Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

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

Archive for the ‘Spokane LE Personalities’ Category

Who killed Pastor Scott?

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 3, 2010

Question: Who killed Pastor W. Scott Creech in the parking lot of his business in the Spokane Valley on August 25, 2010?

Answer: One of Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich’s deputies, Brian Hirzel, who was allowed to go on vacation immediately after the killing and before being interviewed about the events. And, of course, the Sheriff’s finest is being interviewed by the Spokane Police Department’s finest so we all know that true justice is just around the corner.

More important perhaps is the need for a thorough going look at our law enforcement and just exactly why they conduct themselves in the ways they do. What is their mentality? What is their training? Why is everyone from a 74-year-old pastor to a pre-teen girl at risk of death, maiming or abuse in any encounter with these individuals?

Let’s start by looking at this photo:

(Photo from Spokane County Sheriff website)i

(photo from Spokane County Sheriff’s website — August 8, 2007)

Do you really want these guys prowling your parking lot or manhandling your daughter if she has a bit too much to drink on high school graduation night?

There are a few other photos at the link below.

https://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/weaponry/

And here is a history (admittedly incomplete) of Spokane area law enforcement abuses — https://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/abuse-laying-out-the-case/

Next to his smiling photo on the Spokane County Sheriff’s website, Knezovich published these increasingly absurd words:

(quote) Your Spokane County Sheriff’s Office consistently invests available resources toward community-wide safety and security, economic viability and the positive, nationwide reputation of our County.

We do so by providing a highly-trained, dedicated team of professionals, working in partnership with our community, through utilizing their unique talents and skills in conjunction with new technology and research based criminal justice training. (end quote)

For Pastor Scott, like so many others in the Spokane County area, there is neither safety nor security nor justice. Clearly, the technology is of little positive use, the research and the mentality it spawns are flawed, and the leadership is on the wrong side of the line that divides our community from those who would bring death, terror and sorrow to our families and neighborhoods.

And as for “the positive, nationwide reputation of our County” to which Sheriff Knezovich refers, one can only ask with all due respect, “What has Ozzie been smoking?”

Posted in License to Kill, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane LE Personalities, Stop it. You're killin' me., Terrorism in Spokane, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | 1 Comment »

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.

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 »

Torok — a troubling choice as spokesperson on police interrogation of 12 year olds

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 6, 2008

The March 6, 2008 edition of the Spokesman-Review ran a story on the interrogation by Spokane Police and Spokane School District 81 Resource Officers of two 12-year-old girls, KellyAnn Cameron and Taylor Wyatt, who signed away their Miranda rights despite indications that they did not understand the process nor the implication of their actions. At least one of the girls was unclear as to whether or not an “attorney” and a “lawyer” were one and the same. Nevertheless, the four law enforcement personnel interrogated the girls without presence of parents or other staff.

The story is very troubling, both in the details of the incident itself as well as in the person chosen as the spokesperson for the Spokane Police Department, Sgt. Dan Torok.

Sgt. Dan Torok is perhaps the most controversial police officer in Spokane, both for his involvement in three high profile incidents in the last few years, two of which resulted in deaths, and for his belligerent online comments under the name “Dan” at blogs run by the local Spokesman-Review newspaper. In the matter of the Alford death by Torok’s service weapon, the chief of police ordered him to issue a Garrity letter, so infrequently used that Spokane County Sheriff’s investigators were confused about its propriety, according to the reporting of the Spokesman-Review. The Garrity letter effectively shielded Torok from questioning by investigators.

(It is highly ironic that Torok was shielded by the Chief from questioning from investigators over the Alford killing yet Torok is commenting publicly in defense of the SPD regarding the interrogation of the two twelve year old girls after questionable application of a Miranda waiving statement).

The killing of Alford by Torok remains controversial. Beyond that, however, the death of Otto Zehm is even more controversial not to mention the fact that the case remains unresolved from the perspective of many. To this date it remains unclear whether or not the FBI has a review of this matter open or not. And a report on the Spokane Police by consultant Mike Worley paid for by the city of Spokane remains incomplete to this date. The status of the contract the city signed with Worley’s company to write that report also remains unclear.

Torok was one of seven Spokane Police Officers involved in the brutal March 18, 2006 attack on and subsequent death of Otto Zehm, an unarmed mentally ill man who was beaten, tasered, hog-tied, kicked, kneed, and suffocated, before dying March 20, 2006 in what the coroner called a “homicide”.  Almost exactly a year later, Torok shot a homeless man, Jerome Alford, in a little trafficked area of Spokane.

As quoted in the Spokesman-Review article, Sgt. Torok waxes eloquent in justifying the actions of the SPD and suggests that police must interrogate pre-teens and other youth at school because the presence of parents is an impediment to their interrogation techniques.

I can assure you that Miranda rights are not in the curriculum of School District 81 in the seventh grade or elementary school and I believe it is safe to say that they are not in the curriculum through 10th grade as well. One of these girls was not even sure what the word “attorney” meant without asking for clarification.

Is Sgt. Torok — who with his men did not have the judgment to understand that Otto Zehm was “carrying” a pop bottle as opposed to being “armed” with a pop bottle before brutalizing him — a credible spokesperson for the tax-payer financed Spokane Police Department on issues of police discretion and police interpretation of policy? That the Spokane Police Department would even consider Torok in such a role shows just how far they are from understanding the crisis of credibility from which they are suffering.

Sgt. Torok — whose fellow SPD detectives did not have the training, judgment and ethical uprightness to understand that the photos taken by a Spokane Fireman of a minor girl with whom improper sexual contact occurred constituted evidence of a possible crime and therefore should have been confiscated as legal evidence rather than deleted at the direction of the detectives as in fact occurred — is going to be defending the SPD before the press and public in matters of alleged misconduct? Ironically, Torok’s experience at the center of significant controversy caused by his own poor judgment and questionable actions in the field makes his selection by the SPD brass as a spokesman to the media logical in a certain perverted bureaucratic sense. Furthermore, Torok has been practicing his role defending the SPD’s indefensible and ongoing scandals for months on the blogs of the Spokesman-Review, blogs such as Hard 7 and others. In his comments on those blogs he has become a master of stonewalling, rationalization, and the dodge.

