Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

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

Archive for the ‘Educating the Chief’ Category

Just exactly who is Anne Kirkpatrick? Annie Got Her Gun now tries to get out of town

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 4, 2010

[Note by author: For readers who may consider the words that follow in this post to be harsh and unfair, consider that even the elegant, upscale Spokane Couer d’Alene Living Magazine, in the Lilacs and Lemons section of its March 2010 issue, gave Chief Kirkpatrick a lemon and reprimanded her, saying basically that if she is so busy making plans to leave Spokane in the midst of such a crucial period in city and police history, she should darn well hurry up and get the heck out of Dodge, I mean Spokaloo.]

Listening to a recent KYRS Thin Air Community Radio morning news piece by Don Gronning (6/22/10 podcast), one is struck by the most recent persona of the always strutting, full-of-attitude Anne Kirkpatrick. The sassy southern gal, who arrived in Spokane nearly four years ago with her slick little one-girl show from the south, replete with meaningless but media-savvy slogans like “You lie, you die” and a repertoire of song and dance (literally) at the ready for any and all occasions, apparently has at least one more routine up her sleeve as she — like a teenager graduating from high school — desperately seeks a way out of Spokaloo.

So what is that persona? A new and improved Chief Anne Kirkpatrick who, despite previous statements to the contrary, appears to be headed out of town.

And naked. Well, not naked exactly but definitely devoid of her long characteristic Southern accent. (Seriously, listen to Gronning’s 6/22/10 podcast.) Besides, in the south — like Abilene and Shreveport where I used to live, or Memphis, Tennessee where Anne was born and raised — we say “neck-id”.

Apparently the “Ya’ll come back now, here?” phony southern drawl worked as part of the dog and pony show the chief put on to get us Okies in Spokaloo to hire her as chief under a previous mayor and city council. But it appears she decided that it wasn’t going to make her any friends or influence any people in the sophisticated environment of Seattle. So she is suddenly accentless, a sophisticated and independent woman, itinerant again and forced to strike out on her own. Maybe she should take Doug Clark’s advice and take her bopping and jiving back to Memphis. Or how about Mabton, Washington, population 1891.

All of this after a long string of that bad luck: 1) the Guild stabbed her in the back, 2) she still can’t shake Tony Bamonte off that same back, 3) Councilman Jon Snyder could not get his slip-shod, loop-hole filled version of the Ombudsman Ordinance passed in 30 minutes as he proposed he could in the wee hours of the morning of June 22, 2010, after over-whelming public testimony in favor of a more tightly-written, forceful ordinance to move a blatantly out-of-control police force closer to effective citizen oversight and control, 4) the Grand Jury and FBI noose tightened around the necks of her lying officers and administrators, 5) Ombudsman Tim Burns himself finally stood up and said, “Hell yeah, I’ll take some of that independent oversight”, and 6) the people of Spokane, who had made common cause with many a citizen abused or murdered by the police, and in the process made themselves heard over and over and over again for years, combined a powerful community coalition with public participation and turnout that would not succumb to old fashion tactics of “bait and switch” in the writing of legislation nor to agenda-stacking designed to run out the clock on democratic participation.

Unfortunate for Anne, even after giving it that old Tennessee try in the open competitive portion of the Seattle hiring process and after a private “perhaps I still got that old charm” approach via e-mail to Seattle’s Mayor, Seattle didn’t buy the song and dance.

Besides, can you imagine this “Chief” — who okayed tasering Josh Levy off the Monroe Street Bridge to his death yet in Gronning’s podcast defends tasers like a shameless East Sprague used car saleswoman — dealing with the sorts of complicated human dramas and dilemmas that a Seattle would present her? Or how about having Chief Kirkpatrick in charge of the sophisticated political and social environment of one of the most dynamic and liberal cities in the U.S., the same Chief Kirkpatrick whose boys and girls in blue botched every aspect (from initial provocation to evidence suppression) of the July 4, 2007 police riot in Riverfront Park — being in charge of a police department in a world class city like Seattle? Can you imagine how much worse the 1999 WTO police repression would have been or what she would do with officers punching teenaged girls in the face or kicking and stomping an innocent immigrant?

Gigs up, Lil’ Annie…

(Come to think of it, maybe the gig is not up after all. As I understand it, former Spokane Police Internal Affairs official Jim Faddis is looking for a spoons player for his jugband, the Prairie Flyers. Some will recall that Faddis and the notorious officer Dan Torok used pseudonyms while blogging at Frank Sennett’s Spokesman-Review Hard 7 blog in the summer of 2007. Faddis, under the pseudonym of Kevin, along with Torok and others SPD plants defended the SPD at the height of public outrage over the Firehouse Sex Scandal, the 4th of July “near police riot”, the arrests of protestors Dan Treecraft and Rebecca Lamb, and the killings of Otto Zehm, Jerome Alford and Eagle Michael, as well as the non-fatal shootings of Shonto Pete and Sean Fitzpatrick, not to mention controversial incidents involving SPD officers John Elam, Jonothan Smith, David Freitag, and Jay Mehring. The killings of Otto Zehm and Jerome Alford involved Torok and Faddis’s department was involved in investigating most of the other incidents. The chief would no doubt be a fine addition to Faddis’s band. Come to think of it, if someone could teach Spokane county prosecutor Steve Tucker to play a washboard and city attorney Rocky Trepieddi to play the cowbell…

[See also Educating the Chief – It’s Spokane, not Spokaloo]

____________________________________________________________

[Excerpt below from The Seattle Times article Biographies of the 11 SPD chief candidates: Here are short biographies on the semifinalists for Seattle police chief

Anne Kirkpatrick

Chief of police, Spokane

Anne Kirkpatrick, 50, who previously served as police chief in Ellensburg and Federal Way before joining the Spokane department in 2006, has carved out a reputation as a no-nonsense chief and strong believer in community outreach. She announced her intention to seek the Seattle job in February when she told Spokane officials she had applied for the position.

The Spokesman-Review reported that Kirkpatrick applied last year to be San Francisco’s police chief but downplayed her action by saying that as a woman leading a large department she is often recruited. The job went to another candidate.

The Spokesman-Review reported that, while support for Kirkpatrick has been mixed on the police force, she enjoys broad support from city leaders, who credit her with making officers more accountable and improving ties to the community.

In April, union leaders representing the Spokane Police Department’s officers said a majority of the Spokane Police Guild’s 268 members voted no-confidence in the “office” of the police chief, but didn’t disclose the vote tally, The Spokesman-Review reported.

But the department’s lieutenants and captains gave her a vote of approval after learning of the union’s vote.

The following excerpt from a Spokesman-Review article at the time of Spokane’s search for a new chief reported on the Chief’s 5 “Cardinal Rules” which apparently after the hanky-panky of the Jason Uberagua case and the police lying in the Zehm case must have referred to the Memphis Redbirds, the minor league affilitate of the St. Louis Cardinals —

She landed at Green River Community College, teaching criminal justice for two years. Then a retiring Ellensburg police chief called and asked her if she’d apply for his job.

“God’s timing and God’s hand involved,” Kirkpatrick says of the surprise call. “And I’m glad, because I have to admit I wanted to go back.”

Soon, she was running a 30-member department. And that’s where she launched her five cardinal rules.

“They’re character-based,” she said of the rules. “People are going to make mistakes. But character-based mistakes are not tolerable.”

The rules: No harassing, bullying or discriminatory language, “including zero tolerance of male white-bashing.” No lying. No abuse of authority. No insubordination. And nothing that causes lack of trust in the department, such as sex on duty or failing to take a rape report.

One former officer and her attorney, however, contend Kirkpatrick applies those rules unevenly.

Former Federal Way officer Jessica Nelson was fired for what Kirkpatrick concluded was insubordination and lying about misuse of a department computer. Nelson maintains that it was a miscommunication – and that other officers were lightly disciplined for far worse offenses.

Nelson’s Portland attorney, Beth Allen, said that officers were suspended for a few days, “if that,” for allegedly sexually harassing other officers, discharging a firearm in the station and having a detainee escape from a police car.

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Posted in Educating the Chief, Ethics, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane LE Personalities, Spokane Police Guild, Spokane taser, Stop it. You're killin' me., Tasers, Yes ma'am Chief | 3 Comments »

Spokane City Press Release on Ombudsman Ordinance

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 2, 2010

(To read the ordinance fought for by the people of Spokane, approved by the Spokane City Council and to be signed by the Mayor, go to ORDC34609.pdf)

——————————————————————–

Mayor to Sign Updated Ombudsman Ordinance; Commends Council and Community for Work

Release Date: 6/29/2010 4:45:00 PM
Contact: Marlene Feist,
(509) 625-6740

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner today said she will sign the ordinance adopted by the Spokane City Council on Monday, June 28, that updates the authorities and responsibilities of the City’s Police Ombudsman.

“I want to commend the City Council, the City Attorney’s Office, and the community members who worked so diligently to find a path ahead on this important issue,” the Mayor said. “For me, the creation of the Ombudsman office always has been about devising a comprehensive system of civilian oversight that provides accountability and ultimately earns the trust of citizens. Today, we have an improved system.”

Under the revised ordinance provides the Office of Police Ombudsman with independent investigatory authority and requires the office provide closing reports about complaints. These reports will include a summary of the OPO’s conclusions and recommendations regarding revision of policies, procedures, or training.

The revised ordinance also clarifies ambiguous language and formalizes that complaints can originate with the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit or with the Ombudsman.

Attached is the revised ordinance. Additional information about the Office of Police Ombudsman is found at SpokaneOmbudsman.org.

ORDC34609.pdf

Posted in Educating the Chief, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Law, Solutions | Leave a Comment »

Testimony: SPD murder of Tyrone Thomas on 8/6/01

Posted by Arroyoribera on June 30, 2010

Following is the powerful testimony of Terri Anderson about the 2001 murder of Tyrone Thomas by the Spokane Police. Anderson spoke these personal words at the June 21, 2010 Spokane City Council meeting at which 65 people remained until nearly midnight to testify against the long history of human rights abuses and deaths committed by the corrupt and out-of-control Spokane Police Department.

Just before Anderson and nearly two dozen citizens testified against these abuses, and after sitting through hours of other council business, Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick and Mayor Mary Vernor abandoned the Council chambers and went home. Faced with this unprecedented and persistent public movement against her abusive police force, the Chief returned June 28, 2010, to verbally murder Tyrone Thomas again and to carry out a character assassination of Anderson. (Note: Councilman Jon Snyder supported the Chief’s actions in his blog post on 6/30/10 and in other statements).

Nevertheless, Chief Kirkpatrick failed in her dishonest attempt to influence the Council, when it voted 7-0 in favor a new and strengthen ordinance on police oversight and civilian control of the Spokane Police Department.

Here are Anderson’s powerful words in remembrance of Tyrone and in favor of strengthened police oversight:

Hello, my name is Terri Anderson and this is the second time I am standing here to ask you to pass an ordinance that will give independent investigative authority to the Office of Police Ombudsman. I have had the opportunity to speak to each of you tell you that we need real and meaningful oversight of police misconduct. But I have never told you why.

In August 2001 I was working at Spokane Community College in Multicultural Student Services. I was looking forward to a new school year and preparing my work study students for their new job responsibilities. One of those students was Tyrone Thomas. I knew Tyrone because he had served as president of the Black Student Union and later served on the Associated Student Council at SCC. He was a successful and committed student nearing the end of his studies in the Invasive Cardiac Technology program, a challenging program where he achieved outstanding grades and was looking forward to a promising future with a career in the health care industry.

That all ended on August 6, 2001 when he was shot and killed by two Spokane police officers in downtown Spokane. The days that followed were heart breaking. Students who had taken the summer off from school were pouring in my office because they had to talk to someone about the loss of their friend and fellow classmate. What troubled us the most was the way the police portrayed him and the description of the events that led to his death. It didn’t make sense to those of us who knew him. A staff member recalled seeing him in class almost immediately before the fatal shooting. Something didn’t seem right.

We were also troubled by the fact that he was shot in the back while fleeing the police and turned down a hallway where he collapsed. Even though a witness saw him through a glass door and told the officers that he was down and bleeding, severely injured but still alive, those officers would not allow emergency medical help into the building for nearly an hour. When help was finally allowed in, Tyrone had bled to death. The bullets did not hit any vital organs. He just bled to death.

After the students and I attended a memorial service for Tyrone at the Jesus is the Answer Church where he attended, the students asked me to help them in getting some answers to questions we had about Tyrone’s death. We went to the NAACP and asked for help. The president at the time arranged a meeting between the Chief of Police Roger Bragdon and us. He gave us an implausible explanation about the bullet entry in Tyrone’s back and an equally implausible and heartless explanation why they let him bleed to death with an ambulance sitting on the sidewalk just outside the building where he had been shot. There was no ombudsman at that time, there was no one we could go to that could conduct an independent investigation.

Of course those officers were cleared of any wrong doing through an internal investigation and several months later they received a commendation of valor. For what? For shooting a man in the back and allowing him to bleed to death alone in a hallway after an eye witness told them he was down and injured with emergency medical help minutes, maybe even seconds away?

That is why we need independent investigations for complaints of police misconduct and critical incidents. I care about Tyrone Thomas. Students, faculty and staff at SCC cared about Tyrone. We all care about Tyrone, about Eagle Michael, Otto Zehm, Josh Levy, Jerome Alford and the many others who have been killed and injured by the Spokane police. You should care about them, too.

This ordinance is just a first step. But it must be an honest ordinance that mandates action, and not one that just uses the right words. I will always wonder if we had true, meaningful, independent oversight of police conduct when Tyrone was shot, maybe, just maybe the officers would have thought about it, and they would have allowed the emergency medical help in the building and Tyrone would be alive today.

Thank you very much.

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Racism, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Yes ma'am Chief | 1 Comment »

Spokane Ombudsman Ordinance Postponed

Posted by takayanagisan on June 23, 2010

In the wee hours of the morning of June 22, 2010, Spokane City Council members decided they needed one more week to decide on an ordinance that will give independent investigative authority to the Office of Police Ombudsman. Council member Bob Apple introduced the original ordinance on May 10 and the matter was deferred until May 24 for a vote. After listening to over 20 members of the public, many who told of personal experiences of police brutality and racially biased policing, council members voted to table the vote for four more weeks until the June 21 meeting. Then, on June 14, an alternative ordinance was introduced by Council members Amber Waldref, Richard Rush and Jon Snyder that substantially weakened the independent investigative authority sought by the first ordinance but was written to conform to language that was negotiated with the Police Guild establishing the Office of Police Ombudsman in the existing ordinance. If that didn’t confuse the public enough to give up, council member Richard Rush and Jon Snyder brought forward yet a third version of the ordinance midway through the meeting on June 21.

All of the political manipulation did not deter the more than 80 people in attendance to urge passage of an ordinance that will give real and meaningful oversight over police misconduct. It didn’t matter that nobody really understood why it took three versions of an ordinance, a confidential memo from city legal, and sitting through five hours of the council agenda. By the time the ordinance came up for discussion it was well after 11:00 p.m. and 65 people remained. 28 people testified in favor of an ordinance that nobody seemed to know was before the council for a vote. Neither did the council, it seems. When it was all over, it was near 1:00 a.m. and the council voted 5-1 to postpone the vote until June 28. What will happen next? Stay tuned to the next exciting episode of the hottest new Spokane soap, “As the Ordinance Turns.”

For additional detailed information on the hearing and copies of versions of the rapidly changing proposed ordinance, please read “Groaning Toward Dawn” at the Center for Justice website.

Also the coverage of the hearing can be found at the Spokesman-Review website.

Video of the June 21, 2010 council meeting and the public testimony on it can be viewed on the City of Spokane’s website. Click on City Council Meetings and then click on City Council Meeting Part 2 June 21st, 2010.

Posted in Corruption, Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Law, Spokane Police Guild, Testimonies, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Tell Your Story of Police Abuse in Spokane

Posted by Arroyoribera on June 12, 2010

Members of the Spokane community active in police oversight are gathering stories to strengthen the case that the citizens of Spokane are in need of real and meaningful oversight of the Spokane Police Department.

Some very powerful community stories were told at the May 24, 2010 City Council meeting. Those testimonies can be viewed at the City of Spokane website. Go to this link:
http://www.spokanecity.org/services/citycable5/streamingmedia/
Then click on “City Council Meetings” and, finally, click on “May 24, 2010”. Allow the video to load completely so that the full functionality is available (which can take several minutes at least depending on your connection) and then go 100 minutes into the proceedings (somewhat short of half way through the video).

Despite a history of years of abuses, corruption, and killings of citizens, there continue to be members of the Spokane community, the media and the city government who express the view that the Spokane Police require no independent oversight.

