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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Officer’s body camera off during shooting

One Spokane police officer involved in the shooting of a domestic violence suspect last weekend was wearing a body camera but did not have it turned on, according to an initial investigation.

Spokane police Chief Frank Straub announced at a public forum on Oct. 31 that the 17 officers wearing body cameras as part of the department’s pilot program would record every interaction they responded to, except in extenuating circumstances. Police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said the department didn’t have any information about why the officer’s body camera was not turned on.

“That is part of the ongoing investigation,” she said.

The suspect, Joseph E. Hensz, 20, led officers on a lengthy car chase, eventually crashing in the 2200 block of North Post Street. Investigators said Hensz was driving over 100 miles per hour at times and at one point almost crashed into an officer’s car.

The shooting occurred after the crash. Witnesses said they heard shouting and then gunfire.

No other information has been released, including whether Hensz was armed. He remains in stable condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

The Washington State Patrol is investigating. Police arrested Hensz on suspicion of domestic violence stalking and driving a stolen car.

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