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Tuesday, October 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane police to investigate officer’s use of force after criminal charges not filed

UPDATED: Thu., Sept. 19, 2019, 8:35 p.m.

The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office declined to file criminal charges Wednesday against Spokane police officer Kristopher Henderson in relation to an internal excessive force complaint in July. (Spokane Police Department Facebook)
The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office declined to file criminal charges Wednesday against Spokane police officer Kristopher Henderson in relation to an internal excessive force complaint in July. (Spokane Police Department Facebook)

The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office declined to file criminal charges Wednesday against Spokane police officer Kristopher Henderson in relation to an internal excessive force complaint in July.

During an initial review, Spokane police Internal Affairs determined Henderson’s use of force in a July incident appeared to violate department policy, according to a news release. The incident involved a pursuit, resisting arrest and an assault of an officer.

No further information about the incident, the nature of the complaint or the reasons the prosecutor’s office decided not to pursue criminal charges against Henderson has been made publicly available.

The Spokane County prosecutor’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Henderson has been on administrative leave since July 26, when the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the case for potential criminal wrongdoing, according to a news release.

“We did a complete a thorough investigation and forwarded all of that information to the prosecutors office for their review,” said Deputy Mark Gregory, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

Information supporting and discouraging prosecution is included in the investigation, Gregory said. But the sheriff’s office does not make recommendations for the prosecutor’s office to file charges or not.

A Spokane police Internal Affairs investigation that was suspended during the sheriff’s office investigation will move forward to determine if the use of force violated police department policies, according to a news release.

Sgt. Terry Preuninger, a Spokane police spokesman, said it is not uncommon for Spokane police to suspend an Internal Affairs review and allow an outside agency to investigate if police believe a use of force case may rise to the level of criminal charges.

“It does add to transparency,” he said.

Spokane police Ombudsman Bart Logue said no details regarding the incident that sparked the excessive force complaint or criminal investigation have been made available to him.

City Councilman Breean Beggs said he also is awaiting the details of the case.

The city received no claims for damages related to use of force of a police officer between July 1 and Sept. 18, according to a Spokane City Clerk’s Office record search.

Henderson joined the Spokane Police Department as a lateral transfer from the Lakewood Police Department in June 2016, according to a Spokane police Facebook post. He graduated from the basic law enforcement academy in Lakewood in June 2014, according to a Facebook post from Lakewood police.

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