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Police looking for man who robbed Spokane gas station

Spokane police are looking for the man who robbed a gas station in East Central Spokane early Tuesday morning.

The robber entered the Tesoro station at 228 S. Thor Street about 12:15 a.m. He was armed with a knife and demanded cash from the clerk, police said in news release. The clerk complied and the robber fled on foot.

The man was described as a skinny black male, about 5-feet-3-inches tall. He was wearing a black, hooded coat, according to a video surveillance picture.

Police ask that anyone with information on the robbery to call (509) 456-2233.

Today’s lesson? Don’t spit on cops

A man wanted on an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant faces new charges after he spat on two Spokane police officers.

Lance C. Anderson, 35, was arrested Monday and taken to Deaconess Hospital for medical clearance before being booked at Spokane County Jail, according to an affidavit. Anderson was disorderly and spat at two of the police officers arresting him.

Anderson now faces two felony charges of third-degree assault for the spitting.

Police seek man who abandoned backpack of drugs

Spokane Police detectives need the public's help identifying a man who ran from a security guard last month, abandoning a backpack full of drugs as he fled.

The suspect was seen in the downtown area on Aug. 1 at 2:30 p.m., according to a news release. Police did not indicate the exact amount or how many drugs were in the man's backpack.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Drug Tip Line at 509-625-8210.

Spokane police, firefighter pay outpace region’s average wage

As budget discussions ramp up at the city of Spokane, a conservative think tank has released a study suggesting that pay for Spokane’s police and firefighters has not only outpaced the region’s average wages but is better than what their peers in larger Northwest cities are earning.

Among the highlights in the Seattle-based Washington Policy Center study: The average firefighter and police officer salary in Spokane is 87 percent higher than the median household income in Spokane; police and fire union dues total about $750,000 annually; and police and fire employees on average are compensated better than their peers in Portland.

Though the numbers could be read as an indictment, the study’s co-author said the study wasn’t meant to sway people but rather inform them.

“People can see what the numbers are and decide if they’re too low, too high or just about right,” said Chris Cargill, the center’s Eastern Washington director. “People make good policy decisions when they know the numbers.” Read more. Nicholas Deshais, SR


Officers respond to dozens of fireworks calls

Spokane Police responded to 141 fireworks calls on the Fourth of July, according to the Spokane police log.

The fireworks calls spiked after 9 p.m., though officers responded to calls throughout the day. There were 25 calls after 9 p.m. on Wednesday night.

Police also responded to ten calls of driving under the influence Thursday.

Thompson Gets 4 Years, 3 Months

Originally posted 5:08 p.m. Thursday

Updated: After being handed a sentence Thursday of more than four years in federal prison – the culmination of six years of investigations, legal action and community soul-searching – former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. walked away passively in handcuffs. U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle admonished the courtroom in advance that demonstrations of any kind would be inappropriate, and the sentence was greeted with silence by both Thompson and Zehm supporters. Defense attorney Carl Oreskovich lost a last-minute plea to keep the decorated officer out of jail pending appeal of his convictions for using excessive force and lying to investigators to cover up his actions/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

Question: Was justice served?

Man charged in attack ordered held

   The man charged with attacking a 62-year-old woman during a burglary last month that left her with serious injuries told police he was just trying to get out of her house when he threw an elbow at her.

   David J. Bassford, 38, appeared Monday before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese who ordered Bassford remained held on a $100,000 bond. He faces the charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and second-degree assault.

   On Sept. 6, police responded to 907 E. 8th Ave. after Rebecca Laurence said she found a man she didn’t know in her home trying to steal a camera.

   Laurence “yelled at him and ran up and grabbed the camera,” Sgt. Joe Peterson wrote in court records. “The suspect struck her in the face several times until she fell to the floor. (He) then hit her several more times while she was lying on the floor.

   “The suspect then picked Laurence up and threw her down a long flight of concrete stairs while maintaining possession of the camera and other items,” Peterson said. “The suspect then fled the scene.”

