesy of Wendy Woods)

Wendy Woods stood next to her blood-soaked carpet this morning and cried for the loss of her close friend, Eric Byron Johnston, who was shot and killed Sunday morning by a Coeur d’Alene police officer. “He was so funny, so sweet – the most reliable friend in my life,” Woods said. “And for them to just come here and shoot him dead like that? It’s sickening.” Other friends and family members reacted today with shock and anger over the shooting inside an apartment at 1422 E. Young Ave., north of Sanders Beach. “Eric was like the backbone in my company,” said Charles Ray Larsen III, who owns Ray’s Rooftop Moss Removal in Coeur d’Alene. “Eric was the kind of person that wouldn’t step on an ant – a quiet, gentle soul.” Johnston, 35, a Dalton Gardens resident, was shot multiple times from about 10 feet away as he clutched a serrated kitchen knife, according to accounts of the confrontation shortly before 8 a.m./Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Thoughts?

Man Shot, Killed By CdA Police ID’d

Sources tell The Spokesman-Review that the man shot and killed Sunday by a Coeur d’Alene police officer was Eric Byron Johnston, 35, of Dalton Gardens. Johnston worked at a mechanic at Complete AutoCare in Dalton Gardens and also worked for his brother-in-law at Ray’s Rooftop Moss Removal in Coeur d’Alene. David Larsen, a close friend and coworker at Complete AutoCare, said Johnston was soft-spoken and a hard worker. “Just a good guy all around, you know, give the shirt off his back to help you out,” he said. Johnston was shot shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday at the apartment of a friend at 1422 E. Young Ave., north of Sanders Beach and west of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course. Police said he had smashed his pickup truck into an Avista Utilities pole, severing it at the base, a block and a half away from there about a half hour earlier/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Thoughts?

Butte man arrested for impersonating officer

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Police in Butte have arrested a man on suspicion of impersonating a public servant, driving under the influence and reckless driving.

The Montana Standard reports (http://bit.ly/14XV7dy ) 47-year-old James S. Richards Sr. of Butte was arrested Tuesday and remained jailed Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors allege Richards was driving recklessly on Interstate 90 near Ramsay Tuesday afternoon and forced another vehicle to pull over. The four people in the vehicle said Richards confronted them and claimed to be a member of a drug task force before leaving the scene without further incident.

They called 911.

A police patrol car stopped a pickup truck matching the description of the one that forced the vehicle off the road. The officer determined that Richards was intoxicated.

Moose killed in Spokane Valley after vehicle collision

WILDLIFE — A moose was killed by law enforcement officers after being severely injured in a collision with a car early this morning near the Spokane Valley Mall.

The moose — described by wildlife officials as a yearling — was hit by a large sport utility vehicle in the area near Evergreen Road and Indiana Avenue. The driver was not injured.

A police officer shot the animal and the meat will be donated to the Union Gospel Mission.

Fly fishers rescue drowning moose calf on Big Hole

WILDLIFE — A Pennsylvania OB-GYN doc on a guided fishing trip in southwestern Montana went home with an amazing tale of hauling in a 25-pound lunker — a baby moose plucked from the rushing waters.

Karen Sciascia of Red Hill, Pa., and guide Seth McLean with Four Rivers Fishing Co. were fishing the Big Hole River on Saturday when they spotted a cow moose with a calf trying to cross the river.

Sciascia told the Missoulian that the mother moose struggled to cross and when her calf tried to follow, it was swept away.

They followed downstream, finally spotting the tiny moose’s nose just above the water.

Sciascia says she scooped the moose out of the water and McLean rowed the raft upriver so they could return the calf to her mother.

Video: Officer frees bull moose tangled in swing

WILDLIFE — A moose was freed from a strange backyard entanglement this summer thanks to a brave Utah deputy and a pair of cutters.

Maybe you read the story about the bold and unusual rescue.

But the video above offers a clearer image. 

Anyone who's tried to handle deer, elk or moose for research or whatever can tell you that one lightning-fast kick can cause serious damage.

Good work, officer. 