Given his role in killing mentally ill Otto Zehm and his shooting to death of homeless Jerome Alford, it is extremely dangerous and troubling to see Torok resort on multiple occasions to calling members of the Spokane community participating in those blogs ‘mentally ill‘ when their comments simply seek to inform or when they express the disdain and disgust felt in many sectors of the community towards SPD misconduct, corruption, and lack of accountability.

In fact, prominent members of the city government and the professional community should be vocally outraged and up in arms that Torok is being allowed to play this role of public spokesman, given his direct role in the murder of Zehm and the killing of Jerome Alford, not to the mention the SPD’s severely botched “intervention” in the matter of Josh Levy who jumped to his death from the Monroe Street bridge following 18 hours of being surrounded and isolated by Spokane Police and after they lied to him and botched a sneak taser attack on him.

This is a police department with ZERO credibility in dealing with “other” (the term used by Dr. John “Gus” Olson, Spokane community activist and advocate for the disadvantaged, to describe those in Spokane who are rejected for being different, looked upon with disdain for being poor, excluded for being “other”, left to rot by a society incapable of real compassion). Recall Carmen Jacoby, who testified to the Chief of Police in the public forum at City Hall on September 19, 2007. Jacoby told of the Spokane policeman who told her that in relation to homeless people sleeping in the green space near a freeway on ramp, “I have a job to do…to get these shit bags out of this park” and then threatened to put her in the bag of his squad car if she persisted in demanding his name and badge number.

Having shown incompetence which endangers public safety and a shocking level of disdain for the poor, homeless, mentally ill, and non-white, does the Spokane Police Department now move on to 12-year-old girls? Apparently so.

The manner in which a police department deals with the most vulnerable among us is highly indicative of their attitude towards the people they pretend to “protect”. How the SPD handles pre-teen girls provides a window into the core attitudes of the Department. Many members of our community, like these girls, are easily exploited by a police department without adequate procedural training, supervision, and independent oversight.

The S-R article contains links to both the pertinent R.C.W. (Washington state Revised Code of Washington, i.e., the law in Washington state) and the OLR Research Report on the Miranda rights of children.

The study states: “In determining whether a juvenile effectively waived his Miranda rights, courts consider whether the juvenile had the capacity to understand the warnings given to him, the nature of his constitutional right to remain silent, and the consequences of waiving those rights.”

The parents of the two 12-year-old girls in this case have appropriately and effectively questioned whether in this case these young girls had in fact “the capacity to understand” the Miranda warnings given to them, their constitutional rights, and “the consequences of waiving those rights”, prior to the police interrogation.

This is an area of great controversy and a fundamental issue of individual rights and protections in our nation. While some states set higher ages for children to be able to waive their Miranda rights, other states require the presence of parents. Some states, including Washington, use a “totality of circumstances” test. It is heartening to see that the ACLU is involved.

I, for one, do not trust the judgment of SPD officers in the field nor their integrity in reporting the of facts. In the case of the interrogation of these two pre-teen girls by SPD officers, that lack of integrity rises to such a level that a court would have difficulty establishing that these very young, very vulnerable girls clearly understood the waiving of their right within the “totality” of circumstances. With two Spokane Police officers and two District 81 resource officers in the room, and with at least one of these girls not certain if an attorney and a lawyer are the same thing, clearly there was an intimidation/coercion factor.

I would certainly be interested in the outcome of the internal affairs complaint filed by these parents. Sgt. Jim Faddis used to be an internal affairs officer so he could help the Spokane people and media out on that one. Sgt. Faddis was asked by me on the S-R’s Hard 7 blog (where he blogs under the names “Jim F” and “Kevin”) to clarify the exact procedure for making an internal affairs complaint in Spokane. Not surprisingly, Faddis has failed to respond to that request.

It would also be nice to get more comment from Spokane School District 81 on the parents’ request for a change in the policy regarding police interrogation of children at school. I for one would strongly support changes in the policy as well as a public education effort to educate Spokane area youth on their rights in dealing with the police.

Posted in Ethics, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Solutions, Spokane LE Personalities, Spokane Police Guild, Spokane taser, Testimonies, Torok, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions | 2 Comments »

Police Officers And Alcohol

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 4, 2008

While the Spokane Police Guild continues its deliberation over how much civilian oversight and subordination to the will of the public its officers are willing to accept, it is a good moment to look at the issue of police officers and alcohol. It is an increasingly well known fact that police officers are greatly affected by the stress of their jobs and that one consequence is rates of domestic violence greater than found in the general public. At the same time, the role excessive alcohol consumption in the issue of domestic violence is inadequately examined. More important, however, are the broader implications for public safety resulting from alcohol abuse by law enforcement personnel.

As previously addressed in this blog, a stag party held at the Spokane Police Guild club a number of years ago resulted in a precedent setting Supreme Court case dealing with public access to information. The Supreme Court decision quoted the Spokane City Attorney stating via affidavit that: “Release of this information, under the circumstances presented by this case, will cause substantial and irreparable damage to the Spokane Police Department’s ability to operate as a law enforcement agency, which is a vital governmental function.

And the “irreparable damage” to the Spokane Police Department has continued to this day.

Of course, the problem of alcohol abuse by law enforcement is not limited to just Spokane Police officers, of course. The Seattle P-I’s August 2007 special series documents in detail the preferential treatment of police officers throughout Washington state when they are stopped for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The article refers to two Spokane County Sheriff’s officers “who were caught driving drunk, a sergeant who tipped his truck over was given a reprimand and a deputy who was simply pulled over on a freeway got an eight-day suspension.”

