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Thursday, April 9, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: use of force


Spokane police officer under investigation for kicking handcuffed man in genitals

A Spokane police officer kicked a handcuffed man in the genitals during a July arrest after the suspect surrendered but resisted restraints and allegedly kicked an officer, spurring an ongoing …


UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 7, 2019

Spokane police officer apologizes, gets one-day suspension for shouting death threats at suspect

Officer Dan Lesser received one day of unpaid suspension for shouting vulgar death threats and failing to immediately activate his body camera during a February arrest in which he released …


Shawn Vestal: Use of K-9, incendiary threats in arrest show the need for outside oversight of Spokane police

This moment is precisely why the ombudsman’s office exists. The police department has essentially signed off on everything in the video but Lesser’s demeanor. But we’ve got to have more …


UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 16, 2019

Spokane police ombudsman concerned about ‘alarming’ change that could skirt use-of-force oversight

The chief watchdog of the Spokane Police Department raised a red flag on Tuesday about what he said is an “alarming,” crucial and unannounced change to how uses of force …


UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 7, 2019

Prosecutor: Spokane officer justified in South Hill shooting

Spokane police Officer Daniel Lesser was placed on administrative leave after he fired two rounds at Charles E. Jackson Jr. on the afternoon of July 6. Jackson had allegedly pointed …


UPDATED: Thu., Sept. 19, 2019

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

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 officer on administrative leave for possible criminal use-of-force violation

A Spokane Police Department officer was placed on administrative leave Friday following an Internal Affairs review that determined an application of use of force appeared to violate department policy.


Use of force review board: Yakima police officer ‘reasonable’ in kicking pepper-sprayed teen at fair

A Yakima police officer who was videotaped kicking a teenager who’d been pepper-sprayed has been put back on patrol and will not face administrative action after a use of force …


Spokane police chief, ombudsman say they want to rewrite use-of-force policy

Spokane, unlike other municipalities, is vague in its application of less-than-lethal tactics as laid out in the police department’s Use of Force Policy, Logue said. Specifically, there’s little clarity in …


Shawn Vestal: Feds retreat from police reforms leaves Spokane without confirmation of major progress

Trump administration’s retreat from police reform efforts leaves Spokane without a final grade on its yearslong changes regarding transparency, oversight and community relations.


Woman files lawsuit over police shooting in Kitsap County

A Western Washington woman shot by police in 2014 has filed a federal lawsuit contending her civil rights were violated.


UPDATED: Mon., June 19, 2017

Seattle police recording: Woman shot to death brandished shears in past police encounter

Seattle police are investigating the fatal shooting of a woman by two officers who responded to a burglary report at her apartment.


Robert Smith: Misconceptions surround self-defense cases

Even if we don’t carry a gun, at the least we may want to understand why cases sometimes end up with a verdict that may not make sense to us.


Montana deputy found justified in Taser use on elderly man

The Montana Department of Justice has determined that a sheriff’s deputy was justified in his use of force against an 84-year-old man who was shocked several times with a stun …


UPDATED: Thu., March 23, 2017

Spokane Public Schools approves new use-of-force, campus safety policy

The Spokane Public Schools board of directors approved a campus safety policy that creates stricter use-of-force guidelines and requires quarterly data reporting.


UPDATED: Tue., Feb. 7, 2017

Spokane patrol officer benched following combative, profanity-laced tirade caught on camera

A Spokane Police officer has been on desk duty for a year after body camera footage showed an “atrocious” encounter with a suspect in the back seat of his car, …


Adopt new deadly force standard for police in Washington

Proving bad faith and malice is an exercise in mind-reading. Absent a confession, it’s futile.


Group questions Spokane Public Schools’ use-of-force policy

A coalition of parents, advocates and local organizations petitioned Spokane Public Schools to revise the district’s use of force policy earlier this month, raising concerns that the policy was too …


Washington bill would make prosecuting police shootings easier

A bill that would make it easier to charge police officers with crimes for improper use of deadly force received its first public hearing Wednesday, drawing testimony from many who …


Portland, feds meeting on changes to police use-of-force reporting

The U.S. Department of Justice wants Portland police to require officers who use deadly force to file immediate accounts of what occurred in use of force reports.


Spokane police to expand reporting of use-of-force incidents

Spokane police will now count neck restraints, pepper spray, tear gas and batons as uses of force and require a new Use of Force Review Board to review incidents monthly.


Spokane police making progress on Justice Department recommendations

Spokane police have completed five of 42 Department of Justice recommendations on improving training and policies related to use of force, according to a


Officers get enhanced training in mental health, substance abuse issues

When Jen Wagner told her story, her last encounter with law enforcement was fresh in her mind. The 26-year-old college student is a patient at the Spokane Regional Health District …


Police body cameras focus of two studies

As protests over police shootings continue across the U.S., outfitting officers with body cameras has become a go-to solution for many who say the technology will provide objective evidence and …


Prosecutor: Officer justified in shooting at hospitalized inmate

Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell ruled Tuesday that a Spokane County detention officer was justified in shooting at a fleeing jail inmate inside Deaconess Hospital in July. Detention Officer Sandy …


James McDevitt: Hindsight gives insight on race, policing

Most use-of-force incidents are viewed with the clarity of 20-20 hindsight by those not involved in the incident, or those with little knowledge of the use-of-force continuum. One of the …


Lawyer in Ferguson case to represent slain Pasco man’s family

PASCO – The high-profile attorney who represented the family of a black man killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, says he’ll represent the parents of an unarmed Mexican …


House bills seek to provide clarity on police body camera use

Spokane’s police chief says his department may not deploy the 220 police body cameras the city already has purchased until the state Legislature finalizes rules about publicly releasing footage. And …


Spokane Use of Force Commission wraps up with praise for police progress

In its final meeting before it disbands, the city’s Use of Force Commission lauded the improvements made by the Spokane Police Department in the last two years. But members also …


Shawn Vestal: Spokane statistics on crime, use of force are heartening

When police Chief Frank Straub steps before the Spokane Use of Force Commission for the final time today, he will have a lot to report. But if he had to …