We are inviting community members to write a few paragraphs describing what has occurred to you or friends and family at the hands of the Spokane Police Department (the city of Spokane). Details are important, in particular, locations because we intend to put them on a map and present it to the City Council on June 21.

As you decide whether or not to identify yourself in your comment, please keep in mind that we will be presenting these stories to the City Council as part of our effort to show them the extent of abuses in our community.

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Statistics, Testimonies | 1 Comment »

Spokane Police Guild at Monroe Court on Feb. 27, 2008 at 2 PM

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 9, 2008

NEXT GUILD MEETING:

Wednesday, February 27th 2008

General Meeting at 1500 Hours

* Executive Board at 1400 Hours*

901 N. Monroe St, Monroe Court Bldg, Room 330 (map)

 

More information on the Spokane Police Guild —

Spokane Police Guild Forum Page

Spokane Police Guild to Chief & Public: We’ll investigate ourselves

Police union walks the enemy business beat

Spokane union balks at outside investigations of officer-involved shootings

Spokane Police Guild Approves Retro-active Pay Raises, Costing City $1.25 Million

Spokane Police Guild vs. Spokane Civil Service Commission (1999) 7 pages

“Irreparable Damage” — Spokane Police Guild v. Liquor Control Board

All-White Spokane Police Department?

Guild defends evidence destruction in Firehouse Sex Scandal

Firehouse Sex Scandal — Photos of 16 year old girl by fireman violated the law but no charges filed

Guild defends brutal killing of Otto Zehm — Case remains unresolved 2 years later

 

Posted in Educating the Chief, Independent Oversight, Spokane Police Guild, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Are Racist Cops Better Organized Than We Thought?

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 1, 2008

[Note from SpokanePoliceAbuses blogmeister: Hopefully those at Spokane’s so-called “progressive” radio station KYRS – Thin Air Community Radio who are discussing airing a radio show hosted by racist ex-LA cop Mark Fuhrman are paying attention to information like this.]

Are Racist Cops Better Organized Than We Thought?

This is just chilling:

INSIDE the locker of a narcotics cop, Philadelphia police officials recently made a shocking discovery: A cartoon of a man, half as an officer in uniform and half as a Klansman with the words: “Blue By Day – White By Night. White Power,” according to police officials.

…Schweizer, 33, joined the force in June 1997 and makes $54,794 a year, city payroll records show. He became part of the elite Narcotics Strike Force about six years ago. As an undercover, plainclothes cop who worked day and night shifts, Schweizer was part of a surveillance team that watched drug buys and locked up hundreds of suspected drug dealers. He frequently testified in court as a witness for prosecutors. [Philadelphia Daily News]

Racial disparities abound in the war on drugs, but most analysis of the drug war’s disparate impact focuses on institutional bias. Rarely are we confronted with such a disturbing window into the racist mindset of an individual officer. Such beliefs render one thoroughly unqualified to carry out law-enforcement duties in any capacity and raise serious questions about this officer’s past actions.

More troubling, however, is the possibility that Schweizer is just the tip of the iceberg. Is he a cartoonist? Did he draw the thing himself, or is there a larger organization that produces and markets police-themed racist merchandise to a clientele of closeted white supremacist police officers? I don’t know the answer, but this poster sounds like a logo for something very creepy.

Of course, this is just one anecdotal incident, but when such revelations occur within an institution with such a hideously rich tradition of racial bias, it certainly doesn’t feel like a coincidence. It is an unflattering portrait of our criminal justice system that adherents to such ideology are able to assimilate within it. Indeed, had he merely possessed the wisdom to keep racist cartoons out if his locker, this officer would still be hard at work filling our prisons with young black and Hispanic drug offenders.

Posted in All-white SPD?, Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Racism, Spokane LE Personalities, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

4/16/08 Chief Anne Kirkpatrick on Keeping the Community “Safe”

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 31, 2008

Of all people…

On Wednesday, April 16, 2008, the Spokane City Forum will bring Anne Kirkpatrick, chief of the scandal-ridden Spokane Police Department, speaking about “What it takes to keep a Community Safe”.

Interestingly, in the age of private security contractors, domestic spying, and use of illegal government powers, Kirkpatrick will team with the local head of a national company which engages in secret collaborations with the police.

If you would like to see which side of her mouth the Chief speaks on this occasion, or perhaps even hear her sing, “I fought the Police Guild and the Police Guild won”, as well as learn more about private/public cooperation in the age of the police state, please read the following details. Then don’t miss the event…


Phone: 509-777-1555
Fax: 509-747-1171

Remind me of upcoming Spokane City Forums…


Meeting Location:
First Presbyterian Church
318 South Cedar Street
Spokane, WA 99204

Meeting Time: 11:45 A.M.

Take me to…
First Presbyterian Church

Cost to attend is $10.00 and includes lunch. Please make reservations at least two business days in advance.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 11:45 First Presbyterian Church, Spokane

Anne Kirkpatrick, Spokane Police Chief & Pat DeVries, President of DeVries Business Records Management

“What it takes to keep a Community Safe”

One of the most fundamental necessities in life is safety. To reach this level of safety, it takes a partnership between both civilian and governmental organizations. Anne Kirkpatrick and Pat DeVries will speak about what it takes to prevent crime from the Police Department down to the civilian level.

* Anne Kirkpatrick, Spokane Chief of Police, has been in law enforcement for more than 25 years, including three posts as Chief of Police in Washington cities. Her diverse experience has given her great perspective on leadership. She will speak in detail about the guiding principles important in leading a Police Department as well as discuss what it takes to lead “through the storms” that come.

* Pat DeVries is the Owner/President of DeVries Business Records Management, a company celebrating 20 years of operation. In addition to his professional experience, he has been leading the charge of crime prevention from the civilian sector. He is the President of “Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest,” a local division of a national civilian crime prevention organization. He will share his wisdom in what civilians can do to collaborate with the Police Department to make our communities safer for everyone.


Posted in Educating the Chief, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Solutions, Unanswered Questions, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

SPD Officer Jason Uberuaga fired for “conduct unbecoming”

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 27, 2008

[Comment from blog author: The Uberuaga incident has all the indicators of an initiation into a police club or unit. As in, “Make sure she is drunk so that her allegations can’t hold water, you have to do it in an official vehicle, and you have to bring back evidence, such as a photo of her breasts on your cell phone.” Please send your thoughts and comments on this scenario to spokanepoliceabuses@gmail.com ]

Jason Uberuaga —

  • 1997 Gonzaga University graduate and star baseball player (All-West Coast League Honorable Mention)
  • joined the Spokane Police Department in 1998
  • decorated Spokane Police officer who teamed with Sgt. Dan Torok in the March 2006 killing-by-cop of Otto Zehm
  • deputized member of DEA Regional Drug Task Force
  • member of the Spokane Dodgers of Men’s Senior League Baseball (The MSLB slogan is “Don’t go soft, play hardball!”)

On October 11, 2007, apparently finding his life not sufficiently interesting, Uberuaga decided to engage in some “conduct unbecoming” of an officer and found himself accused of rape (video). Uberuaga’s law enforcement colleagues maintained the solidity of the “thin blue line“, concluding that the victim’s story was inconsistent and thus deciding not to charge Uberuaga.

On January 23, 2008, Uberuaga was fired by the Chief of Police of Spokane who concluded that Uberuaga had engaged in “conduct unbecoming” of an officer when he used his cell phone to photograph the woman’s breasts, had sex with her, and drove his patrol vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Uberuaga had been bar hopping with other Spokane law enforcement officers at the time.

Still, the odds are that the system will come to the rescue of Uberuaga.

Many still remember another recent moment in the storied annals of Spokane area law enforcement. On June 16, 2006, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Mastel exposed himself to a barista at an expresso stand in Airway Heights, a couple miles west of Spokane. Like Uberuaga, Mastel was terminated for “conduct unbecoming” of an officer.  Subsequently, the Spokane County Civil Service Commission reinstated Mastel and ruled he could collect his pension in full.  No less a friend of law enforcement than anonymous blogger “Spokane Valley Insider” has opined that Mastel’s offense was a “more serious offense compared to having sex with a willing participant in a private parking lot of a privately owned business” and does not believe that “Uberuaga’s termination fits the offense”.

Spokane Valley Insider goes on to write:

(quote) I would be surprised if his termination holds up.  Uberuaga is guilty of making a bad decision.  He doesn’t deserve to be a part of a task force if he is going to drive the company car to taverns and use the company phone to take topless photos of women.  But is that conduct unbecoming?  Should his actions that night determine his future and wipe out the spotless record including awards of merit he has received during this ten years of service?  Uberuaga should be suspended without pay for 30-60 days, relieved of his task force detail, and required to remain on patrol for an indefinite amount of time. He should also be docked a step in salary. (end quote)

A few clarifications are in order.

First, Uberuaga is at the least guilty of making several bad decisions, not just one.  According to published reports, bar patrons watched Uberuaga go out to the parking lot and engage in what essentially became a public act of sex in the vehicle. He and his law enforcement buddies hit more than one bar that afternoon.  He drove the patrol vehicle under the influence of alcohol, which the Chief had specifically forbidden.

Second, Uberuaga was not the only law enforcement official involved in the cavorting with reports indicating that the his accompanied by Spokane County Sheriff Deputies.

Third, Uberuaga does not have a spotless record, in that the matter of the homicide of Otto Zehm (in which Uberuaga was one of seven Spokane cops participating in the killing along with the notorious Sgt. Dan Torok) is still open with both an FBI probe and the followup Mike Worley report still pending.

Fourth, Uberuaga — whose salary in 2002 was $61,475 — has been paid throughout these 3 1/2 months despite early admissions on his part regarding the “conduct unbecoming” on October 11, 2007.

(Note: Read Spokane County Board of Commissioners’ response to Civil Service Commission reinstatement decision on Mastel)

One similarity between both the Uberuaga and Mastel cases is their “blame the victim” strategy. Both cops put the blame on the woman involved, with Mastel claiming that the barista “led me on” and Uberuaga claiming that the his activities were consensual.

Spokane seems to have a serious problem of lack of accountability by law enforcement. Two other cases come immediately to mind. In the Firehouse Sex Scandal, two Spokane Police detectives (Sgt. Joe Peterson and Sgt. Neil Gallion) “instructed” a Spokane fireman to delete photos of a teenage girl with whom he had engaged in sexual activity. In another case, SPD officer Dave Freitag allowed 65-year-old level three sex offender Thomas Hermann to resided in the basement of his home and stored the convicted felon’s firearms (Hermann was among 22 suspects arrested in the U.S. as part of an international child pornography investigation.)

In all four cases, the total number of officers arrested was…? You guessed it. Zero.

 

Posted in Corruption, Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane LE Personalities, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Up 40% year-to-date

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 20, 2008

Usage statistics for this blog show readership up 40% year-to-date. On-line just 6 months, SpokanePoliceAbuses will go over 20,000 hits in the next couple days and reached a single week high with a day remaining in the week.

Whether it is satellite imagery of the CIA’s SERE Torture Training facility outside Spokane, video of police brutality and arbitrary exercise of repressive powers by the Spokane Police Department, or links to SPD officers such as bodybuilding undercover SPD cop Mel Tramell or recently fired SPD cop and deputized federal drug task force member Jason Uberuaga (alleged rapist), you will find information on it here.

Want to see pictures of weaponry in the militarized arsenal of the Spokane area law enforcement? You will find it here.

Concerned about Spokane Police officers blogging under pseudonyms and phony names on Spokesman-Review blogs? Get the story and analysis at SpokanePoliceAbuses.

Not aware that Spokane was the site of mass civil action and brutal repression against the likes of Elizabeth Gurley-Flynn in 1909?

Did not know that martial law was declared in Spokane by the federal government in 1917? Click here.

Concerned about possible ethical issues involving Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick? Read more.

Information on those matters and more can be found here at SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.com

Want to know more about Spokane area law enforcement “personalities of note” such as Ron “Rocketsbrain” Wright, Mark Fuhrman, Alan Chertok, and Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak?

Looking for statistics, reports and information for your own investigations and efforts to bring to Spokane Police Department under civilian oversight?

Concerned about the unresolved homicide-by-cops of Otto Zehm?

Disturbed by the involvement of FBI agent Jason Oakley in the spying on and infiltrating of local activist organizations? See also FBI Watchlist — Spokane Edition.

There are also numerous videos, some related to the Spokane Police Department such as “You Honkey, We Drinkey — or Officer Brownlee’s Excellent Adventures” and those related to the Police Riot against Youth in Riverfront Park on 7/4/07.

However, there are many other videos. Want to see the infamous UCLA tasering video, or the tasering of the University of Florida student who attempted to address Sen. John Kerry, or the Polish man tasered and killed in the Vancouver International Airport?

These videos are evidence of the danger of misuse of tasers by poorly trained, unskilled, and out-of-control police officers. They are also evidence of the lie of freedom and democracy in North American which rapidly being disclosed to the people of the world by citizen journalists armed with cameras, cell phones, and recording devices.

David Brookbank — owner, administrator and author of the SpokanePoliceAbuses blog — believes that there is an intimate and demonstrable connection between abuses of police power in Spokane, Washington, and the unrelenting imperialist brutalization of the globe by the government of the United States. As a result, this blog also hosts a number of articles, commentaries, photographs, links, and videos related directly to fascism, imperialism, Iraq, Vietnam, Nixon, Bush, anti-war protest, U.S. government spying and lying, and numerous other subjects.

Thus one will find here music videos, some with commentary, such as Call it Democracy, Welcome to 1984, Ohio, and La Coartada.

A favorite video of mine is “What it’s like” by Everlast, presented in the context of a Spokane Police Officer’s statement to a community health worker: “I have a job to do. I have to get these shit bags out of the park”.

There are documentary clips such as Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, U.S. government waterboarding training videos, and Ward Churchill on Perpetual War: State Sponsored Terrorism.

Please visit this site frequently. Send the link to those you know looking to bring accountability to the Spokane Police Department and those abusing power around the world.

And finally, please send your suggestions, leads, and comments to me at spokanepoliceabuses@gmail.com

Posted in All-white SPD?, Educating the Chief, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Jason Oakley and the FBI, License to Kill, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane LE Personalities, Statistics, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Spokane Police Bloggers at Spokesman-Review — Hard 7 Blog Purged by S-R Editor

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 18, 2008

The only daily newspaper in Spokane, Washington — the Cowles family-owned Spokesman-Review — is plagued by Spokane law enforcement personnel, most notably Spokane Police Department officials, blogging under false names and partial names.

Most notable is the regular and extended participation of Spokane Police Department Detective Dan Torok, who killed the unarmed Jerome Alford on 3/24/07, and who was one of the direct participants on 3/18/06 in the brutal homicide of Otto Zehm, an unarmed disabled Spokane native.

Torok participates in newspaper blogs under the name “Dan” and posts at all hours of the day and night on matters related to the Spokane Police and other law enforcement matters. Torok is well-known for staunch on-line defenses of his own police activities, as well as those of seriously disgraced police colleagues here and elsewhere in the country, such as the soon-to-be ex-SPD Officer Jason Uberuaga.

(Note: Uberuaga is the SPD veteran who was alleged to have raped a woman during a bar-hopping incident with Spokane Sheriff Deputies. Uberagua used a cell phone camera to photograph the woman’s breasts, had sex with her, and drove his unmarked patrol car under the influence of alcohol. Uberuaga was immediately removed from the Federal Drug Task Force of which he was a deputized member but the decision to fire him from the Spokane Police Department was not taken by SPD chief Anne Kirkpatrick until January 17, 2008.  Uberuaga involved along with Torok in the 3/18/2006 homicide killing of Otto Zehm, a brutal murder which involved seven Spokane cops beating, tasering, hog-tying, masking, and kneeing the unarmed Zehm on March 18, 2006.)

Also active on the Spokesman-Review blogs is Sgt. Jim Faddis. Sgt. Faddis was unmasked blogging under the pseudonym of “Kevin”. He was repentant and promised he would never do so again but continued to blog as “Jim” or “Jim F”. In his blog writings, Faddis was often the backup to Torok’s verbal assaults on citizen bloggers. Faddis is a former Internal Affairs officer and Special Investigations Unit member.

Some Spokesman-Review bloggers have expressed concern regarding whether or not Torok and Faddis, as well as Det. J.R. Russell, have used official duty time and resource for their blog activities. (According to Spokane City records, then-Sergaent Dan Torok was paid $75,744 in 2002 while at that same time, Sergaent Faddis was paid $76,480.)

Others have expressed concerns about police officials lurking about blogs and intervening under the guise of citizens with no connection to the police in an effort to bolster a severely tarnished police department.

