A teenager who accused Spokane County prosecutors of racism, sparking a civil rights protest, was arrested Sunday in connection with a North Side shooting.
Tim Buchanan Jr., 18, was booked into the county jail on suspicion of being an accomplice to the shooting.
Buchanan was released Tuesday because prosecutors have decided not to file charges against him or two other men arrested after the shooting.
“There were a bunch of conflicting versions of the incident,” Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll said Tuesday. “The best evidence we have only points to just one gunman involved.”
That suspect is Gennady Yakshin, 19, of Spokane, who police said fired two shots at a car at Division and Carlisle shortly after midnight Sunday.
There were no injuries, police said.
Yakshin is facing two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.
Police said Buchanan was one of three people in the car with Yakshin.
In a jail interview Monday night, Buchanan said he didn’t know Yakshin had a gun before the shooting, and was surprised to learn that officers found a knife and baseball bat in the car.
“I’m trying to graduate, man, I can’t be in here,” said Buchanan, who said he attends Jantsch High School.
Buchanan, who is black, became a civil rights symbol following a Sept. 7 brawl at the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds. The teenager, who was then 17 and attending University High School, got into a fight with East Valley High student Tristan Beeman.
Before the fight ended, Beeman’s mother, Karen Beeman, stabbed Buchanan three times from behind with a double-edged boot knife as she tried to defend her son.
Sheriff’s deputies made no arrests afterward, sparking an outcry from Buchanan and his family, Unity in Action and other local civil rights groups. They maintained that Karen Beeman would have been arrested if she was black and Buchanan was white.
The FBI recently said it will investigate a civil rights complaint filed over the lack of criminal prosecution.
“I guess it doesn’t look too good that I’m in jail,” Buchanan said.
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