   The case broke when a witness said that on Sept. 6, he had been given a ride by David Bassford to his apartment, which is directly across from where Laurence lives.

   Bassford then told another witness, Gerry Ellerding, that he had just broken into a home and was surprised by a woman and forced to flee. Bassford then asked Ellerding to give him an alibi by claiming that Bassford was at the garage all day.

   On Friday, Peterson and another officer arrested Bassford and he agreed to talk to them.

Bassford told the officers that he knocked on Laurence’s door and when she didn’t answer, he went around to the back door and entered the home.

   “Bassford said he took several items including a camera and was then confronted by a woman,” Peterson wrote of Bassford’s statement. “When he turned to leave the residence, the woman grabbed his right shoulder and he swung his right elbow at the woman in order to let her go.”

   Department spokesman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said in an earlier news release that Laurence suffered “significant” injuries.

Judge Denies New Trial For Thompson

A federal judge has denied the motion for a new trial for convicted former Spokane Police officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. (pictured). Thompson’s lawyer Carl Oreskovich argued on Aug. 31 that Thompson should receive a new trial because federal prosecutors hid information from the defense that could have won his acquittal. Thompson was convicted by a federal jury in Yakima in November of using excessive force and lying to investigators in the violent 2006 confrontation with Otto Zehm, a mentally ill janitor mistakenly identified as a possible thief. Zehm died two days after being beaten, tasered and hog-tied by police in a Spokane convenience store/SR. Developing. (SR file photo)

Question: Anyone remember when Thompson was a captain under former sheriff Pierce Clegg?

Spokane losing first police ombudsman

Spokane’s first police ombudsman will soon be out of a job, and the city may be without a permanent replacement for several months.

Mayor David Condon has decided not to renew Ombudsman Tim Burns’ three-year contract that expires Aug. 24, said City Administrator Theresa Sanders. He will keep his job, however, until Oct. 31.

Sanders said Condon was uncomfortable extending Burns’ stay for the long term because the position is likely to change. The city’s Use of Force Commission is due to release its final recommendations for a reformed police oversight model next month. Condon also has said he will select a new police chief by the end of this month.

Read the rest of SR reporter Jonathan Brunt's article here.

Vestal: Addiction Excuse Used Before

Get a job with a badge and a gun. While catching drug dealers, start smoking pot and snorting coke. Just to fit in. Find yourself going a little further than your undercover duties require. Snort some more cocaine, then smoke it. Then smoke it. Then smoke it. Take paid leave to go to treatment, turn in your badge and gun – and sue the city of Spokane for $2 million, for getting you hooked on crack cocaine. If you thought the Brad Thoma case was something new under the sun, think again. A quarter-century ago, Spokane was rocked by a case with unmistakable similarities: an addicted cop, a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, and a City Hall that doesn’t want to settle … except it also doesn’t want to lose a lot of money in court. We don’t know the end of the Thoma case, yet. The City Council is showing some backbone, Thoma is suing, and the case will doubtlessly drag on for a good long while/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (Spokane police photo of Brad Thoma)

Question: Was the city of Spokane right in rejecting a proposed settlement with fired/disgraced former cop Brad Thoma?

I Want the Same Rights as Spokane Police

So, the latest and oh so similar story (same ol' same ol') has come to Spokane AGAIN.   Thanks to Chelsea Bannach's article  http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/feb/23/fired-officers-settlement-unleashes-outcry-review/ - once again I am amazed and angered that the City of Spokane has no spine!

Brad Thoma gets rewarded for acting badly - totally unprofessionally, totally contrary to the job description he failed to adhere to.  

How can a police officer break the law - whether or not he is on duty - and, after he is justifiably fired, get back pay???  This is outrageous!  Why can't city officials, including the new mayor, get a grip!  Enough of this!  

Clean up on aisles 78 through 159.  