On a rare occasion Torok would intentionally sign a posting as “Det. Dan Torok” and explain that he was acting in an official capacity. Then there was the occasion when he signed in that fashion and had to return and write a disclaimer that he should not have signed as an SPD employee. Wow! Just sign Dan Torok and clarify that you are a cop, especially when the topic is the cops, including yourself!

The whole affair raises serious questions for those blogging openly under their real names (as I have made a practice for a few years now) or for those concerned about the identities of those with whom they are engaging in public blogs, not least those owned and run by newspapers.

Despite the important information disclosed at the Spokesman-Review’s Hard 7 blog by SPD officials Torok, Faddis and Russell about the Spokane Police Department and highly prejudicial attitudes held by them toward the mentally ill and disabled as well citizens in general, the Spokesman-Review recently purged its site of all postings at Hard 7 on January 4, 2008. That action was taken by Ken Paulman, one of the Spokesman-Review’s primary censors and the editor of the S-R’s collection of columns known as “7″.

Among the information purged by Paulman are very important public discussions involving citizen blog-posters engaging both Torok and Faddis regarding the lack of independent civilian oversight of the Spokane Police Department; the unprovoked brutality on July 4, 2007 against young people by the SPD Tactical Response Unit in Riverfront Park; the excessive force arrest on June 27, 2007 of Dan Treecraft by SPD officers at the location of the secret meeting between Spokane law enforcement officials and then-US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez; the incomplete investigation of the homicide of Otto Zehm in which Torok was a participant; Torok’s killing of the unarmed Jerome Alford; tasers; high powered police weaponry acquired by the SPD; the use of the Spokane Police Guild website and forum to carry on private discussions about “LE friendly and LE hostile businesses“; and the use of the Guild website to post a private link to this blog (first denied by Faddis and subsequently admitted by him).

In purging the entire history of postings at Hard 7, Paulman wrote:

(quote)

And that’s a wrap…

Posted by Ken Paulman, 7 editor • 4 Jan 9:38 AM

As most of you already know, Frank Sennett, author of the Hard 7 column and blog, is on his way to the great Midwest to become the new editor of Time Out Chicago.

Unfortunately, that means the Hard 7 blog is closing up shop.

Frank is no longer posting or moderating, and unattended blogs tend to become magnets for spam, flame wars, and other garbage. So I’ve had to shut down comments on the blog. This unfortunately means all of the archived comments aren’t visible, but we’ll see about getting them back online soon.

(end quote)

Hard 7 author and blogmeister Frank Sennett had barley left Spokane for a new job in Chicago when Paulman struck in the first days of 2008. It will be a measure of the credibility of Spokesman-Review and the integrity of Paulman — one of the Spokesman’s primary monitors and censors of public’s participation in its dialogue with the town’s only daily newspaper — if Paulman keeps his word to “see about getting them (the missing archived comments) back online soon.”

Paulman admits to his “banning” and censorship activities at the S-R, having written previously, (quote) I had banned Brookbank back when I was moderating the “old” News is a Conversation, so that may have added to the confusion. Posted by Ken Paulman | 20 Dec 9:08 AM (end quote)

(The other primary S-R censor is Doug Floyd, S-R editorial page “editor”. Floyd has known no other employer other than the Spokesman-Review since 1969, three years after he graduated from journalism school in Oregon, and thus is likely eminently qualified to represent the censorial red pen of S-R publisher Stacey Cowles.)

Frank Sennett’s postings are still there to read at Hard 7 but the public forum that is a blog — including substantive discussions by the public of the above mentioned topics of great importance to the community — were summarily removed. The advent of the internet and interactive media such as blogs have resulted in a worldwide process of remaking the institution known as “the newspaper”. One traditional role of newspapers has been as the “paper of record” for towns, regions, and countries. Thus, in the process of remaking the newspaper, a central and crucial question for the future of the free press and free expression will be the role of newspapers as the “source of record” for events and of dialogues on matters of crucial public interest, as well as the role to be played by related electronic media used by newspapers today, such as blogs, comment sections, etc.

At the present moment, the direction of the Spokesman-Review (already severely crisis stricken) bodes ill for that future. The S-R editors have chosen to take refuge in their privileged position and the belief — expressed on multiple occasions by S-R editor-in-chief Steve Smith– that what is in play on Spokesman-Review blogs is not a matter of freedom of speech. Rather, Smith argues, the reader and blog writer must understand that what they mistakenly believe to be a right to freedom of speech in the public’s blogging activities is in fact a gift given to them by the newspaper’s publisher and therefore not a right at all but rather an honor and a privilege bestowed on the blog reader/writer by the editor on behalf of the publisher. Furthermore, per Smith, that gift, honor, and privilege may be abridged or completely taken away at the discretion of the editor or his minions.

And therein lies the danger to free speech constituted by grossly consolidated media ownership in the US and globally. The owner is effectively the censor, even if indirectly, through his editors. The publisher invites participation. The editor monitors participation. The editor censors participation.

This is a perfect sub-theme for the disgrace of the media’s open and unquestioning complicity with the US government in the “war on terror” and the phenomenon of “embedded journalists” and “lapdog reporters”. The media no longer even pretends to be a watchdog or a source of objective truth. When — as in the case of the Spokesman-Review’s Doug Floyd — a newspaper has as its editorial page ‘editor’ a careerist with nearly 4 decades working loyally for that institution, there is truly a danger. More so when the institution is actually a family dynasty which has dominated, if not at times run, a city for well over a century.

Such is the history of our fair town, Spokane, Washington. Police bloggers, newspaper censors, and a disempowered public.

Where art thee now, Frank Sennett?

(I know, I know. Chicago. And good luck to ya!)

Posted in Censorship, Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Protest and Free Speech, Spanking the Spokesman, Spokane Police Guild, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home, Yes ma'am Chief | Comments Off on Spokane Police Bloggers at Spokesman-Review — Hard 7 Blog Purged by S-R Editor

Rampant Police Misconduct Scandals in U.S. — (Part 1)

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 10, 2008

“The history of these kinds of scandals is that cops go right back to acting as they always have when the dust settles, because the pressure they most feel is the pressure to produce results, the constant demand to get the job done.” (FBI Official Michael Kramer, “How cops go bad,” Time magazine, December 15, 1997.)

(To add to this list of police scandals, please send information to spokanepoliceabuses@gmail.com)

Nationwide — “America’s National Scandal — Nationwide Police Misconduct” — (quote) Gary Sykes, director of the Southwestern Law Enforcement Institution and the Center for Law Enforcement Ethics in Dallas, has found that a surprising number of cities have had to deal with police corruption. “I’m talking about abuse of authority and patterns of misconduct,” he said. “There isn’t any major city that hasn’t gone through some embarrassing events that call into question the trustworthiness of police departments.” (end quote)

Tacoma, Washington — “Child-sex defendant was face of police” (Tacoma News Tribune, August 4, 2006) — Tacoma Police officer and spokesperson is accused of molesting a developmentally disabled boy who now resides in Spokane. The officer, Lee William Giles Jr, represented the Tacoma Police department in the media and in the schools.

Nationwide — “Inappropriate police responses to critical mass rides worldwide” (Critical-Mass.info) — Throughout the U.S., police departments have suppressed, surveilled, and brutally repressed Critical Mass bike rides. Among the cities where police repression has occurred include Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; Spokane, Washington; Bellingham, Washington; Tempe, Arizona; Reno, Nevada; Buffalo, NY; San Francisco, California; Austin, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Spokane, WashingtonPolitical Scandals of the United States — Spokane Mayor James West, an opponent of gay rights, denied accusations of having molested two boys while he was a sheriff’s deputy and Boy Scout leader in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but came under investigation (2005) for offering municipal jobs to men he met in gay online chat rooms. West was ousted in a recall vote December 2005.

Spokane, Washington — “Tapes, Witnesses Contradict Police Accounts of Zehm Arrest” (The Inclusion Daily Express) — Seven Spokane Police officers participated in the brutal homicide of Otto Zehm, a man with a mental disability and a mental illness.

Kalamazoo, Michigan — “Minority complaints rarely upheld” (Kalamazoo Gazette, June 11, 2000) — (quote) A Kalamazoo Gazette study shows Kalamazoo police rarely uphold minorities’ complaints against officers. Even less likely is that a police-dominated review board will side with a minority complainant in an alleged excessive force case, according to a review of city documents. Since 1997, a Police-Community Relations Board – comprised of a police union official, a chief’s office representative and a city manager’s designee – has rejected all 26 citizen complaints of excessive force, the Gazette review found. Most of those complaints were filed by minorities, who also are far more likely than whites to be pepper sprayed here, the documents showed. (end quote)

San Francisco, California — “Scandals punctuate the history of the San Francisco Police Department” (San Francisco Chronicle, December 11, 2005) — The recent video scandal involving SF police officers is only the latest in years of scandal going back decades.

San Francisco, California — “Bay area police scandal tarnishes top brass” (Christian Science Monitor, March 6, 2003) — (quote) Indictments in cover up case show that top police can be held accountable but reform is still needed. (end quote)

Port of Seattle, Washington — “Investigators: Report says handling of E-gate scandal was botched” (King 5 TV, May 31, 2007) — Scores of Port of Seattle police officials were involved in mailing of sexist and racist e-mails and videos over a period of two years.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — “Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States” (Human Rights Watch) — When the police are indistinguishable from the bad guys, this society has a serious problem, said Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham.

Schenectady, NY — “Grand jury blames poor leadership for Schenectady police scandals” (Times Union, November 19, 2007) — According to the Times Union, the Grand Jury report “blames nearly two decades of Police Department scandals on lax oversight of vice cases.” To read a PDF of the grand jury report on the Schenectady Police Department’s vice squad, click here.

Chicago, Illinois — “Scandals bring down Chicago’s elite police unit” (NPR, October 10, 2007) — (quote) The Chicago Police Department is disbanding its elite Special Operations Section. Seven officers have been charged with robbery and kidnapping. Chicago Tribune reporter Dave Heinzmann says Chicago Mayor Richard Daley cited systematic problems within the S.O.S. and the way the unit operates during the announcement of the unit’s closure. (end quote)

Houston, Texas — “45 Houston crime lab cases get legal review” (Houston Chronicle, March 15, 2006) — (quote) Faulty evidence needs scrutiny, Project Innocence co-founder says. (end quote)

Boston, Massachusetts — “Source of Boston Police Department exam scandal still unknown” (WBZ-TV, January 4, 2008) — (quote) Boston police officers accused of cheating on a promotion exam. he department has spent months investigating what happened and the commissioner says his own officers didn’t cooperate. (end quote)

Dallas, Texas — “Dallas Officers Demoted Following Scandal” (TalkLeft-The Politics of Crime, December 4, 2004) — (quote) Concluding that the indictment of four police officers who arrested more than 20 people on bogus drug charges resulted from “a failure of management supervision,” the Dallas Police Department decided to demote two highly ranked managers. (end quote)

New York City — “A History of Police Misconduct Charges” (New York Times, January 23, 2008) — (quote) In the last five years, the New York Police Department has been embarassed by a number of scandals involving the conduct of officers on duty. (end quote)

State-by-state accounts of specific incidents of Police Misconduct at Bad Cop News (each incident includes a link to the original news story at the end of the posting).

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, No Sir Officer ____ | Leave a Comment »

Filing a complaint against the Spokane Police Department

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 22, 2007

Let’s see just how anxious the Spokane Police Department is to have its citizens file a complaint against an officer.

The following is from the website of the Spokane Police Department:

How do I file a complaint against an Officer?
Complaints are handled on several different levels. The complaint can be handled in three ways. You can speak with the Officer’s Sergeant, the Shift Commander, or Internal Affairs. The complaint can be taken verbally or in writing. Call 477-5980 and choose option one for Spokane Police, then choose the option for front desk if you would like to speak with the shift commander or Sergeant. Choose Internal Affairs option if you would like to speak to Internal Affairs.

The information provided is as unclear and deceptive as it has always been. Let’s start with the fact that a 7 year old could have written the paragraph. Complaints are handled “on several different levels” and “in three ways” and can be “taken verbally and in writing”. If that is not convoluted and vague enough, only a phone number is provide. No address is provided to file a written complaint. No information is provided on where to obtain a complaint form and, in this day and age of electronic media, no downloadable or printable complaint form is provided.

(The SPD website has a streaming media page, formatted e-mail pages, interactive crime maps and other evidence of technological sophistication. There is zero reason why the citizens of Spokane do not have access to a downloadable and printable complaint form except that the Spokane Police Department has always sought to make it nearly impossible to complain without a citizen feeling threatened, discouraged, harassed and further victimized.)

This is has long been the modus operandi of the Spokane Police Department in regards to citizen complaints. First, discourage complaints by making it virtually impossible to complain. Second, make it very difficult to obtain any information on making a complaint without having contact first with police personnel. Third, make the existence of a complaint form next to impossible to confirm and even harder to obtain.

Without independent civilian oversight of the Spokane Police Department, the people of Spokane will continue to be subjected to the guffaws of the Spokane Police Guild echoing through the Public Safety Building. It will continue to be the most vulnerable and the least represented who will be the most victimized. And that reality will continue to be the legacy of Spokane — a justice system which fails to hold the police to a standard of accountability and oversight which assures our safety and freedom.

(Note: The website of the Spokane Crime Reporting Center, which is joint contracted by the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department, provides even less information on the process for making a complaint of official police misconduct. In fact, they are so anxious to have a complaint filed that they don’t even complete the question in list of Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.spokanecounty.org/crimereportingcenter/faq.asp )

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Solutions, Testimonies, Urgent Call | 1 Comment »

The ACLU Defends Police

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 2, 2007

American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey Because Freedom Cannot Protect Itself

The ACLU Defends Cops

The ACLU is well known for its vigorous efforts to combat police misconduct, but not as well known for its legal advocacy on behalf of police officers. Our criticism of some police officers and departments has led some to conclude that the ACLU is “anti-cop.” Ironically, this misconception actually derives from the ACLU’s commitment to promote good policing. Often, we support good policing simply by defending police officers. Police are, of course, just as entitled to constitutional protection as the rest of us. They also have their rights violated like the rest of us.The ACLU regularly defends officers whose rights to free expression are denied or violated.The ACLU defended officers’ right to religious freedom in a case close to home this year. Officers Faruq Abdul-Aziz and Shakoor Mustafa wear beards in accordance with their Sunni Muslim faith. For this, they were to be fired by the Newark Police Department, which prohibits beards except for those suffering from a skin condition aggravated by shaving.The ACLU of New Jersey filed an amicus brief in support of the two officers and the Fraternal Order of Police position that the dismissal constituted a violation of their First Amendment right to religious freedom. “When the government grants secular exemptions to workplace rules, it should not be able to deny comparable religious exemptions without a compelling reason,” said David Rocah, ACLU-NJ Staff Attorney.

In May 1997, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed suit on behalf of the Latino Officers Association. The suit challenges a New York (City) Police Department (NYCPD) policy requiring officers to seek and obtain the consent of the Police Com- missioner before speaking publicly about non-confidential matters concerning the Department. The ACLU won a preliminary injunction in federal court ordering the Department to cease enforcing the policy. The City has appealed the decision.

The ACLU of Eastern Missouri recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a St. Louis Police officer who was suspended without pay for fifteen days after he spoke at a public workshop about racism in the police force. The officer, Dennis McLin, was off-duty and not in uniform when he made the speech, but nonetheless found himself the subject of disciplinary action and harassment.

The ACLU of Michigan successfully represented an Oxford police officer who was sued for defamation by his chief for reporting to public officials that the chief altered a police report. “This case is about one of the most important purposes of free speech in a democracy: the right to criticize government and the actions of government officials,” said ACLU cooperating attorney Neal Bush. The ACLU won a motion to dismiss the suit, Ford v. Miller, in May 1999.

The ACLU of Greater Pittsburgh represented Allegheny County police officer Anton C. Uhl, Jr. in his lawsuit to stop disciplinary proceedings against him for criticizing the depart- ment in a series of letters to the Allegheny County Commissioner.

In a particularly patriotic moment, your ACLU affiliate here in New Jersey advocated on behalf of North Wildwood police officers, war veterans, who were prohibited from wearing flags on their uniforms as symbols of their service. Yes, the ACLU sticks up for police officers, war veterans, and the American flag!

Police officers have also turned to the ACLU when exercising their right to participate in the political process has resulted in retaliation from superiors. The ACLU has represented officers all over the country who have been fired for campaigning for or against elected officials in their chains of command.

A classic example of this kind of case occurred in North Carolina in 1994 when ten Buncombe County deputy sheriffs were terminated for actively supporting the incumbent, at that time their boss. The deputies engaged in political campaigning only while off duty and fully intended to work loyally and cooperatively with their new sheriff. Nonetheless, he fired them on his first day in office. The ACLU lost this one.

