Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

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

Archive for the ‘Trained to Kill’ 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?”

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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 »

Northwest Gang Investigators in Spokane, May 19-22, 2008

Posted by Arroyoribera on April 30, 2008

So-called “gang experts” from the Northwest Gang Investigators Association will invade Spokane from May 19 to May 22, 2008, bringing their ever blessed light to shine upon the allegedly serious problem of gangs in Spokane.

It is especially disturbing to see this organization coming to Spokane at this time given the fact that Spokane Police Department is facing a severe crisis of corruption, misconduct, improperly and incompletely investigated police homicides against civilians, a practice of counter-suits against citizens who complain, and an ongoing history of racism in police hiring and policing of the community.

May god help us!

One might recall how in late September 2007 the collective anti-gang brain trust of Spokane — the Gang Enforcement Team (GET) — was involved in a widely publicized scandal as a result of their dissemination of patently false information about a “three-day gang enforcement focus”. The ATF and the GET widely touted their reported “success” in rounding up 70 plus gang members and associates as well as a large amount of weaponry. As it turns out there was only one gun and a handful of gang involved individuals charged with any crime. What was portrayed as a massive anti-gang bust was revealed to be a hoax involving publication of false data and a large scale effort to seed the media with false information. The GET is composed of the Spokane Police Department, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, ATF, FBI, and other unnamed government agencies.

Not surprisingly, the restricted-attendance event has been promoted by Yvonne Morton-Lopez, the non-Spanish-speaking chairwoman of Governor Chris Gregoire’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA). Organizations such as the CHA and the Spokane Human Rights Commission have been at the forefront of organizations promoting “forums” on gangs run by the Spokane Police Department, COPS, and the Gang Enforcement Team.

At recent GET forums in Spokane, presenters have taken already unsubstantiated numbers on gang membership in Spokane and inflated them by 25%, claiming for example that the supposed 900 gang members in Spokane is now 1200.

In an environment of police abuses — corruption, violence against members of minority groups, lack of civilian oversight — and in a community with a significant history of racism, organizations such as the Morton-Lopez’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs and Terry Goetz’s Spokane Human Rights Commission are acting extremely irresponsibly and jeopardizing their organizations’ credibility as defenders of the rights of Spokane’s small minority populations.

(Note: Morton-Lopez has recently been named the head of the Washington State Human Rights Commission. It will be interesting to see how she promotes law enforcement interests and their questionable practices from that position.)

Despite evidence which counters the claims of law enforcement and those such as Morton-Lopez about gangs in Spokane, the campaign goes on.  Crime is down in Spokane, according to the police and FBI, despite SPD Corporal Lee’s best efforts to spin the statistics.  And that is with 25 less officers than the comparison year of 2004. Yet, the GET and the COPS program continue to promote their Gang Seminars in the community despite the questionable information presented by GET team members.

http://www.nwgia.com/downloads/2008spring_nwgiaconference-reg.pdf

Posted in All-white SPD?, Gangs?, Independent Oversight, Law, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane Police vs. Youth, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

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 »

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 9, 2008

NEXT GUILD MEETING:

Wednesday, February 27th 2008

General Meeting at 1500 Hours

* Executive Board at 1400 Hours*

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

 

More information on the Spokane Police Guild —

Spokane Police Guild Forum Page

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

Police union walks the enemy business beat

Spokane union balks at outside investigations of officer-involved shootings

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

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

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

All-White Spokane Police Department?

Guild defends evidence destruction in Firehouse Sex Scandal

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

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

 

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

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 18, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(quote)

And that’s a wrap…

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

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

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

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

(end quote)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where art thee now, Frank Sennett?

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

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

Spokane’s Para-military SWAT Team — Police, Propaganda, and Pavlischak

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 3, 2008

[Before the Vietnam War was even over, the Spokane Police Department began forming its own para-military unit with the assistance of former Marine Corps member, Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak. Then, after 27 years as a member of the Spokane Police Department, Pavlischak turned to training mercenaries and human rights abusers as an employee of special police and military operations training companies.

The following text is derived from a Spokane Police Department propaganda tract. Links have been added to certain text to provide additional information and context. The Spokane Police Department SWAT team is a para-military organization which engages in extracurricular activities of a potentially illegal nature. In addition, there are apparent conflicts of interest between former SPD employees (including former SPD SWAT team members), weapons companies supplying the SPD, and mercenary training organizations which currently employ them.]

“It’s a very dangerous thing when you’re telling cops they’re soldiers and there’s an enemy out there. I don’t like it all.” Joseph McNamara, Hoover Institution research fellow and former police chief of San Jose and Kansas City * —]


History


The Spokane Police SWAT Team first came into existence in 1972. Back then the Team consisted of five members, who had their own military fatigues and who’s arsenal consisted of two pump shotguns, a privately owned big game rifle, and the department issued six shot revolvers.

Today the team consists of twenty-five highly trained members. The Team is “part-time” meaning that SWAT is a specialty assignment in addition to a primary function like patrol or detective. This speaks to the dedication of the members because it requires them to work the equivalent of two “full-time” jobs. The team structure consists of a commander holding the rank of lieutenant, a four member-training cadre holding the rank of either sergeant or corporal and twenty-one operators who span the ranks of detective to police officer. The ranking member of the training cadre also serves as the acting commander in the absence of the lieutenant. There is one member assigned to full-time SWAT duties providing administrative, equipment, training, and tactical support.

Former Chief of Police, Roger Bragdon and retired Detective Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak both played significant roles in the development of a professional Team that lives up to its motto: “We give it R. Best.” The motto is dedicated to Corporal Robin Best who died training with the Team. Robin’s name is among those on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC and it appears on similar memorials here in the state of Washington.

Member Selection

When a SWAT vacancy opens, a department wide announcement is distributed throughout the department. Any officer holding the rank of Police Officer (PO), Police Officer First Class (PFC), Senior Patrol Officer (SPO), Corporal or Detective is invited to apply. Applicants must have three years law enforcement experience and are screened through a six-step process: formal application, performance review, physical fitness test, marksmanship, oral interview, and administrative approval.

The fitness test components are: a three mile run in under twenty-four minutes, followed immediately by ten overhand chin ups, fifteen dips, fifty pushups, and fifty sit-ups. Both the pushup and sit-ups have to be completed in sixty seconds. Candidates then run obstacle course wearing a tactical style vest. The obstacle course is approximately 400 meters long and includes: a four foot chain link fence, an incline run, a belly crawl, a six foot wall, and a 150 lb dummy drag. Immediately after the obstacle course, candidates run to the firing range where they must qualify by shooting two consecutive targets with a minimum score of 90 % on each. The fire their issued handgun using the Practical Police Course (PPC).

All current SWAT members must pass and maintain the same physical and shooting standards on a quarterly basis. These tests are sometimes unannounced.

Equipment

The Team’s firearms are Heckler and Koch (H&K) with the exception of handguns and marksmen rifles. The team maintains and deploys the H&K MP-5, 33, 53, and the G3 model rifles. Handguns are the Glock .40 caliber fitted with M-3 tactical lights, and the marksman use custom rifles built off Remington 700 actions. The CART Team maintains and deploys all the specialty impact munitions and chemical agents utilizing both 37 mm and 40 mm launchers. Our retired member Skip Pavlischak, who is an adjunct instructor for the H&K International Training Division, provides us with training and technical assistance.

The Team also has the equipment necessary for all types of tactical missions. The equipment includes night vision devices, lighting systems, shields, bunkers, breaching tools, noise/flash diversions (NFDD), and other mission specific tools.

The Team uses two dedicated marked police cars for “quick response” deployment of weapons and equipment during duty shifts by member working patrol. Two Chevy suburbans, retrofitted with extended running boards and handles are utilized for most tactical missions. The Team also has a separate equipment vehicle and recently acquired an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).

Training

Each Team member attends Basic SWAT School, taught by instructors from the Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA). The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) accredits this course.

The team is divided into four squads with one team leader and one trainer assigned to each squad. Two squads train each Friday, with the marksman and CART members receiving additional training on Tuesdays. So, members receive twenty to twenty-four hours of training per month depending on their Team specialty. Six of the Team’s operators are cross-trained as marksman, three as chemical agent deployment specialists (CART), two as emergency medical technicians (EMT), six are certified firearms instructors and three are certified defensive tactics instructors. Training for the full team is held several times a year and usually includes one full week per year commonly referred to by members as “hell week.”

The team regularly trains in the areas of slow and deliberate searching, dynamic and hostage rescue entries, NFDD, marksmanship, immediate action drills, vehicle assaults, special events, active shooter scenarios, security details, open air assaults and camouflaged movement.

The team members also attend WSTOA training on a regular basis augmented by specialty schools such as courses presented by H&K or the Sure Fire Institute.

Deployment

The team is activated for standard tactical missions like high risk warrant service, high-risk arrest, barricaded persons, security details, hostage takers and sniper suppression. Last year the SPD Team was activated on fifty-six occasions spanning the gamut of tactical missions. Because Spokane is the largest metropolitan area in the Inland Pacific Northwest, the SWAT Team occasionally receives requests to deploy in an adjoining or near-by jurisdiction. We also have a close relationship with our local Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team.

(Source — http://www.freewebs.com/thecmclan/swathistory.htm )

“It’s a very dangerous thing when you’re telling cops they’re soldiers and there’s an enemy out there. I don’t like it all.”  Joseph McNamara, Hoover Institution research fellow and former police chief of San Jose and Kansas City * —]

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, 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 »

Death by TASER – The Tragic Death of Roger Holyfield

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 2, 2008

Death by TASER – The Tragic Death of Roger Holyfield

By Christopher Bollyn

11 December 2006

 

I have taken a special interest in the widespread use of the supposedly “non-lethal” TASER weapon after being assaulted and TASERed without cause or justification at my home in mid-August by a so-called “tactical unit” of three out-of-uniform undercover cops.

 

It was, after all, with no small amount of trepidation that I had returned with my family to our home in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, in July 2006, after an absence of nearly one year.

 

We were compelled to leave our home in the fall of 2005 because we no longer felt secure after discovering that two people who had attached themselves to us over a period of years were actually informing the FBI on our comings and goings. Their daily intrusions had forced us to change our telephone number and make ourselves scarce in our attempt to protect ourselves and our privacy.

 

We had only been back at home a week from a trip to North Dakota when I noticed a strange car loitering around my house with three heavily-armed men wearing body armor. I called 911 to report the suspicious vehicle and was very surprised to see the same three heavily-armed men on my driveway 15 minutes later confronting my wife and 8-year-old daughter.

 

Contrary to the police report, these men did not introduce themselves or explain their presence and adamantly refused to identify themselves when asked. When I turned to get my brother from the house, I was suddenly attacked from behind, handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

 

At this point, the unidentified man who acted like the leader of the group (who I later learned had worked with the Department of Homeland Security), applied the TASER gun without warning directly to my back and shocked the hell out of me. As I now know, at that moment I came very close to death.

 

At least 200 Americans have died recently in similar circumstances after being TASERed. Roger Holyfield is one of them.

 

The case of the 17-year-old Roger Holyfield is a very tragic case which should serve as a wake-up call for Americans. If we learn something from his death and save lives in the future, Roger’s death will not have been in vain. If that happens, Roger Holyfield may be remembered as a martyr whose death served to save others.

 

Roger lived in the village of Dow, near the town of Jerseyville, Illinois, and certainly had not had an easy time of things. Although, he was well-liked he had gone through a very difficult period after his father had committed suicide in the spring of 2003.

 

Like many Americans, Roger had been taking an anti-depressant medication, which created adverse psychiatric side effects, which led to additional prescriptions to deal with the side effects. In Roger’s case, an anti-psychotic medication, Geodon, was added to the anti-depressant Wellbutrin, creating a dangerous pharmaceutical cocktail. He had been taking these medications for several years prior to his death and had only recently been taken off them. The record is not clear but it appears he had been in withdrawal and may have begun taking another medication shortly before he died. In any case, prescription medications had affected his behavior at the time of his death.

 

Through the haze of the pharmaceuticals, Roger was looking forward to being baptized the next day, Sunday, October 29. Unfortunately, he did not survive Saturday night in Jerseyville.

 

He was on South State Street, the main drag of Jerseyville, across from the Pizza Hut, the Arbee’s and the Salvation Army store, holding a Bible in one hand and a cordless phone in the other.

 

“I want my Mama, Jesus,” he had been calling, an eyewitness said, when police intervened “tragically“ and ended his short life. As the people who knew Roger said, “He was simply asking for God’s help.”

 

Although he did not pose a threat to anyone “ including himself“ a local police engaged Roger, but rather than alleviate the situation, they created a conflict. Before the conflict was over, some 7 police officers had become involved in the altercation with the 5-foot 7-inch lad who weighed no more than 130 pounds.

 

Furthermore, while it may be annoying, Roger Holyfield’s calling on God was certainly not illegal or criminal in any way and did not warrant any action by the police. If the police had not intervened, Roger would certainly still be alive. On any given day in an American city one is likely to come across a person calling for God’s help. This is, however, certainly no reason to TASER them.