1600 Beanie Babies Donated To Cops

Thanks to a donor, Spokane police officers have new toys to use to comfort children in traumatic situations. A young woman who wishes to remain anonymous recently gave the Spokane Police Department 1,600 Beanie Babies in near perfect condition. “Apparently she got into her 20s and decided she didn’t need them anymore,” said Officer Ryan Snider. All patrol cars will have a few of the miniature stuffed animals, which were once a collector’s craze. Wal-Mart donated sandwich bags to store them, Snider said. Patrol officers have long had older stuffed animals to give to the children they encounter in all types of calls, from car crashes to domestic violence reports and drug raids/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany SR photo: Spokane police patrol officer Ryan Snider holds two of the 1,600 Beanie Babies stuffed animals)


Question: What did you do with all those Beanie Babies you used to collect?

Thompson Juror: ‘A Police Coverup’

The forewoman of the jury that convicted Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. said none of the jurors brought information to deliberations from media reports, as alleged by defense attorneys seeking a new trial. Diane Riley, 57, of Ellensburg, granted an interview with The Spokesman-Review after first contacting the newspaper in an e-mail Monday to voice her concerns about allegations made by defense attorney Carl Oreskovich that jurors may have been exposed to television reports that indicated Otto Zehm was mentally ill – something U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle barred from the trial. Riley said no juror mentioned anything about gleaning information from media accounts and that the jury decided the case based only on the information presented at trial/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: How would you feel about your department if you were a Spokane police officer trying to do your best to serve the community?

Spokane Cops Salute Karl Thompson

Some four dozen Spokane Police officers and other supporters stood when someone yelled “Present Arms” and saluted Thompson as he was led away by U.S. Marshals without being handcuffed. As the crowd saluted in unison, attorney Jeffry Finer turned and apologized to the family of Otto Zehm, who died after a violent confrontation with Thompson and other officers in a North Spokane convenience store in 2006. Finer is representing Zehm’s family in a companion civil suit. Thomas Clouse story here.

Question: What do you make of this show of support from Spokane officers as Karl Thompson was being led away?

Spokane Cops Support Thompson

As the excessive force trial of Officer Karl Thompson enters its second week, many Spokane police officers have made his badge number their personal Facebook profile pictures as a show of support. Thompson is a mentor to many in the department and was drafted to run for police chief before Anne Kirkpatrick was appointed in 2006. His indictment on federal charges of lying to investigators and violating Otto Zehm's civil rights during the 2006 confrontation that led to Zehm's death has drawn the ire of many in the department, who have joined a Facebook group that says Thompson is “a media scapegoat, wrongly accused, and wrongly charged”/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Should Spokane police be taking sides in this case?

Strike One-Half

Hallelujah!  No taser or gun was fired!  

I am pleasantly surprised that, in a struggle with a combatant citizen, the Spokane police officers were able to subdue him without firing their guns or using their tasers - and in this case, it would probably have been justified.  Read about it at KREM.  My philosophy regarding police action has always been that their training should (and does) involve resolving conflicts through a process that avoids at all possible the use of deadly force.  And I consider tasers to be deadly force.  In this case, the officers faced continuous attacks from the resident. 



Spokane Police-involved shooting at the Special K Tavern…

Good morning, Netizens…

There has been a police-involved shooting at the Special K Tavern and Eatery on the corner of Market and and Garland in Hillyard at 9:34 PM last night. The police investigation resulted in Market being closed both north and south of Garland and Garland east of Market. Although details are still very sketchy at this hour, initial reports indicate there was a fight taking place outside the tavern, with one of the subjects being armed.

Police confronted the man with the gun and that is when he was shot.

There are several other police reports of criminal activities at the Special  K Tavern which can be found at


The police report states in part:

“We have been working the Special K tavern all week with several CFS have resulted in numerous fights both inside and out. There was a double stabbing on our days off there. Gang associates have the majority foot hold there and are mixed in with a few hard core criminals. All reports have been forwarded to liquor control board. ”

I would expect that by later on this morning more information will be forthcoming from the police department.


