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Friday, October 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Body cam footage shows suspect fired on officers before he was shot

The last seconds of James C. Danforth’s life, captured on Spokane police body camera footage and 911 recordings last November in Hillyard, were released to the public Wednesday morning. Danforth, one of five people fatally shot by officers last year, was the only one who fired a weapon at police before he was killed.

City Council lays out timeline for new police chief search

The Spokane City Council is asking Mayor David Condon to name a new police chief appointment by Sept. 30. The process requested by the council would place police Capt. Brad Arleth back in the running for the job.

Shawn Vestal: Downtown police presence must not be forgotten in shift from STA Plaza

Remember the great downtown panic of 2013? A sense of desperation about hooliganism and visible homelessness reigned. Business owners complained about unruly crowds. Tales of aggressive panhandlers were told in the chambers of the City Council. STA Plaza crowds and skate rats were freaking out the gentry. A bar patron was sucker-punched on a sidewalk, and it was captured on video and replayed repeatedly on the TV news, becoming a symbol of a downtown that was dirty and dangerous.

Spokane leaders mum on suspension of police captain

Interim Spokane police Chief Rick Dobrow remained tight-lipped Tuesday about his reasons for placing the leader of the downtown police precinct on leave, saying only that it was related to allegations of a “serious violation of policy.” Dobrow placed Capt. Brad Arleth on paid leave Monday after learning of an internal complaint made about Arleth last week, he said. The allegations against Arleth are not criminal, Dobrow said, and are not related to the ongoing criminal cases involving Sgt. Gordon Ennis, who is accused of raping a fellow officer at a party last fall, and Sgt. John Gately, who is accused of tipping off Ennis about the investigation.

Spokane police give out few marijuana citations

Riverfront Park might be the worst place to get high in Spokane. Data from Spokane Municipal Court shows marijuana users are far more likely to be fined for consuming pot in public by a park security guard than by a Spokane police officer, though they’re unlikely to get a ticket at all.

Riverfront Park increasing security patrols this summer

Officials at Riverfront Park hope to crack down on vandalism by increasing the hours security officers patrol during the summer. It’s part of a larger push to boost park security through extended staff coverage and public safety improvements during the park’s redesign, park security supervisor Justin Worthington said.

Straub: Police reorganization a necessary ‘series of changes’

Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub this month launched his second major reorganization of the police department this year and said he may not be done making changes. “I’m not going to lock into anything,” Straub said in an interview last week. “I can’t. We have to get the right people in the right places.”

Job shuffle leaves top police positions vacant

A shakeup in the Spokane Police Department has left three top jobs vacant and no uniformed officers within much of the command staff. The latest change came Wednesday when the department’s second-highest ranking officer, Assistant Chief Craig Meidl, notified Chief Frank Straub that he was stepping down from the command staff to return to a civil service position as a lieutenant.

Police chief fills four of 13 exempt positions

Four of the 13 new public safety departments created by the Spokane City Council on Monday will soon have permanent leaders likely to keep the bigger paychecks most of them started getting in January. Police Chief Frank Straub said this week that he plans to ask the City Council soon to fill four of the six new departments created within the Spokane Police Department. Those four officials already are filling the roles in an acting capacity, he said.

Man, nephew face murder charges

Handcuffed and terrified, 20-year-old Heather Cassel broke free from her abductor early Monday morning and ran toward an apartment complex screaming for help when bullets ended the chase. One bullet tore through her stomach. The second bullet struck below her eye, fired from close range. Gary L. Stoddard, 45, later told police that he shot Cassel because he was afraid to go to jail.