 

At this point the narratives divide: the police version, which is dutifully reported by the mainstream press, says that seven police officers were overwhelmed by a 130-pound person who exhibited super-human strength as a result of so-called “excited delirium.”

 

This “excited delirium,” which does not even exist as a medical or psychiatric condition, supposedly gave Roger incredible strength and then caused him to suddenly give up the ghost – after the police had beaten and TASERed him.

 

The eyewitness narrative is somewhat different. After the police had confronted Roger, the police had provoked him and put him into handcuffs and a squad car. An eyewitness told the local paper, The Telegraph, that there were at least four police cars, two Illinois State Police troopers and another man in street clothes [Johnny Lawson, an off-duty police officer] surrounding Holyfield.

 

Another witness said there were more than enough police officers present to subdue Holyfield without using the TASER shock treatment. The police had also struck Holyfield a number of times during the encounter, according to the witness.

 

One eyewitness, who wishes to remain un-named, spoke candidly to this reporter about what he saw. When only three officers were on the scene, the eyewitness saw how they had apprehended Holyfield. Officer Lawson, who recognized Holyfield, had said, “Take it easy, he’s sick,” the eyewitness said.

 

“Let’s fry the mother ——.” Officer Todd Witt, a new officer on the force, had said, and is the one who delivered the TASERing.

 

Holyfield was put into the squad car, where according to the witness, the police claim he had damaged the back seat. At this point Holyfield was taken out of the car and TASERed again.

 

Although he was handcuffed, police had shocked Holyfield at least twice with the TASER. The eyewitness said he had seen Holyfield “twitching on the ground.” Holyfield’s rolling on the ground had dislodged the TASER barbs, so he was TASERed again.

 

What is unusual in this case is that the TASERing of Holyfield was done with the weapon firing the electrode barbs into the trunk of the 17-year-old youth. TASER International of Scottsdale, Arizona, had not responded to a written request asking about how the TASER was applied to Holyfield. The only training that police receive in the use of the TASER comes in the form of a short DVD-video presentation presented by the company that manufacturers the weapon.

 

Dr. Phillip Burch, deputy chief medical examiner for St. Louis, said he had done an autopsy of Holyfield on Tuesday, October 31, two days after he died. He had seen a number of burn marks on Holyfield’s trunk and had examined one of them closely. Asked if he thought that the TASERing had caused Holyfield’s death, Burch had simply said, “No opinion.”

 

Burch has promoted the idea that Holyfield died of “excited delirium,” although no such condition exists in medical journals. Asked if an autopsy would reveal if Holyfield had died from TASERing or “excited delirium,” Burch said, “not directly.”

 

When asked how “excited delirium” could be claimed as a cause of death when it is not a recognized medical or psychiatric condition, Burch said, “It exists for me.”

 

Roger’s mother, Rita, said that he had been TASERed about 6 times. He had vomited at the scene and his heart had stopped, she said. The paramedics had tried to revive Holyfield using CPR, but his heart had “stopped right there,” she said. The hospital would not comment on his condition.

 

It is very likely that the anti-psychotic medication that Roger had been taking, Geodon, may have contributed to his death.

 

Geodon is known to have a serious side effect on the heart, which can be fatal.  Geodon has been found to change the heart’s rhythm. It is known that drugs, like Geodon, produce rare, dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities.

The risk of these dangerous side effects increases when Geodon is mixed with other medications. The side effects can be so extreme as to induce coma or death.

 

What may have happened with Roger Holyfield is that his long term use of Geodon and Wellbutrin affected his mental condition and compromised his heart. The stress caused by the TASER may have caused Holyfield’s heart to go into cardiac arrest and directly led to his death.

 

Winn Parker, a licensed medical scientist in Palo Alto, California, said that the barbs of the TASER act like a “cauterizing pin” causing damage to the tissue and organs. “His organs got cooked,” Parker said. “Organs are burnt from trauma.”

 

Marion Fulk, a former staff scientist with the Manhattan Project, said that TASERing is very likely to affect the vital organs “especially the heart.” While TASERing probably does permanent damage to the vital organs, Fulk said, in the case of Holyfield, it may have “induced a systematic irregularity in the heartbeat,” he said, leading to his death.

 

More than 5 weeks after his death, his mother still does not have his death certificate. This is being held up, she said, pending the results of the toxicology reports.


As the signs around Jerseyville say, “Jesus saves. TASERs kill. We love you Roger.”

Photo: Roger Holyfield, the 17-year-old boy from Illinois
who was killed by a police TASER on the eve of his baptism.

FOLLOW-UP and UPDATE to

The TASER: A Police Device for Torture and Death

One month after I posted the article about how the police use the TASER torture device to gain compliance, a 17-year-old boy in Jerseyville, Illinois, was TASERed to death. His name was Roger Holyfield.

Roger’s only offense: Holding a Bible and calling for Jesus near the main street of Jerseyville, a town of some 9,000 people near St. Louis, Missouri.

Roger Holyfield was TASERed at least twice while he was already in handcuffs. There were at least 6 officers involved in the TASER assault of the youth who stood only 5 foot 7 inches and weighed 130 pounds. He had also reportedly been beaten.

I have been told that Roger had already been handcuffed and put in a police car when the police decided to take him out of the squad car and TASER him on the site he had arrested – at least twice.

If this is correct, it would indicate that the TASER weapon was used to torture him for something that he had said or done while he was in the police car and already completely subdued. It was not done to gain compliance or subdue him because he was already subdued, handcuffed, and restrained in police custody.

So, why was he taken out of the squad car and TASERed? What does this tell us about the reason he was TASERed? What are the instructions that police receive about how to use the TASER?

I have learned that Roger had been taking anti-anxiety medication, reportedly Klonopin, and that he had only begun taking it “again” five days before he was TASERed.

This raises a whole host of questions about his mental state, medical history, and possible drug interactions, adverse reactions of Klonopin, and how TASERing could be more lethal when administered to a person in a medicated state such as Roger’s. Did the police even recognize that this person appeared to be having a reaction to his medication?

If Roger was reacting to his medication, why did the police respond with force and TASERing rather than calling his parents or a doctor? This is an unfortunate example of the expression critical of police that no situation is so dire that the presence of a police officer won’t make it worse.

The TASER weapon was used on Roger not in the stun-gun mode but in the barb-firing mode, in which case electrodes are fired at the person and pierce his skin as the shock is applied. The weapon was fired at least twice, although we don’t know how many times Roger Holyfield was actually shocked with the 50,000 volt current. When the barbs are attached to the subject, the shock is given by pulling the trigger. Each shock session lasts 5 seconds and releases at least 50,000 volts. It can be repeated as often as desired by simply pulling the trigger.

The medical examiner said that his body had about a half-dozen burn marks on his trunk. This electric current can easily cause the heart to become dysfunctional and go into an irregular rhythm or cardiac arrest. The electric shock can also cause permanent damage to other vital organs.

After being TASERed, Roger vomited and went into a coma as the ambulance workers put him into the ambulance. He died the following day, Sunday, October 29, the day he was to be baptized.

The TASER is an extremely cruel and dangerous weapon that is considered to be a tool of torture in most of the world. Only the United States and Canada allow police to use this weapon routinely.

Amnesty International (AI), the leading anti-torture watchdog organization, has long called on “U.S. state, federal and local authorities to suspend all transfers and use of TASERS and other electro-shock weapons pending a rigorous, independent inquiry into their use and effects.”

AI considers the use of TASERS to constitute “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment – and torture.”

AI has reported that TASER devices are frequently used to torture and interrogate people such as political prisoners and that TASERS are used by police in the U.S. “particularly for torture to ‘gain compliance.'”

The following video from a routine traffic stop in Boynton Beach, Florida, in which an officer TASERed a 22-year-old woman in 1994, shows how the TASER is abused to “gain compliance.”

WARNING – This video is very disturbing to view.

It lasts for several minutes and there are a few points that need to be made:

The woman is TASERed in order to make her comply with the demands made by the police officer to get out of her car. She is not violent or threatening the officer in any way as she speaks on her cell phone telling her friend or relative that the officer is pointing a gun at her.

When she is TASERed she falls from the car onto the street. She falls from a height of at least 3 feet onto the asphalt. This falling from the vehicle apparently injured her arm and could have killed her if she had landed on her head.

When the police finally lift her from the asphalt and she notices her wounded arm, the officer says that she should not have “taken a swing” at the police. The video clearly shows that at no point did she take a swing at anybody. Her wounded arm is from her falling from the car when she was TASERed.

Photo: A TASER gun – a tool of torture and death – is used by police in the United States and Canada. At least 200 people have been killed by this “non-lethal” weapon. Why do we tolerate such cruelty in this society?

http://www.bollyn.com/editor/?id=10369

Christopher Bollyn
10 December 2006

Posted in Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Spokane taser, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Police Reservists Bring the War Home — MoJoBLOG

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 10, 2007

We already know that the war in Iraq has come home to the U.S. All wars do. The demons of the Vietnam War live among us in the form of mental illness, addiction, domestic violence, and post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

To begin to get an inkling of what we are in store for as this fiasco called the war on terrorism comes home to the U.S., all we have to do is read the stories of protesters being tasered, beaten, arrested, assaulted with impunity, surveilled, put on ‘Homeland Security’ lists, and defamed.

And for those of us locally, we know all about Spokane-based ‘psychologists’ Jessen and Mitchell and their reverse engineering of survival techniques to develop more efficient torture techniques for use in violation of U.S and international laws and conventions.

At the same time, our Fairchild AFB has provided the aircraft and crews to support the bombing of civilian and military targets in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nationally we have seen Blackwater International’s mercenaries on the streets of New Orleans during the Bush-bungled fiasco in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Be aware that we will see Blackwater and other mercenary companies in many other contexts here and abroad over the years that come.

And then, of course, just look at the types of training being received by local ‘law enforcement’.

As pointed out in this MotherJones Blog posting and in the USA Today story linked to it, we are already experience problems with police forces around the countryside. Spokane already has its share of police officers, sherrif’s deputies, and other security and law enforcement personnel with duty history in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, our local law enforcement agencies have armed up with AR-15‘s, H&K G3A3 battle rifle, H&K MP5SD4 suppressed submachine gun, and untold other military surplus weapons.

Get ready for the abuses. And be ready to see former Iraq/Afghanistan war vets in police uniforms on the streets of U.S. cities and towns tasering, beating, and killing mentally ill and drug-addicted fellow vets as the war comes comes home to roost — live and in living color — over the next few years.

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

(From Mother Jones Magazine on-line edition)

MoJoBLOG

~Police Reservists Bring the War Home

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken an unprecedented number of National Guard reservists and put them into active combat overseas. Many of those reservists were police officers before they were deployed. Now that some of them are finally coming home, they are have a difficult time making the transition from street combat to beat patrols in their old jobs, reports USA Today.

In March, for instance, an Austin, Texas police officer who had recently returned from Iraq fired his gun into the parking lot of a crowded shopping center while chasing an unarmed suspect. A bullet from his gun hit a parked van, narrowly missing two children who were sitting inside. The officer was reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder that had gone undiagnosed.

The Austin episode was one of a string of close calls police departments have observed among officers recently returning from Iraq. A few big-city police departments are creating “re-entry” programs for returned vets to help prevent such incidents in the future, but most aren’t, meaning that some of the cops coming back from the Middle East may be ticking time-bombs. So much for the Iraq war making Americans safer at home…

(Originally printed in MotherJones )

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Citizen videographer describes filming police homicide by TASER

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 24, 2007

Paul Pritchard had been living in China and had just returned to Canada on October 14, 2007, to provide care for his ill father. While Pritchard was in the Vancouver International Airport that day, Robert Dziekanski from Poland was experiencing a crisis.

Dziekanski had arrived at the airport from his native Poland some 10 hours before, unable to speak English, unattended by anyone, and awaiting the arrival of his mother with whom he had come to live. In fact his mother had been at the airport for the arrival of his flight but had returned to her Kamloops home when she did not find him. He had not cleared customs for reasons unclear at the time and he was left trying to figure out what to do next.

Paul Pritchard was in the right place at the right time to get both audio and video of the attack on Dziekanski by four Royal Candian Mounted Police (RCMP). Within a couple minutes, Robert Dziekanski was dead. Subsequent to the events, the RCMP issued disceptive and false statements. In addition, the RCMP confiscated Mr. Pritchard’s video recording and refused to return it. Currently there is nationwide outrage and protest in Canada. A moratorium on the use of Tasers has been issued in parts of the country. Several nationwide reviews of RCMP conduct and police use of tasers are underway.

Moral of the story for Spokanites? : Please acquire a video camera and/or a cell phone with quality video capacity and adequate battery capacity. Learn to use it well and learn your rights. We as global citizens are entering a period of turmoil characterized by assaults on freedom by authority, primarily law enforcement. Time to get ready. Know your rights.