We were more successful in Georgia, where, in May 1998, four former sheriffs were awarded $1.25 million in damages. The deputies were fired for not publicly supporting a newly elected sheriff. The jury in the case ruled that the sheriff had violated the freedom of speech and association rights of each of the deputies. In a statement to the press, Marcia Borowski, a cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Georgia said, “The jury found that the job of deputy sheriff should not be subject to political patronage . . . We need professional law enforcement personnel protected from the vagaries of politics.”

Many law enforcement officers and many of those who would join their ranks face discrimination in various forms.

In Southern California, for example, the ACLU is representing a huge class of officers, mostly women, in a class action suit charging that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) discriminates against women-particularly women of color-in hiring, promotion, and assignment.

In April 1997, the NYCLU filed a class action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a New York City administrative code that imposes a 35-year old age restriction on candidates for the NYCPD. The NYCLU argued that the age limitation was not a narrowly tailored predictor of job performance and that the age restriction was introduced only after the candidates had completed their written and physical examinations. This July, after settling lawsuits made on behalf of 33 men and 6 women, the NYCPD appointed 39 qualified men and women over the age of 35.

The ACLU of South Carolina filed a discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a nine-year police veteran fired after taking parental leave upon the birth of his first daughter. The ACLU asserts that officials refused to grant the officer parental leave because of his gender and then fired him in retaliation for attempting to exercise his rights.

The ACLU of Maryland represented State Trooper Kevin Knussman in the nation’s first-ever sex discrimination case under a federal medical leave act. Immediately after a court victory and $375,000 award this past February, Knussman was barred from returning to work. His employers’ excuse for the retaliation was that his testimony that he suffered mental distress four years earlier called his mental fitness into question. The ACLU moved to have the State Police held in contempt, and they reversed their position and reinstated Knussman. Officer Knussman’s struggle earned him a personal visit with President Clinton in 1995 to celebrate passage of the Family Medical Leave Act.

Litigation is only one way that the ACLU supports law enforcement. In both Pittsburgh and Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the ACLU launched programs to improve relations between police and community members.

Allegheny Police Association president Jim Hasara summed up a feeling shared by many law enforcement officials—”Just because we are police officers doesn’t mean that we gave up our constitutional rights.” Let the record show that the ACLU supports liberty and justice for all.

Reprinted with permission of ACLU of New Jersey

Copyright 2006, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey
P.O. Box 32159, Newark, NJ 07102
973-642-2084

info@aclu-nj.orghttp://www.aclu-nj.org

Posted in Educating the Chief, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Solutions, Testimonies | Leave a Comment »

Alan Chertok — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note #3

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 2, 2007

Alan Chertok came to Spokane, Washington in 1998 with great credentials — Fulbright Scholar in UK Police Studies and US Navy Intelligence Officer. He had also worked on the East Coast as a police officer. But that year, 1998, he ran up against a challenge that even he could not surmount when he became the Chief of Police of the Spokane Police Department. Nine months later, the people of Spokane paid him $65,000 to resign and that was the end of that.

Chertok is now an attorney operating out of Kennewick, Washington. He is also an instructor for OPSEC, a LaConner (Washington)-based outfit providing SWAT, para-military, military, and police special units training, as well as training for mercenaries.

(Note: Chertok does not mention having been the Chief of Police of Spokane in his on-line resume).

*****************

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/news/live/body.asp?ID=library/century/part4-inthenews

May 28, 1999
Embattled police chief quits
Spokane Police Chief Alan Chertok resigned Thursday, accepting a buyout of $65,000 after just nine months in office. His term had been filled with turmoil. Chertok had been under fire by police union officials who criticized him as an ineffective leader, and he was under investigation by sheriff’s detectives for comments he made to a high school class about Spokane’s serial killer investigation. Chertok also has received a harsh job evaluation from City Manager Bill Pupo. Some community leaders said Chertok had been forced out unfairly.

*******************

 

http://www.mayhem.net/Crime/morg9906.html

May 27, 1999Spokane Serial Killer – Spokane’s Police Chief Alan Chertok resigned following the furor resulting from an off-the-cuff remark to a high scchool class in which he said his predecessor, former chief Terry Mangan, had been identified as the suspected serial killer. Mangan, who now works for the FBI and was never seriously considered a suspect, was not amused by the comment.

*******************

Bad Trick: the Hunt for Spokane’s Serial Killer — page 81-83 (includes photos of Chertok, Mangan, and Sterk)

*******************

Body Count — Mangan did it (page 239)

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http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/2000-12-11
Spokane Anchorman Sues Station That Fired Him

A popular Spokane, Washington anchorman has indicated he will wage an all-out battle to fight his ouster from station KHQ, charging in a complaint that management of the station conspired to “destroy” him. Seventeen-year veteran Randy Shaw was fired last month following “a claim of harassment by a co-worker, ” believed to be Shaw’s former co-anchor, Penny Daniels. As reported in Friday’s Spokane Spokesman Review, Shaw’s lawyers are demanding that the station produce all written complaints against him by station staff members, including Daniels. They are also demanding to see employee gripes “regarding Daniels and her reporting on former Spokane Police Chief Alan Chertok while she was dating him.”

*******************

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/VA-Pilot/issues/1996/vp960223/02230439.htm

(Newport News, Virginia) Police, however, stopped short of calling Green a serial killer. They said the pattern of the three killings does not fit a serial profile.“This one doesn’t even come close,” he (Major Alan Chertok) said.

*******************

 

 

OP-SEC, LLD — http://www.opsecllc.com/qualifications/alan.php — Click on names of Chertok’s OPSEC colleagues below for an idea of the company former SPD police chiefs keep after they retire…

HOME | OPERATIONAL • PROTECTION • SECURITY • EDUCATION • CONSULTING

QUALIFICATIONS

KYLE HILLER KURT GOSNEY MICHAEL PEALE IKE EVANS BARRY WOODY TONY ZILAR SAM HERNANDEZ


Alan Chertok, Associate Instructor

Alan Chertok has over 31 years of law enforcement and military service. He served in a department of over 1,700 officers and retired as a captain. From there he went on to become the Chief of Police. Alan has served in as an Intelligence Officer for the United States Navy. For several years, Alan worked as an agent in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and distinguished himself during his work overseas. Currently he is a practicing attorney in a highly respected law firm.

Alan’s background:

Law Enforcement Training / Consulting

  • New Mexico State Police Academy
  • Metropolitan Police Academy, Washington DC
  • Prince George’s County Police Academy
  • Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Basic Agents Course
  • Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Standards
  • Assessor, Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA)
  • Crisis Negotiator, Baltimore
  • US Department of Justice, International Criminal Investigative Training and Assistance Program
  • US Department of State, Office of Diplomatic Security, Anti-Terrorism Program

Civilian Education

  • Juris Doctor, Gonzaga University Law School
  • Fellow, J. William Fulbright in UK Police Studies. (Competitive equivalent to FBI National Academy)
  • M.A., Central Michigan University

Professional Memberships

  • International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Police Executive Research Forum
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HOME | CONTACT US | SERVICES | QUALIFICATIONS | NEWS
SERVICES: LAW ENFORCEMENT | MILITARY & DOD | CIVILIAN | CORPORATE

Phone : 360.202.8725
email : info@opsecLLC.co

********************

http://pro.wsba.org/PublicView-Member.asp?Current_Tab=Public&Usr_ID=788111

WSBA Lawyer Profile

Member Name Alan Chertok WSBA Bar # 34957
Firm or Employer   Admit Date 6/11/2004
Address Confidential per WSBA bylaw.
Article XIII, Section B. 6.a. (12).
Status Active
Phone Confidential
Fax Confidential
Email  
Private Practice  
Has Insurance?
Last Date Reported  

Only active members of the Washington State Bar Association, and others as authorized by law, may practice law in Washington.

Chertok, Alan
1030 North Center Parkway Suite 201, Kennewick, WA 99336, (509) 943-6691

Lawyer name: Chertok, Alan Attorney
Address: 1030 North Center Parkway Suite 201
City, State, zip code: Kennewick, Washington, 99336
Expertise: Attorneys
   
Phone: (509)943-6691
Fax: (509)735-6470
   
Internet site: www.hvslaw.com
Email: hvslaw@hvslaw.com

 

*********************

 

 

http://www.aircraftone.com/aircraft/accidents/20001212X19877.asp

Aircraft Incidents and Accidents

Saturday, September 4, 1999 11:30 AM PDT
SANDPOINT, IDAHO 83865
BIRD 2 AIRPORT

Probable Cause Narrative
The pilot’s improper flare. Factors include a runway that sloped uphill, and the pilot’s failure to familiarize himself with the destination airstrip prior to departure.
Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident
The pilot was flying into a private strip that he had not familiarized himself with. Although he was not aware of it, the runway he was landing on sloped uphill. Because of the upslope, the pilot misjudged his flare and impacted the terrain hard enough to cause substantial damage to the aircraft.
Event Information
 
Aircraft Involved

 

 

 

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Know Your Rights, Spokane LE Personalities, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

“Vulnerable Adults and the City of Spokane” — Chief Anne Kirkpatrick December 6, 2007 noon – 1:30 PM

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 1, 2007

Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick will speak on “Vulnerable Adults and the City of Spokane” at the monthly meeting of VALU (Vulnerable Adults Links United). The meeting will be held on December 6, 2007 from noon to 1:30 PM at the Spokane Office of the Washington State Attorney General in the Evergreen Conference Room, 1116 W. Riverside, Spokane, Washington.

VALU (Vulnerable Adults Links United)
December 6, 2007, noon – 1:30 PM
Spokane Office of the Washington State Attorney General
The Evergreen Conference Room
1116 W. Riverside, Spokane, WA

 

The Chief’s remarks should be of interest to a wide cross-section of the Spokane citizenry. It is not clear to date that the Chief nor the Department she took command of 15 months ago is up to the task nor understands the issues involved in protecting vulnerable adults. This is another opportunity to the hear the Chief discuss an issue of concern to all of us.

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Know Your Rights, Spokane LE Personalities, Unanswered Questions, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

Urgent Call: Police Advisory Committee Meeting — 5:30 PM Thurs, Nov 15, 2007, West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt St.

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 11, 2007

(PLEASE NOTE: This is a change of the day of week, time of day and location)

Police Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting

 

Thursday, November 15
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
West Central Community Center
1603 N. Belt St., Spokane WA

The Police Advisory Committee (PAC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Spokane Police Department. As you will see in the information below from the February 2007 SPD Newsletter (see page 6) , the Spokane Police Department likes to portray the Committee as representing the public. However, the committee is run by the police and for the police. While the Spokane Police Newsletter leaves out the fact that the Committee is officially staffed by six senior police staff persons and presents it as a representative of the Spokane people, the history of the PAC, its secrecy, it’s dominance by self-appointed representatives of certain community segments, and its lack of representation of the needs of those communities during many years of turmoil and abuse by the SPD suggest that it has put itself at the service of the SPD.

The PAC has met largely unseen and unknown monthly for nearly 25 years. During that period the SPD has suffered many embarrassments, created many scandals, killed many citizens, and been involved in much corruption. Yet, the Committee, with what are termed “representatives” of various Spokane communities, as had virtually nothing to say publicly. When its members have had things to say–such as when long-time PAC president Rick Mendoza stated at the January 30, 2007 ACLU-sponsored forum at Gonzaga University Law School that the SPD is the “best police department” in the United States–they have often failed to reflect a real understanding of community concerns with regard to the Spokane Police Department.

During the last 10 years of hidden PAC meetings with the SPD, another Spokane organization–the Citizens Review Commission “led” by Rev. Lonnie Mitchell — reportedly never met. The seven member Citizen Review Commission shares three members with the Spokane Police Department’s PAC and has two members who represent police associations (the Spokane Police Guild and the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association). The staff of the CRC is a Spokane City attorney and, of course, a Spokane Police officer. Members serve for three 4 year terms. Though the City of Spokane website provides a detailed description of the mission and purpose of the Police Advisory Committee, the same website provides no explanation what-so-ever of the mission and purpose of the Citizen Review Commission. It is understood that the Commission was formed to address complaints from the community regarding police misconduct. For that reason, it is extremely disturbing that during ten years of repeated controversy and police abuse, the Commission never met.

Both the Police Advisory Committee and the Citizens Review Commission share one citizen member in common, long-time Spokane Police apologist and defender Maria Yates. (Click on her name for information on her history with the SPD.)

———————————————————

From the City of Spokane website: (You will notice this differs from the presentation of the membership of the committee from the information presented in the Chief’s newsletter where no reference is made to the PAC’s six police “staff” members):

Police Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
7 a.m. – 8 a.m.
Monroe Court Bldg., Rm. 300, N. 901 N. Monroe St., Spokane

Police Advisory Committee
Contact: Lt. Rex Olson
1100 W. Mallon Ave
Spokane, WA 99260
(509) 835-4523

Mission Statement or Purpose: To act as an Advisory Board representing various community client groups to the office of the Chief of Police. To function as a sounding board for the Chief of Police regarding community needs and concerns, as well as community response to proposed police programs and procedures. The only term limits are for the Chair and Vice Chair who can each serve only two consecutive annual terms.

Members Title
Rev C.W. Andrews Member at Large
Joan Butler (Chair) Member at Large
Bob Byrne Member at Large
Bob Dellwo Member at Large
Carmella LeBlanc Hispanic Community
Marilou Buan Filipino American Association
Rick Mendoza Spokane Hispanic Business/Professional Assn.
Rev. Lonnie Mitchell SR. Alternate for Bishop Mize/Ministers’ Fellowship Union
Bishop Walton F. Mize SR. President, Ministers’ Fellowship Union
Roger Moses (Vice Chair) Native Americans
V. Anne Smith National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Olmer “Butch” Smith Member at Large
Christy Hamilton Spokane COPS/Block Watch
Rev. Eugene Singleton Ministers’ Fellowship Union
Vang Xiong X. Toyed Spokane Hmong Association
Marie Yates Lincoln Heights/COPS Southeast
Ladd Smith Gay and Lesbian Community
Jan Dobbs Spokane Mental Health
Gheorghe Turcin Eastern European & other continents’ Ethnic Communities/ DOC high-risk release coordination
Russell Smith Lilac Blind Foundation
Staff Title
Anne Kirkpatrick Chief of Police
Jim Nicks Assistant Chief
Bruce Roberts Major
LT. Rex Olson Contact Person
Gill Moberly Major
Gayle Tucker Secretary

————————————————————

Following is the information on the PAC from Chief Ann Kirkpatrick’s SPD newsletter (February 2007):

Joan Butler is the new Chair of the committee. She replaces Rick Mendoza whose term expired. The new Vice Chair is Roger Moses.

The Police Advisory Committee was formed about 25-years ago by the Chief of Police to serve as a sounding board on various issues and concerns of the Department and the community. These can be specific incidents or broader matters of Spokane Police policy and procedure.

Committee members represent the interests of more than 20 groups as well as those of the greater Spokane community. The Police Advisory Committee is an important resource for the Chief’s office. Members provide input and feedback on SPD projects and advise the Chief on theneeds of the community as they relate to police programs. The committee assists SPD in educating citizens about Department policies and the role of community based policing. The committee meets quarterly at various community centers.

Please join us on August 8, 2007. Future meeting dates will be published in the SPD Newsletter.

Current members of the Police Advisory Committee are:

Joan Butler, Chair, at large member
Roger Moses, Vice-Chair, Native American Community
Rev. C.W. Andrews, at large member
Marilou Buan, Filipino American Association
Bob Byrne, at large member
Bob Dellwo, at large member
Jan Dobbs, Community Mental Health
Carmella LeBlanc, Hispanic Community
Rick Mendoza, Spokane Hispanic Business/Professional Association
Bishop Walton F. Mize, Sr., Ministers Fellowship Union
Rev. Lonnie Mitchell, alternate for Bishop Mize
Rev. Eugene Singleton, Ministers Fellowship Union
V. Anne Smith, NAACP
Omer L. “Butch” Smith, at large member
Gheorghe Turcin, DOC and East European & other continents’ ethnic communities
Vang Xiong X Toyed, Hmong Community
Marie Yates, COPS SE
Ladd Smith, Gay & Lesbian Community

POLICE ADVISORY COMMITTEE By: Cpl. Tom Lee

———————————————————————–

During ten years of police abuse and scandal in Spokane, the Citizen Review Commission headed by Rev. Lonnie Mitchell never met.

From the City of Spokane website:

Citizen Review Commission
Members of the Citizens’ Review Commission must have been a resident of the City of Spokane for at least four years by the time the appointment becomes affective. A police background check is completed on all applicants and his or her immediate family. The background check must show no significant recent criminal history. The applicant must agree to the necessary time commitment and must agree to represent the general public. All appointees must undergo a training program of up to sixteen hours in police and commission procedures and must do one ride-along with police.

Commissioners shall serve for 4 (three) year terms.

The Citizens’ Review Commission meets as needed.

Members Title Term Expires
Rev. Lonnie Mitchell, Sr.-Chair Citizen-at-Large 03/31/2008
Vern Burch Citizen-at-Large 03/31/2007
William Ogle Citizen-at-Large 06/08/2007
Douglas Puckett Citizen-at-Large 12/31/2010
Judge Richard Richard, Sr. Retired judge 03/31/2008
Robert Byrne Qualified Member of the Police Guild 12/31/2010
Marie Yates Qualified Member of the Police Lieutenants & Captains Association 03/31/2008
Staff
Mike Piccolo Legal Council
Dave Richards IA Lieutenant

Vacancies: 0

(Though this information is the most current on the City of Spokane website as of July 31, 2007, it would appear that there are in fact two openings on the Committee as the terms of Vern Burch and William Ogle have now expired).

Posted in Educating the Chief, Know Your Rights, Testimonies, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

Ladies and gentleman, yourrrrrrrr Spokane Police Department (Take 1)

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 11, 2007

I must admit that to me it was quite a shock.

In September 2006, Spokane, Washington — our fair town — had just hired this upbeat, lively woman to be our police chief…

Chief Anne Kirkpatrick — September 2006

Imagine my surprise to learn that in May 2007, the city of Spokane had an apparently different woman as police chief. This lady…

Chief Anne Kirkpatrick — May 2007

An imposter?

Perhaps.

Or maybe just a mere mortal finding out for herself that what Rick Mendoza of the Spokane Police Advisory Committee publicly called “the best police department in the United States” is far from it.

Call it a long string of that bad luck if you want.

But I will tell you one thing for certain.

I’d still rather have Anne Kirkpatrick — be it the September 2006 model or the May 2007 model — as Spokane police chief than this man…

Al Odenthal

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/local/story.asp?ID=59295&page=all

On August 11, 2000, Spokane Assistant Police Chief Al Odenthal (and at one point a candidate for the new police chief position) intervened with SPD officers so that instead of arresting and jailing his daughter, they would instead release her. After an internal investigation, Odenthal was suspended for five days at a cost of about $2000 in wages.

In March 2005 Odenthal made arrangements for the Spokane Police Department to purchase a warehouse from former SPD captain Chuck Crabtree using the real estate services of former assistant police chief John Sullivan. Just two years earlier in 2003 Odenthal’s boss, Chief Roger Bragdon, had pled for lenient sentencing of Crabtree’s son, Jim, who was convicted of crack cocaine possession and dealing as well as vehicular assault stemming from a 2001 incident which nearly killed Sgt Earl Howerton. Jim Crabtree was a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy who became a drug-dealer.

Because of what Mayor Dennis called Deputy Chief Odenthal’s “botched” investigation, it initially appeared that a Spokane Fireman involved in photographing a minor girl in a Spokane firehouse could not be legally prosecuted, since SPD officer told the fireman to delete the photos. Incredibly and — as if he thinks the citizens of Spokane are absolute idiots — deputy chief Odenthal noted that prosecutors investigating the incident “found no intent by the officers to impair or obstruct the investigation.” Fortunately, the city is revisiting the case. Unfortunately, the case was been assigned to Odenthal’s fellow assistant police chief Bruce Richards (former chief of detectives) meaning he will be investigating one of his own.

Posted in All-white SPD?, Educating the Chief, Spokane LE Personalities, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

Working up from the streets — Rev. Greg Boyle on Word For Word

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 2, 2007

“Gang members are not our enemies. They are our children. And if we do not help them, no one will.” — The mother of a former gang member speaking about the work of Father Greg J. Boyle, S.J.

“It is not about service provider or service recipient. It’s about us belonging to each other”. — Father Greg Boyle

(Click here to Listen to this brilliant, entertaining and inspirational speech by Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries)

In recent presentations by the Spokane Police Department, the expression has been used on more than one occasion, “we are not going to police ourselves out of gang problems“. To be honest, what was said was, “YOU are not going to police yourselves out of gang problems”, as if the solution lay only with the community minus law enforcement.

Nevertheless, the truth of this message — that we will not succeed in dealing with any gang problems Spokane may have, nor any other social problems we have unless we begin “working up from the street” — is the message of Jesuit priest Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.

Rev. Greg Boyle  

November 2, 2007

Working up from the streets — Homeboy Industries

Rev. Greg Boyle is the founder of Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries, an organization that gives jobs to young men and women who agree to give up the gang life. They make T-shirts and tacos, do maintenance and landscaping work, and in the process Boyle says they find a sense of self-worth. Rev. Boyle described his mission to “plan futures, not funerals” in an Oct. 25 speech in Minneapolis.

http://download.publicradio.org/podcast/wordforword/2007/11/02_wordforword_64.mp3

Homeboy Industries

Word for Word from American Public Media

Posted in All-white SPD?, Educating the Chief, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Solutions | Leave a Comment »

SPD slumlord Jay Olsen’s drug house

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 30, 2007

By the way, what ever became of Spokane Police Officer Jay Olsen’s drug house at 112 W. Montgomery Avenue?

I have asked about this at Frank Sennett’s Hard 7 blog, but because I am really finding frequent blogger Spokane Detective Officer Dan Torok’s non-responsiveness to be very annoying, I would like to invite SPD Chief Anne Kirkpatrick or former internal affairs Sgt. Jim “aka Kevin” Faddis to respond on this one.

In reality, not anticipating a response from either Faddis or Kirkpatrick, I came up with this partial response to my own question. Again, this is from the S-R:

(quote) This is the second time in less than two years that (SPD Officer Jay) Olsen has been in the news. In September 2005, neighbors living near 112 W. Montgomery Ave. were frustrated by frequent drug activity at a home owned by the police officer.

Dennis “DJ” Jones was convicted of selling drugs out of one of the five apartment units in the converted house. Olsen said he had no knowledge of the illegal activity.

Spokane police Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said there was an internal investigation into whether Olsen had done anything improper. It was unclear Monday what that investigation turned up. (end quote)

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/local/story.asp?ID=176398

Apparently, it is SPD Officer Jennifer DeRuwe who could respond to this but, like SPD spokesperson Dick Cottam before her, I am sure the answer would be, “No comment”.

How many other Spokane Police Department and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office staff are local slumlords?

Posted in Educating the Chief, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Spokane LE Personalities, Unanswered Questions | 1 Comment »

Learn how to spy on your neighbor in a post-911, neo-fascist America

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 25, 2007

Freedom loving souls that we are in the United States, we are building a Berlin Wall on our southern border with Mexico.

So why not build a series of organizations in communities all over the country dedicated to having U.S. citizens spy on one another for the police. If John Kennedy could say “Ich bin ein Berliner“, certainly we can say “Ich bin ein Stasi“.

Ever wonder about those cars prowling your streets at night? Well, yes, some of them may be a Spokane Police Officer returning home from some boozing and who knows what sort of hanky-panky.

Perhaps there is even an occasional non-law enforcement crook out there as well.

But some of those cars are your NOP — the Neighborhood Observation Patrol.

Why not find out more. Attend the NOP/BlockWatch Citywide meeting on Wednesday, October 31, 2007.

Neighborhood Observation Patrol /
Block Watch Citywide Meeting
October 31
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Monroe Court Bldg. Suite 300
901 N. Monroe, Spokane, Washington

Find out about the many neighbor-spying-on-neighbor activities and organizations of law enforcement in this post-911, neo-fascist era in which we live.

*****************

Neighborhood Observation Patrol

(N.O.P.)

 

The Neighborhood Observation Patrol promotes citizens’ identification and reporting of suspicious or unlawful activity in their community.

The Neighborhood Observation Patrol program originated in 1993 as a pilot project in the West Central neighborhood to monitor suspicious behavior. After a year-long testing period that proved the program to be safe and effective, the program was continued in the West Central neighborhood and established in other neighborhoods under the direction of their respective substations.

N.O.P. volunteers are trained by the Spokane Police Department in areas of safety, patrol procedures, communications, first aid, and basic law. Volunteers use their own vehicles which are equipped with cell phone, police scanner, flashlight, binoculars, first aid kit, and reflective vests. The vehicles also display reflective signs which identify them as N.O.P. patrols.

N.O.P. volunteers make no arrests and carry no weapons. They become additional eyes and ears for the Police Department and their neighborhoods. They have also helped in searches for missing persons and disaster assistance such as Ice Storm 1996 and other community emergencies. If you are considering N.O.P., you may also want to take a look at C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team).

For more information, contact Spokane C.O.P.S. at
(509) 835-4592.

Item 2003 2004 2005 2006
N.O.P. Groups 8 8 8 10
Volunteers 86 87 90 74
Hours 1,729 1,681 1,401 1,630
Miles Patrolled 2,059 3,481 2,446 4,558
Citizens Trained 24 35 18 25

*********************

Posted in Educating the Chief, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Spokane Police vs. Youth, War Abroad & At Home, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

Marie Yates: “Qualified” for what?

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 17, 2007

(adapted from the longer post Citizen Review Commission is NOT the answer to independent oversight)

Eighty-three year old Marie Yates serves on the Citizens Review Commission as the so-called “qualified” member of the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association. On the Police Advisory Committee she represents Lincoln Heights/COPS Southeast. For many years, she has played a very prominent and not always productive role in police-civilian relations in the Spokane area.

It was Yates who in September 2006 publicly declared Bob DeMotte an “ass”. At the time of Yates outburst, DeMotte had just presented to the Civilian Review Commission the first case brought before it in more than a decade. Yates also questioned the legitimacy of DeMotte even being involved in the matter, calling him “someone from California”, despite his three years living in Spokane.

Under consideration by the Commission that September night was the matter of Lt. Judi Carl’s involvement in a scene involving her children and other teens out late at night in a crime-ridden Northside neighborhood. At issue in that case are the use of vulgarities by Carl and issues of favoritism. As a result of the incident, Lt. Carl had been suspended from duty for one day by acting chief Jim Nicks during the summer of 2006 for what is know as “conduct unbecoming“. Chief Kirkpatrick, three weeks after her hiring as Spokane Police Chief, chose that case to send to the Citizen Review Commission for review.

Think about this.

Yates was being called upon to render a judgment on the use of vulgarities by a Spokane Police officer. And what does she do? She calls the complaining citizen “an ass”.

In their extensive and thorough June 25, 2006 article “Police Oversight on Trial” about the history and failures of police oversight in Spokane, Bill Morlin and Jody Lawrence-Turner of the Spokesman-Review wrote of Yates and her consistently pro-police stance:

(quote) Marie Yates, 83, was one of Mangan‘s original appointees. A police ally and volunteer at the COPS Southeast office who once helped purchase a police dog for the force, Yates said she was embarrassed to be on Barnard’s panel “because it had too many members who were critical of the police.”

The next chief, Bragdon, reappointed her to the slot representing police captains and lieutenants. Yates still serves on the current commission. (end quote)

Yates has been deeply involved in police matters for years, serving simultaneously on both the Citizen Review Commission and the Police Advisory Committee as well as having been a COPS volunteer for nearly 12 years. As a current member of the CRC Yates would be called upon to render judgment on matters of police conduct. Yet as a current member also of the Police Advisory Committee she advises and assists the police.

As if all this is not enough, Yates represents the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association. As the article by Morlin and Lawrence-Turner points out, it was the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association which filed a labor relations action against the city and forced the dissolution in 1995 of the first Citizens Advisory Commission in Spokane.

Perhaps all this is indication that Yates is no longer (and perhaps never was) “qualified”.

Nevertheless, disappointingly and troubling, the Spokane City Council voted unanimously on August 10, 2007, to give Yates another year on the Citizens Review Commission. According to the minutes of that Spokane City Council meeting as published in the August 23, 2007 edition of the Official Gazette of the City of Spokane (vol. 96, no. 34):

(quote) Motion by Council Member Verner, seconded by Council Member McLaughlin, to confirm the Mayor’s re-appointments of Ms. Marie Yates, Police Lieutenants and Captains Representative, with her term to begin immediately and end March 31, 2008, and Mr. Robert Byrne, Police Guild Representative, with his term to begin immediately and end December 31, 2010. Motion carried unanimously. (end quote)

Most problematic and disturbing is that the City Council reappointed Yates despite the clear recommendation ten months earlier in police consultant Mike Worley’s $8800 tax-payer paid report that “the representation of the Police Department labor groups on the Citizens Review Commission should be eliminated.” In fact, despite Worley’s high-priced recommendations, the City Council also voted to re-codify the ordinance on the membership of the commission on March 6, 2007, setting the stage for the re-appointments of Yates and Byrne.

I am not the first person to question how “qualified” Yates is at this point. A year ago Yates’ appropriateness was called into question by Frank Sennett who asked in his Hard7 blog, “How professional and unbiased is our highly regarded Citizens Review Commission when it comes to handling complaints of police misconduct?” Yates had previously offered this self assessment to the Spokesman-Review in responding to the criticism of her calling DeMotte an “ass”: “I have a lot of regard for the police, but I’m fair.” To which Sennett responded, “Yes, as fair and unbiased as Fox News…”

Among other things, the citizens and government of Spokane now face a $1 million law suit as a result of Yates actions in the Carl matter. (The City of Spokane could purchase a lot of police dogs for $1 million, Marie.)

More important is how an individual like Yates — who is a representative of a police association, who defends the police in her speech and conduct, who worked for years with the police as a volunteer, and who denigrates citizens who dare to question the actions of the police — can be considered an appropriate member of a Citizens Review Commission which exists nominally to hold the police accountable in their relationship with the public. Clearly Yates is incapable of seeing the part of the citizenry in matters involving the Spokane Police.

Please join me at the next City Council meeting on Monday, October 22, 2007 at 6 PM to object to the Council’s re-codification of the ordinance on the composition of the Citizens Review Commission as well as its unanimous reappointment of Marie Yates to the Citizens Review Commission. Remember that citizens must arrive at 6 PM to sign up to speak and then must wait until the very end of the meetings of their City Council for an opportunity to speak for three minutes — a time limit strictly and rather brutally enforced by Council President Joe Shogun in his inimitable style. Be aware that council meetings often run extremely long when, for example, city attorneys are promoting the interests of corporations and developers as happened the night the council passed the Kendall Yard TIF (Tax Increment Financing). So be prepared to remain possibly even for several hours until the meeting ends for your opportunity to speak. Realize even then that those three minutes of democracy can be reduced to one minute by executive fiat of Shogun, as happened on July 9, 2007, to a long line of individuals speaking about the SPD attack on 4th of July protesters in Riverfront Park.

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Spokane Police Guild, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Diversity at the Spokane Police Department

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 13, 2007

Because I believe that the issue of diversity (rather the lack of it in all aspects of life in Spokane) is so crucial, I have combined three prior posts on the Spokane Police and its lack of diversity. I believe it is especially important to look at this reality now as the SPD engages in its factually unsubstantiated gang propaganda campaign. And for a perspective on the same issue of lack of diversity in law enforcement on a statewide basis, check out All-White Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA)

All-White Spokane Police Department? Or just all-white recruitment?

Posted by Arroyoribera on 18th September 2007

 

These photos are from the Spokane Police Recruitment announcement on their web page.

Some dozen and a half photos posted on the recruitment page of the Spokane Police Department website show about 71 white officers and approximately 5 non-white officers. That is a seven percent ratio, under-representing the minority population in Spokane by at least 30%.

(If you click repeatedly on the refresh button on your browser you will eventually work your way through the photos.)

The contact for applications is Sgt. Chuck Reisenauer, recent past President of the Spokane Police Guild.

This link will take you to other posts from the All-White SPD category at the SpokanePoliceAbuses blog.

https://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/category/all-white-spd/

*****************************

Photos of All-White Spokane Police Department from Spokane Police Guild Website

Posted by Arroyoribera on 18th July 2007

 

*****************************

All-White Spokane Police Department?

Posted by Arroyoribera on 28th July 2007

 

It would appear again that the Spokane Police Department is an all-white police force.

The photos on the Spokane Police Guild website point to that possibility (see slide show in prior entry at this same blogsite).

So does the new newsletter put out by Chief of Police Ann Kirkpatrick. Everyone portrayed, everyone commended, everyone awarded, everyone promoted is white.

Spokane Police Department Newsletter

One should not be surprised by this. Leaving aside the issue of the town’s history of blatant racism, it is one of the whitest per capita cities in the United States. In fact, per 1994 census data, it was the second whitest city per capita for all cities in the U.S. its size or larger. In other words, of all the cities in the U.S. the size of Spokane or larger, only Lincoln, Nebraska had fewer minorities per every hundred people than Spokane.

All-White Spokane Police Department

Posted in All-white SPD?, Educating the Chief, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Photographic Evidence | Leave a Comment »

Citizen Review Commission is NOT the answer to independent oversight

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 11, 2007

In September 2006, Anne Kirkpatrick took over the long-troubled Spokane Police Department.

On September 22, 2006, hoping to make good on her solemn promise to bring honesty and transparency to police work in Spokane, Chief Kirkpatrick undertook the task of breathing life into the moribund Citizens Review Commission (CRC).

For some reason the Chief decided that of all the cases she might have chosen to send to the Citizens Review Commission it would be wise to send them the controversial case of Spokane Police Lieutenant Judi Carl, the Spokane Police officer who while off-duty used vulgarities in an incident late on the night of June 4, 2006, in north Spokane. Two of Lt. Carl’s children were among a group of teens roaming a crime-stricken neighborhood very late at night who were confronted by Danny Roske.

After receiving the case from Chief Kirkpatrick, the CRC met twice behind closed doors — in apparent violation of public open meetings laws and despite a protest by a Spokesman Review reporter — before concluding that they had no jurisdiction to act on the matter.

Apparently unbeknownst to Chief Kirkpatrick, her staff and her attorneys, the fact that disciplinary action had previously been taken against Lt. Carl regarding the incident — a perfunctory one day suspension given Lt. Carl by Acting Chief Nicks — meant that the Citizen Review Commission had no jurisdiction over the matter. The Chief, who in addition to being the city’s chief cop is also an attorney, was quoted by the Spokesman-Review as admitting, “I may have misread the ordinance”.

Oh, my!

In an interesting aside, for unexplained reason, SPD internal affairs officials Lt. Dave Richards and Sgt. Jim Faddis were also present and involved in these closed executive sessions of the CRC. (Note: Faddis is the SPD officer who identifies himself variously as “Kevin” and “Jim” when he anonymously comments, along with other ‘anonymous’ law enforcement officials, on blogs such as Hard7 and at the Spokesman-Review’s online forums.)

Some 10 days later, on October 13, 2006, in partial fulfillment of a contract with the City of Spokane, police consultant and former Meridian (Idaho) police chief Mike Worley submitted to Mayor Dennis Hession a devastatingly critical report on both the Citizen Review Commission as well as the SPD/Firehouse Sex Scandal. In the report released to the public by Hession on 10/26/06, Worley made two primary recommendations regarding the CRC: 1) That “the Commission be authorized to review any case wherein review is requested by a citizen complaint following Police Department investigation, regardless of the disciplinary outcome of the case” (Worley, pg 4); and 2) That “the representation of the Police Department labor groups on the Citizens Review Commission should be eliminated” (Worley, pg 5). Overall, Worley’s 44-page report makes 16 extensive recommendations on reforming the internal affairs process of the Spokane Police Department.

Worley’s report is highly critical of the SPD on the issues of both the Citizen Review Commission and the SPD/Firehouse Sex Scandal. He deferred until a later date his assessment of the death of Otto Zehm, writing that he would complete that portion of the report after other investigations were complete. To my knowledge, one and a half years after his death, there is no closure on the case. Zehm died after being being beaten, tasered, hog-tied and suffocated in an incident involving seven SPD officers. Zehm’s death was ruled a homicide by the Spokane County Coroner’s office.

Chief Kirkpatrick has been quoted as saying that “(Worley’s) review, I think, has been thorough, has been independent, has been complete, and has been fair”. One can only speculate on whether or not this praise from the Chief — subsequently quoted by Worley on his company’s testimonials page — had anything to do with the footnote in Worley’s report in which Worley states his full support for Chief Kirkpatrick’s desire to keep for herself all disciplinary power and discretion in dealing with police internal investigations. (The word “independent” found in the quote on Worley’s website is not found in the Spokesman-Review article in which it was reported. After commentary by me on this blog regarding the propriety of Kirkpatrick’s quote being used to promote Worley’s company on his website — especially with the Otto Zehm portion of his report still incomplete — the testimonials page along with Kirkpatrick’s quote disappeared. This is a cached copy of that page).

Though the referral of the Lt. Carl matter to the CRC represented the first of several gaffs by Kirkpatrick since she took over as Spokane Police chief, the Chief can perhaps be forgiven since she is not the only person who has been incapable of resurrecting the Commission. Clearly in retrospect the Chief was no more successful at this than she would have been either had she tried to bring back Josh Levy after the recently botched taser sneak attack on Levy by her officers and his resulting death.

For much of the last 10 years the Commission has been headed by a minister, Lonnie Mitchell, who has also been unable to raise the Commission from the dead. Not only has Mitchell been unable to resurrect the commission, he has not even been able to convene it because, during all those years — reportedly — the city never sent the Commission a case. The fact that Mitchell or other members of the Commission did not raise their voices to the high heavens as the SPD killed citizen after citizen under questionable circumstances and engaged in racial profiling, in addition to committing a range of other misconduct, speaks both to the backbone of Mitchell and the other Commissioners as well as the culture of citizen silence in Spokane.

As S-R associate editor Gary Crooks suggested on 9/26/06 in response to a defensive comment by frequent poster SPD detective Dan Torok on the S-R’s ‘News is a Conversation’ on-line forum, the CRC long-ago fell under the battlecry of the “good ole boy” system.

It is abundantly clear now that beyond its lack of any independent mandate or authority, the Spokane Citizens Review Commission (CRC) — composed of a “qualified” member of the Police Guild, a “qualified” member of the Police Lieutenants & Captains Association, and 4 citizens, as well as staff composed of a police Lieutenant and the city attorney — is very little “citizen”, zero “review”, and, taking into consideration its vague and extremely constrained mandate, unable to act upon any “commission” given it by the people the Spokane.

Really, this is all turning into a truly boneheaded charade.

First of all, 83-year-old Marie Yates, the so-called “qualified” member of the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association, publicly declared the citizen presenting the Lt. Judi Carl matter to the CRC, Bob DeMotte, an “ass” after the Commission’s first meeting in years in September 2006. Yates had earlier questioned the legitimacy of DeMotte even being involved in the matter, calling him “someone from California”.

So Yates, who called a complaining citizen an “ass”, would have been called upon to render a judgment on the use of vulgarities by a Spokane Police officer. I am not the first person to question how “qualified” Yates is at this point. A year ago Yates’ appropriateness was called into question by Frank Sennett who asked in his Hard7 blog, “How professional and unbiased is our highly regarded Citizens Review Commission when it comes to handling complaints of police misconduct?” In response to Yates self assessment that “I have a lot of regard for the police, but I’m fair,” Sennett responded, “Yes, as fair and unbiased as Fox News…”

In their extensive and thorough June 25, 2006 article “Police Oversight on Trial” on the history and failures of police oversight in Spokane, Bill Morlin and Jody Lawrence-Turner of the Spokesman-Review wrote of Yates and her consistently pro-police stance:

(quote) Marie Yates, 83, was one of Mangan’s original appointees. A police ally and volunteer at the COPS Southeast office who once helped purchase a police dog for the force, Yates said she was embarrassed to be on Barnard’s panel “because it had too many members who were critical of the police.”

The next chief, Bragdon, reappointed her to the slot representing police captains and lieutenants. Yates still serves on the current commission. (end quote)

Yates has been deeply involved in police matters for years, serving simultaneously on both the Citizen Review Commission and the Police Advisory Committee as well as having been a COPS volunteer for nearly 12 years. As a current member of the CRC Yates would be called upon to render judgment on matters of police conduct. Yet as a current member also of the Police Advisory Committee she advises and assists the police. As if this is not enough, Yates represents the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association. As the article by Morlin and Lawrence-Turner points out, it was the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association which filed a labor relations action against the city and forced the dissolution in 1995 of the first Citizens Advisory Commission in Spokane. Perhaps all this is indication that Yates is no longer (or perhaps was never) “qualified”.

Nevertheless, disappointingly and troubling, the Spokane City Council’s two female members motioned and seconded and the entire Council voted unanimously on August 10, 2007, to give Yates another year on the Citizens’ Review Commission. According to the minutes of that Spokane City Council meeting as published in the August 23, 2007 edition of the Official Gazette of the City of Spokane (vol. 96, no. 34):

(quote) Motion by Council Member Verner, seconded by Council Member McLaughlin, to confirm the Mayor’s re-appointments of Ms. Marie Yates, Police Lieutenants and Captains Representative, with her term to begin immediately and end March 31, 2008, and Mr. Robert Byrne, Police Guild Representative, with his term to begin immediately and end December 31, 2010. Motion carried unanimously. (end quote)

And of course, the City Council did this despite the clear recommendation 10 months earlier in Mike Worley’s $8800 tax-payer paid report of October 13, 2006, that “the representation of the Police Department labor groups on the Citizens Review Commission should be eliminated.” In fact, despite Worley’s high-priced recommendations, the City Council also voted to re-codify the ordinance on the membership of the commission on March 6, 2007, setting the stage for the re-appointments of Yates and Byrne.

So where does this leave us in October 2007, two and a half years after the brutal killing of Otto Zehm by SPD officers, eight months after the death of Jerome Alford at the hands of Officer Dan Torok, and three months after the SPD Tactical Units attack on protesters in Riverfront Park, in addition to numerous other cases?

The Spokesman Review has quoted Chief Kirkpatrick as saying, “We need a system that allows me to open up our agency. I know that’s a priority for the community.” She pledged to have a plan for reforming the police oversight process by early 2007.

Likewise, Mayor Hession had said that he intended to see an oversight mechanism in place by early 2007.

Still we have nothing. Police misconduct and abuses continue unabated. While COPS TV follows the SPD around town filming the stellar performance, police officers are calling the homeless “shitbags” and threatening to put community professionals in the back of their patrol cars for asking for their badge numbers.

Any plan to deal with police oversight and control is now delayed due to negotiations with the Spokane Police Guild. Information on those negotiations and the presentation of the agreement to the city council is virtually impossible to obtain. Most people concerned about the matter believe that the agreement will not be brought to the broad public prior to being run through the City Council for approval which will then be presented to the public via the media as a ‘fait accompli’.

The Chief needs to understand one thing.

We, the people, will open up the SPD.

Her efforts to manipulate police accountability in Spokane by trying to breath life into this moribund, long defunct, and thoroughly discredited Commission at this very late date in the game is a disgrace, as much a disgrace as was her attempt to subvert the justice system in the case of the July 4 protesters with her Chat/Forum on September 19, 2007.

The Chief should simply give it up.

This is not for her to decide or to fix. She is a late comer to the scene of a long-standing battle between the rights of the community versus presumed rights of the police.

The Chief should just sit back, do her job, enjoy her runs in the park and eat her peanut butter sandwiches. The people of Spokane will straighten this out.

The Chief should not further damage her own credibility trying to out think and manipulate this process.

The Chief has numerous arsons to solve on the West Side (I feel compelled once again to remind her that the West Side is that part of Spokane immediately outside and directly to the west of the Public Safety Building)?

Then there are those officer misconduct matters still pending. For ex., remember, Chief, the officer who recently called the homeless in a park “shit bags” after which he threatened to place a community professional in the back of his patrol car if she insisted on him giving her his badge number?

And of course, there are untold myriad police matters of concern to the citizenry of Spokane, and more than a few lawsuits to work on and worry about. Not to mention the $1,000,000 lawsuit against the city courtesy of FOP (Friend of Police) Marie Yates.

Yes, Chief, I know. A lot of what the people of Spokane are asking of you doesn’t require the glory work of training with AR-15s for some imagined gangland war or playing along with President Bush’s national security fantasies with mock terrorism simulations at the Federal Building.

Could we just get an officer to respond — appropriately, respectfully, without foul mouthed vulgarities, and without unjustified use of force — to the everyday situations that we experience in our lives and neighborhoods?

It’s a lot to ask, I know, with the legacy and culture you inherited at the SPD. We hired you to manage that culture and tangle with that legacy until you brought it under your control.

Let the people and the politicians set up the mechanism to monitor things when you can’t control it and when public outrage demands it.

For my part and for many with whom I have spoken, the Commission is not the answer. If it were, it would have met regarding Otto Zehm. It would have met over Jerome Alford. It would have met over Shonto Pete. It would have met over your officer calling the homeless “shitbags”. Should I continue the list?

Clearly, your efforts to rehabilitate the Commission in September 2006 with the assignment of the case of Lt. Judi Carl backfired. Your reason for attempting to rehabilitate the Commission is clear — a commission is unlikely to ever find against your officers. I mean, come on Chief, Marie Yates — representing the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association — called the first citizen to bring a case before the Commission in 10 years an “ass”.

And finally, I have to ask you a question, Chief.

What are we, the people of Spokane, to make of the fact that between the Citizen Review Commission (CRC) and the Police Advisory Committee (PAC) we have 7 police officers, a city attorney, a representative of the Police Guild, and — on both the CRC and the PAC — the ever present Marie Yates, representing the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association?

Is there a perhaps a certain lack of trust by the police in the people’s judgment and wisdom?

Of course, there is. The people could not be left alone with something so important as discussing their concerns about the police now, could they?

Any astute and honest outsider looking at either of these two bodies — the Police Advisory Committee and the Citizens Review Commission — would have to ask if they are composed of citizens who truly represent communities, if they are citizens with a backbone, and if they are other than seekers of their own access and prestige.

As recently as February 2007 in a forum on Police Accountability sponsored by the ACLU and the League of Women Voters, long-time PAC chairman Rick Mendoza went so far as to proclaim publicly that the Spokane Police Department is “the best police department in the United States”. And NAACP President V. Ann Smith (also now a member of the Police Advisory Committee) stated at the same event that there is no longer a problem with racial profiling in Spokane. The comments by both raise serious questions about their current connection to the base of their respective communities.

How about this as a plan of action for this your second year, Chief — no more public relations campaigns, no more COPS TV, no more trying to manipulate the public, no more cooking of statistics, no more disrespecting the community, no more excessive use of force, no more we-know-better-than-the-people, no more gang propaganda, no more large-scale purchases of high caliber para-military weaponry.

How about straight forward police work. Arsons, thefts, domestic violence, DUIs, etc.

And when your officers mess up or violate community standards, betray the public trust, or use excessive force, a mechanism of oversight and review of the communities choosing — not of the police department’s choosing — will help to sort it out.

The Boise Ombudsman model remains an excellent example of what Spokane could have.

The Citizens Review Commission remains the example of precisely what we can no longer afford.

For the sake of justice, for the sake of our reputation, for the sake of the lives the community has lost to excess and/or unjustifiable force.

 

 

In Memoriam — Otto Zehm (1970 – 2006)

Otto Zehm — Guitarist, Gentle Lion, Golden Heart

(J. Craig Sweat Photography)

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Unanswered Questions, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

Prison Towns — Walla Walla, Shelton and Spokane

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 6, 2007

In 1998, Spokesman-Review reporters collaborated in a six-part series on crime in Spokane. The series began June 14, 1998, with six articles, including this one, City of Second Chances. Nearly ten years after it was written, the six-part series remains an important sources of information, analysis, and insight about the community which hosts the second largest prison in the state of Washington.

How Spokane comes to terms in humane and realistic ways with the realities of poverty, homelessness, mental illness and crime may well be a more important measure of who we are than our civic show events, such as Bloomsday and Pig Out in the Park. As we can see by the recent history of Spokane, we have a long way to go. In fact, it could be said that if we have even started, we may have moved backwards rather than forwards.

Sunday, June 14, 1998

Special report

City of Second Chances

(first of six parts)

By Julie Sullivan, Karen Dorn Steele and Kim Barker
The Spokesman-Review

Society demands criminals pay for their crimes, but society is paying too. With a disproportionate number of released inmates choosing to start over here, Spokane is paying more than its share.

A funnel of convicted felons is aimed at Spokane.

Ten years of get-tough-on-crime laws have poured thousands into the state prison system with little thought as to where they’d eventually come out.

But criminals don’t go to prison so much as they go through prison. From the moment they enter, inmates begin moving toward a final destination: outside.

For a startling number, the last stop is Spokane.

photo

Colin Mulvany – The Spokesman-Review

Department of Corrections field officer Rick Jost searches the new apartment of Carl Streeter in downtown Spokane. Streeter, convicted of assault in Yakima County, recently was released from the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. “I was living on the streets in Yakima. The folks in Walla Walla wanted me to come to Spokane.”

The number of former prisoners choosing Spokane County as their new home has leaped an estimated 84 percent in the past five years, higher than the state average. More than half of those offenders were convicted somewhere else.

The city’s downtown bus Plaza, shopping malls and neighborhoods are becoming hunting grounds where community corrections officers search for ex-offenders and ministers try to counsel them.

While sex offenders and the most violent criminals are supervised by community corrections officers for one or more years after prison, most other offenders aren’t. They leave prison with $40 and a bus ticket.

More than 1,800 inmates were released to Spokane County between 1992 and 1997, state records show. Interviews, state prison data and other government records also reveal that:

  • For every 100 people convicted in Spokane County, nearly 150 were released here. No other county in the state gets back so many more offenders than it puts into prison. The state’s two largest counties, King and Pierce, get back fewer offenders than they send behind bars.
  • More than 1,150 sex offenders are now registered in Spokane County – more sex offenders per capita than in King County. What’s more, four out of 10 sex criminals released here from prison weren’t even convicted in Spokane.
  • About 12,000 released offenders report to the Department of Corrections in Spokane County. Of those, about 1,300 must have regular face-to-face meetings with community corrections officers. Nearly twice that number are labeled inactive — meaning they’re dead, deported or otherwise absent without official reason.
  • Along with the offenders has come the Department of Corrections. The prison at Airway Heights is now the state’s second largest, holding 2,043 inmates. More than 80 convicted felons live in a work-release center in downtown Spokane. The state’s premiere drug treatment center for convicts is at Pine Lodge Pre-Release in Medical Lake.
  • No state, city or county agency is monitoring the civic impact of this ex-inmate migration.

    State Department of Corrections officials aren’t aware of Spokane’s emerging reputation as a city of second chances. They say tracking offenders is not part of their mission.

    The mayor, City Council, county commission and county prosecutor know almost nothing about the former prison inmates living here. The police and sheriff’s departments are notified when most individual convicts are released, but don’t track the overall numbers. Even social service agencies that help offenders or their families don’t monitor the trend.

    Kay Walter, superintendent of the Airway Heights Corrections Center, says the state’s 13,800 inmates are closely watched when they’re behind bars. But they quickly vanish into the community once they’re released.

    “We don’t track people very well when they leave the system. A high percentage just walk out the door,” Walter says.

    So many offenders are now clustered around Spokane that community corrections officers are stationed in neighborhood cop shops. When officers want to look for sex offenders, they walk through the STA Bus Plaza. A volunteer who ministers to offenders in prison runs into ex-felons every few minutes downtown.

    This flow of offenders into Spokane is part of a state and national trend: More people behind bars, and more eventually coming out into the community.

    Throughout Washington, 85,500 offenders are under supervision — double the number a decade ago. The state is second only to Texas in the number of people on parole, probation or community supervision.

    In Spokane, many former prisoners pay taxes and rent. They make calls for telemarketing firms, cook in restaurants from West Main to State Line. They work as machinists, computer instructors and auto mechanics. They sweep streets on the West Plains, swab floors at the malls, stock shelves at the Spokane Food Bank. They repair cars, wrap tortillas, stuff advertising inserts into the newspaper.

    There are success stories like that of Larry Ecklund, who after serving time for drug crimes is drug free and sober. His East Central business as a plumber and general contractor is thriving. His relationships with his wife and grown children are strong. He’s taking 30-mile bike rides, exercising his retrievers, restoring antiques. “Enjoying life,” he says.

    There are horror stories too.

    The impact of former prisoners isn’t obvious in Spokane County crime rates, which fluctuate yearly and tend to be affected by home-grown criminals. But the consequences of one-man crime waves from released offenders have been enormous. Consider:

  • Demetrius Dean, convicted of seven felonies on the West Side, was released to Spokane County in 1995. He told a girlfriend he’d been in trouble elsewhere and wanted a clean slate. He subsequently raped two Spokane junior high school students and the mother of one of the girls. He met one of the girls at a bus stop where she was en route to Garry Middle School.
  • “He asked for my telephone number. I’d never given out my number before and I thought, what could it hurt?” says Kassie Reyes, now 15.

  • Dwayne Woods was convicted in King and Spokane counties of assault, served time at Pine Lodge Pre-Release, completed work release in Spokane and was released here in December 1994. Thirteen months later, he met Venus Shaver, a clerk at the Valley Hastings store, while checking out a video. Four months later, he stabbed and beat her when she refused to have sex with him. While she lay unconscious, he raped her friend Jade Moore and beat her with an aluminum baseball bat, and beat her sister Telisha Shaver when she unexpectedly arrived. Only Venus Shaver survived.
  • Kenneth Galloway, convicted of killing his infant son and abusing twin sons in Pierce County in 1990, served time at Airway Heights Corrections Center. He was released in September 1994. Six months later, he moved in with a woman he’d met through friends at work release in Spokane, and a month after that, beat her 2-year-old son to death.
  • Byron Scherf was imprisoned for raping a woman and setting her on fire in Pierce County. He was paroled to Spokane County in 1993 after completing his sentence at Airway Heights. Two years later, he picked another victim out of a Spokane Realtors catalog posed as a prospective home buyer and met her at a home near Cheney. Scherf forced Barbara Bell into his trunk at knifepoint and drove her to Spangle, raped her and threatened to kill her and her daughter.
  • “The public is focused on the 13,800 people in prison,” says Secretary of Corrections Joe Lehman. But there are 85,500 people under state supervision living in Washington communities. “Which ones represent the greatest public safety risk?”

    photo

    Colin Mulvany – The Spokesman-Review

    Leo Dickerson, an inmate in the minimum- security prison camp at Airway Heights Corrections Center, prepares ground for a new scoreboard at a park next to Sunset Elementary School. Airway Heights and other communities use supervised inmate crews for litter pick-up and public works projects.

    ‘They think this is paradise’

    Almost as soon as inmates enter one of Washington’s 12 adult prisons, they begin working on a plan for getting out.

    The plan helps determine eventual moves within the system to minimum-security camps, pre-release and work release. Then, 120 days before finishing their sentence, most inmates list an address that is forwarded to a community corrections officer.

    The state must approve the address and can stop a sex offender from, say, locating next to a day-care center. But state officials can do nothing about the choice of community.

    “We can’t say ‘You can’t go to Spokane,’ ” Deputy Director Dave Savage says.

    The number of offenders trying to find an address here has become a nuisance for some agencies. The Union Gospel Mission in Spokane was receiving 19 requests a week asking to serve as a release address.

    “We were having a horrible time,” says Don Munday, assistant director for men’s services. He spent his first week on the job two years ago writing prisons and corrections officers to stop it.

    The Mission accepts a small number of offenders who qualify for an intense two-year program with a team of therapists, counselors, job trainers and ministers.

    Still, requests keep coming to the Mission, to the Salvation Army, to downtown landlords and distant pen pals, asking to provide an address.

    Offenders look to Spokane as a place to make a fresh start.

    The city is far away from the West Side — where 77 percent of the state’s criminals committed their crimes and were sentenced. Far away from their victims, the police and the old neighborhood.

    “I call Spokane a city of refuge,” says Leone Johnson, who has ministered to people imprisoned and jailed in Spokane County for 22 years. “Portland, Seattle, Tacoma and Yakima is where they’ve all gotten in trouble and where they can’t go back.”

    When Don Byers leaves prison after 16 years this December, he doesn’t want to return to Tacoma, Everett or Seattle, where his old partners in crime live. The 62-year-old armed robber wants to stay here.

    “Spokane is a big enough town to exist in, but not big enough to get in trouble again with the same old associates. And even at my age, I can probably find a job,” he says.

    Convicted felons can get work within days of arriving, as restaurant cooks, dishwashers, sheet metal workers and construction laborers. Extensive bus service allows them to commute as far as Cheney or Liberty Lake.

    The selection of low-income housing available is double the state rate. Apartments downtown start at $48 a week. Add to that a low unemployment rate of about 4 percent and a smattering of charities, mental health programs and drug and alcohol treatment.

    There are other reasons that inmates choose Spokane over smaller communities like Walla Walla, says researcher Keith Farrington of Whitman College.

    “Night life and prospective mates.”

    Spokane also draws from other states. With its booming economy, Washington attracts five felons under supervision from other states for every two it sends elsewhere, the Department of Corrections reports.

    About 440 offenders supervised by the state in Spokane County are from Idaho, Montana, Utah and other states. They transfer here to find work and get away from harsher laws and penal systems elsewhere.

    “They think this is paradise here in the state of Washington,” says Bruce Woods, a community corrections officer who supervises several out-of-staters.

    photo

    Colin Mulvany – The Spokesman-Review

    Carpenter Mike Bass paints doors at a West Central business. Bass is under supervision after serving five years for armed robbery in New Mexico. He moved to Spokane after marrying a pen pal who lives here. “I’m slowly but surely trying to get back to civilization.”

    Mike Bass, 42, served more than five years in a New Mexico prison for armed robbery. While in prison, he met and married a Spokane woman — all through the mail. When he was released in January, he flew north and settled with her in a West Central neighborhood.

    The union didn’t last: “Let’s just say the attraction was not the same in person as it was on paper.” But within three days of arriving, he walked around the corner and got a job as a carpenter. He found a 12-step substance-abuse meeting he likes and a new apartment.

    “I’d never been here before in my life,” he says. “Now it’s just me, the boss and Bruce,” his corrections officer. “But I want to stay. I want to make it here.”

    ‘Corrections is a growth industry’

    To understand how Spokane became a destination for felons, look back at crime and politics over the last 30 years.

    Between 1965 and 1975, the country’s murder rate nearly doubled. Fear of crime grew, not just in poor city neighborhoods, but in middle-class suburbs, writes author David Anderson in “Sensible Justice.”

    Then, in the mid-1980s, crack hit cities from Los Angeles to Tacoma and Spokane. More than any previous drug epidemic, crack cocaine created what Anderson calls an urban arms race, raising violence — and fear — to new levels.

    Politicians responded with get-tough-on-crime laws. Seven sentencing laws in as many years put an additional 4,500 offenders behind Washington state bars.

    Most Spokane legislators voted for these laws, with strong public support. Their goal: put repeat offenders away faster and for longer sentences.

    “I’d rather build another prison than more office buildings for state employees,” Sen. Bob McCaslin, a Spokane Valley Republican, said in 1993.

    “The public has said they want us to take bad people off the streets for their protection,’ echoed Sen. James West, another Republican from Spokane.

    Voters weighed in as well. The “three strikes you’re out” initiative for various violent offenders will add 830 inmates by 2012. The “hard time for armed crime” law, another 1,300.

    Even the federal government took part with a crime bill that put 100,000 police officers on the street and more criminals in jail.

    The result: Washington’s prison population has jumped 71 percent since 1980 while its general population has risen just 13 percent. The most dramatic increase has come in the last seven years.

    When former Secretary Chase Riveland took over Corrections in the mid-1980s, there were so many prison beds available, the state rented them out to other states and made nearly $60 million.

    Ten years later, the state is squeezing in offenders by doubling the number of bunks in handicapped or larger cells at Airway Heights Corrections Center and converting storage rooms to hold up to eight men.

    Riveland once quipped that if the growth rate were straight-lined, by the year 2057 everyone in Washington would either be in prison — or be working in one.

    Airway Heights is now the state’s second largest prison, with 2,043 men. Only the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla holds more, with 2,300 behind bars.

    All told, the state Department of Corrections spends nearly $52 million a year in Spokane County. Corrections’ 838 employees in Spokane County work in offices from Hillyard to the Spokane Valley, from Airway Heights to Medical Lake. It’s a work force equal to Gonzaga’s or Eastern Washington University’s.

    “We are in the Department of Corrections business here in Spokane County just like Shelton and Walla Walla,” says Spokane County Prosecutor Jim Sweetser.

    In five years, the prison at Airway Heights has quadrupled in size and the work-release program has swelled. A third more beds were added to the work-release center for women, and the center for men is expected to increase by a quarter in the next several years.

    “Corrections is a growth industry in that once you get it in your community, it continues to grow,” says Katherine Carlson, a cultural anthropologist who has studied Washington prisons.

    Prisons bring good-paying state jobs and lucrative contracts that serve the mini-cities behind bars. They’re a “clean” industry insulated from most economic recessions. They never move to Mexico.

    “We build them and staff them for the rest of our lives,” says Walter, the superintendent at Airway Heights.

    The growth in Spokane has swept up so many employees that qualification exams that used to attract hundreds for correctional officer positions now draw a quarter of the candidates. Average pay: $2,700 a month and many jobs require only a high school education.

    It’s a career with a future. The state expects to need 2,850 more prison beds in the next decade. Annual cost to house each offender: $24,494.

    “We have to remember the enormous number of jobs created by corrections,” says Kaye Adkins, the top Corrections official in Eastern Washington.

    “Those are our neighbors and friends.”

    Community impact isn’t studied

    In the scramble to lock offenders up, there is almost no attention paid to the impact of prisons on nearby communities or what happens when offenders are released.

    Spokane’s downtown apartments and low-income neighborhoods are filling up with felons, many of whom continue friendships begun in prison.

    “Nobody cares about communities,” says researcher Carlson, who studied the prison at Clallam Bay.

    Kasey Kramer, Spokane County’s community services director, was astonished to learn of the rapid growth of Spokane’s ex-felon population.

    Kramer has seen the impact of mental health patients treated at Eastern State Hospital who choose to stay in the Spokane area when released.

    For every one Spokane County resident treated at Eastern, another 11 from other counties stay here after treatment, Kramer says.

    “We call it drift. We’ve documented it from the state mental hospital side, but not for ex-felons,” Kramer says.

    Money is not available for agencies to study these impacts, he says. “It is a weakness at the state level.”

    The Rev. Michael Treleaven, a Jesuit political science professor at Gonzaga University, monitors prison issues for Amnesty International.

    “This is the politics of vengeance,” he says. “To throw money at prisons, but not at the communities where they eventually settle is dishonest. This is a serious issue for Spokane.”

    Farrington, the Whitman College professor, has spent years trying to gauge the impact of the century-old penitentiary on Walla Walla, but has never seen a study on what happens to offenders when they’re released.

    “You think it would be logical,” he says. “There’s probably a lot more screw-ups than we’re aware of and the flip side is — and equally sad — that there are some people who go through and get straightened out and we don’t know that either.”

    Statistics show that Walla Walla, a small farm town, has violent and property crime rates from 52 to 93 percent higher than the national rate over a 17-year period.

    Despite the influx of ex-convicts into Spokane, violent crime rates here have not increased.

    The property crime rate is higher than the state average, but the reasons for that are unclear. Calls to Spokane’s Crime Check also have increased more than 40 percent since 1993.

    Former Spokane Police Chief Terry Mangan predicts the new ex-felons will nudge up the crime rate soon. They just haven’t been here long enough.

    “When prisoners remain in an area for an appreciable time, 70 percent of them eventually reoffend,” Mangan says.

    Statistics on the nation’s 400,000 criminal offenders released each year back his prediction.

    Washington officials say 32 percent of offenders return to prison within five years.

    But that figure is misleading. It only counts offenders who return to a Washington prison and not those who wind up in county jails or other states’ facilities.

    “No matter what study you look at, they’re reoffending,” says Police Lt. Mark Caillier of Salem, Ore. “Which means your community now has to deal with it.”

    Caillier worked on studies that show the average inmate had 17 felony arrests before being sent to prison.

    Crime analysts in the Spokane Police Department agree that for some people, crime is a way of life.

    photo

    Colin Mulvany – The Spokesman-Review

    Ex-inmates who violate their supervision face Department of Corrections hearing specialist Lyn Paxton. Tyrone Brown, 32, listens as field officer Paul Schmidt lists violations that include using drugs and failing to report.

    “Most criminals who rape and burglarize also wife beat and drive without a license. They fish without a license,” says Toni Sneva, who keeps a database of known offenders for the Spokane Police Department.

    “Everything they do is a violation of the law.”

    Even if they don’t break the law again, former inmates can be a drain on the community.

    More than half of the felons in prison read, write and compute at less than a ninth-grade level, according to the Department of Corrections. Up to 76 percent of inmates are addicted to drugs or alcohol, but the state has the ability to treat only about 20 percent of those addicts, says Patty Terry, a chemical dependency coordinator in the prison system.

    The National Criminal Justice Commission reports that some inmates leave prison with a sort of stress disorder.

    It appears that prison damages a person’s ability to respond to stress, leaving a choice between gritting one’s teeth or lashing out, the report says. Problems are not easily talked through, but are likely to result in a blowup or withdrawal. In a job, it’s lost tempers or failure to show up for work.

    Inmate families, often splintered by the imprisonment, find little support in Spokane beyond a list of phone numbers for social service agencies already struggling to meet the city’s needs.

    “We’re a city that’s blind and asleep,” says prison volunteer Johnson. “If people were awake they would do something for people who are coming and bringing families and starting families here.”

    People who make the transition from law breaker to law abider can’t usually do it alone. Larry Ecklund made it with help – from Judge James Murphy who sent him to Drug Court, from local drug counselors and supportive 12-step groups, from his state community corrections officer who visited regularly.

    “My life has never been this good,” Ecklund says. “I feel like I’m the product of these people.”