More recently the people of Spokane have been subject to two grave alcohol related incidents.

In the first, a controversial Spokane police officer — already under scrutiny for his ownership of a drug house less than two blocks from an elementary school — left a Spokane bar under the influence of alcohol and shot a man in the back of the head, endangering the residents of the Peaceful Valley neighborhood of Spokane. The officer, Jay Olsen, faces charges while the man he shot and accused of stealing his truck has been acquitted of the charges against him. To make matters clearer, the city of Spokane has walked away from Olsen and left him to defend himself.

Then came the matter of Jason Uberuaga, former Gonzaga University baseball star and decorated police officer, involved in both the Intermodal Center shooting and one of seven Spokane Police officers implicated in the yet unresolved homicide by cop of Otto Zehm. Uberuaga, a deputized federal drug task force member, was fired by the chief of police for “conduct unbecoming” of an officer. In essence, the demise of Uberuaga is the result of a drinking episode with other law enforcement personnel, allegations of rape against Uberuaga, and Uberuaga driving his undercover police vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

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

A broken system works in favor of cops busted for DUI

By ERIC NALDER AND LEWIS KAMB
SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS

(Part 1 of a part 3 series)

The state is airing another ad against drunken driving this month warning, “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed.”

But there’s an exception out on the streets for some police officers.

Cops confronted with a drunken-driving arrest fare better than the average citizen, according to a Seattle P-I investigation of seven years’ worth of internal discipline records, arrest reports, accident reports, license-suspension files and court documents statewide.

The P-I selected 63 cases from 92 to examine closely, focusing on active duty officers who consumed alcohol before driving police or personal vehicles. Most were street cops, but nine were assigned to county or city corrections duties.

  Michael Bowe, bloodied
  Zoom Washington State Patrol
  Michael Bowe, a Thurston County sheriff’s deputy, was stopped in March 2004 in Grays Harbor County for a DUI arrest — one of five such stops while he carried a badge. How his face was bloodied was never determined, but his service weapon was in the car.
Read his story.

Five sworn officers were not prosecuted at all, despite blood-alcohol tests indicating impairment.

A half-dozen officers kept their licenses after a drunken-driving arrest simply because their paperwork missed the deadline at the state Department of Licensing. Arresting agencies are given a grace period of 50 days to file the paperwork.

Although the samples are very different in size and demographics, a member of the general public’s chance of getting a license suspension because of a breath test over the 0.08 blood-alcohol limit was double that of a cop, according to a P-I comparison. Only one of four current and former officers who refused a breath test lost her driver’s license, while the public’s rate is 16 out of 17.

  Inside Brown's car
  Zoom  
  On July 23, 2003, Tacoma police Officer Paul A. Brown registered a 0.244 blood-alcohol level and was charged with DUI. Eleven full, one empty and one partially consumed miniature scotch bottles were found in Brown’s car, as well as 15 full beers, two open beers and one empty beer container.

Police officers who were visibly inebriated and reeking of alcohol smashed their department cars or their personal cars, asked for favors, got breaks and even threatened fellow officers who had the temerity, in their minds, to arrest them, the records showed.

In one case, an unidentified colleague of an intoxicated Seattle officer who got in an accident in a city-owned car asked the arresting trooper “how we could take care of this.”

One Renton police jailer had his police identity card taped to his license as an ongoing precaution. Others outright asked for “professional courtesy.”

Impaired law officers were in at least 14 accidents, including four in police cars. Kevin Williams of the Seattle police drunkenly rolled his car on a northbound Interstate 5 offramp early one morning in 2005. Lawyer David Vanderpool and another bystander used a box cutter to free him from a seat belt just before flames consumed the car. Vanderpool said he didn’t know, until a P-I reporter recently called him, that he had saved a policeman’s life. Williams got deferred prosecution, a five-day suspension or loss of vacation time.

  Garcha accident
  Zoom Kent Police Department
  In 2002, Tacoma police Officer Gurdial Garcha hit a telephone pole in Kent in his personal van, so drunk he was nearly six times the legal limit. Some in the Tacoma department wanted him fired, but he got a two-day suspension and lost two vacation days.

In 2002, Tacoma police Officer Gurdial Garcha hit a telephone pole in Kent in his personal van, so drunk that he was nearly six times the legal limit. Some in his department wanted him fired, but he got a two-day suspension and lost two vacation days.

The Seattle Police Department was far more secretive about releasing records than any other department in the state. The department blacked out officers’ names and released fewer documents. The P-I had to find details about the cases from databases and other agencies.

“We follow the laws,” said Chief Gil Kerlikowske, whose agency signed a union contract that prevents release of names of officers in disciplinary records.

Some cases break down trust. In one Seattle case, an anonymous hospital worker confronted a sergeant when an alcohol-affected officer driving a city-owned car wasn’t investigated for DUI after a civilian motorist running a red light struck him. Despite her efforts, the officer was never prosecuted.

At the heart of the P-I’s findings is a police discipline system that is broken, illogical and unevenly applied, according to interviews, documents and a computer analysis of outcomes.

DECODING CENSORED SPD DOCUMENTSFor this project, Seattle P-I reporters sent public disclosure requests to more than 270 law enforcement agencies across Washington. Although the requests were identical in the types of records being sought — sustained officer-misconduct internal investigations — police department responses widely varied. The Seattle Police Department and Mercer Island Police Department offer good examples of the range of responses to the P-I’s request.Seattle police provided only one page of disciplinary records per each misconduct case requested and have not yet provided other documents the P-I requested. The three documents the Seattle police released to the P-I with officers’ names censored (see PDF) turned out to be the only hint of unpublicized accidents involving cops driving department cars who had been drinking. Because Seattle police were more secretive than other agencies, the P-I went elsewhere to learn the details of the crashes involving Timothy McGrath (June 21, 2002), Anthony Baily (Oct. 25, 2002) and Maria “Susan” DiTusa (June 9, 2004).By contrast, here are just the first six pages (PDF) of a Mercer Island police internal investigation of Det. Chris DeChant’s DUI-arrest and police vehicle accident on Dec. 16, 2004. Along with the complete 20-page investigative report, documents released to the P-I included an additional 86 pages of attachments, including the full Washington State Patrol arrest report, victim damage claims and the hand-written case notes of the city’s public safety director, who made the final disciplinary decision.Here’s what different officials for each city said when asked about how their city responded to the P-I’s requests:”There’s no department that handles more public disclosures than us. We follow the law.”

— Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske

“We disclosed the documents we believed we were required to under the law.”

— Mercer Island City Attorney Bob Sterbank

Regulators in Olympia and in Seattle who oversee the discipline of lawyers, judges and even cosmetologists do so through a detailed set of disciplinary standards. What passes for statewide discipline in the police world is one investigator attached to the state police academy in Auburn who reviews disciplinary records of terminated officers from various agencies to assess whether they should lose their state licenses.

In individual departments, standards are forged through union negotiations and in case-by-case consultations among sheriffs and chiefs. Few agencies maintain a schedule of discipline that could be laid out in a database — the Washington State Patrol and the Arlington Police Department being two exceptions.

The result is a lack of uniformity. Crashing a police car while inebriated on Mercer Island earned an officer a suspension 15 times longer than the penalty imposed for the same violation on the other side of Lake Washington in Seattle.

Driving drunk in a police car brought a one-day suspension for a King County sheriff’s detective and a termination in Island County. That King County detective also wasn’t prosecuted and didn’t get punished for reportedly asking the arresting state trooper for favors. A state trooper who asked for favors during a DUI arrest in a private car got a 45-day suspension and was put on probation under tough terms for the remainder of his career.

In cases in which two Spokane County sheriff’s officers were caught driving drunk, a sergeant who tipped his truck over was given a reprimand and a deputy who was simply pulled over on a freeway got an eight-day suspension.

In Seattle, Kerlikowske said he has toughened discipline for DUI while chief the past seven years. When compared with other big U.S. cities, Seattle is right in line, typically doling out three- to 10-day suspensions, he said. He said he is planning to fire repeat offenders.

Seattle Police Officers’ Guild President Rich O’Neill said cops are treated more harshly than citizens because they face discipline in addition to court proceedings. He said they can get hit in the pocketbook twice — a court fine and a loss of pay in a suspension.

However, many citizens are also disciplined at work. Under federal law, truckers lose their licenses for a year for a first drunken-drinking offense, and for life for a second. Some police officers weren’t suspended from their jobs, and some of those who were suspended were allowed to forfeit vacation instead of losing pay.

Police officers and firefighters are also specifically exempted from a federal law that requires truckers to be blood-tested after an accident.

Yakima Officer Lori Sheeley had five accidents in her patrol car and caused citizen injuries, but Assistant City Attorney Sofia Mabee said Sheeley wasn’t tested in any of them because city policy doesn’t require it. In May 2005, a year after Sheeley resigned, in part because of the accidents, she hit a barrier on a Tri-Cities bridge. She blew a breath test of .117, over the limit.

Discipline failures erode public confidence, some cops and members of the public say.

Wendi Eccles was rear-ended one December night in 2004 by a Mercer Island cop who was drunk in a city-owned car. Her back never fully recovered, and she resents that internal investigators from Mercer Island never interviewed her.

“They’re supposed to be upholding the law, making sure people don’t do this kind of stuff,” she said. “But they go do it and don’t face the same consequences.”

Former Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley, now a lieutenant in the department he led until December 2006, agrees that those charged with upholding the law should be held to a public and uniform disciplinary system. Hawley led the department when it got mired in a DUI favoritism mess in 2004.

“I think some kind of standardization of disciplinary action would be good,” Hawley said. “For criminals, we have standardized ranges.”

Hawley served until recently as a charter member of a state board that adjudicates police license-revocation cases. “I’ve seen people fired for things they should never have been fired for. Then it happens at the other end, where this guy should be fired immediately, but he isn’t because he is the boss’ best pal.”

But Kerlikowske warned that widespread police standards are “no panacea,” because they take away the ability to evaluate cases individually.

Four case studies

A review of four accidents involving police officers provides a window into the process, showing how disparate the disciplinary system is.

Seattle police Detective Sgt. Anthony Baily was cut loose from his crumpled undercover police car after a three-vehicle accident in downtown Seattle about 2 a.m. one night in October 2002.

He was later cut loose from a possible DUI.

Three hours after the accident, then-Sgt. John B. Heneghan of the West Precinct was visiting Baily at the hospital, and a nurse confronted him, records show. She asked the sergeant why Baily wasn’t being tested for alcohol when one of the other drivers was under police guard and being blood-tested, records show. Heneghan then noticed the odor of alcohol near Baily, the report said. Heneghan didn’t write down the woman’s name, and police were never able to identify her. Heneghan alerted accident investigators about 5:30 a.m.

At that point, police investigators could have blood-tested and processed Baily for DUI, but they didn’t. Seattle attorney Paul Cullen, a DUI specialist, said the law wouldn’t have prevented Baily’s prosecution. He said experts can scientifically show that a person was drunk at the time they were driving, using blood-alcohol evidence gathered by police 3 1/2 hours later.

Later that day, a lieutenant told internal investigators about the nurse’s comments.

The city attorney later considered prosecuting Baily — a police union board member — for DUI.

He considered using tests on blood vials that a paramedic and the hospital staff routinely collected from Baily right after the accident, but concluded that the evidence wouldn’t stand up in court.

Finding Baily’s case was difficult. When the Police Department released a stack of internal investigative records to the P-I — including Baily’s — the accused officers’ names were blacked out, as the city’s contract with the police union dictates. But Baily’s name was visible on a sheet mentioning his three-day suspension for, among other things, “use of alcohol” in his department car.

The report noted that the accident wasn’t his fault, and, indeed, it wasn’t.