Video interview of Paul Pritchard on his videotaping of RCMP attack on Robert Dziekanski in Vancouver

Video of RCMP attack on Robert Dziekanski

CBC Coverage of Dziekanski homicide (see related links on right side of article)

UN Committee on Torture declares Taser a form of torture

UN:  Tasers are a form of torture (CBS News)

Mr. Robert Dziekanski last words, translated

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

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mr. Robert Dziekanski last words, translated

The New Zealand Herald reports that a Polish YouTube blogger has translated the last words of Robert Dziekanski:

“I want to get out, help me find the way…Police! Police! Can’t you help me?”

He got his way out, I suppose…

– new zealand herald: Man tasered to death was ‘asking for help’ (warning: graphic video, photos)
– stuff.co.nz: Local lesson in taser death – lawyer

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Spokane taser, Testimonies, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Videos | 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

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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 »

Peace Officers or Sanctioned Thugs? by Lynn Stuter

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 9, 2007

http://www.newswithviews.com/Stuter/stuter92.htm

What is missing from police training is that philosophy which promotes freedom — that officers serve the public not the state. When one understands systems philosophy, the type of governance the United States is quietly being transformed to; one understands that the government is no longer there to serve the people but to be served by the people.

By Lynn Stuter

June 13, 2006

NewsWithViews.com

 

In August 1992, Americans watched the siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, happen. Television sets all over America provided minute by minute coverage of the killing of Vicki Weaver as she stood in the doorway of the family home holding her infant daughter, and Sammy Weaver, shot in the back after agents shot and killed his beloved dog. What was this family’s sin? Their religious worldview did not conform to that sanctioned by the GHW Bush Administration.

A short eight months later, America was again subjected to minute by minute coverage of the killing of Branch Davidians in their compound in Waco, Texas. People watched as the compound was besieged and set ablaze by government forces under the orders of the Clinton Administration. Killed were some eighty men, women and children. What was these people’s sin? Their religious worldview did not conform to that sanctioned by the Clinton Administration.

As time passed, facts relevant to both sieges, not previously known to the American people, certainly not disclosed by mainstream media, came to light; facts which made it clearly evident that the actions of the United States government in both these situations was unwarranted and constituted an act of oppression against not just those besieged but against every American.

Fast forward to 2006. Over the course of the interim years between Waco, Ruby Ridge and now, has come an ever increasing list of incidents in which the actions of law enforcement point to the law enforcement mentality evident at the sieges at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

The following are but a representative sampling.

In April 2002, a deputy and reserve deputy of the Stevens County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office, and a corrections officer for a local corrections facility were involved in an incident in which an Austrian-made Steyr machine gun was used to shoot up a neighborhood in southern Stevens County. At the time of the incident, the deputy, reserve deputy, corrections officer and others involved had consumed alcohol at the home rented by the deputy and corrections officer. Bullets from the gun pierced walls of surrounding homes, punched holes in vehicles, and lodged in trees and other obstacles in the path of the barrage. Luckily no one was injured or killed although a bullet missed one sleeping man by a mere five feet. Numerous complaints had been lodged with the Stevens County Sheriff by neighbors of this deputy prior to this incident. Those complaints ranged from loud parties to underage girls frequenting the residence. Those complaints fell on deaf ears. After the fact, it would come to light that the deputy did not have the license required to own or have in his possession the Steyr machine gun which actually belonged to the Kettle Falls, Washington, police department and had ended up in the deputies hands via a string of transactions all violating the law.

Then there is the Rydholm case in 2003 where the Spokane Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team ransacked a private residence, accused the owner of either having a drug problem or being a meth producer. How did the Sheriff’s office come to this conclusion? Mr Rydholm bought large quantities of over-the-counter allergy products containing psuedophedrine, an ingredient of the illegal drug methamphetamine. Undercover sheriff’s office personnel had shadowed Mr Rydholm as he made his purchases, had followed him to his home. The home did not have the characteristic appearance of a meth lab nor did the area smell of a meth lab. But that didn’t matter. Nor did it matter that in all their shadowing of him, Mr Rydholm never led them anywhere remotely resembling a meth lab. The SWAT team broke through the front door, confronted the Rydholm children at home alone at the time, ransacked the house, and made accusations based not on what they knew but on what they believed. They found nothing. Mr Rydholm, it seems, has allergies that prescription medications don’t help. To function as a human being, he takes large quantities of over-the-counter allergy products.

Who can forget the David Brame case in May 2003? After achieving the post of Chief of Police in Tacoma, Washington, faced by an impending divorce in which allegations of spousal abuse would surface, David Brame murdered his wife then committed suicide. The Brame’s two children witnessed this heinous act, committed in a grocery store parking lot. After the fact, allegations of rape while a police officer came to light, allegations known to higher ups in the Tacoma Police Department. The victim was intimidated into silence. After his death it came to light that the psychological evaluation of David Brame, at the time of his hiring, brought the recommendation that he not be hired. But he was hired, he was given a gun, and he was promoted all the way to the top.

In January 2006, the homosexual lover of a King County, Washington, sheriff’s deputy used the deputy’s private gun, loaded with sheriff’s department ammunition, to murder a local convenience store clerk. The lover was, at the time, a convicted felon. Supervisors of the deputy were aware that the deputy was living with a convicted felon but did nothing beyond “counseling” the deputy that his living arrangement could prove an embarrassment to the department due to numerous incidents involving the lover leading up to the murder. Both commanders responsible for supervising this deputy were promoted shortly following this incident.

Since January 2006, there have been two incidents making the news involving the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. A man arrested on allegations of sexual misconduct ended up dead after struggling with eight corrections officers at the Spokane County jail. The autopsy showed the man died of lacerations to his liver, causing him to bleed to death internally. An investigation would show he had been jolted multiple times by a Taser gun in the hands of corrections officers, kneed, “donkey” kicked and punched by corrections officers as they sought to “subdue” him. The officer credited with inflicting the fatal blow was later hired by the Spokane Police Department.

In another incident, a man arrested on allegations of disorderly conduct, lodged in the Spokane County jail, was pepper sprayed by a corrections officer walking by his cell. There was no justification for the corrections officer to pepper spray the prisoner.

In November 2005 a Spokane Police Department lieutenant, in charge of traffic officers, was clocked twice by the Washington State Patrol traveling at over 100 mph on Interstate 90 in an unmarked department patrol car, once traveling to a training conference in western Washington and once returning to Spokane from that conference. Both times the lieutenant was allowed to proceed when he turned on his patrol car police lights as Washington State Patrol officers sought to stop him. For his actions, the lieutenant was merely demoted to the rank of detective.

Since then, a janitor at a north Spokane convenience store died after struggling with Spokane Police officers. The officers converged on the convenience store after passers-by reported a possible robbery in progress. The janitor, at the store to do his job, was accosted by as many as seven officers and died after being jolted at least twice with a Taser gun and hit with a night stick. His death has been listed as a homicide — heart failure due to suffocation while being restrained.

And who can forget the incident in California when the soldier, home from Iraq, ordered to get up off the ground by a police officer following a high speed chase, was then shot multiple times as he attempted to follow the demands of the police officer.

On May 19, 2006, in Chewelah, Washington, a man was shot dead by a Stevens County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Chewelah Police Officer. The initial reports surrounding the incident and later reports do not jibe; and in total, the incident smells rank of police misconduct, unjustified use of force, and excessive force. The Sheriff of Stevens County, facing re-election in November, has made sure his face appeared on the local media. The Sheriff’s deputy involved is known for his aggressive use of his badge and gun; his swat team mentality. His superiors cannot claim ignorance of either his mentality or his actions. The incident is being investigated by the Spokane Sheriff’s Department. There is no doubt that the incident will be classified as “justified” and a cop who should not be a cop will be given license to kill someone else “in the line of duty.”

In each of these instances, initial police reaction has been to justify the actions of police officers. After long periods of stalling, details then trickle forth pointing to police misconduct to include police brutality, excessive use of force, and misuse of the badge. And these incidents are but a representative sampling of incidents that have occurred; they are by no means the majority of incidents or isolated incidents in scope or nature.

Law enforcement uses the rising level of violence as justification for “use of force” procedures. What many people are not aware of is that law enforcement personnel are, on a systematic and on-going basis, being subjected to training that promotes the police state or swat team mentality that many law enforcement officers display; a war zone attitude of “us vs. them” — a perspective that promotes police brutality, misuse of the badge and criminal conduct with the knowledge and full support of more ranking personnel. In the incident of the janitor, acting Spokane Chief of Police Jim Nicks would state that he was “comfortable” with the actions of his officers.

What is missing from police training is that philosophy which promotes freedom — that officers serve the public not the state. When one understands systems philosophy, the type of governance the United States is quietly being transformed to; one understands that the government is no longer there to serve the people but to be served by the people. Law enforcement is no exception. The job of law enforcement is not to uphold the law but to uphold the state and that which augments statist control and power. Because accountability under systems philosophy is not to the people but to the system, police misconduct is, in most cases, ignored. If the public outcry demands accountability, disciplinary action is long in coming and short on corrective action.

As with all other aspects of the “democracy” being implemented (rule according to the passions, opinions and prejudices of those in power), rule is by the majority with the rights of the minority at the whim of the majority (or those in power). Such a specious governance system, warned James Madison in Federalist Paper 10, is as short in its life as it is violent in its death.

When it was Waco and Ruby Ridge, people justified the police brutality by claiming these were people who had “extreme” religious beliefs. These same people would do well to consider that their own religious beliefs could also be determined to be “extreme” at some point. Famed constitutional attorney Gerry Spence makes the point that those who are willing to sacrifice the sheep at the edge of the flock to the wolves by virtue of the fact that those sheep at the edge of the flock believe differently then they do, will soon face the wolves themselves, and wolves are not only vicious but non-discriminating in their choice of which sheep to eat; eventually they eat them all.

That which serves to suppress the rights of some serves to suppress the rights of all. People who believe that police misconduct is only served on others are deluding themselves. And people who act to suppress the rights of others serve, in the end, to suppress their own rights.

Despots the world over have shown time and again that when men serve the interests of tyranny, their usefulness ends when tyranny reaches fruition; at which point they become expendable. And irrespective of what these people may believe, it will not be those who openly dissent who will be the first to be exterminated. History shows that the first to be exterminated under tyranny are those who helped the tyrant achieve absolute power.

Why is that?

Because when people learn that they have been used and duped, their absolute love turns in an instant to absolute hate. As that point, they pose a much greater threat to the continued existence of the despot than the dissident whose opposition has been readily apparent from the outset.

And people who truly believe that doing the work of the tyrant will garner them an invitation to the celebration of tyranny delude themselves; tyranny serves a small and very exclusive crowd.

© 2006 Lynn M. Stuter – All Rights Reserved


Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education. She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas. Web site: www.learn-usa.com E-Mail: lmstuter@learn-usa.com (Published with permission of the author)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Post Falls Company to be purchased by Blackwater USA — or not

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 7, 2007

[Updated 01/08/2008] As this image from the Blackwater Tactical Newletter shows, Couer d’Alene, Idaho-based The Backup Training Corporation has been purchased by Blackwater International. The mercenary firm Blackwater will now be able to use additional resources and technological expertise to make its training available on-line and in classrooms around the U.S. and the world.)

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

(Original post — October 7, 2007)

With its history of massacring Indians, racism, conservative politics, one-newspaper towns, Cold War munitions storage and manufacturing, top-secret military operations, neo-nazi hate groups, white-supremacist terror acts, and unregulated law enforcement, no news coming out of the Eastern Washington and North Idaho areas should surprise anyone.

Now comes news that Post Falls-based The Backup Training Corporation is changing hands.

And the new owner?

Blackwater USA, the mercenary outfit at the heart of scandals from Iraq to New Orleans.

The Backup Training Corporation, based in Post Falls, Idaho, provides training to law enforcement and other use-of-force practitioners, including mercenaries. Some of its trainings deal with Managing Street Informants as well as Gang Trainings.

In April 2007 it was announced that, “Blackwater will become the exclusive provider of practical skill development training for The Backup in the areas of firearms and tactics training, Law Enforcement training, Law Enforcement Special Operations training, K9 training, military training, security and Law Enforcement driving training and aviation training”.

However, there now appears to be concern among stockholders and others about the Blackwater/Backup deal.

And depending on the outcome of investigations into alleged murders of Iraqi civilians committed by Blackwater gunners in Iraq, the deal may be scuttled. Already The Backup Training Corporation is concerned that its increasing contractual business with Blackwater — the source of much of The Backup’s growth in the last year — will affect both its financial bottom-line and its reputation.

(Note: The 9/18/07 CDAPress.com version of the events in Iraq vary significantly from versions provided by other sources, including reporters, U.S. military, U.S. State Department, and Iraqi government. CDAPress.com is a division of Duane Hagadone’s Hagadone Newspaper Network. Until becoming chief financial officer for The Backup, Steve Benner was an executive for The Hagadone Corporation.)