    ‘No more than our share’

    To see where Spokane could be headed, take a close look at Salem.

    Oregon’s capital city has served as its top prison town since statehood. Salem houses five of the state’s 12 prisons plus drug and alcohol treatment centers and halfway houses. It has the largest institutional population of any city its size in the nation.

    Nevertheless, the city is so like Spokane demographically that Salem police come here to observe trends in crime and policing.

    Like Spokane, Salem is a mid-sized city miles from the urban center where most crime is committed.

    It offers a multitude of low-wage and seasonal jobs. It gets back considerably more offenders than it puts in the system. And for years, the phenomenon went unnoticed.

    Then, 10 years ago, the city realized it tallied more emergency calls per capita than Portland.

    Subsequent investigation revealed the problem was directly related to the number of ex-offenders who stayed.

    “It’s like the miracle of compounding. If you’re putting one in and the system is not fixing it, you’re getting back compound interest on your problem you don’t want,” says Lt. Caillier of Salem Police.

    “We had an incredible number of our people who were ex-offenders, many of whom would reoffend and commit crimes,” says Rep. Peter Courtney. “They had incredible social needs, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and illiteracy that put a heavy burden in counties.”

    In 1989, Courtney co-sponsored the “Send them home” bill that required freed prisoners to return to the county of conviction. California has a similar law.

    The law cut returns but loopholes for family, employment and personal safety continues to return 33 percent more offenders than Salem incarcerates. The city still:

  • Has the 43rd highest crime rate in the country.
  • Arrests nearly two ex-offenders a day.
  • Prosecutes nearly 200 felonies a year on charges related to the crime in prisons.
  • Community awareness has helped Salem residents plan better but has not made the planning any easier.

    If Spokane offers more help to offenders and families, that may attract even more. Yet if the city doesn’t increase services, it drains help from people who already live here.

    “If you build it, do they come? If you’re successful, does that mean folks are going to come to Spokane, stay and reoffend? Those are the questions you as a community need to be asking,” says Caillier.

    Salem has used its research to fight new prisons. City leaders don’t say: “Not in my back yard,” but rather, “No more than our share.”

    “You’ve got to have a mayor and city council and police chiefs who flat out say this is happening and we’re willing to share our burden but not threaten public safety,” Courtney says.

    “Where are your state legislators? They have as much responsibility in this. Where are the prosecutors and the judges? You have to have more than the city council. You have to have a team to fight this.”

    Part 2

    Part 3

    Posted in Educating the Chief, Testimonies | Leave a Comment »

    And then CragCrawler said to USMC Gunner M4: “I heard it through the grapevine…”

    Posted by Arroyoribera on October 2, 2007

    Just CragCrawler and USMCGunnerM4 sharing a little insider scuttlebutt at Officer.com forums…

    (By the way, that would be US Marine Corp Gunner M4.)

    http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73417

    ———————————————————————————————————-

    CragCrawler Forum Member Join Date: Nov 2006 Location: Eastern Washington Posts: 149

    CragCrawler's Avatar

    Spokane PD Hiring


    Spokane is hiring. I herd through the grapevine that they are hiring 44 in the next couple of years. Don’t quote me on that though!
    http://www.spokanepolice.org/news/default.aspx?ID=137
    .. “The final measure of your life won’t be how well you lived, but how well others live because of you.” ~ Bill Gates”MOP” – Mobile Observation Unit ~ Sgt. Buck Savage
    ———————————————————————————————————-.

    usmcgunnerm4 Crime Stopper Join Date: Jul 2007 Location: Eastern Washington State Posts: 62

    Good Info


    I heard the same thing from a buddy of mine with SPD. 44 officers is unprecedented for them. Good Pay after 3 years you are at $59K..

     

     

    ********************************

    Questions for Chief Ann Kirkpatrick:

    1) Either of these your boys, Chief?

    2) Was there a breach of security or information by USMCGunnerM4’s SPD buddy? **********

    Posted in Educating the Chief, War Abroad & At Home, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

    Educating the Chief — It’s Spokane, not Spokaloo

    Posted by Arroyoribera on September 26, 2007

    “Educating the Chief” is a new category of posts at SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.com

    It has been created in response to the SPD-run Chat/Forum with Chief Ann Kirkpatrick held September 19, 2007, at the Spokane City Council Chambers.

    At that event, the Chief displayed an astounding disdain for the public. She dismissed a Whitworth student as wrong and misinformed. She intentionally referred to a citizen as “Mister” rather than “Ms”. And she told the crowd that things will improve once the citizenry of Spokane adjusts its attitude.

    Even the fact that the event was organized and held in the manner in which it was raises significant legal and ethical questions. At least 17 individuals invited by the Chief to the event are involved in litigation with the City of Spokane and the Spokane Police Department over the SPD’s suppression of people who assembled in Riverfront Park on July 4, 2007. The Chief — who is also an attorney — organized this event, orchestrated it, and issued invitations to the July 4 arrestees as well as supporters and others involved in protesting police misconduct in Spokane. Spokane attorney Frank Malone, who with his daughter–attorney Kelly Malone–is representing one of the protesters, questioned the ethics of the Chief and the city prosecutors at his blog SpokanePolitics.blogspot.com

    Kelly Malone sounds like she too can give the Chief a lesson, stating, “Can anyone stop these people from not only violating our client’s rights to free speech — right to free association — right to assembly — but also now their right to counsel.”

    When the Chief wasn’t listening and smirking on September 19, she was lecturing and shaking her finger at the crowd gathered at City Hall.

    Now, of course, I understand that the Chief is not from these parts. She’s from ol’ Tennessee via Ellensburg and Federal Way. Might be that she didn’t do much research on these parts prior to taking the job.

    You know: Children of the Sun and salmon running free. Colonel George Wright. Hangman massacre. Capital of the Inland Empire. Biggest city between Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Home of Expo ’74. So close to Idaho and so far from God. Home to Gonzaga and Whitworth. One newspaper town. Racist skinheads. Hell’s Angels. Clergy sex scandal. Kevin Coe and Robert Yates. Otto Zehm and Shonto Pete. Dying military base. Old South Hill money. Contaminated river. Bloomsday, Hoopfest, and Pigs in the Park.

    Maybe Chief Kirkpatrick got confused when she heard it called Spokaloo. Of course, it is also now called Spotucky and Spokanistan.

    But I think it is time to provide her with a little local education.

    The City of Spokane’s website biography of Chief Kirkpatrick describes her role in leading the 380-employee SPD with its $40 million budget. According to the bio, the Chief “works to ensure that the community feels a sense of security from harm and has a high level of trust and confidence in the Police Department.” The bio goes on to say the Chief “strives to be transparent and accountable to the public and is working to make the department stronger.”

    Some of the chief’s roles as described in her City of Spokane biography are contradictory — or at least contradicted by the SPD’s recent history and performance.

    The Chief’s comments to and about the public at the September 19, 2007 Forum/Chat did nothing to “ensure that the community feels a sense of security from harm”.

    In fact we heard of cops calling people “faggots” and announcing they were on the scene to deal with “shit bags” in the park and refusing to provide their names and badge numbers.

    Chief Kirkpatrick says she wants to ensure the community “has a high level of trust and confidence in the Police Department”, even as her officers are tasering suicidal individuals, killing the disabled, and violating constitutional free speech and free assembly rights.

    And of course, it is the lack of the transparency and accountability she says she wants to establish that is largely behind the anger, distrust, and fear surrounding the public’s relationship to the Spokane Police Department.

    So far the Chief has handled the public relations game well enough to be seen as a relatively decent, down-to-earth, generally competent police chief.

    But now comes the hard work.

    What is the hard work that Chief Kirkpatrick has in front of her?

    Reigning in the culture of machismo. Changing the all-to-common police officer attitude of power over a citizenry presumed to be criminal and deviant. Restraining the proclivity to use excessive force. Ending the evident disrespect for the public and the pattern of bullying, verbally abusing, and threatening them.

    It is important for the people of Spokane to educate Chief Kirkpatrick. Currently her officers appear to be beyond the reach of the citizenry and even the law. Investigations of numerous cases of police conduct remain unresolved. There is no central source of information for the public on the status of various investigations or even who is handling those investigations. Most people expect never to see a final resolution to several of these cases.

    But in her political and public roles, the Chief can be reached. She can be told that the days of business as usual are over. That police are citizens. That police officers are subject to law. That she is their boss and that we are her boss.

    This blog category–Educating the Chief–will address issues of importance regarding Spokane which the Chief might find of interest and might enlighten her perspectives on Spokane.

    More than one person I have spoken with has said that they expect that one day in the not too distant future the Chief will awaken to find that the Spokane Police Guild has packed her bags for her and are waiting for her with a car to drive her to the airport.

    It is my hope that some of the information here might help the Chief survive to see the day when she personally introduces the Spokane Police Guild to Spokane’s new Ombudsman for Police Oversight.

    Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight | Leave a Comment »

    Urgent Call: Police Advisory Committee Meeting — 7 AM Wed, August 8, 2007, Monroe Court Bldg, 901 N. Monroe St., Rm 300

    Posted by Arroyoribera on July 31, 2007

    Police Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007
    7 a.m. – 8 a.m.
    Monroe Court Bldg., Rm. 300, N. 901 N. Monroe St., Spokane

    The Police Advisory Committee (PAC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Spokane Police Department. As you will see in the information below from the February 2007 SPD Newsletter (see page 6) , the Spokane Police Department likes to portray the Committee as representing the public. However, the committee is run by the police and for the police. While the Spokane Police Newsletter leaves out the fact that the Committee is officially staffed by six senior police staff persons and presents it as a representative of the Spokane people, the history of the PAC, its secrecy, it’s dominance by self-appointed representatives of certain community segments, and its lack of representation of the needs of those communities during many years of turmoil and abuse by the SPD suggest that it has put itself at the service of the SPD.

    The PAC has met largely unseen and unknown monthly for nearly 25 years. During that period the SPD has suffered many embarrassments, created many scandals, killed many citizens, and been involved in much corruption. Yet, the Committee, with what are termed “representatives” of various Spokane communities, as had virtually nothing to say publicly. When its members have had things to say–such as when long-time PAC president Rick Mendoza stated at the January 30, 2007 ACLU-sponsored forum at Gonzaga University Law School that the SPD is the “best police department” in the United States–they have often failed to reflected an real understanding of community concerns with regard to the Spokane Police Department.

    During the last 10 years of hidden PAC meetings with the SPD, another Spokane organization–the Citizens Review Commission “led” by Rev. Lonnie Mitchell — reportedly never met. The seven member Citizen Review Commission shares three members with the Spokane Police Department’s PAC and has two members who represent police associations (the Spokane Police Guild and the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association). The staff of the CRC is a Spokane City attorney and, of course, a Spokane Police officer. Members serve for three 4 year terms. Though the City of Spokane website provides a detailed description of the mission and purpose of the Police Advisory Committee, the same website provides no explanation what-so-ever of the mission and purpose of the Citizen Review Commission. It is understood that the Commission was formed to address complaints from the community regarding police misconduct. For that reason, it is extremely disturbing that during ten years of repeated controversy and police abuse, the Commission never met.

    ———————————————————

    From the City of Spokane website: (You will notice this differs from the presentation of the membership of the committee from the information presented in the Chief’s newletter where no reference is made to the PAC’s six police “staff” members):

    Police Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007
    7 a.m. – 8 a.m.
    Monroe Court Bldg., Rm. 300, N. 901 N. Monroe St., Spokane

    Police Advisory Committee
    Contact: Lt. Rex Olson
    1100 W. Mallon Ave
    Spokane, WA 99260
    (509) 835-4523

    Mission Statement or Purpose: To act as an Advisory Board representing various community client groups to the office of the Chief of Police. To function as a sounding board for the Chief of Police regarding community needs and concerns, as well as community response to proposed police programs and procedures. The only term limits are for the Chair and Vice Chair who can each serve only two consecutive annual terms.

    Members Title
    Rev C.W. Andrews Member at Large
    Joan Butler (Chair) Member at Large
    Bob Byrne Member at Large
    Bob Dellwo Member at Large
    Carmella LeBlanc Hispanic Community
    Marilou Buan Filipino American Association
    Rick Mendoza Spokane Hispanic Business/Professional Assn.
    Rev. Lonnie Mitchell SR. Alternate for Bishop Mize/Ministers’ Fellowship Union
    Bishop Walton F. Mize SR. President, Ministers’ Fellowship Union
    Roger Moses (Vice Chair) Native Americans
    V. Anne Smith National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
    Olmer “Butch” Smith Member at Large
    Christy Hamilton Spokane COPS/Block Watch
    Rev. Eugene Singleton Ministers’ Fellowship Union
    Vang Xiong X. Toyed Spokane Hmong Association
    Marie Yates Lincoln Heights/COPS Southeast
    Ladd Smith Gay and Lesbian Community
    Jan Dobbs Spokane Mental Health
    Gheorghe Turcin Eastern European & other continents’ Ethnic Communities/ DOC high-risk release coordination
    Russell Smith Lilac Blind Foundation
    Staff Title
    Anne Kirkpatrick Chief of Police
    Jim Nicks Assistant Chief
    Bruce Roberts Major
    LT. Rex Olson Contact Person
    Gill Moberly Major
    Gayle Tucker Secretary

    ————————————————————

    Following is the information on the PAC from Chief Ann Kirkpatrick’s SPD newsletter (February 2007):

    Joan Butler is the new Chair of the committee. She replaces Rick Mendoza whose term expired. The new Vice Chair is Roger Moses.

    The Police Advisory Committee was formed about 25-years ago by the Chief of Police to serve as a sounding board on various issues and concerns of the Department and the community. These can be specific incidents or broader matters of Spokane Police policy and procedure.

    Committee members represent the interests of more than 20 groups as well as those of the greater Spokane community. The Police Advisory Committee is an important resource for the Chief’s office. Members provide input and feedback on SPD projects and advise the Chief on theneeds of the community as they relate to police programs. The committee assists SPD in educating citizens about Department policies and the role of community based policing. The committee meets quarterly at various community centers.

    Please join us on August 8, 2007. Future meeting dates will be published in the SPD Newsletter.

    Current members of the Police Advisory Committee are:

    Joan Butler, Chair, at large member
    Roger Moses, Vice-Chair, Native American Community
    Rev. C.W. Andrews, at large member
    Marilou Buan, Filipino American Association
    Bob Byrne, at large member
    Bob Dellwo, at large member
    Jan Dobbs, Community Mental Health
    Carmella LeBlanc, Hispanic Community
    Rick Mendoza, Spokane Hispanic Business/Professional Association
    Bishop Walton F. Mize, Sr., Ministers Fellowship Union
    Rev. Lonnie Mitchell, alternate for Bishop Mize
    Rev. Eugene Singleton, Ministers Fellowship Union
    V. Anne Smith, NAACP
    Omer L. “Butch” Smith, at large member
    Gheorghe Turcin, DOC and East European & other continents’ ethnic communities
    Vang Xiong X Toyed, Hmong Community
    Marie Yates, COPS SE
    Ladd Smith, Gay & Lesbian Community

    POLICE ADVISORY COMMITTEE By: Cpl. Tom Lee

    ———————————————————————–

    During ten years of police abuse and scandal in Spokane, the Citizen Review Commission headed by Rev. Lonnie Mitchell never met.

    From the City of Spokane website:

    Citizen Review Commission
    Members of the Citizens’ Review Commission must have been a resident of the City of Spokane for at least four years by the time the appointment becomes affective. A police background check is completed on all applicants and his or her immediate family. The background check must show no significant recent criminal history. The applicant must agree to the necessary time commitment and must agree to represent the general public. All appointees must undergo a training program of up to sixteen hours in police and commission procedures and must do one ride-along with police.

    Commissioners shall serve for 4 (three) year terms.

    The Citizens’ Review Commission meets as needed.

    Members Title Term Expires
    Rev. Lonnie Mitchell, Sr.-Chair Citizen-at-Large 03/31/2008
    Vern Burch Citizen-at-Large 03/31/2007
    William Ogle Citizen-at-Large 06/08/2007
    Douglas Puckett Citizen-at-Large 12/31/2010
    Judge Richard Richard, Sr. Retired judge 03/31/2008
    Robert Byrne Qualified Member of the Police Guild 12/31/2010
    Marie Yates Qualified Member of the Police Lieutenants & Captains Association 03/31/2008
    Staff
    Mike Piccolo Legal Council
    Dave Richards IA Lieutenant

    Vacancies: 0

    (Though this information is the most current on the City of Spokane website as of July 31, 2007, it would appear that there are in fact two openings on the Committee as the terms of Vern Burch and William Ogle have now expired).

    Posted in Educating the Chief, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane LE Personalities, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »