Saturday, September 29, 2012

Police officers cleared of excessive force offenses

Wow, the Spokane, WA police officers got free passes for every single case of excessive force since 2007 against them. Make sure to read the entire article, link below.
Internal affairs investigators for the Spokane Police Department have sided with officers accused of brutality and excessive force in every single complaint filed by citizens over the past five years, a statistic that troubles several community leaders, including the city's new top cop.

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New Director of Law Enforcement Frank Straub brings 12 years of experience investigating allegations of misconduct by federal and state police officers. He said he’s keeping an open mind but the fact that Spokane police found no problem with all 492 uses of force from 2007 to 2011 raises serious questions.

“I don’t know the specific cases, but that suggests there are other issues that need to be addressed,” he said. “My first priority is not to go back and do retroactive investigations. But what I can tell you is that when those cases come to my desk, they will get a very thorough investigation.”

The Spokane Police Department’s use-of-force practices have come under increasing scrutiny as evidence was trucked out leading up to and during the trial that resulted in the conviction of former Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. for using excessive force and lying to investigators about his deadly confrontation with Otto Zehm in 2006.

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At a presentation to that board earlier this year, SPD Maj. Frank Scalise said 2006 was the last time a police officer was found by department officials to have used excessive force.

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Following a string of incidents in Seattle, U.S. Justice Department officials initiated a civil investigation into the Seattle Police Department and found that 20 percent of all of its use-of-force reports included “unnecessary or excessive” force that the police department previously ruled were justified.
Source

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