As time goes on, area people are likely to become more and more aware of the amount of economic and military involvement there is in the Spokane area related to ultra-conservative, right-wing, and militarist (or in this case psuedo-law enforcement, mercenary) companies.

Perhaps this starts to suggest another explanation for all the million dollar homes around the area and lining the shores of Lake Couer d’Alene. How much of it is war booty or, some might say, blood money?

And just image. Spokane Police who think they might need a little more training or decide that their measly police salaries are not enough could just go over to Post Falls and pay Blackwater a little visit. Now there is nice thought for you.

However, it is important to realize that this is exactly where we are already — an extremely disturbing blurring of the boundaries among law enforcement, “national security apparatus”, US military, and private mercenary armies-for-hire.

Here is a little more information about the Post Falls-based The Backup Training Corporation and their corporate friends at Blackwater USA.

www.thebackup.com — Designed to fulfill training needs of officers, our courses deliver the nation’s top law enforcement trainers in an easy-to-use, cost-effective, and consistently reliable format. These CD courses intertwine text with all aspects of multimedia.

www.cbsnews.com — Blackwater — The North Carolina-based private security firm makes millions training police swat teams and military sharpshooters with courses like “Tactical Pistol II,” “Extreme Officer Survival” and “Helicopter Sniper.”

The Backup Product List — Have SPD officers who have made fatality-producing and other serious use of force and tactical errors in the field been trained with these materials?

www.dallasnews.com — Federal agents, video cameras will monitor Blackwater

www.spokesman.com — Blackwater seeks PR help with negative image

www.blackwaterusa.com — Mercenaries for Hire

SanityForSale.wordpress.com — Blackwater: Bush’s Shadow Army

www.cnn.com — Congressional Investigation of Seattle mercenary fired by Blackwater, then hired by CSA

www.washingtonpost.com — In change of tune, US gov’t agents, not Blackwater, will protect FBI in probe

SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.com–The role of Spokane, Fairchild, and the SERE/JPRA programs in U.S. Torture and Geneva Convention Violations (includes waterboarding videos)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Terrorism in Spokane, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | 1 Comment »

Re-cap: 7/27/07 Law enforcement tasers suicidal man who then jumps

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 7, 2007

On July 27, 2007, Spokane Police, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI failed in their questionable tactics in dealing with a suicidal young man, Josh Levy. The result: Josh Levy jumped to his death in front of his parents, the public, and the media.

These videos and articles include a witness who questions the police and FBI’s decision to taser Levy after he came down off the bridge rail. Levy’s father also questioned the taser tactic.

In the videos, Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, unable to shed a tear, expresses her empathy for her officers but, to her credit, wisely leaves out the prefunctory term “heroic” so often used in describing law enforcement. She also expresses her sympathy for the family of Josh Levy, though she offers no apology for the tasering of their son.

The chief gives no indication that the SPD or FBI used mental health experts until after Levy had endured 10 -12 hours of police “negotiations”, after he had spent hours on the bridge, having police officers “yelling” at him, and being isolated in a dramatic scene involving multiple police vehicles, rescue vehicles, and law enforcement from multiple agencies.

The chief discloses that she, SPD, SCSO and the FBI used information from a western Washington law enforcement official, Chief Mike Lasnier, who had dealt with Levy in the past. It would appear that this information was the principle “mental health consultation” that the SPD used in making its fatally-flawed decision to take Levy down with a 50,000 volt taser jolt.

As on September 22, 2003 when Spokane Police officers shot and severely injured 17-year-old Lewis and Clark High School Student Sean Fitzpatrick rather than wait him out or allow his father to intervene — Spokane area law enforcement’s we-know-better-than-you approach resulted in a tragic outcome for Josh Levy, his family, and the Spokane community.

http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1177182267&channel=979539664

http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1182693685&channel=979539664

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/tools/story_pf.asp?ID=202077

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane taser, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

All-White Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA)

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 3, 2007

[Evidence — Washington State Tactical Officers Association’s all-white Executive Board and District Representatives, including Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Jeske.]

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As anyone knows who has looked at the way police discuss gangs and crime, the discussion is rife with statements like “the law is color blind” and “gangs and crime are not limited to any race or gender”.

Really? Have you ever been to a gang enforcement presentation by the Spokane Police Department? Have you ever looked at the Spokane Police Department website or publications?

The composition of the audience, presenter, the organizers, and the representatives of sponsoring organizations were overwhelmingly white. Who is talking to whom about what?

It is important to look at such statements as “the law is color blind”.

One does not hear that expression often if you are in a community of color. That is not what people of color say about law enforcement and the “justice” system.

Of course, it is what one hears from the purportedly “color blind” legal system when it is either attempting to defend itself against allegations of racism or from the actual law enforcement personnel attempting to justify their overwhelming presence in poor and minority communities.

Posts here have already looked at the way the Spokane Police Department likes to conceive of itself as well as the way that it presents itself to the public on its website and in other contexts.

The same should be asked of other law enforcement in the state of Washington. Who do they represent? Who do they recruit? Who do they protect? Whose side are they on? What sort of crime do they focus on?

Perhaps one of the best ways to get some perspective on these questions and the answers to them is to look at powder cocaine vs. crack cocaine. Studying this drug — cocaine — in these two forms and the differences in which crimes related to them are policed and adjudicated is a study in disparities of economic, class, racial and political justice in the US today. Much has been written over the real life consequences for individual, communities, and society as a whole as a result of an analysis of the differences between the policing techniques and sentencing guidelines used to deal with each. This ACLU report is but one of a multitude of studies and analyzes.

Take a look at the Washington State Tactical Officers Association

Do you see any women? Do you see any African-Americans? Do you think there are many bilingual/bicultural individuals? Does this look like a group of guys that would be very inclined towards or good at Community-Oriented Policing?

Who is training whom for what?

Who is preparing for what against whom when and where?

Are they planning to serve in your community or against just one neighborhood of your community or perhaps go to work for Blackwater in Iraq?

You tell me…..

And now, ladies and gentleman, your 99.9% white/100% male Washington State Tactical Officers Association!

http://www.wstoa.org/training.html (Click on slide show below for 38 photos from the WSTOA website.)

Or perhaps go to work for Blackwater in Iraq… or New Orleans, or Detroit, or Venezuela, or Guatemala, or you tell me.

(In fact, major international mercenary outfits such as Triple Canopy and Blackwater USA — among many others — are sponsors of the Washington State Tactical Officers Association).

Posted in All-white SPD?, Freedom to Fascism, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Urgent Call — re: Spokane Police Department Tactical (TAC) Team

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 1, 2007

Question: Given the brutal events in Riverfront Park on July 4, 2007, and the unjustifiable conduct of the Spokane Police Department TAC Team, why is the SPD’s TAC Team — according to the Spokane Police Department website — “the only team from a Washington agency providing instruction through the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) on riot control tactics and civil disturbance tactics”?

I call on Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, State Attorney General Rob McKenna, Washington State Senator Lisa Brown, other Spokane area legislators, the ACLU, the Center for Justice, the Washington State Human Rights Commission, and the Spokane Human Rights Commission to demand and initiate immediate investigations of the WSCJTC’s continued use of the Spokane Police Department TAC Team for such trainings.

Furthermore, given the fact that the SPD TAC Team has been conducting such trainings for the WSCJTC, there should be an immediate investigation of the impact upon the performance of police units and individual police personnel throughout the state who have received such training from the SPD TAC, as well as the impact on the public in specific instances in which SPD TAC-trained units and/or personnel have engaged the public with these so-called “riot control tactics and civil disturbance tactics”.

The people of Spokane are involved in an epic struggle to bring a renegade and unrepentant police department under civilian control. Given the atrocities committed by SPD officers over the last several years, elected officials such as Governor Gregoire, Attorney General McKenna, and Senator Lisa Brown, as well as organizations such as the ACLU, the Washington State Human Rights Commission, and the Spokane Human Rights Commission can no longer silently sit out this struggle without suffering the shame and discredit associated with closing their eyes to evident violations of the public trust.

SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.com will continue to provide additional information on the SPD/TAC Team as well as past SPD/TAC members who now work as law enforcement consultants and trainers around the US and world — such as Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak, the retired 27 year Spokane Police Department veteran and former Marine who works for SWAT and tactical training contractors such as Front Range Training and Consulting LLC and Team One Network.

The people of Spokane are now awaiting appropriate investigatory and oversight actions by our elected officials and agency heads at the state, county and local levels, as well as non-profit and governmental civil and human rights organizations.

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

Videos at Spokane Police Abuses

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 28, 2007

“Videos” — There are three ways to access all the videos posted at Spokane Police Abuses.

1) Click on the word “video” in the column called “Categories” on the left side of this blog.

2) Click here.

3) Click on the item below that interests you.

  • Police Batons: Another “less violent” alternative — Police Batons

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Protest, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Spokane taser, Terrorism in Spokane, Trained to Kill, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

“In the Event of Riots, Civil Distrubances and other L.E. Needs”: Ammo, Military Equipment, Grenades, Batons, Muzzle Blast OC, $10K Computers

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 25, 2007

http://www.spokanepolice.org/news/default.aspx?ID=16 

(quote)

As the SCSO’s current supply of ammunition becomes outdated, it is used for training exercises to ensure the SCSO has on hand a current supply of ammunition for use in the event of riot, civil disturbance, or other law enforcement needs...

$2,500 will be used to cover the cost of the contract with DRMO (Department of Revenue Management Office) to provide the SCSO the opportunity to purchase surplus military equipment...

Is requesting funding of $63,090 to be used to support a criminal history specialist position. This position assists in enhancing adjudication of felons in Spokane County. The function performed is to compile nationwide as well as local criminal history from various sources, analyze data received to determine the level of felony from different states as well as the type of felony it equates to in Washington State and complete a court document with this information. This function is required for every felony arrest. A criminal history data bank is also maintained for ease of future arrests.

(end quote)

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SPOKANE CITY/COUNTY PROPOSED SPENDING PLAN

2007 JUSTICE ASSISTANCE GRANT (JAG)

The SPOKANE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE (SCSO) is requesting funding for Law Enforcement Programs. The $63,090 in funding will be used to supplement a variety of programs providing law enforcement services to the citizens and communities of Spokane County as set forth below.

A. Ammunition:

$35,230 will be used for purchase of ammunition as follows:

$15,230 will be used to purchase ammunition to be used for the entire SCSO agency at two quarterly shoots throughout the award period of the grant. An additional $10,000 will be used to purchase ammunition for the SWAT team for training. Last, $10,000 will be used to purchase ammunition for TAC/SWAT for breeching training. As the SCSO’s current supply of ammunition becomes outdated, it is used for training exercises to ensure the SCSO has on hand a current supply of ammunition for use in the event of riot, civil disturbance, or other law enforcement needs.

B. DRMO Contract:

$2,500 will be used to cover the cost of the contract with DRMO (Department of Revenue Management Office) to provide the SCSO the opportunity to purchase surplus military equipment.

C. Explosives Detection Unit (EDU):

$1,600 will be used to support the EDU via purchase of a dual firing devise at a cost of $400 and 2 explosive storage boxes at a cost of $600 each for a total of $1,200.

D. Helicopter Program:

$13,260 will be used to support the SCSO’s Helicopter Program, which includes a variety of law enforcement initiatives, including search & rescue, surveillance, traffic patrols, and specific drug enforcement interdiction operations. The items to be purchased include aviation fuel for $10,820; one set of T straps for $1,320; one lower collective tube assembly for $350; and 2 dual impedance microphone headsets at $385 each for $770 total.

E. Neighborhood Watch:

The SCSO Neighborhood Watch Program will be funded with $10,500 to partially pay the costs of the program for one year during the 2007-2008 time frame of the grant period. Started in 1979, the SCSO Neighborhood Watch Program has 1250 active watches. The goals of the SCSO Neighborhood Watch Program are to educate the public in ways to reduce crime, prepare for possible terrorist attacks or other emergencies, to increase the numbers of watches, and revitalize existing watches in Spokane County. Monies will be used to print 20,000 newsletters at a cost of $625 each quarter for a total of $2,500; to produce training materials and educational brochures for new and existing watches at a cost of $2,050; support the third annual SCSO Neighborhood Watch Crime Prevention Conference, scheduled for March of 2008 and open to all citizens of the region, via purchase of a new projector at a cost of $1,000 and production of educational materials at a cost of $2,000; and to provide training/travel funds in the amount of $2,950 to send the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator to Atlanta for the National Crime Prevention Conference and a regional crime prevention conference during the time frame of the award. The estimated costs for the national conference are $625 for airfare, $750 for lodging, $350 for per diem and ground transportation, and $475 for conference registration for a total of $2,200. The estimated costs for a 2 -3 day regional conference are $175 for transportation, $250 for lodging, $175 for per diem, and $150 for conference registration for a total of $750.

