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Wednesday, April 1, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: police ombudsman


Body cameras considered for Spokane police officers

Spokane’s elected leaders are ready to push for the use of body cameras on police officers to record their interactions with the public. The Spokane City Council on Feb. 6 …


Spokane leaders outline proposed police reforms

The Spokane City Council has unveiled its list of proposed police reforms, including body cameras for officers, restored independent investigative authority for the police ombudsman and posting internal affairs investigations …


Council limits police reviews

Spokane’s police ombudsman on Monday lost the power to independently investigate misconduct allegations against the city’s law enforcement officers. The Spokane City Council voted 5-2 Monday to repeal police oversight …


Council delays ombudsman vote

The Spokane City Council isn’t giving up on stronger police oversight, at least not for two more weeks. The council voted 6-0 this week to delay a decision on whether …


Panel won’t overturn decision on police ombudsman’s powers

Efforts to expand the Spokane police ombudsman’s authority to conduct independent investigations into alleged officer misconduct have suffered another blow. The state Public Employment Relations Commission has not only rejected …


Council debates oversight rules

Spokane City Council members suggested they may need voters to save the stronger police oversight rules they approved last year, by working to place the concept on the ballot. Passions …


Council debates ombudsman appeal

The Spokane City Council appears headed for a showdown over whether to appeal a decision limiting the powers of the city’s police ombudsman. The mention of a proposed ordinance accepting …


Council could change ombudsman rules

Three Spokane groups are urging the City of Spokane to challenge an arbitrator’s ruling that the police ombudsman’s authority was improperly expanded. But the council could go the other way, …


Police ombudsman rules downgraded

An arbitrator this week revoked a law that strengthened Spokane’s police ombudsman powers because the city did not consult the Spokane Police Guild before it was approved last year. The …


Complaints against police rose in 2010

More citizens alleged misconduct by Spokane Police Department employees last year than the previous four years, but the number of complaints that resulted in discipline decreased. Police leaders attribute the …


Shawn Vestal: Ombudsman shows aptitude for his job, however defined

The police chief has an excellent question about the city’s cops watchdog. What, exactly, is Tim Burns’ authority?


Editorial: Police chief’s comment no help in establishing role of ombudsman

The public knows the shaky history of police oversight in Spokane. It knows that the city used to respond to complaints against officers with intimidating countersuits. It knows that many …


Long wait by armed driver also at issue

Spokane Police Ombudsman Tim Burns also declined to certify an investigation regarding a driver who had a permit to own a handgun but was given the gun back in pieces …


Use-of-force case leaves questions

Brian Greear remembers the sirens that prompted him to stop his car. But the 27-year-old Spokane man says he can’t remember what happened before he awoke face down in a …


Verner takes lead in longevity

In the decade since Spokane began electing strong mayors, none had served more than three years – until this week. Mayor Mary Verner didn’t even need to finish her term …


Editorial: It’s prudent not to rush to judgment in shootings

Public safety suffers when healthy skepticism devolves into corrosive cynicism. Please note that we were 100 percent behind a new system of police oversight and the hiring of an ombudsman. …


ACLU argues city denied rights

The American Civil Liberties Union says the Spokane city attorney’s office violated the constitutional rights of a local attorney. In a letter to city officials last week, Michael Kipling, an …


Vestal: Kirkpatrick’s ‘protocol’ lecture missed the point

Earlier this week, 13 days after a cop fatally shot a citizen on his own property, Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick appeared before the public. Basic information about the shooting …


Police supervisors criticize news media

An association of Spokane police supervisors is speaking out about perceived bias and negative press coverage of Spokane officers. Released to Spokane media and city officials Wednesday, a letter – …


Ombudsman gains power

Almost a year after he was hired, Spokane’s police ombudsman on Monday was granted the power to investigate cases of officer misconduct. The Spokane City Council voted unanimously to increase …


Police ombudsman secures expanded investigative powers

New investigative powers are being given to Spokane’s police ombudsman.


Arrest of teacher still churns

Her friends remember Beverly Saruwatari as a model citizen – an honored public school teacher, a goodwill ambassador on Spokane’s Nishinomiya Sister City Committee and a devoted single mother. She …


Editorial: Ombudsman ordinance should only get stronger

Though we must wait another week, the Spokane City Council looks to be on the verge of adopting a stronger police ombudsman ordinance. This is good news, because the community …


Spokane council postpones vote on police ombudsman

The long debate over the power of Spokane’s new police ombudsman will last at least one more week. Early Tuesday morning, the Spokane City Council voted 6-1 to delay a …


Police ombudsman debate runs late into night

The Spokane City Council Monday night debated late into the evening about a plan giving the city’s police ombudsman authority to conduct independent investigations into police misconduct.


Editorial: Look beyond YouTube on complex police issues

A Seattle policeman is the latest law enforcement officer in the region to attain YouTube celebrity over a confrontation. Maybe you’ve seen it. He’s trying to cite a 19-year-old woman …


Spokane police ombudsman wants to investigate

Spokane’s police ombudsman has reversed his stance and is asking city leaders for the right to examine allegations of police misconduct independent of the Police Department’s own probes. When the …


Editorial: Guild blocks opportunity to enhance police trust

The Spokane Police Guild joined the “Make a Splash” campaign this week by donating $250 to help cover swimming fees for children at the city’s pools. That’s a nice gesture …


Spokane City Council delays police oversight decision

Two dozen people urged the Spokane City Council to let the city police ombudsman listen to someone other than police about police misconduct, but a confidential legal memo stood in …


Ombudsman can’t polish police image

For the record, I am all in favor of elevating our police ombudsman into something more than a Spokane Police Guild sock puppet. But do I think giving Tim Burns …