Lynnwood defense lawyer Jim Feldman, who represented the inebriated man who ran a red light and hit Baily’s car, told the P-I that he had felt Baily deserved a DUI citation.

He said Baily’s unofficial test reading was higher than that of his client, who was prosecuted. Records ultimately confirmed that his client’s blood-alcohol level was 0.10 and Baily was between 0.12 and 0.15.

Three weeks after the accident, SPD internal investigators with a search warrant obtained three vials of Baily’s blood and test results from Harborview Medical Center. The state toxicology lab tested it.

Selected for evidence was the lowest reading, which was from the first vial drawn less than a half-hour after the accident. An investigator, Sgt. Mike Teeter, and supervising assistant city attorney Mike Finkle explored a possible DUI case, but in July 2003 Finkle wrote a memo concluding that it wasn’t possible.

He noted that blood collected by the hospital wasn’t preserved or handled in the way courts require. Finkle based his decision largely on technical opinions by Ann-Marie Gordon, manager of the state toxicology lab.

Gordon was concerned about a lack of preservatives and chain of custody of evidence and speculated about how a skilled lawyer might defend Baily. She suggested an admittedly unlikely defense that Baily had pounded down eight doses of liquor, wine or beer immediately before driving, and at the moment of impact hadn’t yet reached the legal intoxication level of 0.08, documents show.

Gordon’s credibility has since come into question. She resigned her post July 20, several days after the State Patrol began investigating whether she had lied about testing ethanol-water solutions used to make certain that breath-test machines are working properly. If proved, the allegations could lead to hundreds of challenges of DUI convictions.

As for the Baily case, Cullen, the DUI lawyer, said court precedents indicate that he could have been prosecuted using the hospital blood.

The P-I asked Chief Kerlikowske last week about Baily’s case. After that interview, documents previously requested but not provided to the P-I were made available for review. Both the Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office said they had been preparing the release. To date, not all of Baily’s records have been provided.

Kerlikowske visited Baily at the hospital an hour after the nurse blew the whistle that night, but was then unaware of the nurse’s tip, said department legal adviser Mark McCarty. Kerlikowske said he didn’t smell alcohol, but if he had, he would have ordered a DUI investigation on the spot.

Feldman said his client, David Cotner, 27, of Winthrop may have benefited from what he believes was SPD’s fear of publicity. That’s why the city abandoned plans to charge Cotner with vehicular assault, a felony, and didn’t challenge his request for deferred prosecution in the DUI case, Feldman speculates.

Kerlikowske bristled at that. “I just find that incredulous. That is so far outside the bound of what the prosecutor or a Police Department would do to keep something outside a newspaper,” he said.

In another case, a Seattle police officer first tried to avoid calling police after rear-ending a young Renton man’s car, then got on the phone with his superiors, who eventually had a conversation with the Washington State Patrol trooper investigating the accident.

Seattle police Officer Timothy McGrath drove his unmarked SPD Pontiac Grand Am into the rear of the man’s Ford Tempo on Interstate 405 near Renton at 11:30 p.m. on June 21, 2002. No one was hurt.

A “nervous” McGrath suggested to Jeff Shane, 18, that they exchange insurance information and go their separate ways. He didn’t seem drunk, Shane said, but he “was really hinting toward not calling the police, if not outright saying it.”

  McGrath
  Seattle police Officer Timothy McGrath drove his unmarked department car into the rear of a Renton man’s vehicle on Interstate 405. McGrath was charged with DUI but pleaded guilty to negligent driving and was issued an occupational driver’s license.

But Shane called 911, and McGrath got on his cell phone. SPD officers arrived to talk with him, and a state trooper arrived roughly a half-hour later.

McGrath smelled of alcohol and handed his commission card to Trooper James Miller the minute he arrived, the trooper wrote in his arrest report.

Miller told him to sit tight while he called a State Patrol sergeant to the scene, who “made some phone calls” and told the trooper to process McGrath like “any other person.”

All the way to the Renton police station, McGrath talked on his cell phone to “his superiors” from the back of Miller’s cruiser, the trooper wrote.

Then, while McGrath waited to take a breath test at the station, he handed his cell phone to the trooper.

“They asked me how we could take care of this,” Miller wrote, referring to unidentified parties on the cell phone call. “I told them I’d send (the) case up the chain of command. It was up to them.”

Timing was key, because as soon as anyone takes a breath test, a state computer records the name and the reading. Was someone at the other end of the phone line trying to stop the process of a DUI citation?

“Nobody came out and said that,” said a State Patrol spokesman, Capt. Jeff DeVere. “But (Miller) said it seemed that might have been what was asked.”

Miller doesn’t remember the name or affiliation of whom he spoke to on the cell phone, DeVere said. “He doesn’t remember who he was. We don’t know if it was an officer.”

O’Neill, of the Guild, suggested that someone could have been impersonating a supervisor or an officer.

Troopers don’t usually allow DUI suspects to talk on cell phones from a cruiser out of concern for officer safety, but there are exceptions, DeVere said. He didn’t feel that Miller did anything wrong.

McGrath registered nearly twice the limit on the breath-test machine, a 0.136, and though cited for DUI, he pleaded guilty to first-degree negligent driving. His license was suspended for 90 days, but an occupational driver’s license was issued to allow him to continue driving at work, according to state Department of Licensing records. Such licenses are often issued with employer approval to allow people to drive for work.

SPD internal affairs had the trooper’s report but did not investigate McGrath’s cell phone calls from that night, said McCarty, the SPD legal adviser. More than a year after the accident, in August 2003, the SPD issued a suspension order to McGrath, five days for “conduct unbecoming” for the negligent-driving conviction. The officer was allowed to forfeit vacation instead of losing pay.

The P-I found the cryptic order in a stack of papers the SPD turned over to the newspaper with the names of the offending officer blacked out. Databases the reporters obtained helped them identify the case. McGrath resigned from the SPD in 2005.

“Well, that’s all very interesting information,” he said from his Florida home after a reporter detailed what he knew. “But I’m not interested in talking to you about it. I don’t think it’s really any of your business.”

In another case, it was a night of holiday partying that ended with a Mercer Island patrol car rear-ending a civilian’s car, and a King County prosecutor who had been at the same party arriving at the police station to represent the interests of the drunken police officer.

The officer’s job suspension was 15 times longer than what SPD leveled against McGrath for essentially the same offense. The Mercer Island cop wasn’t allowed to forfeit vacation time.

Instead, Detective Chris DeChant got the stiffest discipline of any of the cops who drank and crashed a police car, a 75-day suspension. That’s the harshest penalty ever given by Mercer Island police short of firing, said police Chief Ed Holmes, who was then in charge of the internal investigation.

  DeChant
  Mercer Island police Detective Chris DeChant was given a 75-day suspension after he drank and rear-ended a civilian’s vehicle with his police car. It was the harshest penalty ever given by Mercer Island police short of firing.

But other police administrators around the state said any violation drawing more than a 30-day suspension should be a dismissible offense, and that goes especially for anyone drunk in an agency car.

“If it was sustained they were drunk, and they were driving a patrol car, they are fired,” said Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor. “That tears at your credibility, of the entire department.”

Guild President O’Neill said the toughest discipline possible under the Seattle contract, short of firing, is 30 days.

Eccles, the day care operator whose back was injured when she was rear-ended, feels that DeChant got off easy. She couldn’t work for a month.

DeChant, who didn’t respond to interview requests, caught some breaks in the case.

For example, his license should have been revoked for a year when he refused a blood-alcohol test after the accident, but it wasn’t. A Des Moines Municipal Court judge suppressed his breath-test refusal due to confusing instructions from the trooper. Because of that, the state Department of Licensing had to let him drive.

Eccles said she could tell DeChant “was drunk” the moment she saw him. He handed her his police business card when she asked for insurance information and repeatedly told her the damage would be covered. She called 911.

Some confusion arose that night when King County Deputy Prosecutor Greg Fullington, who was assigned to DeChant’s narcotics task force and had been at the same party, initially tried to act as his attorney, but withdrew when reminded that his office was responsible for prosecuting DeChant.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Mark Larson said he “vigorously counseled” Fullington for what was “not the proper role for a King County prosecutor.” Fullington has since left the office.

Eccles was disgusted by the whole mess.

“He’s still able to drive. His license wasn’t even taken away,” she said. “I don’t understand why guys like him get to be above the law.”

Internally, DeChant signed a “last chance” agreement that said he’d be fired for another alcohol-related offense. But when three more charges were sustained against him earlier this year for drinking and making a scene at an officer awards banquet, he got only a letter of reprimand.

“I didn’t believe (the most recent violations) were severe enough for termination,” Chief Holmes said. “He’s a good officer, and he works really hard.”

In another case, Seattle Detective Maria “Susan” DiTusa said from the wreckage of her unmarked police car that she was a police detective — “before I could even ask DiTusa any questions,” State Trooper Joseph Zimmer wrote in his report.

“I only had one, and my co-worker can attest to that,” she said of her drinking.

Maybe she was rattled when she smashed the side of her department’s Ford Taurus into the Mercer Street exit tunnel wall on June 9, 2004, because she probably wasn’t telling the truth. She recorded 0.137 on a preliminary breath test, more than the effects of one drink.

At the hospital, DiTusa refused a blood test that would have legally determined her level of intoxication. Preliminary tests aren’t admissible in court.

DiTusa appealed the state’s mandatory one-year license revocation for refusing a blood-alcohol test, but when the Licensing Department rejected her arguments, she obtained an occupational driver’s license.

Kerlikowske gave her a five-day suspension but allowed her to forefeit vacation in lieu of it. He promised to impose five more days if she got drunk and crashed another patrol car — “similar misconduct” is how he put it — within the next two years. The chief cited her “forthright cooperation with the administrative investigation” for the leniency.

In court, she reduced her criminal DUI citation to first-degree negligent driving by pleading guilty.

UPCOMING

Tuesday: Looking through mountains of public documents and internal reports, the P-I reveals how cops avoid arrest.
Wednesday: One officer whose career ended after a highly public DUI tells his story – and what’s wrong with the system.

P-I reporter Daniel Lathrop and P-I researcher Marsha Milroy contributed to this report. P-I reporter Eric Nalder can be reached at 206-448-8011 or ericnalder@seattlepi.com. P-I reporter Lewis Kamb can be reached at 206-448-8336 or lewiskamb@seattlepi.com.

Posted in Corruption, Ethics, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Law, Spokane LE Personalities, Spokane Police Guild, 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 »

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 »

Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note #4

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 3, 2008

Andrew “Skip” J. Pavlischak — Adjunct Instructor for Front Range Training and Consulting, LLC, and Firearms, Tactical and Specialty Instructor for TeamOne Network

Skippy retired from the Spokane Police department after 27 years of service. A U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, Skip has 26 years experience as an SPD SWAT team member, team leader, and commander in a full-time position. He is a certified firearms, distraction device, and chemical agent instructor. Skip is also a Master Sub Gun and Pistol Instructor. He assisted in the formation of the Washington State Tactical Officers Association and is a past president. Skip was also the lead instructor for basic and advanced SWAT training for the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) and worked as a Gang Unit Leader and in the Special Investigations Narcotics Unit. He recently attended a course at New Mexico Tech for certification for instructing in Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings through the U.S. Department of Justice.

[For more on the Washington State Tactical Officers Association and its sponsorship by numerous mercenary training companies such as Triple Canopy and Blackwater USA, see the following links:

All white Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA) — includes photos

WSTOA sponsors — includes links to sponsor companies ]

[For more information on the history of the Spokane Police Department SWAT team, its weaponry, and Skip Pavlischak, please visit this link.

Posted in In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Spokane LE Personalities, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | 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)

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

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
  • Life Member, J. William Fulbright
  • International Association of Law Enforcement Planners (IALEP)
  • Member, Naval Reserve Association

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 »

Mark Fuhrman — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note #2

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 19, 2007

(Note: As time permits, this posting on Mark Fuhrman — disgraced LAPD detective, convicted felon, perjurer, and racist — will be expanded and fleshed out. Fuhrman lost his job on November 15, 2007, as a “radio talk show host” on Spokane’s KGA-AM 1510. This link will take you to a discussion at the Hard 7 blog, run by Frank Sennett of The Alternative Source Radio.)

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

Racist quotes from Mark Fuhrman

(excerpt)  On the stand Fuhrman denied that he had said the “n-word” in years. But thirteen hours of tapes surfaced–recording interviews Fuhrman had given to Laura McKinny between 1985 and 1994 as part of a movie project. They showed in detail how Fuhrman and his fellow cops hated Black people, Mexicans and women–even Black people and women on the police force. Here was a man who belonged to an organization called “Men Against Women” that harassed women on the police force. Throughout the tapes, Fuhrman uses the “n-word” to refer to Black people–40 times in 61 excerpts selected by the defense. He uses the word casually–it is how he thinks about Black people. The tapes contain 18 examples of Fuhrman admitting to illegal use of deadly force, beating suspects to extract confessions, planting evidence, framing innocent people and lying or covering up the misconduct of other cops. (end excerpt)

Fuhrman’s 10/2/96 Plea Agreement to Felony Perjury

Fuhrman Profile

Fuhrman Show Cancelled

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

Simpson Detective in Fight

January 27, 1995

A newspaper here reported today that the Los Angeles police detective accused by lawyers for O. J. Simpson of fabricating evidence out of racial hatred for Mr. Simpson struck a photographer trying to take his picture here.

The detective, Mark Fuhrman, used a briefcase to hit the photographer, Dan McComb of The Spokesman-Review, in the chest at Spokane International Airport on Wednesday, the newspaper said. Mr. Fuhrman then shoved the photographer to the ground and shouted, “Get out of my face,” the newspaper said.

Mr. Fuhrman, who was said to be on a house-hunting trip in anticipation of his retirement after Mr. Simpson’s murder trial, was questioned by the police but was not arrested.

(As reported in the NY Times)

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Spokane LE Personalities, Testimonies, Trained to Kill | 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 »

SPD officials endorse Citizen Oversight of Police– Major Bruce Roberts

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 11, 2007

Spokane Police Major Bruce Roberts is grateful to the people of Spokane.  And, as reported in the Spokesman-Review, “that gratefulness transfers to his belief that citizen oversight could be beneficial to both the community and the Police Department.”

“A police department withers and flourishes based on that partnership of trust between the community and law enforcement,” Roberts said. “Citizen oversight would help establish that trust, where a committee could say, ‘Yes, people are complaining about the police, but the police are doing their job right.’ It’s a validation for the public.” (July 6, 2006 edition of the SpokesmanReview)

Posted in Independent Oversight, Solutions, Spokane LE Personalities | 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 »

Rape Allegation Against Deputized Federal Drug Task Force Member, SPD Officer Jason Uberuaga

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 28, 2007

A veteran Spokane Police officer — previously involved in the death of Otto Zehm — has been accused of rape after drinking in two Spokane Valley bars with individuals including Spokane Sheriff’s Deputies.

Jason Uberuaga was until the incident a member of the DEA Regional Drug Taskforce but he was removed from the Taskforce as a result of the incident. He is on paid administrative leave while the Washington State Patrol conducts an investigation. There is no timeframe for resolution of the matter but as things go in the Spokane area in matters involving alleged crimes committed by law enforcement, it is expected to be a long and drawn out affair.

Uberagua was a star player for the 19 wins and 3 losses 2004 Spokane Dodgers of the Men’s Senior Baseball League in the Northwest. Uberagua batted .419 with 5 home runs and had a team leading .839 slugging average. He has also been a patrol officer in the North Central area of Spokane.

According to the Spokesman-Review, “Senior Officer Jason Uberuaga has been with the department since August 1998. He received a Silver Star in 2002 for his efforts in a gun battle at the Intermodal Center.” In both that “gun battle” in 2002 and in the killing of Zehm, Uberuaga was involved in the incidents with Officer Dan Torok.

Spokesman-Review — Cop accused of rape part of drug task force

KREM 2 – A cop accused

KREM 2 – COP rape allegations

KREM 2 – Slideshow pictures of Spokane Valley bars where officer and victim were seen

KREM 2 – Details of officer rape allegation uncovered

KXLY 4 – Officer on administrative leave during investigation

KXLY 4 – Consensual or not?

Summer 2004 MSBL statistics for Spokane Dodgers and Jason Uberuaga

Uberuaga at bat

Spokesman-Review — Mayor Looks Outside–Hession wants independent review of Police Department

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Spokane LE Personalities, Unanswered Questions, Videos, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

Ron Wright — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note #1

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 24, 2007

It was recently while blogging over at the Spokesman-Review and at Frank Sennett’s “Hard 7” that I decided I should start this blog category — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note here at SpokanePoliceAbuses.

It began with my realization that several individuals blogging at the S-R and Hard 7 were actually Spokane Police Officers.

“Dan” is Detective Sergeant Dan Torok of Otto Zehm and Jerome Alford infamy.

“Jim” is Sgt. Jim Faddis, who also blogs — for unknown reasons — under the pseudonym of “Kevin”.  (Officer Faddis, blogging as “Kevin” and pretending to be a civilian, engaged in this extensive defense of his police department’s conduct in the July 4, 2007 police attack on protesters.   http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/opinion/archive/?postID=1490 )

“JR” is Officer JR Russell.

One suspects from the tone and content of the blog posts of several other writers that they are law enforcement or connected to law enforcement.

