Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

The People of Spokane vs. Law Enforcement Abuse, Impunity, Corruption, and Cover-up

Clean Sweep — Changes eliminate Kirkpatrick testimonial on Worley Website

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 10, 2007

A previous post here at SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.com dealt with ethical considerations around the use by Police Consultant Mike Worley of statements to the press made by Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick regarding his uncompleted investigation of the Spokane Police Department and critical issues surrounding the Otto Zehm case, the Firehouse Sex scandal, and the Civilian Oversight Committee fiasco.

The website for Worley’s business, Police Practices Consulting, was changed on September 5, 2007. The “testimonial” page was removed leaving only a client page. As a result, Chief Anne Kirkpatrick’s testimonial disappeared, as did other testimonials. What remained was a dot on a map representing the $8,800 tax-payer financed report contracted by Mayor Hession on behalf of the people of Spokane with Worley and his company. Under the column labeled ‘disposition’, it reads “settled”.

Does ‘settled’ mean that the portion of Worley’s report dealing with the Otto Zehm killing has been revisited by Worley and completed? According to the October 26, 2006 edition of the Spokesman-Review, Worley’s report summary states, “A subsequent report will be released addressing the Zehm case when all investigative materials have been completed and reviewed.” In the Zehm case, a Spokane Police officer was the lead investigator in the investigation of his seven Spokane Police colleagues. Worley recommended the end of that practice and that an outside agency always have the lead in such investigations. I am still looking for the completed Worley report on the Zehm matter.

Worley — Kirkpatrick testimonial

Copy of Police Practices Consulting’s deleted testimonial page (click until original sized)

Going back to look at some of the media reports of Worley’s work posted on his own website, I came across one of particular interest.

Worley was interviewed by CNN host Paula Zahn on February 1, 2006. Zahn and her CNN crew first presented four cases of alleged police abuse including 1) the near fatal shooting by a San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputy of Elio Carrion, an Air Force security officer recently home from Iraq, and 2) the fatal shooting of Devin Brown, a 13-year-old Southern California boy who backed a stolen car into a police car and was shot seven times for it.

Here for the record is the transcript of the Paula Zahn’s interview with Worley:

MIKE WORLEY, FORMER POLICE CHIEF OF MERIDIAN, IDAHO: Good to be here.

ZAHN: We have just heard a number of stories about police violence directed at folks they’re in the process of arresting. Are those statistics showing that that kind of violence is way up?

WORLEY: Well, I — I haven’t seen anything, Paula, that indicates that it is up.

In fact, it may actually be down, compared to what it was several years in the past. But it — I think there is a factor that, because of the speed of modern communications, we just become more aware of it.

ZAHN: Do you think there is too much violence used in cases like we have seen tonight?

WORLEY: Well, I can’t comment specifically on these cases. Obviously, I haven’t even all the — of the information, but some of these confrontations do get to be very violent.

And we owe it, as police and as the communities, to find out ways that we can — can curb this kind of violence.

ZAHN: And, when you talk about curbing it, a lot of people think there have got to be much more effective ways to subdue suspects. Why aren’t those being used, in — in your judgment, more frequently?

WORLEY: Well, certainly, there are.

We have much more — or many more tools available today than we had in the past, as far as effecting arrests and — and controlling subjects with less than legal — lethal force. But those tools sometimes — it depends on the circumstances, what an officer can bring to bear in a very short period of time.

ZAHN: Depending on whatever these officers have access to, do you think it is just inevitable we are going to see cases like this from time to time?

WORLEY: Well, you’re dealing with humans and perception, the — the officer’s perception of — of a threat to himself or to other people, and what he deems, in a very short period of time, is the appropriate action to take to — to curb that threat.

ZAHN: And we know that’s why you’re working on this training program so hard.

Mike Worley, thanks so much for your time. Appreciate it.

WORLEY: You’re welcome.

ZAHN: Coming up next, the T-shirt that was too much for the State of the Union. It got anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan arrested last night. Should she have known better? I will ask her.

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