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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Police Brutality Charge Investigated

From Staff And Wire Reports

The Spokane Police Department announced Monday that it has begun an internal investigation into alleged police brutality at a North Side nightclub.

But the chairwoman of the Spokane Human Rights Commission said an outside agency should be looking into the complaint.

“I think the residents of Spokane would feel much more secure and satisfied if there were an external investigation,” Janet Stephenson said.

The commission lacks the authority to launch its own investigation into officer conduct, Stephenson said.

Gregory Rogers, 38, of Spokane claims he was beaten by police at Swackhammer’s on Feb. 5. The incident was captured by a security camera in the bar’s entryway.

The video shows Rogers being wrestled to the ground and punched after he pushed an officer.

Deputy Police Chief Larry Hersom said the department won’t comment until the investigation is completed in order to protect the privacy of Rogers and the officers involved.

Stephenson said the police report should be made public.

“They (police) expect us to trust the investigation. Likewise, they should trust an investigation of those to whom they have pledged to protect,” she said.

Rogers’ attorney, Pat Stiley, presented copies of the videotape and formal complaints to police and the human rights commission last week.

Rogers has been charged with third-degree assault. The confrontation with police began after they attempted to question him about a previous fight at the bar.

, DataTimes

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