At Hard 7 and the S-R blogs I began to notice the writings of a fellow who called himself Rocketsbrain” aka “RTB”.

Rocketsbrain had much to say about Spokane’s alleged serious gang problem and specific elements of that alleged problem such as graffiti. He even began to offer his own sort mini blog course on graffiti and gangs.

Intrigued, I began reading through previous responses by him at a number of Spokesman-Review blogs and many other websites around the internet.

No problem. Many of us are out there — according to the experts — ruining our chances of ever finding a decent wife or of landing that $500,000 corporate job as a result of our compulsive plastering of cyberspace with the indelible electronic ink of our inane and insane postings on the internet.

However I began to notice definite tendencies and trends and themes in Rocketsbrain’s writing. Given where he was coming down on issues and some of the claims he was making, I grew increasingly uncomfortable with his anonymity.

For example, he repeatedly claims — not only in his Spokane blogging but all over the internet — to have access to people who share information with him, information which he subsequently discloses to readers and distributes across the web.

On the wider internet, much of the information he traffics in deals with his disdain of the mainstream media or “MSM” as he calls it.

However, his biggest source of interest and claimed expertise on the wider net is regarding “GWOT”, i.e., the Global War on Terrorism. He tends to run in circles where there is no need to even explain lingo like MSM and GWOT because these are military/law enforcement-oriented inner circles.

I came across a resume that Rocketsbrain had posted on one of the S-R blogs for the benefit of S-R editor Steve Smith. Interestingly, the resume did not include Rocketsbrain’s name. Neither did his website which one could reach easily because he always signed his posts with a hyperlink to his website.

The resume made it very clear that Rocketsbrain was a former law enforcement man from Southern California. I was interested to see that as he had made several unsubstantiated claims under the pseudonym of Rocketsbrain. For example, in the midst of controversy over alleged gangs in Spokane and much hysteria over graffiti, he stated that he was the “gang czar” in a city at some point in the past. The resume did not include that little fact and Rocketsbrain never responded to my request to him in one blog exchange to let us know when and where he had held that title/position of “gang czar”. To date, no response.

I then came across an exchange in which, out of the blue and out of all context, Rocketsbrain asked another peculiar fellow, pseudonym “ValleyWatch”, to contact him at an e-mail address so that he could discuss his belief that the Spokane Valley was “the new Chinatown”.

It did not take more than a few minutes to figure out that Rocketsbrain — in addition to his extensive law enforcement history — is in fact a director on the board of the right-wing 501(C)3 organization known as Homeland Security Policy Institute Group (HSPIG). Besides being the the forum’s moderator at the HSPIG website, Rocketsbrain is also a member of the HSPIG Security Council.

One of Rocketsbrain’s areas of focus at HSPIG is “threats” and in that capacity he is very involved in and a frequent internet planter, nurturer and transporter of information and disinformation on Iran. Some of that information is very incendiary to say the least. For example, see this post by Rocketsbrain at whizbangblog.com

Burn baby burn!!!

And btw throw a couple of grenades in the last functioning Iranian gas refinery and block any new gas shipments by sea.

Here’s something you can do to individually tank the Regime without waiting for the fed gov’t to act. Support the Iranian Divestiture Project.

RBT

9. Posted by rocketsbrain | June 27, 2007 4:11 PM

Rocketsbrain is also a member of HTCIA, the International High Technology Crime Investigation Agency.

Rocketsbrain tends to post at places like “Lonewacko“, “BlackFive“, and “The Command Post“.

Aat Media Mythbusters Blog, Ron Wright’s website, Rocket’s Brain Trust, is listed as a “contributing site”. Except that he assiduously avoids using his real name, he probably would be listed as a Contributor. Of course, his gig at Media Mythbusters is his Cowles Family obsession.

And given that the HSPIG website includes an Illegal Alien Tip Area , it is not surprising that a number of his posts deal with immigration. Nor is it surprising that he invited “Valleywatch” to contact him privately about the Spokane Valley being, in his words, “the new Chinatown”.

My interest in this is more than just perverse paranoia.

Spokane is a notorious right-wing backwater. One of the whitest cities per capita its size or larger in the United States. A racist bastion. Site of two of the seventeen acts of domestic terrorism committed in the U.S. between 1990 to 1996.

So who is Rocketsbrain aka RTB? Ron Wright. It would appear that he has attempted to keep the two names, Rocketsbrain and Ron Wright separate with pretty good success. But alas….

We have some other interesting law enforcement folks who live here, have moved here or have moved on.

— Mark Fuhrman of LAPD and OJ Simpson fame, now a conservative Spokane radio personality.

— Rocketsbrain aka RTB aka Ron Wright of HSPIG and HTCIA.

— Former SPD Chief Terry Mangan, now of the FBI.

— SPD Officer Bob Grandinetti of the infamous Freight Train Riders Association investigations.

— Captain Richard Olberding who once stated in the midst of the South Hill Rapist investigation that women ought to “just lay back and enjoy it”.

Check back soon as we learn a little about some of lesser known aspects of Spokane law enforcement personalities.

Given the propaganda coming at the public from the official and unofficial law enforcement communities, I believe it is critical to understand that not everyone who pretends to be no one is no one. The anonymity of the web is a useful foil for disinformation and dirty tricks.

And with local groups being infiltrated by the FBI and other law enforcement organizations, it is important that we are vigilant.

While I know that Officer Dan Torok is sworn to protect us, each and everyone, a little vigilance in the old fashion sense is also warranted.

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

(Disclosure: Following the 2004 presidential elections and the fateful decision of Democrats to follow a ruling class, white, multi-millionaire (John Kerry) down the garden path to nowhere, I was disclosed to be a “doppleganger” at the SpokaneProgressives yahoo group. I was tried and found guilty by a jury of my peers — Frank Malone, Bart Haggin and Rod Stackleberg — and was subsequently banned from the site.)

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest, Spokane LE Personalities, Terrorism in Spokane, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | 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 »