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Stories tagged: Spokane Police Department


Big changes urged for police review

A consultant’s report recommends substantial changes for a citizen commission overseeing the Spokane Police Department and sweeping reforms in the way the department handles internal affairs investigations. The report also …


Enhanced Zehm video released

The city of Spokane released the “enhanced” surveillance video Friday that Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker previously said he would use to help him decide whether to file charges against …


Our View: Trust in cops a must

The good news is that the decision on whether to file criminal charges against police officers in the Otto Zehm case has been postponed. The bad news is that this …


New evidence delays Zehm decision

The FBI has found new evidence in the fatal struggle between mentally ill janitor Otto Zehm and seven Spokane police officers, prompting Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker to again delay …


Review of Zehm probe on hold

The independent review ordered by Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession of Otto Zehm’s death will have to wait, too. A hired consultant told Hession on Wednesday he won’t review the Police …


Caruso criticizes Zehm case delay

Democratic challenger Bob Caruso ripped Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker on Friday, saying the Republican incumbent has waited long enough to decide whether to file any criminal charges in connection …


Mask ruled out as cause of Zehm’s death

A plastic mask with a dime-size hole apparently did not cause Otto Zehm to stop breathing during his fatal March 18 confrontation with Spokane police officers, the medical examiner has …


Zehm held pop bottle

The pop bottle has appeared. A video released Thursday shows Otto Zehm had a 2-liter plastic bottle in his hands as he lay on his back in the initial stages …


Detective’s report finds force justified

The lead detective investigating the fatal encounter between seven police officers and mentally ill janitor Otto Zehm concluded that the first officer on the scene was justified in striking Zehm …


Unfazed Sheriff’s Office stands by investigation

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office apparently couldn’t provide the “independent” review that Mayor Dennis Hession now believes is necessary to oversee the investigation into the death of Otto Zehm. The …


Timeline recounts statements by police officials in Zehm case

A look at the statements Acting Spokane Police Chief Jim Nicks and department spokesman Cpl. Tom Lee made to The Spokesman-Review regarding the March 18 encounter with 36-year-old Otto Zehm …


Doug Clark: Acting chief failed to act responsibly

I have no control over what happens once I turn in my column and it heads off to the press room. So there’s a chance that by the time you …


Our View: Police squandered public trust after Zehm’s death

Like a charge from a stun gun, the security video of Otto Zehm’s fateful struggle with cops is a searing jolt to the credibility of the Spokane Police Department and …


Zehm case déja vu

A mentally ill man ends up dead after being suddenly approached by Spokane police officers who wrestle him to the ground, apply handcuffs and leave him on his stomach for …


Past Taser use recorded

The Spokane police officers who used their stun guns three times in a fatal confrontation with Otto Zehm on March 18 have used their Tasers 10 other times since 2003, …


Chief still backs force

Even though police have backed away from their earlier version of how the fatal struggle with a mentally ill janitor began, acting Chief Jim Nicks said Friday he still believes …


Transcript of 911 call on Zehm released

Editor’s note: The following is a transcript of a 911 call by a young-sounding woman who reported a suspicious man as she and a female friend used a drive-up ATM …


Police admit inaccurate account of fatal beating

Acting Spokane Police Chief Jim Nicks acknowledged Thursday that he gave inaccurate information while trying to defend his officers’ actions during a fatal struggle with Otto Zehm, the mentally disabled …


Video shows Zehm backed away

Otto Zehm’s life played out violently in a grainy convenience store surveillance video kept from the public for months. The city of Spokane released copies to the media on Thursday, …


Police were initially told Zehm had stolen money

The following is a time-compressed account of the police radio traffic on the Otto Zehm response:


Scandals discussed at forum

The three out-of-town candidates for police chief all knew about the sex scandal in which two Spokane police officers, investigating an alleged rape, ordered the deletion of explicit photos of …


Oversight of police an issue

Four finalists who want to be Spokane’s next police chief currently work at departments where civilian oversight is either defunct, under challenge or doesn’t exist at all. All four candidates …


Police clarify use of nonlethal force

Spokane police unveiled on Monday a half-hour public presentation explaining the Police Department’s policy on use of nonlethal force, including the controversial Taser stun gun. Deputy Police Chief Al Odenthal …


Zehm files under gag order

Hours before Acting Police Chief Jim Nicks held a press conference Tuesday to defend his officers by talking about portions of the investigation into the death of Otto Zehm, a …


Otto Zehm’s death ruled a homicide

The Spokane County medical examiner ruled Tuesday that Otto Zehm died as a result of homicide following his March 18 confrontation with Spokane police officers.


Friends remember ‘gentle lion’

About two dozen friends and co-workers of Otto Zehm, who died after struggling with police March 18, remembered him Monday as a “gentle lion.” Spokane police say officers shocked the …


Deaths raise Taser questions

The cause of Otto Zehm’s death is still being investigated. But because the mentally disabled janitor died after a scuffle with Spokane police, the city has been thrust into an …


‘Upset’ chief blocks records

The Spokane Police Department is withholding public records requested by The Spokesman-Review because acting Police Chief Jim Nicks is angry with the newspaper’s recent coverage of two high-profile cases. The …


FBI not studying Zehm case

The FBI announced Thursday it erred this week when a spokeswoman disclosed that agents were looking into the death of Otto Zehm, who died following a March 18 scuffle with …


Only two officers used Tasers on Zehm

The Spokane Police Department for the first time Wednesday said that only two of seven responding police officers used their Tasers against 36-year-old Otto Zehm during a March 18 scuffle. …