The SPOKANE COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY’S OFFICE (SCPA):

Is requesting funding of $63,090 to be used to support a criminal history specialist position. This position assists in enhancing adjudication of felons in Spokane County. The function performed is to compile nationwide as well as local criminal history from various sources, analyze data received to determine the level of felony from different states as well as the type of felony it equates to in Washington State and complete a court document with this information. This function is required for every felony arrest. A criminal history data bank is also maintained for ease of future arrests.

SPOKANE CITY:

The City of Spokane is the largest metropolitan area in eastern Washington. It is also the population and economic hub within eastern Washington and northern Idaho. The City of Spokane will use $91,371 in federal funds to purchase and installation of digital recording equipment for a child interview room, for in-car patrol computers, updating of obsolete computer devices, and software for enhancing Information Systems ability to service and update machines in the field (GHOST).

BUDGET DETAIL

Spokane County Budget Detail

A. Ammunition $35,230

1. 127 cases of ammunition @ $186.81 per case = $ 23,725

2. Specific SWAT Ammunition Noise Flash Diversionary Devices = $1,505

LEEDS 7001 15 Gram Reload Case of 24 @ $752

7001 CI Command initiated 15 Gram Reload @ $753

3. Other munitions items

B. DRMO $ 2,500

1 contract fee to Department of Revenue Management

Office @ $2,500

C. Explosives Detection Unit (EDU) $ 1,600

1 dual firing devise @ $400

2 explosive storage boxes @ $600 = $1,200

D. Helicopter Program $13,260

Aviation fuel @ $10,820

1 set of T straps @ $1,320

1 lower collective tube assembly @ $350

2 dual impedance microphone headsets @ $385 = $770

E. Neighborhood Watch Program $10,500

20,000 printed newsletters @ $625 each quarter = $2,500

100 sets of training materials and educational brochures

for new and existing watches @ $20.50 = $2,050

1 projector @ $1,000

400 sets of educational materials @ $5 = $2,000

1 national training @ $625 for airfare, $750 for lodging,

$350 for per diem and ground transportation,

and $475 for conference registration = $2,950

1 regional training @ $175 for transportation, $250 for lodging,

$175 for per diem, and $150 for conference registration = $750

Total $63,090

Spokane County Prosecutors Budget Detail

Spokane Police Department Budget Detail

A. Child Interview Room $5,766.02

1. 4 Mini-Dome Color Cameras @ $229.32 = $917.28

2. 1 Multiple Camera Power Supply @ $102.00 = $102.00

3. 1 4 Channel MPEG Digital Recorder @ $2402.13 = $2402.13

4. 1 High Resolution 15” LCD Monitor @ 728.00 = $728.00

5. 1 ASK 4 Kit @ $345.00 = $345.00

6. Wire, Connectors, Hardware = $290.00

7. Labor = $75.00

8. Sales Tax @ 8.6% = $456.61

B. In-Car Computers for Neighborhood Resource Officers $40,000

1. 4 Itronix Computers @ $10,000 = $ 40,000

C. Computer Upgrades from Non-Supported Windows 2000 $36,663.36

1. 32 Computers @ $1,145.73 = $ 36,663.36

D. GHOST – software enhancing IS ability $7,924.30

1. 600 Government Ghost Sol Ste 2.0-Std @ $10.25 = $$6,150.00

2. 600 Government Ghost Sol Ste 2.0-Bas @ $1.84 = $1,104.00

3. 1 Ghost Sol Ste 2.0-Media @ $16.00 = $16.00

4. Sales Tax @ 9% = $645.30

E. Remainder $1,017.32

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Protest, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Spokane Gang Crisis?

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 15, 2007

As we all know, Spokane allegedly has a “serious gang problem”, one sufficiently serious we are told as to justify the Spokane Police Department’s recent acquisition of 100 AR-15 assault rifles and training the entire force in their use.

Is the problem really that serious? Or is it a convenient drum to beat to arose public support and draw in taxpayer dollars to the city and SPD coffers? Of course, all statistics on gang activity, gang population, and designations of individuals as gang members come directly from law enforcement, not the most credible of source in the last several years.

Following is the entire section on “gangs” from the last published annual report (2003) by the Spokane County Prosecutor, Steve Tucker. Note that Tucker‘s report is replete with words like “numerous”, “increase”, “many”, “increased substantially”, “numerous”, and “sharp increase”.

Entirely missing is hard data. Surprisingly, for a city with this reportedly “serious gang problem”, the prosecutor’s report on gangs is barely longer than a letter-to-the-editor in the Spokesman-Review.

*******quote*******

Gangs — In the year 2003, the gang unit dealt with numerous homicide, rapes and robberies by gang members. The homicide cases tended to create their own caseload because of the type of witnesses involved (gang members). Many individuals involved were arrested on unrelated crimes and are serving substantial prison terms due to the hard work of law enforcement, the federal government and our unit. Again, last year we saw an increase in gang related drive-by shootings and violence that went unsolved. Many of the cases that were resolved involving guns went to the Major Crimes Gun Deputy. Even with that, the gang unit filed over 270 cases during the course of the year 2003. The Gang Unit closed over 220 files by trial or plea in 2003. Many of them were violent offenses with the majority being murder, attempted murders, robbery, rapes, violent assaults and drug delivery cases. ”Meth” busts involving gang members have increased substantially. Again this year numerous gang members were prosecuted federally on gun and drug charges. This helped facilitate pleas in state court and ease increasing caseloads. Many gang related crimes remain unsolved due to an increase in witness intimidation. Sadly, 2003 saw another increase in youth related gang activities. As 2003 closed and 2004 started, the Gang Unit saw a sharp increase in their caseload and had to start sending cases out to other units including major crimes, property and drugs.

*********end quote**********

How numerous were homicide, rapes and robberies by gang members in Spokane in 2003? 2004? 2005? 2006? Of course, the ‘report’ does not say. It seems to me that we pay Prosecutor Steve Tucker and his some 143 attorneys and staff (not including interns and ‘extra help’ positions) for more than this amateurish and unsubstantiated report once every so many years.

The Washington State Legislature has been busy empowering law enforcement to escalate its efforts against gangs in the state of Washington. Local, state and federal law enforcement in Spokane — as well as Boise and Seattle — received a “top secret, sensitive” briefing on gangs in a late June 2007 visit by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in one of his last acts before resigning in disgrace. As someone knowledgeable on the matter told me, the trip was essentially a “fund-raiser” for Spokane law enforcement and as the transcript of the press conference with Gonzales makes clear, the SPD is now in line for a multi-million dollar Department of Justice grant. Even now, in the midst of an election season, Spokane city council people vying for Mayor and Council President are anxious to be in the debate on gangs and engage in rhetoric about erasing “gang-related” graffiti.

A “work group” on gangs established by the Washington State legislature and run by a less-than-objective Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs just met in Spokane on September 10 and 11, one of five forums to be held around the state. (In fact, the Washington Uniform Crime Reporting (WUCR) program is the only UCR program in the United States which is sponsored, administered and supported by an organization of contributing agency administrators (i.e. police chiefs), rather than a bureau or department of state government.)

The word “gang” is and has always been code for poverty and race.

That is why it is of great concern to see this issue surfacing now, in the midst of rising division between wealth and poverty, national xenophobia associated with the U.S. crusade in the Muslim world, continued disproportionate incarceration and disenfranchisement of African Americans and Latinos, and the hyped-up hysteria over an “invasion” of undocumented people who are here, after all, with the tacit and long-standing consent and knowledge of the U.S. government and U.S. corporate/financial interests, as well as U.S. consumers.

The alleged ‘gang threat’ is certainly a convenient piece of a “ruling class” analysis about Spokane, as the ownership of Spokane changes hand and the urban poor are displaced by the liberal, white ‘urban renewal’ crowd. In fact, it is a propaganda line that police in Spokane have been using for at least 15 years.

Where is this all this gangland graffiti that we are supposed to be in an uproar over? How much of it is actually gang related? Supposedly when graffiti is reported it is photographed and cataloged by police and then painted over by volunteers. That was not my experience on the one occasion that I reported graffiti to the police (the experience was typical of the SPD — no response at all). And that is not what I have observed either. Local politicians are proposing measures such as banning spray cans in the hands of minors. Yet graffiti on city-owned and county-owned property and signs remains for months on end, probably as part of an intentional strategy to increase the impression of gang presence.

One of the focuses of this blog in the near future will be this unrelenting yet largely unsubstantiated emphasis by law enforcement and government on the “gang” problem in Spokane. At the same time, attention will continue to be directed at the scandal-ridden Spokane Police and the lack of public accountability and transparency.

Posted in All-white SPD?, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

State of Washington Promotes Killer Cop Seminar for Spokane Law Enforcement

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 14, 2007

Hot on the heels of several years of controversial policing in Spokane, the State of Washington is promoting this training by StreetCrimes.net, “featuring very graphic videos and strong language” and “intended only for serious law enforcers only”.

https://fortress.wa.gov/cjtc/www/classes/Street_Crimes_040708_Spokane.doc

What are “serious law enforcers only” as opposed to ordinary law enforcers? Is this a reference to killer cops? I believe it is.

Question: Why at this time is the state of Washington promoting this training being held in Spokane? Don’t state officials follow events in Spokane? Aren’t there a number of topics which would make more sense at this time? Topics such as: 1) how to detain a suspect without killing and why a suspect is always innocent until proven guilty; 2) the relationship between tasers, electricity, and death; 3) identifying a deadly weapon vs. what is a pop bottle; and, 4) how to say “You know, Sergeant, I think we should stop because if we kick him again we are going to kill him and I really don’t want to have to lie about what we did.”

Before you check out the training announcement, here is the “tip of the month” from the trainer, Pat McCarthy, posted on the StreetCrimes.net website. Now it begins to make sense: these are the guys training our taxpayer-paid officers how to violate our civil rights:

 
 
  The Phony Name Check  
 
  This is a trick that police officers can use on suspects that have no identification on them. When I was working the streets, whenever I ran across a suspect who had no identification on them, I would automatically assume that they were lying to me about who they were. Because I’ve found that the majority of people who didn’t have identification were wanted on outstanding criminal warrants, what I would do is this: Ask them for all of their pertinent information. i.e. name, height, weight, D.O.B., and social security number. I would then pretend to run a computer name check on their bogus information. I would then wait a few minutes, then grab the suspect, and tell them they have a murder warrant from Texas. I guarantee you they will now be happy to tell you who they are. I used this trick once on a junkie who had his drivers license hidden in his sock. He gave me bogus information and when I pretended to run his name, I told him he was wanted for murder in Texas. He began to cry and then confessed that he was lying about who he really was. He then told me he was hiding his license in his sock. After running his information, he ended up being wanted on a theft warrant. We are allowed to use trickery and deceit on suspects that we deal with and we should use every available tool to take bad guys off the streets.

 

 

Pat McCarthy’s

Street Crimes Seminar

Presented by John E. Reid & Associates

TRAINING BULLETIN ANNOUNCEMENT

Spokane, Washington
7, 8 & 9 April 2008 – 8:30- 4:30
Co-Sponsor: Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Training Location: SCSO Training Center
@ SCC Bldg.#7, 1810 N Greene Street
Spokane. WA 99217
To Register Call: Ph. 1-800-275-4915

WARNING!! This training features very graphic videos &
strong language. Intended for serious law enforcers only!!

Our instructors provide the most up to date, street-tested
information to help officers stay one step ahead of criminals.

ALL INSTRUCTORS HAVE 25+ YEARS OF ACTUAL [STREET EXPERIENCE]

3-Day Course Content
1) Deadly Force / Police Involved Shootings (New Training Segment)
2) Conducting effective street interviews and stops for patrol officers & investigators
3) Surveillance tactics for patrol and plain clothes officers & agents
4) Developing criminal intelligence / street information for all levels of law enforcement
5) Ethical considerations for street cops and street agents / making the right choices
6) Street tested techniques for conducting successful gang and drug related cases
7) Car traps and hidden compartments being used by today’s gangs & drug dealers
8] Conducting/planning search warrants & high risk raids (New Training Segment)
9) Important officer safety issues for both on and off duty situations
10) How to develop street sources and C/I’s for patrol, investigators and special agents
11) Street gang members in the military / How these trends effect law enforcement
(New Training Segment)
12) Homeland Security issues for the street cop / street agent (New Training Segment)
And Much More

This truly innovative program is presented through a combination of lectures,
and a State of the Art Multimedia Creation.
Each attendee will receive an extensive training manual and a certificate.
Of the thousands of officers who have attended our program, 99% rated it Excellent or
Very Good. We offer a complete Money Back Guarantee

3 day program $395 per person
Fantastic Group rates are available!

If you would like to be removed from our fax list please
call 1-800-915-2571 ext.20140 or email reidinfo@htc.net
or fax618-281-1999, include your fax number.

Register online @ Streetcrimes.net
Or call 1-800-275-4915

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Trained to Kill | Leave a Comment »

And they call this a choice?

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 11, 2007

Following is a question that Spokane citizens have a right to ask and to answer. Remember, in theory, this is a democracy and as such we get to make certain decisions collectively. So……

Do you want the men that did this…

Trent Yohe, age 37, on life support equipment the day before he died

to investigate the men and woman that killed this man?