When can you judge a man?

Good afternoon, Netizens…

You probably should read Shawn Vestal’s piece on the police-involved shooting at Northwest Boulevard and Monroe which is http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/nov/24/to-police-officers-who-answer-the-call-thank-you/ to gain a different view of the perennial the police versus us contention that always seems to be present in our discourse. Then, read the story about three police officers who, in my opinion, went beyond the call of duty early this morning to rescue a suicidal man who wanted to jump off the Maple Street Bridge here http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/nov/24/suicidal-man-rescued-maple-st-bridge-pedestrian-ca/.

I just got off the phone with Shawn and in retrospect, I cannot help but remember one of the oldest lessons I learned as a young man growing up on my own in a harsh world. You cannot, history has taught me, judge a man until you have walked in his shoes.

I have never shot at a person. Had I done so, through years of having maintained good marksmanship through constant practice, I am relatively certain I would hit my target and thus take a human life, something I also am completely opposed to ever doing. But if it ever became necessary for me to do so to protect an innocent life, I could do so without a second’s thought.

However, to routinely strap on a weapon and be emotionally prepared to do that every day, to subconsciously keep in mind I might not be coming home that night because of a mentally-ill man with a shotgun, NO WAY. I reserve my deepest respect for those who can and do.


Should We Have Published Photo?

Spokane police Officer Greg Thieschafer checks the body of a male who was shot by police after a chase, near the corner of Indiana Avenue and Madison Street last Friday. The shooting closed a four-block area around the intersection of Northwest Boulevard and Monroe Street. Latest on gunman & shootout from Meghann Cuniff/S&G here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

DFO: NIC Sentinel instructor Nils Rosdahl & I discussed this photo this AM. He plans to discuss it in class with his journalism students. He doesn’t think the SR should have run a photo with a body in it. “What if it was one of your relatives,” he asked me. I, on the other hand, see it as the exception to the rule — a photo taken of the instigator of a very public event.

Question: What do you think? Publish? Or no publish?

CC: How Can We Stop Suicide By Cop?

Based upon what limited information is currently available a man, name unknown, left a house on Cedar and eventually ended up at the Indiana address, shooting a rifle or shotgun into the air sporadically. When police instructed him to drop the weapon he fired it at them. Eventually he was surrounded and shot by Spokane Police. There may be several versions, multiple choice details to this crime, but as far as I can tell from what little public information that exists, I would term this “Suicide by cop”. I can think of no other reason a man in possession of his senses, surrounded by police officers, would continue shooting his gun in the air in the vicinity of a busy city intersection. Now the real question remains: what can we as concerned individuals do to stop suicide by cop?/David Laird, Community Comment. More here. And: Meghann Cuniff SR story here.

Question: Can society do anything to reduce the number of episodes of suicide by cop?

Police: Pastor Shot While Drawing Gun

A Spokane Valley pastor had put his gun in the waistband of his pants and was reaching for it when he was shot by a Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy late last month, a Spokane Police investigator said at a news conference this afternoon. The pastor, Wayne Scott Creach, had approached an unmarked police car in the parking lot of his Spokane Valley business where Deputy Brian Hirzel was sitting processing tickets, Spokane Police Lt. Dave McGovern said at a press conference today. The driver’s side window was down, and Hirzel warned Creach up to six times to drop the handgun he was holding down at his side, McGovern said. Creach replied that “he didn’t have to” drop his gun, but stowed the gun in the waistband of his trousers, McGovern said/Spokesman-Review. More here

Question: What do you make of this announcement by Spokane police?

Noon: Ninjas Steal From Ferris High

Two suspects dressed in ninja-style black outfits broke into Ferris High School Saturday night, stealing thousands of dollars in electronics. Spokane Police are investigating the incident and reviewing surveillance video that shows the suspects inside the school. Images recorded at 11:06 p.m. Saturday night show the two suspects, dressed in black pants, black long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and wearing black masks covering everything but their eyes, walking around the corner of a Ferris hallway/Lindsay Chamberlain, KREM2. More here.

Question: Aren’t ninja outfits so 1980s? What would be more appropriate attire for the high school burglars?

Otto Zehm vindicated at last?

Good morning, Netizens…

First, before I revisit the sordid tale of how Otto Zehm was killed by the Spokane Police Department, I’m going to point you in a direction which I feel everyone needs to read. First, browse to http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/apr/15/feds-testimony-altered/?documents and realizing that it is a large PDF document and because it will take a considerable amount of time to digest, brace yourself and download the PDF file to your computer.

While you are at it, you might also read Thomas Clouse’s excellent article in the Spokesman relating to what we, prior to this time, have suspected but lacking evidence, could never prove. Browse to http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/apr/15/feds-testimony-altered/ and take out your notebooks. There is a lot to be digested here.

Karl Thompson notwithstanding, there are a well-known cast of miscreants in the story listed above and especially in the PDF file. There are allegations of trickery, deception, outright lying and altered public records, and these are allegedly just the members of the Spokane Police Department. Then there is that despicable Assistant City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi, of whom it is alleged he directly ignored repeated attempts to obtain public records and perhaps may have even conspired with others to thwart the federal grand jury investigation. Read the PDF. It gets worse than that.

According to preliminary findings, there was no allegations of aggressive behavior shown by Otto Zehm against police. However, there is ample proof on the Zip Trip videotapes that police beat the crap out of Otto Zehm while he attempted to protect his head and face from repeated blows with a 2 liter Pepsi bottle. All he wanted was a candy bar and a bottle of pop. Instead he ended up dead.

Kudos to Mr. Clouse for going with this controversial story and to Jeanie for advising me while I was away at work. This all makes me even more hungry for the truth once the Grand Jury returns with an opinion.

Rest in Peace, Otto. At least., based upon the information we now have, you might actually have a chance at the justice you so richly deserve.


Mayor states Budget will result in cutbacks.

Good evening, Netizens…

It seems quite typical that anytime you have the Prosecutors, Fire Department and Police Guild involved in any public issue, you nearly always end up with facts that do not match. Mayor Mary Verner doesn’t seem to get her figures quite right, either.

Verner and the City Council agreed earlier this year that they would push for half the $7 million deficit to come through union concessions and that if unions didn’t choose to participate, unions that didn’t agree to cuts would face job loses equal to the amount demanded through concessions.

In her speech made before the City Council Monday, she stated that 22 police jobs would be eliminated from the City Budget in 2010 due to budgetary constraints. The multi-million dollar budget shortfall has been discussed both in and out of public meetings for several months, but to date, no one from the Guild has negotiated a solution that would avert personnel cutbacks.

When you begin looking closely at the figure of 22 police officers being laid off due to the budget cutbacks, Police Guild President Ernie Wuthrich says 19 of the 22 positions on the chopping block are already empty because most were left open after retirements. Therefore, only three current officers could be laid off. Why would Mary Verner omit that important detail, of 22 versus 3 officers laid off?

After the meeting Verner stated to various members of the news media that she was not ruling out a last-minute concession by the union, before she presents her budget to the City Council November 2.

That doesn’t sound very optimistic to me. In fact, I have a fairly difficult time being optimistic about the Police Guild. They seem like part of the problem, not part of the cure, regardless of the issues involved.

Portions from KREM-TV


Who is lying?

Good morning, Netizens…

I would have commented on the trial and acquittal of Rob Boothe yesterday, and how the Wall of Blue filled the court room and tastelessly applauded his acquittal after the jury had left the room, but to be frank, someone is lying, and I hate it when that happens. It simply diminishes my respect for the police in Spokane. It makes me contemptuous and quite fearful of their virtually unlimited authority, because by not telling the absolute truth, they are unworthy of wearing the badge.

We have two sworn officers of the law, Officers Erin Blessing and Shaidon Storch, who testified during the trial that they witnessed Boothe kick John Luna in the face while he was handcuffed in custody, supine upon the ground. Both Blessing and Storch were close enough to Boothe and the suspect, they reasonably would have have had a good view of things. John Luna said someone kicked him in the face but he couldn’t see who it was.

It takes a lot of guts for a police officer to testify against another police officer. There is an unwritten code among police officers that one does not contradict their fellow officers. One does not testify against them, even if what is being stated is the truth. This is why the Wall of Blue is so corrupt; it is historically difficult to get the truth when a police officer is involved in the commission of a crime.

Then, on the other hand, we had several other officers who testified they saw nothing of the kind, that Boothe did not kick the suspect in the face.

Someone is lying. Who?

Having been acquitted of kicking John Luna, the case of choir boy Rob Boothe is over, and he will slip into anonymity behind the Wall of Blue once again. He still faces an Internal Affairs investigation, and perhaps even the wrath of Chief Ann Kirkpatrick. I do not believe for a moment that Chief Kirkpatrick condones nor would willingly stand by when officers are lying, regardless of rank.

It is time to clean the house, to tear down the Wall of Blue. It is time, once again, for the unexpurgated, untarnished truth to come forth, and public disclosure take place lest my contempt and the contempt of every citizen in Spokane for the Police Department continues to grow unabated.


Spokane To Rally Vs. Police Abuse

ALoafOfBread: This Thursday (6/25) at 5pm at Spokane City Hall, folks from many community groups will be rallying against police abuse and for police accountability. The focus will be calling on the city to push for full investigative authority for the Ombudsman when the city re-negotiates its contract with the police guild this summer. We welcome everyone to come join us in this nonviolent expression of the outrage, distrust, embarrassment, and concern that so many in our community feel about the ongoing SERIES of incidents and the city’s continually unsatisfying responses.

Question: What would happen in Coeur d’Alene or Post Falls, if the local police were involved in the sort of shenanigans that seem to be an ongoing thing in Spokane?

Why I did not attend Friday evening’s show…

Good evening, Netizens…

Thus far, I know of only one of the purported half-dozen people who attended last night’s first showing of the Police Ombudsman candidates, and the comments of this person regarding the process were not all that complimentary either. In fact, I haven’t heard from one person who was astronomically wowed by the first meeting. Although, as the Spokesman-Review has noted in a piece about the Ombudsman introductions here, http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/may/30/protest-outdraws-ombudsman-forum/ the number of people who attended the protest regarding the Ombudsman role vastly out-numbered those who attended the 5:00 PM meet-and-greet session.

Why didn’t I attend?

One: I do not believe for a moment that an Ombudsman without any independent investigative authority over Police or their Guild is capable of doing their job. Barring the ability to investigate police, what good is the Ombudsman’s office to begin with? I have seen first-hand and read accounts where a vibrant, active Ombudsman, armed with the right to investigate charges against police, would be an invaluable asset to our community. However, without that right by law, my prediction is that an Ombudsman without investigative authority will result in the same runaround and half-truths that take place already.

Two: Planning a public meeting of this type at 5:00 PM on a Friday night virtually guarantees that few, if any people will bother to show up. Furthermore the lack of planning shows disdain for the common person who has to work for a living, make dinner and take care of their families, just the sort of grandstanding I have come to associate with Queen Mary Verner, Mayor of Spokane.

With the people already distrustful of the process by which the Office of the Ombudsman was created, and the apparent lack of trust they have in the Police Department, Spokane needs a more generic overhaul beginning at the top of the administrative towers of power.


Police search killer’s boyfriend’s computers

A search warrant filed this week regarding the Spokane police investigation into the boyfriend of convicted killer Shellye L. Stark reveals new details.


The day police arrested Brian L. Moore in Anahiem, Calif., on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder, a Post Falls private investigator Moore hired, Ted Pulver, gave detectives a zip drive that he said contained a conversation between Moore and Michael Kendall, Moore’s former Orange County business partner.

“Moore later filed an alleged extortion complaint against Kendall in an attempt to prevent Kendall from cooperating with the police investigation,” wrote Detective Kip Hollenbeck in the search warrant, which was filed Tuesday in Spokane County District Court. “Your affiant believes probable cause exists to search this zip drive to examine the contents for any evidence related to this investigation.”

Pulver (featured left in an April 2008 photo by the SR’s Kathy Plonka) and Kendall are witnesses in the case against Moore, who’s accused of helping Stark plan the Dec. 9, 2007, murder of her husband, Dale Robert Stark, then working with her to concoct a sordid tale of spousal abuse to support a self defense claim.

A jury rejected that claim after a two-week trial in March, and Stark was sentenced to 50 years in prison last month. She remains in Spokane County Jail.

Her new lawyer, Julie Twyford, filed a motion last week asking Judge Tari Eitzen to reconsider the length of Stark’s sentence and Eitzen’s past rejection of motions for a new trial and an arrest of judgment. Included with the filing is a declaration from inmate Christine W. Warman.

Warman said she was in a holding cell with Stark and four other inmates on April 30. After Stark left, one of the inmates said her father served on the Stark jury and said jurors discussed details of the case when they weren’t supposed to, Warman said.

The state has not yet filed a response to that motion. Once that happens, Eitzen will set a hearing to rule on the motion.

Stick with The Spokesman-Review for updates.

Update: the state filed a response this week, and it’s now in the online court system. Eitzen has a hearing set for 3 p.m.

Grant Money available to SPD…

Good evening, Netizens…

The Spokane Police Department is about to garner some fairly substantial grant money, and tonight we’re going to help them spend it. That isn’t officially what is expected to happen. In fact, I can hear the sounds of machinations taking place at the highest levels of the SPD on what complies with the terms of the grant, and how best to portray the need.

The money, part of the economic stimulus package, was added to an existing program known as the Edward Byrne Justice Assistant Grants, designed to get more police on the street, more training and equipment to agencies, and more help for crime victims, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said.

The White House has promised to review all requests and approve or reject them within two weeks, a Cantwell spokeswoman said.

The program divides the money between states and local governments. Under its formula, the city of Spokane could request more than $824,000,

No, this is about law enforcement, enforcing the laws of the State of Washington fairly and decently, something that seems to have fallen on hard ears in the last few years.

One priority: fix the incongruous public release of crimes that is released to the news media to where ordinary citizens can read it. Most of the police activity logs are worthless, at least to those unfamiliar with Police jargon. Plus half the time, the actual address or location of where the crimes took place are never published. Unless it happens to be a really big crime, the criminal reports, as seen in the Spokesman-Review, are not worth boiling in linseed oil. Fix it!

Create more police on patrol; less cops behind desks in City Hall. Some of the new technology in police cars is designed to reduce the amount of time police otherwise spend filing their reports. Is it truthful that these reports are still not being filed online? I want an Internet Tsar for the Spokane Police Department, someone who will help streamline the police and bring them into a new awareness of and full use of the Internet, making certain no cops are looking at indecent sites online.

Make the faces of the police as we know them to be more human, less like automatons programmed to suspect everyone in sight. Stop incidents such as the murder of Otto Zehm before they ever get started. We trust them. When will they learn to trust most “ordinary” citizens?

There undoubtedly are others. Feel free to contribute.


Catch But Not Release

Domestic violence suspect Paul Reinhardt is attended to by Spokane Police on the eastside of Latah Creek Monday morning. Police were chasing Reinhardt when he abandoned his car at 27th and Inland Empire Way. He ended up crossing the cold waters of Latah Creek. After police arrested him, the Spokane Fire Department did a technical rescue to bring him up a cliff. Story here. (Colin Mulvany/SR)