Spirit Lake Cop Quits After Sex Claim

City sources confirm to KHQ's Dylan Wohlenhaus, the Spirit Lake police chief has resigned his position effective Wednesday, nearly 5 months after a sexual harassment tort claim was filed. KHQ reached out to Mayor Todd Clary who said Lawless has resigned his position for “personal reasons” and is no longer employed by the city.  KHQ also reached out to Patrick Lawless but calls were not returned. The former chief was also being investigated for child abuse allegations in Post Falls involving his girlfriends children. No charges were ever filed against Lawless/Dylan Wohlenhaus, KHQ. More here. (KHQ photo of Patrick Lawless)

Thoughts?

Armed and…ill

Many times when police encounter an armed person, that person is looking for a way to die – and want the cops to kill them. The phenomenon is so common it even has a name: suicide by cop. It happens in about 10-20 per cent of officer-involved shootings.

Police know this phenomenon and work to protect themselves while seeking ways to help the suicidal person. 

This weekend Spokane police were able to do exactly that.

(S-R archives photo: Interim Spokane police Chief Scott Stephens)

Policing ~ with care

Mental illness plagues many of our homeless neighbors. Their behavior is often interpreted as threatening or at least confusing and bothersome. The Seattle Police Department now has a mental health expert who rides with them, often as the initial contact for a person deemed experiencing a mental health crisis. Perhaps other law enforcement groups will take a look at this model of community policing - and create a compassionate outreach program like it. We all know someone who suffers from mental health challenges; we know that resources are few.

 A trained caregiver out in our community can reduce anxiety - for the person on the street as well as officers who are trained and committed to protect their communities.  

City Hall summit filled to the brim

This blog was a twittering and facebooking fool last night at City Hall's crime prevention summit. On stage were Mayor Mary Verner, Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. Colleague Jonathan Brunt had this story in today's paper.

It was interesting that only a handful of people stood up in support of Ivan Bush, long-time civil rights leader, when he talked about how Spokane has a race problem.
The crowd was more supportive of speakers who talked about preventing domestic violence, not that the two issues can be compared.
Interesting statistic from Chief Kirkpatrick: the Spokane Police Department made contact with people 132,000 times last year, made 4,516 arrests and visited 2,649 people on warrants.

Also: The NAACP is hosting a community meeting at East Central Community Center (500 S. Stone) on Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. to continue the conversation about the bomb found prior to the Martin Luther King Day March, race relations and policing.

Crime prevention summit at City Hall

Mayor Mary Verner, Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich are hosting a community conversation on how to prevent violence tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. in the city council chambers, lower level at City Hall. The meeting will be moderated by Steve Becker, Eastern Washington representative for Governor Chris Gregoire's office. The audience may ask questions and share opinions on crime and violence related issues.
The event is co-sponsored by a long list of community organizations and expected to draw business and community leaders from all over town - this blog is going.

Violence prevention summit Tuesday

Mayor Mary Verner, Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich are hosting a community conversation on how to prevent violence tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. in the city council chambers, lower level at City Hall. The meeting will be moderated by Steve Becker, Eastern Washington representative for Governor Chris Gregoire's office. The audience may ask questions and share opinions on crime and violence related issues.
The event is co-sponsored by a long list of community organizations and expected to draw business and community leaders from all over town - this blog is going.

Summary…

The meeting is wrapping up and Mayor Verner summarized it this way: “Rest assured that we recognize and value this little corner of the city. What I’m hearing is for you to report, report, report and then have faith that we are listening. It’s not CSI, it’s honest to goodness police work so it’s going to take a little while. Be patient. And report it again if it happens again.”

The Spokane Police Department’s Aim Report - which shows what the police department is aiming at - are available from the police department’s website www.spokanepolice.org

Business owners aim to protect reputation

Several business owners are upset with how and when media refer to Hillyard. One person said that when something good happens in Hillyard, the area is referred to as “Northeast Hillyard” - but when something bad happens, like the recent shooting at the Special K Bar (on Garland and Market) it’s referred to as “Hillyard” - an argument could be made that the Special K is not in Hillyard.

Part of the business owners’ frustration is that they say they have worked hard on changing Hillyard’s reputation and as long as crime continues to be a problem, they say, it is really hard to keep the good PR going.

Suggestions toward solving the problem

Major Stevens explains that SPD has a ‘repeat offender program’ and for the people who end up on that list “It’s kind’a like being on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. We notice that these people pop up and pop up and pop up - and we make an effort to catch those people.” You want to catch them, you don’t want to move them to another spot (this is repeated by several SPD officers).

Someone suggests a citizens police academy similar to one in King County. The Spokane citizens police academy was eliminated due to budget cuts about two years ago. The academy in Spokane was more informational, where the one in King County gives citizens an opportunity to ride along with officers and be more hands on.

Neighborhood “patrols”

One business owner talks about confronting two intruders on his property, cutting up steel and trying to steal his “stuff” out of a yard. This happened last night. He says he “kicked the guy’s” behind, because he ended up in a wrestling match with the intruders. He says he has a right to bear arms and confront people on his property, but he is tired of getting ripped off. (This business owner did eventually call 911 and file a report).

SPD response: a burglary in progress is “nirvana” for cops because they want to come and help people - so call in and report it to 911 on the spot. It’s important to call in and let police come out and do their job. If a burglar gets run off someone’s property, the burglar is likely to go somewhere else and break in again.

Mayor Verner: what I’m hearing is that people don’t report incidents because they don’t think anything is going to happen? (correct, business owners say) Verner explains that she gets “Aim Reports” from the SPD that show what the police department is focusing on. “We need a feedback loop, we need to find a way to get that information back to the community, so people don’t think their reports go into a black hole.”

Crime prevention measures

They are labor intensive, someone has to watch them all the time. The business owners in Hillyard have purchased ISP addresses so their camera feeds can be viewed at the COPS shop.

SPD needs license plate numbers, times and dates. Descriptions of the people who show up frequently, but be careful while you are doing it so you don’t get into a confrontation with drug dealers or other criminals.
Report incidents even if you don’t think police is going to come out - it helps the police department build a pattern of activity, if there is one. Some of this information may be useful in court.

COPS suggests Business Watch - a plan like Block Watch, just for businesses. This effort has been very successful in the International District on East Sprague.

Note: These are essentially my notes, the way I take them at any meeting I cover - experimenting with live blogging.

SPD explains what it’s doing already

SPD: patrol officers in general run from disaster to disaster. The drug unit is not well equipped to deal with drug problems like the one in Hillyard. SPD says that you can’t just throw a couple of officers out there in plain clothes and take care of it. Some smaller drug units will be formed in January.

SPD Major Stevens: one thing we are trying to do is coodinate with the community and the police department - sometimes we don’t communicate real well and coordinate our efforts - we are working on that. He says they are going to sustain the drug effort. One thing people in Hillyard can do is notice and report drug houses - it will help SPD pick people up. “The more information we have the better we can respond,” Stevens said.
He adds that they have a high level of technology that can help them sustain what they are doing - they want to keep the pressure up - especially with people that are identified as repeat offenders. “We are trying to get the judges on board to boost their bail up, so they don’t get out of jail so easily,” Stevens said.

What’s the problem?

Marv Peterson: “There is so much drug dealing and vandalism going on here. I was broken into. We know the people who did it but we can’t do anything about it.”

Richard Burris: “We sometimes go out at night to keep an eye on things. There was a lot of traffic and people were getting in your face. We are not asking for more protection, we know that you don’t have enough resources. What we are asking for is more undercover patrols - everybody can recognize a black and white patrol car from a mile away. It doesn’t work.” The community groups are hoping that the SPD will be able to switch some resources to undercover patrols instead of regular street patrols.

Luke Tolley: “The response to the letter we sent has been awesome. Where we are at now is how do we continue on and work with the city.”

 

It’s a who’s who in Hillyard right now

In response to a letter sent to City Hall and the Spokane Police Department in November, there’s a community meeting going on right now at the Outlaw Cafe on Market Street. About 30 people are here - including council member Amber Waldreff, Mayor Mary Verner and many representatives from the Spokane Police Department.

Apologies for typos in the following posts - it’s the first time I’m doing live blogging - fun, yet demanding!

Report suggests cop got a break. Ya think?

There needs to be a reckoning in law enforcement in Spokane County. The image is tarnished and they need to get back to being a public servant, rather than a brute bully who is above the law. True, it’s a few bad apples that are tainting the whole crop. It’s well past time to get in there and weed out the bad apples and the weeder needs to be someone other than the Chief or the Mayor.

An ombudsman is only going to be a bandaid. There needs to be an overhauling. How can cops who are supposed to be upholding the law, disregard it for themselves and then when they break the law, prosecuting attorneys “cut them a break.”

Well, give me a break. How about you?

Jeanie

Law enforcement roundup

Image is sullied, in Our View.

City reopens Bunch case.

Internal review suggests prosecutorial double standard.

Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

Olsen, Pete and prayers

Last night, Mayor Mary Verner and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick attended a prayer circle held  by the Native American community in the aftermath of the Pete-Olsen verdict. Tim Connor wrote this account for the Center For Justice

Reactions?

 

 

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Boise ombudsman — 10 years after

Boise seems generally happy to have had ombudsman Pierce Murphy for the past decade.  Murphy was brought to Spokane to discuss his job as the city was formulating how to create its position.

One key difference in Spokane’s set-up is that the longest the ombudsman can serve is six years. He/she would be appointed to a three-year term with the possibility of a second term. If that were the case in Boise, Murphy would’ve already been replaced with a less experienced person.

I’d imagine it takes a few years just to get the lay of the land and get comfortable in the job. I wonder if it limits the quality of the candidates if the city can only guarantee three years of employment.

Do you think the ombudsman job should have term limits?

 

Taser Death of Teen

I always wake up to my radio - usually the news, sometimes music - some song that will rattle around in my head over and over and over - but it beats the shrill siren of the buzzer. This morning, however, I think I’d prefer the buzzing. First words from the news caster: “A teen died Sunday after police in Michigan used the stun gun on him.” That nasty taser stuff again. I think tasers should be banned. I think they should be outlawed. Police are not being trained sufficiently to use them appropriately. They should be used instead of (in place of) a gun - and only in situations where the use of a gun is the only recourse.

I was watching The Mentalist last week, where the character Chief Theresa Lisbon is confronted by a bad guy who just punched one of her colleagues, when he stands in front of her and says, “you want some, too?” And she says, “no thank you” and tases him. In real life, I would call that misuse of a taser - that she was not in a life and death situation and didn’t need to use a gun.

Tasers just add fuel to the gang-in-uniform good-ol’-boys-club we’re-so-much-better-than-you “police” platform. There needs to be an overhauling done.

For more, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29865217/ “Amnesty International critical of Taser death.”

Jeanie

Officer Olsen not guilty

That’s what the jury said.

Because the jury determined the shooting was in self-defense, Olsen’s attorney is entitled to seek payment for his legal fees, and Olsen can seek back payment of his police wages.

Discuss.

 

What?!

Okay this just seems a little nuts to me, but I guess it could be a sign of things to come…

On Tuesday it was reported that a man from Taiwan asked cops to send him back to prison (seemingly out of desperation). He was unemployed, and had been released from prison only two years back.

When police found the 45-year-old convicted arsonist lying on a street in a popular Taipei shopping district, he requested a return to life behind bars, nostalgic for the 10 years he had already served, the China Post newspaper reported.

Wang had also contacted police separately with his request, a spokesman said. Officers who found him bought him a boxed lunch but declined to send him back to prison, the police spokesman said.

“We advised him to keep looking for work,” he said. “I don’t know why he can’t find a job. Maybe employers think he’s not suitable or that he’s too old.”

The original article can be found here.

Frankly, I can’t blame the guy. I mean, in prison, they get three square meals a-day. They have food, clothing, a bed, usually a room to themselves or maybe they have a cell mate. They even get time for exercise and recreation, including watching TV. In prison, life is pretty much worry-free as far as day to day living goes.

Keep in mind, this occurred in Taiwan and their economy is fairing poorly. But the US is just as bad off. Do you think we might start to see more instances of this? Will unemployed, ex-convicts request to return to prison? What about those who are just everyday civilians who are unemployed? What/where/who do you think they’ll turn to?