Otto Zehm (Spokesman-Review photo)

And vice versa?

This is what the law enforcement powers-that-be want the people of Spokane to passively accept.

Until recently, the Spokane Police would have been the lead agency in investigating its own malfeasance, police killing of citizens, etc.

But then, in their infinite wisdom, the Spokane Chief of Police and the Spokane County Sheriff agreed that their officers will play only a “support” role, rather than the lead role, in investigations of their respective agencies. So now a Spokane Sheriff deputy would be the lead investigator of a brutal killing by the Spokane Police such as that of Otto Zehm, while Spokane Police officers would only play a “support” role. And then, in an apparent bizarre effort to avoid giving any impression of conflict of interest, a Spokane Police officer would lead the investigation of Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies involved in a brutal killing of a citizen such as in case of Trent Yohe.

By the way, what is a “support” role? Would that be a role which reports back to the SPD Chief and Spokane County Sheriff or to Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker and Assistant Spokane City Prosecutor Rocky Treppiedi on the course of an investigation which might potentially result in the charging of a SPD officer or SCSO deputy with a felony crime?

Here are a few more details on the two brutal incidents.

May 12, 2007 — After 12 days in a coma, thirty-seven year old Trent Yohe died May 12, 2007. His death was ruled a homicide by Dr. John Howard of Spokane County medical examiner’s office. Yohe was tasered and then bound hand and foot by Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies on May 1, 2007. His death came after 12 days in a coma. No one has been charged. (Per standard procedure in Spokane County, the Spokane Police are investigating the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in this case. Typically, when a Spokane Police officer kills a citizen, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office handles the investigation. Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies also provide police coverage for the City of Spokane Valley.) Spokesman-Review Coverage of Trent Yohe death

March 18, 2006 — Seven Spokane Police officers participated in killing a mentally disabled janitor, Otto Zehm. His death has been listed as a homicide — heart failure due to suffocation while being restrained. Zehm was tasered, beaten, hog-tied, and suffocated by seven Spokane Police officers with the assistance of paramedic personnel.
http://www.spokesmanreview.com/sections/zehm/

Surveillance: All Zehm materials via KREM.com

Are the people of the Spokane area going to take a stand on this matter, recognizing that any one of them may be the next innocent person — as was Otto Zehm — to be set upon by and killed by Spokane Police?

Does it matter that your son or daughter might be the next confused and misguided young person attacked and tasered to death by Spokane County Sheriff deputies?

If your brother or best friend ends up in a crisis threatening suicide on the Monroe Street Bridge, will a mental health professional be the person attempting to help them or will it be the entire Spokane Police Department armed with tasers and AR-15s?

Anyone ever heard the words “good old boys’ club” or “Thin Blue Line”?

It is time to demand independent oversight of Spokane Police by a full-time Ombudsman with full access to all investigative materials.

The Spokane Citizen Review Commission has already been determined to have failed. During 10 years of controversy, corruption and abuses involving the Spokane Police Department, the Commission never met to consider a single case.

Moments like this are those that define whether or not a community has any sense of community, whether or not democracy is just an empty slogan, and whether or not the community rules the police or the police rule the community.

My faith in Spokane’s ability to get this right is slim. Time — the little of it left — will tell.

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Police Batons

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 12, 2007

Police Baton

(quote) Present day law enforcement standards require that a minimum of force be used to subdue criminals and scofflaws. “Police brutality” is a very sensitive issue with police departments and minority and disadvantaged groups alike. It is not uncommon to observe apprehended criminals with massive injuries caused by insensitive and overly zealous police officers wielding nightsticks in an indiscriminate and callous manner. Therefore, modern day batons should be somewhat flexible, so that they may render miscreants helpless without inflicting serious injury. (end quote)

(From U.S. Patent # 5180164, filed 1991)

Tonfa Police Baton

Posted in License to Kill, Trained to Kill, Videos | Leave a Comment »

SCSO–Pistols, Submachine guns, and Battle Rifles

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 9, 2007

Police Weaponry

Washington
Spokane County Sheriff’s Department
Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT)

Issues:

For other information on Spokane area law enforcement and their weaponry, go to Battle Ready — The SPD’s Military Arsenal and the “Equipment” section of Spokane para-military SWAT team, police propaganda, and Pavlischak.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Battle Ready — The SPD’s Military Arsenal

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 8, 2007

The Spokane Police Department is arming up.

Recently Spokane’s KREM TV and KREM.COM reported on the increasing firepower of Spokane Police officers.

Per KREM’s Kara Kostanich, 60 Spokane Police Department personnel–mostly members of SWAT and other specialized police groups–were using the Colt AR-15 assault rifle at the time of the March 29, 2007 broadcast. An additional 34 AR-15s had been ordered but had not yet arrived.

Sgt. John Roys of the SPD claimed on-air that the rationale for the arms purchase is to be able to “defeat” the increasingly armed Spokane populace. The plan is for each patrol team to carry two AR-15 rifles.

Given that at the time of the March 2007 KREM 2 broadcast, the 34 additional weapons were expected to arrive within two months, one can sleep better now knowing that your Spokane Police Department is now ready for battle with nearly 100 assault weapons.

Spokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police Arsenal

The AR-15 is the civilian version of the military’s M-16 assault rifle.

Spokane’s Militarized Law Enforcement

Spokane area law enforcement preparing for the end times

(Photo from the Spokane County Sheriff’s website)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, Videos, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Choose Your Weapons, Gentlemen — For the SPD, it’s the Glock 40

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 6, 2007

(quote) Spokane police carry the Glock 40, which they bought in 1999. The department used revolvers until 1988 and then switched to the 9 mm Glock for the next 10 years, spokesman Dick Cottam said. (end quote)

,40 Calibre Glock 22

www.sightm1911.com

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Buried Deep in the Spokesman’s Blogs — Chief Mike Lasnier on Mental Health Interventions and the Spokane Police Department

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 4, 2007

Among the nearly four dozen responses to the Spokesman-Review’s Video Journal blog page was this apologetic by Mike Lasnier, Suquamish tribal police chief on the Port Madison reservation near Poulsbo. Lasnier describes his experience and that of his police department with 28-year-old Josh Levy, who jumped to his death on July 27, 2007, after a failed intervention by the Spokane Police Department, which after 20 hours decided to taser Josh. Just as tasering has failed repeatedly around the country, resulting in deaths, lawsuits, and police abuses, it failed for the nth time in Spokane, Washington.

Not only does the death of Josh Levy demonstrate the failure of the Taser technology but more importantly it demonstrates the failure of the philosophy, mentality, and training of the Spokane Police Department.

Undoubtedly the most important point demonstrated by the incident is the same one demonstrated repeatedly in the last few years in Spokane–that the Spokane Police Department is a law unto itself, outside of civilian control and oversight, and plagued by the arrogance and corruption of power.

Following Chief Lasnier’s post, I have included three items:

1) My response which is directed at him personally and calls on him to counsel his friend and fellow chief, Ann Kirkpatrick of the Spokane Police Department, to lead or get out of the way.

2) Information on Chief Lasnier’s real first love — No, it is not the TASER ML18 but rather his Beretta 92F

Beretta 92F

3) More bio information on Chief Lasnier, suggesting both that he is not an appropriate expert on mental health interventions and that he can appropriately counsel Chief Kirkpatrick on leadership.

Monroe Street Bridge suicide reaction post by Chief Mike Lasnier

I am luckier than Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick.

Six month ago, I was standing on a bridge here in Kitsap County, talking to the same young man who jumped from the bridge to his death in Spokane last week. He was standing on the railing, so we couldn’t rush him. He wouldn’t acknowledge or speak to us.

We knew he had jumped from this, and other bridges, on previous occasions, and had been talked off of several bridges as well. We had a 50/50 chance, but he was the one making the final decision.

We eventually got him off of the railing, and ended up rushing and tackling him. The first time we started to close in on him, he climbed back up on the railing. On a previous occasion, he had leapt into the waters of Agate Passage before the police even arrived, but survived. On a subsequent occasion, he had agreed to surrender, and be helped over the railing by a Police Officer, but as soon as the officer touched him, he let go of the railing and attempted to fall. He was caught in midair by officers of the Suquamish Police, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, and pulled back across to safety. No Taser was used in that case, but that didn’t stop him from faking a surrender, and then suddenly attempting to fall to his death. After his first jump from this bridge, when he hit the water and survived, he had learned to stand over the rocks.

Three encounters. Two ended with him jumping or attempting to jump, even after hours of effort by professional negotiators, who knew this young man, and had the benefit of experience in dealing with him.

This doesn’t count the incidents where he jumped off of bridges in Bremerton, or when he was removed from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

I was the first officer to arrive at the bridge on one of those incidents, since the bridge is very near my office. I walked up to the young man to try to speak with him, and he turned his head and looked into my eyes. That is one of the most vivid memories I have in my 20 years in law enforcement. They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. I looked into that young mans eyes for 2 seconds, and I knew that we were in deep trouble. His eyes had a look in them that make it clear that jumping or staying on the bridge deck were all the same to him.

What did we have that Spokane did not? Why was our outcome different? I have incredible, wonderful, caring officers; so does Spokane. I went to the academy 2 decades ago with a wonderful Spokane officer, and have worked with Spokane officers on various projects and issues since then. You have top notch officers, highly respected throughout the State for their professionalism and caring.

When you compare leadership…well, there really is no comparison. Anne Kirkpatrick is one of the best there is. Anywhere. She is known throughout the United States as a leading, guiding force in Law Enforcement, well ahead of her time, highly educated, sharp as a tack, and full of compassion for the community and officers she serves. You can’t do better, and I’m nowhere near her league. The people of Spokane are lucky to have her.

The difference was luck. We got lucky. Last week, Spokane did not.

I attended a “State of the Art” training last week, taught by Nationally recognized experts on the topic of Managing Critical Incidents such as this. The lead instructor had retired after 30 years leading the SWAT and Crisis teams for L.A. County. There were no magic answers. There is no “Silver Bullet”. There is no tactic that will work every time.

Dear people…this young man was extremely mentally ill. Logic does not work on someone in his condition. Reasoning does not work. Negotiating is of extremely limited value. Even the focused, careful and judicious use of force doesn’t come with guarantees. What could the Spokane Police do? The answer is: “The best that they could, given almost impossible odds against them”.

When you are on the deck of a bridge, with the wind whipping and stinging your eyes, on the edge of an abyss, with a suicidal, mentally ill man who wants to jump to his death, it is one of the most terrifying things you can imagine. Not for the reasons you might think; I can assure you, the officers on that bridge weren’t thinking of themselves; I can guarantee you Chief Kirkpatrick wasn’t. The Chief and her officers were hoping against hope that they could get that young man safely off of that bridge. I’ve been in their shoes. You don’t worry about getting hurt; you worry about making a mistake that will cost a life.

The only problem with worrying about that is that there is no “right” way and “wrong” way to handle the situation.

I am a student of Tactics. As a former Marine Corps Platoon Sergeant and Scout-Sniper, and later as a SWAT officer for nearly a decade in a metrolpolitan area, and a graduate of Northwestern University School …. (Lasnier’s post exceed the S-R blog limit and he continued in his comments with the following) Well, I guess there are limits to the length of these posts…LOL. My point was that these situations are fast paced, rapidly changing, full of peril, and can’t be solved with a “cookie cutter” solution. The element of chance is at play; will the taser work? Will one of the probes hit a button or a wallet, and fail to work properly? There are limited windows of opportunity, and no matter what the police choose to do, there will always be the risk of something going wrong. Usually, failing to act is a far bigger mistake than taking action. That is why Police work is a dangerous profession.

The Spokane Police did the best that anyone could have hoped for in an impossible situation. They deserve the honor and respect of their community for the herculean effort they made in this case, in spite of the outcome that they couldn’t control.

We can “Stone the Keepers at the gate”…but then how well will we sleep at night?

The real question isn’t the actions of the police. It is “Why do we have laws and a mental health system in places a suicidal young man back onto the streets when he is such a blatant, obvious danger to himself”

The police were able to prevent him from jumping off of a bridge on at least five prior occasions: it was inevitable that there would be a sixth time, and just as surely, it was inevitable that sooner or later, he would be successful. To blame that on the Spokane Police is pathetic, and avoids facing the real issues this incident highlights. There are mental health professionals and judges that have said this young man wasn’t a danger to himself, again, and again, and again, in spite of the obvious, blatant facts to the contrary. He shouldn’t have been on a bridge in Spokane; he should have been in a secure facility, recieving the help he needed, and had desperately cried out for.

Chief Mike Lasnier
Suquamish Police

Posted by Chief Mike Lasnier | 30 Jul 6:19 PM

 

—Response by David Brookbank—

I appreciate all the anonymous posting by the likes of “Mike”, “Todd”, “Joe”, “Rob”, “Kevin” etc.

In my correction of my original post, I did not mean to say “killing” with regard to Sean Fitzpatrick. In my haste to correct the error in the date I made that second mistake. Thanks to the reader who corrected it.

In my WordPress blog, Spokane Police Abuses, I have included much more information about the history and extent of problems within the Spokane Police Department, information about their militarized training and armaments, questions to be raised about their practices, etc.

I was “successfully” arrested by Spokane Police in civil disobedience activities twice some 20 years ago. I have also participated with Spokane Police in hundreds of “police state” actions, i.e., home visits involving Child Protective Service cases. There are some fine officers, one of whom I consider to be one of the best “social workers” I ever worked with.

Nevertheless, I would not want the Spokane Police Department to intervene to help me or a friend or a family member in a “mental health crisis”. They are “zero for four” in the most recent prominent situations and one need only do some studying to understand that many, many more of the shooting deaths at the hands of Spokane Police officers and officers around the country are failed mental health interventions.

As to the comments of Chief Mike Lasnier of the Suquamish Police, I would say this: Regardless of your high estimation of yourself and your profession, many people–their voices are here in these posts and heard on the streets of Spokane–do not consider you protectors. Here in Spokane we are being propagandized about terrorist and gangs while most Spokane citizens can’t get help from the police with anything.

Beyond that average citizens now talk about their horror at seeing a police car behind them.

I would suggest Chief Lasnier that for many, such as myself, your training as a killer–-by the U.S. Marines, by SWAT trainers, by military police trainers, and private use-of-force trainers-–disqualifies you as an expert on saving lives.

If you don’t live in Spokane, Chief, you don’t know what you are talking about in regard to Spokane. We will deal with our police in the court of public opinion and the halls of city hall, and, if necessary, in more protests such as those on July 9, 2007.

If you want to do something productive, Chief Lasnier, call up your friend Chief Kirkpatrick and tell her it is time to come out openly and unequivocally for immediate independent oversight of the Spokane Police Department in the form of a Boise-style Ombudsperson and that, furthermore, she should bring an immediate end to the practice of killings by her officers being investigated by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and vice versa.

Now get back out there, Chief Lasnier, and see if you can tackle, tas, tear-gas, TAC or terrorize another mentally ill individual such as Otto Zehm, Josh Levy, Jerome Alford, or Sean Fitzpatrick.

Posted by David Brookbank | 4 Aug 11:01 PM

————————————————

Chief Lasnier and his Beretta 92F

Subject: Beretta 92 Series Pistols
080402
Submitted By:
Chief Mike Lasnier

Product: Model 92F

I have been carrying Beretta Model 92’s since I purchased an Italian made 92SB in 1984 while I was in the Marines. I had zero faith in the crappy 1911’s that we were issued at the time. I was a Primary Marksmanship Instructor, and shot on a Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Team. The 1911’s were incredibly unreliable, even though the armorers babied them. I was very happy when the Corps went to the Beretta, and got my 92F in 1987.

When I went into Law Enforcement, I purchased a 92F, and carried it for many years while working as a city cop. I was the department high shooter with it for many years, and had also shot competitively while in the Corps, and on the SWAT team. It saw many tours of duty, since I was assigned to both narcotics and SWAT at the time. We would shoot at the sniper ranges, and after we were done with the rifles, we would grab some pistol ammo, and work on knockdown targets at 100 and 200 yards with our pistols. People were amazed at the accuracy of the Beretta, and I could drop the knockdowns 9 out of 10 times at 200 yards. (I won quite a few free beers that way!)

I needed a backup gun for Narcotics, so I decided to go with the best, and bought a second Beretta 92F!

When I became Chief of a small rural community near salt water, I switched to the Stainless 92F, which I dearly love, and it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

My final upgrade was to the Stainless 92 Vertec, which maintains the same high standards of all of the others, with a few wonderful improvements. I was worried about the change in the grip, but it still points as perfect as ever, and having the light/laser mounted on the gun for building searches is a wonderful feature.

I’ve been betting my life on Beretta Pistols every day for over 20 years. I can purchase and carry any pistol in the world. I’ve shot them all, and tried them all. I’ll stick with my Beretta. There was an old saying in the old West; “Beware the man with one gun”. Especially if that gun is a Beretta!

Keep up the good work!

Chief Mike Lasnier

[Blogger note– Lasnier states in his promo for Beretta (paid promo?): There was an old saying in the old West; “Beware the man with one gun”. Especially if that gun is a Beretta!

After the botched “rescue” of Josh Levy, Lasnier could have as easily said, “Beware the man with one gun, especially if that gun is a Taser”.]

————————————————-

Mike Lasnier—2006 Crime Data Conference Presenter Biography

Mike Lasnier, Chief of Police for the Suquamish Tribe — Chief Lasnier is the Chief of Police for the Suquamish Tribe. He has over 18 years of Law Enforcement Experience. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Marines, where he served in Nuclear Security, and as the Platoon Sergeant for a Scout-Sniper Platoon, he went to work for a city South of Seattle, which has the highest violent crime rate in the State of Washington. He served as a Narcotics Detective for six years, and also on a regional SWAT team as an entry team member, and later as a sniper. He moved to Indian Country Law Enforcement over 8 years ago, as a Detective and Training Manager, and then Chief of Police for the past 7+ years. He first worked for the Lower Elwha Tribe, and moved to the Suquamish Tribe in 2004. Tribal Law Enforcement has become his passion. He is currently serving his second term as the President of the Northwest Association of Tribal Enforcement Officers. He is an instructor in a broad number of Law Enforcement disciplines such as firearms, defensive tactics, and chemical agents, less lethal munitions, patrol procedures, use of force, and officer safety and survival. Chief Lasnier is a Tactical Tracker, and the Suquamish Tactical Tracking Team won best overall team in regional competitions in 2005. Chief Lasnier is a strong proponent of teamwork, cooperation, and resource sharing in Indian Country, which certainly applies to data sharing. He is the founder of the TENET (Tribal Enforcement Network) project, and the first chairman of the TENET charter committee. He is also active in the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs representing Tribal issues, the Kitsap Domestic Violence Task Force, and Homeland Security Region 2. He is also a single father, who enjoys camping with his two wonderful sons.

Posted in Trained to Kill | Leave a Comment »

Riddle me this, Batman!

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 30, 2007

What is the newest toy in the little police officer’s bag of public safety tricks?

The ultra-high tech, “can’t be without it”, “I gotta have one Sarge”, “wait till you see this thing Captain”, “I have to admit Chief I love to hear the women scream” Taser.

The Spokane Police Department’s Suicide Prevention Weapon — (click on virtual tour)

The Infamous UCLA Incident

Palm Beach Police Taser “Defiant” Citizen

Tasers: Are Officers Too Quick to Fire? (report)

Death by Taser: The Killer Alternative to Guns

Amnesty International Report: USA–Excessive and Lethal

Taser, Inc. Sales Video (Warning to Spokane Police Department — Do not try this in real life.)

Posted in Trained to Kill | Leave a Comment »

Laying out the case…

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 19, 2007

Re-posted by Arroyoribera on November12, 2007

 

(Posted originally on July 19th, 2007 and updated regularly)

November 1909 — (quote) On November 2, 1909, the city government at Spokane, Washington, started to arrest the speakers of the I. W. W. (International Workers of the World) for holding street meetings. The locals at that point decided to fight the city and force it to allow the organization to hold street meetings. The fight lasted up to the first of March following, and resulted in compelling the city to pass a law allowing street speaking. Over 500 men and women went to jail during the free speech fight. Two hundred went on a hunger strike that lasted from 11 to 13 days, and then went from 30 to 45 days on bread and water; two ounces of bread per day. Four members lost their lives as a result of the treatment accorded them in this fight. (end quote) http://www.iww.org/cic/history/V_St_John.html

March 5, 1913 — Officer Frederick E. Goddard was “accidentally shot” during a training exercise and died. He was the first black member of the Spokane Police Department to die in the “line of duty”. He had served in law enforcement for five years and was survived by his wife and four children. http://www.ntoa.org/2007TrainingDeathsReport.pdf

September 1935 — In the 1980s Pend Oreille County Sheriff Tony Bamonte detailed the involvement of a Spokane police detective involved in the 1935 cover-up of the shooting death of Newport, Washington marshal George Conniff.

February 12, 1939 — Officer John H. Miller was accidentally shot and killed while attending an FBI training school in Washington, DC. The accident occurred as a result of practicing “quick draws” with another attendee. The other officer forgot he had reloaded his weapon when Officer Miller requested to run through the exercise one last time before dinner. http://www.ntoa.org/2007TrainingDeathsReport.pdf

January 15, 1962 — Airman 3rd class Olaguibeet Angel Lopez-Pacheco Vera from the 84th Consolidated Maintanence Squadron at Geiger Field was killed by Spokane Police officers Dennis R. Apperson and Richard E. Luders. Also present was Sgt. James D. Worsham of the Fairchild Air Force Base police liaison detail. Both Lopez and his father, a prominent Puerto Rican veterinarian, were pro-Puerto Rico independence advocates. Lopez father, Olaguibeet Angel Lopez-Pacheco, filed a civil rights complaint with the FBI on March 29, 1962. As part of a Federal Tort Claim, he received 111 pages of information from the FBI in 1976 and another 98 pages in 1978. The information indicated that the pro-independence organization to which Lopez’s father belonged was a target of FBI Cointelpro surveillance starting in at least 1958.

April 1969 — Spokane Police told Gonzaga University president John P. Leary he would be arrested in relation to charges of sexual abuse of minor boys unless he left town immediately. Thankful for the tip, Leary did obligingly leave town, beginning the long peregrinations so well known to predatory clergy.

February 1981 — In the midst of the infamous South Hill Rapist case, Spokane Police Captain Richard Olberding commented that Spokane women should “just lay back and enjoy it”.

1986 — (quote) The Spokane Police Department’s Gypsy File, a document half an inch thick, has determined that crime constitutes our very culture: “scams, theft and confrontations with law enforcement officials is a way of life with Gypsies” (dated 1986, on page 9). (end quote) http://www.radoc.net:8088/RADOC-31-PROFILING.htm

March 19, 1986 — [per Washington State Supreme Court records] (quote) On or about March 19, 1986, a party was held on the Spokane Police Guild Club premises. These were premises licensed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (Liquor Board). The party has been variously referred to as a bachelor party, stag show and strip show. The party was, in any event, given for a prospective bridegroom by his brother. A dancer performed at the party in a manner which, as it was subsequently determined, violated Liquor Board regulations. Forty or more people were in attendance. Following an investigation by an investigator for the Liquor Board, the club’s liquor license was suspended for 21 days. A reporter for the Spokesman Review and Spokane Chronicle newspapers requested a copy of the Liquor Board’s investigative report. The Liquor Board ultimately determined that it would release its full report on the incident. This suit was thereupon commenced by the Spokane Police Guild to enjoin the release of the records. The publisher of the newspapers, Cowles Publishing Company, and the City of Spokane were permitted to intervene in the suits. (end quote) The Spokane County Superior Court, the Court of Appeals and, finally in 1989, the Washington State Supreme Court all ruled in favor of the public’s right to know and against the Spokane Police Guild’s attempt to keep the information secret. This decision is widely cited and is considered a primary source of case law on the matter of public access and records disclosure.

August 15, 1991 — In a shootout with a crime suspect, Spokane Police shot and killed Kelly A. Miller in her home. With her children watching, Ms. Miller was killed by one of 50 shots fired by Spokane Police officers at John Chavers who had holed up in the Miller house. In response to the killing of his wife, Rod Miller, sued the city of Spokane for $5 million.

February 27, 1993 — Elwood Rayvon Lee, age 34, was shot in the head by Spokane Police officer Benjamin Estes. The Spokane Police had arrived at the Lee home unannounced and were met at the door by Mr. Lee carrying a rifle. Police alleged that Lee refused their order to drop the rifle and pointed it at them. Joan Lee, who witnessed her husband’s killing by the police along with her two children, sued the city of Spokane.

August 6, 1993 — Spokane Police Officer Jeffrey Harvey shot and killed a man said by two witnesses to be unarmed. On two prior ocassions, Harvey had been subject to disciplinary action for unauthorized use of force.

December 21, 1993 — (quote) Spokane Police Officer William Gentry pled not guilty on December 21, 1993 to alleged sexual assaults of two women described as mentally disabled. These attacks are alleged to have taken place while Gentry was in charge of the police station. According to a spokesperson for the Spokane police, Gentry has been discharged, but news reports suggest that he is receiving disability pay for a stress-related condition. Details of the allegations remain unclear, but at least some of the incidents are alleged to have taken place in the police station and while the victim was restrained with handcuffs. (end quote) — from Dick Sobsey, Educational Psychology, 6-102 Education North, University of Alberta

August 28, 1994 — Sidney McDermott, married and father of 5 children, was shot to death by Spokane Police after an officer followed him home. His wife sued the city for $9 million in a wrongful death lawsuit.

December 17, 1994 – Alleging that she pointed a gun at them, Spokane Police fatally shot —– Borgman. Police had gone to the location in response to a domestic violence report.

January 1, 1995 — Spokane police refused to identify a man they killed nor explain the cause of his death prior to the results of an autopsy.

March 8, 1995 — Blaine Dalrymple, a 38 year old man described by Spokane Police as mentally ill, was shot and killed by three Spokane police officers who alleged that attacked them with a piece of glass.

September 3, 1995 — A 28-year-old man died within minutes of being restrained by five officers and held at the the Spokane County Jail.

October 29, 1995 — Alledging that he had threatened them with a pellet gun, Spokane Police shot dead _____ Bolton.

December 13, 1995 — Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed ______ Stowell. Police alleged that Stowell may have shot himself.

December 28, 1995 — Police killed a man after a vehicle pursuit following a bank robbery.

January 22, 1996 — An unidentified woman was shot to death at her home by two Spokane County sheriff’s deputies after she allegedly shot a third deputy in the chest with a shotgun. The deputy was not seriously injured.

January 23, 1996 — Scott Waterhouse died after being arrested on a warrant after a traffic stop by Spokane police. Police say that they don’t know why he died. Mr. Waterhouse was from Fairfield, CT.

November 2, 1996 — Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas DiBartolo shot and killed his wife Patti DiBartolo. He then shot himself and invented a story that two Black men had committed the crime. Despite a plea by his teenage son against releasing DiBartolo, DiBartolo was released. He was subsequently convicted of 1st degree murder and sentence to 25 years in prison.

April 15, 1997 — Joe R. Lawson was shot to death by Spokane Police Officer Patrick Dobrow after he allegedly charged at them with a knife during a domestic violence call at his home. The Spokane County prosecutor ruled that the shooting was justified.

June 13, 1997 — Authorities claim that the death of Nicholas Struckman was a suicide in custody. Mr. Struckman’s father has come forward to question the police version of events.

April 28, 1998 — While Spokane Police chased him for violating a traffic regulation, 35 year old Christopher Kraft crashed his motorcycle and died.

June 12, 1998 — ___ Lefebvre was shot by a Spokane County Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team after a six-hour standoff. There is videotape of this incident, which reportedly shows police shooting the suspect as he retreats. Mr. Lefebvre was in a Spokane hospital in critical condition. It is not clear if he survived. He was supposedly wanted for a robbery and a carjacking.

May 27, 1999 — Spokane Police Chief Alan Chertok’s resigned his short tenure with the SPD are he told a high school class that prior Spokane Police Chief Terry Mangan was a suspect in the deaths of several area prostitutes. http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache

June 2000 — “If a higher percentage of minorities are stopped for nonhazardous violations, it would kind of make you wonder,” Bragdon said (Spokane Police Chief Roger Bragdon). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Spokane County’s population was 1.6 percent black as of 1996. Bragdon said 900 tickets out of 29,000 – about 3 percent – were given to black drivers last year. If initial traffic numbers show signs of racial profiling, the probe could expand, he said. http://www.aclu.org/racialjustice/racialprofiling/15979prs20000622.html

August 11, 2000 — (quote) Assistant Police Chief Loses Pay Over Traffic Stop–Odenthal ‘Influenced’ Officers at Scene not to Arrest His Daughter: A top Spokane Police Department official will lose five days’ pay for intervening to prevent the arrest of his 24-year-old daughter the impoundment of the car she was driving. According to an internal investigation, Assistant Chief Al Odenthal’s actions amounted to preferential treatment and a breach of department policy. (end quote from August 24, 2000 Spokesman-Review) Odenthal was suspended for five days and lost $2000 in pay. In 2006, Odenthal was a candidate for the new police chief position and–after not getting the position–was subsequently fired.

August 6, 2001 — Tyrone Thomas, a 34-year-old African American student at Spokane Community College, was shot and killed by Spokane Police in a downtown office building. The police accused Thomas of shooting directly at them and that they shot back in self defense. However, the bullet entered Mr. Thomas’s back as he fled down a hallway and turned down a corridor. A local attorney walking through the building was able to see Thomas through a glass door but was unable to render assistance because the door was locked. The witness, not knowing that police officers shot the victim, reported seeing the injured Thomas and told the officers to get medical assistance immediately because he was still alive and was losing blood rapidly. Police officers would not allow emergency medical assistance for more than a half an hour. Even though the victim had been reported as incapacitated and severely injured, police officers claimed a need to have a SWAT team clear the area before they would allow emergency medical personnel into the building. Though the bullet did not hit any vital organs, Tyrone Thomas bled to death in the corridor. It was reported that if medical assistance had been provided immediately Mr. Thomas would more than likely have lived. Several months later, in the midst of controversy that has endured to this day, the Spokane Police Department awarded the two officers (Shane Oien and James Erickson) involved in shooting Tyrone Thomas in the back with its highest award, the Medal of Valor.

September 22, 2003 — Spokane Police officers shot and severely injured 17-year-old Lewis and Clark High School Student Sean Fitzpatrick rather than wait him out or allow his father to intervene. http://www.spokesmanreview.com/news-story.asp?date=092303&ID=s1414769

September 27, 2003 — (quote) Fifteen-year-old Couer d’Alene Tribe member Eagle Michael was shot dead by Spokane Police Officer Michelle Madsen. The Officer alleged that Eagle Michael pointed his BB gun at her. Per published reports, Eagle Michael attended the Idaho School for the Deaf & Blind and was wearing a hearing aid when he was shot. http://www.spokesmanreview.com/news-story.asp?date=092903&ID=s1417811

May 4, 2004 — Spokane Police officers investigating the assault on Iraq War protesters David Brookbank and Al Mangan told Brookbank, “You should have known something like this would happen.” The case was closed before the assigned SPD Detective Crystal Jolley interviewed the two primary witnesses of the assault. Subsequently, in a letter to U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, the Seattle office of the FBI wrote that “Mr. Brookbank was assaulted after he assaulted the passing driver”. (see Spokesman Review article, May 6, 2004)

August 30, 2004 — Thirty-four year old Spirit Creager was tasered multiple times by a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy. Creager had been stopped for driving with a suspended license and a non-working taillight. Deputy Chad Ruff claimed Creager resisted arrest. ( movementforchange.org/article )

November 2005 — The Washington State Patrol twice recorded a Spokane Police lieutenant doing over 100 mph on Interstate 90 in an unmarked department patrol car, both going to and returning from a training event in western Washington. To keep the State Patrol from stopping him, the Spokane Police lieutenant turned on his siren as the State Patrol approached. Rather than being charged and/or fired, the lieutenant–who had been in charge of Spokane Police traffic officers–was demoted to the rank of detective.

January 29, 2006 — A delusional Spokane County inmate, Benites Sichiro, died after being repeatedly tasered, beaten, and “donkey kicked” by jail staff. Sichiro was tied to a restraint chair prior to being taken to hospital where he died of internal injuries, including a lacerated liver. Three weeks later, jailer John Elam — who administered the donkey kick– was hired as a Spokane Police officer. Sichiro’s death was ruled a homicide by the Spokane County Coroner’s Office. On July 12, 2007, a civil rights lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court against Spokane County, the Spokane County Sheriff, and 12 jail personnel.

March 18, 2006 — Seven Spokane Police officers participated in killing a mentally disabled janitor, Otto Zehm. His death has been listed as a homicide — heart failure due to suffocation while being restrained. Zehm was tasered, beaten, hog-tied, and suffocated by seven Spokane Police officers with the assistance of paramedic personnel. http://www.spokesmanreview.com/sections/zehm/

Otto Zehm (Spokesman-Review photo)

May 24, 2006 — In April 2007, Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker termed as an “excusable homicide” the death at the hands of Spokane Police Officers of Roger D. Hanks, a truck driver from Texas. http://www.spokesmanreview.com/local/story.asp?ID=183069

August 29, 2006 – Spokane Police officer Jonathon Smith resigned as a result of allegedly purchasing and consuming marijuana cookies at a concert by the band Tool at the Gorge Amphitheater in Central Washington.

November 2006 — Spokane Police Officer David Freitag was fired after housing level 3 sex offender Thomas R. Herman in the basement of his house. Freitag was also storing 10 weapons for Herman who as a convicted felon is prohibited from owning firearms. Herman was subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in an international child pornography network.

February 26, 2007 — Spokane Police officer James “Jay” Olsen shot Navaho Indian Shonto K. Pete in the head from behind. Olsen was been charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Olsen is on unpaid leave. At the time of the shooting Olsen was off-duty and had been drinking in a Spokane bar. He was legally drunk at the time he chased Pete down and shot him from behind. http://www.badcopnews.com/category/washington/

March 24, 2007 — Spokane Police Sgt. Daniel Torok shot and killed 33-year-old Jerome Alford, an African-American, during a confrontation near downtown Spokane. The killing of Alford by the Spokane Police is being investigated by the Spokane Sheriff’s Office and is pending a decision at the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office. http://s-r.com/tools/story_pf.asp?ID=182954

March 30, 2007 — Spokane Police Special Investigations Officer Jay Mehring was arrested while on duty and laid off for felony harassment and domestic violence for allegedly threatening to kill his wife. http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2007/05/wa-detective-mehrings-terroristic.html http://www.kxly.com/news/?sect_rank=1&section_id=559&story_id=9758

May 12, 2007 — After 12 days in a coma, thirty-seven year old Trent Yohe died May 12, 2007. His death was ruled a homicide by Dr. John Howard of Spokane County medical examiner’s office. Yohe was tasered and then bound hand and foot by Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies on May 1, 2007. His death came after 12 days in a comma. No one has been charged. (Per standard procedure in Spokane County, the Spokane Police are investigating the the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in this case. Typically, when a Spokane Police officer kills a citizen, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office handles the investigation. Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies also provide police coverage for the City of Spokane Valley. )

Trent Yohe, age 37, on life support equipment the day before he died

June 27, 2007 — Two Spokane citizens were arrested for acts of civil disobedience, one brutally, during the visit of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to Spokane. According to Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, the meeting involved the sharing of “top secret sensitive information” with Spokane Police, FBI, ATF, and other law enforcement agencies. The meeting allegedly dealt with what some want to characterize as a “serious gang problem in Spokane”. TV coverage shows officers choking, tripping and manhandling 59-year-old Dan Treecraft. The other protester arrested was Rebecca Lamb, a middle aged woman in a wheel chair.

http://www.krem.com/video/featured-index.html?nvid=154961

http://www.krem.com/video/amazing-index.html?nvid=154894

http://www.krem.com/video/featured-index.html?nvid=154946

July 4, 2007 — Independence Day was marred by a “near police riot” in Riverfront Park. Seventeen young Spokanites were arrested in a coordinated action by a Spokane Police Tactical Unit. The police were acting to protect the private property rights of Clear Channel, Inc. which had ‘purchased’ the public park –home of Expo ‘74– for the day.

July 9, 2007 — Some one hundred fifty demonstrators of all ages and backgrounds gather to protest Spokane’s rampant police brutality and misconduct scandal. After denouncing the lack of independent oversight, impunity, and civil liberties abuses, the protesters took to the street and peacefully marched to City Hall. At City Hall, several dozen protesters waited through a 4 hour long City Council meeting to be able to make one minute presentations about Spokane Police abuses.

July 27, 2007 — Following investigation by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker determined that the shooting of an African-American man, Jerome Alford, in a Spokane alley on March 24, 2007 by Officer Daniel Torok was a “justifiable homicide”. Torok was also involved in the beating, tasering, hog-tying and suffocation of Otto Zehm in March 2006. Both Alford and Zehm suffered from disabling conditions.

July 27, 2007 — After a botched attempt by the Spokane Police Department to taser him into submission, a suicidal man jumped to his death from Spokane’s Monroe Street Bridge mid-afternoon yesterday. Josh Levy, a 28-year old mentally ill man whose father had recently brought him to Spokane after his discharge from a western Washington mental institution, was lured from the bridge by police promises and then attacked with a taser. When one taser prod did not penetrate his flesh, Levy leapt to his death. According to Levy’s father, Spokane Police had promised him they would not use violence against his son.

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

(This post is under-construction…your comments, criticisms, and contributions are welcome. Several police killings of citizens in the last couple years have yet to be added. Also missing is the Police/Fire Department evidence destruction incident.)

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Racism, Trained to Kill | Leave a Comment »

Training Spokane Law Enforcement in Intelligence, Military Weapons, Crowd Control, and more

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 18, 2007

Every year Spokane Police and other area law enforcement agencies receive ever more extensive, sophisticated, and deadly training.

This year local law enforcement will have training in AR-15 and M-16 assault weapons, chemical weapons, tasers, crowd control techniques, intelligence gathering and infiltration, psychological manipulation, and other topics.

Among those companies training Spokane law enforcement this year are Defense Technology Corporation of America, Armiger Police Training Institute,Force Science Research Center, FBI-LEEDA, FLETC, Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, and John E. Reid & Associates.

http://www.spokanesheriff.org/include/PDF/ClassSchedule.pdf

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Mitchell and Jessen, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »