Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

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

Archive for the ‘Yes ma’am Chief’ Category

Chief Ann Kirkpatrick, that is…

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gigs up, Lil’ Annie…

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

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


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

Anne Kirkpatrick

Chief of police, Spokane

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on June 30, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you very much.

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

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 31, 2008

Of all people…

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

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

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

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

Remind me of upcoming Spokane City Forums…

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

Meeting Time: 11:45 A.M.

Take me to…
First Presbyterian Church

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

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

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

“What it takes to keep a Community Safe”

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

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

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

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

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:


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

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 1, 2007

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

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


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

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

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 11, 2007

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

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

Chief Anne Kirkpatrick — September 2006

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

Chief Anne Kirkpatrick — May 2007

An imposter?


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

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

But I will tell you one thing for certain.

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

Al Odenthal


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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 28, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

KREM 2 – A cop accused

KREM 2 – COP rape allegations

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

KREM 2 – Details of officer rape allegation uncovered

KXLY 4 – Officer on administrative leave during investigation

KXLY 4 – Consensual or not?

Summer 2004 MSBL statistics for Spokane Dodgers and Jason Uberuaga

Uberuaga at bat

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

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

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 25, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Neighborhood Observation Patrol



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

One way to stop abusive cops — Put a video camera in your car

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 15, 2007

Update: Officer Kuehnlein was fired by recommendation of the Chief of Police of St. George and by a 5-0 vote of the St. George’s aldermen. In Spokane, where we have no civilian control of the police and no independent oversight, Kuehnlein would have been suspended with pay and lived to bully and abuse citizens with a badge and a gun paid for by the same citizens. It is time for Spokanites to stand up for themselves and prove in fact that this is a democracy of, by, and for the people. Otherwise the Kuehnleins, Toroks, and Olsons will prevail and the police state will be the future of our children.


Please read the following article and make sure you watch the video at the end of the article with the volume turned up. (And if you really want to understand the attitudes of law enforcement towards their own misconduct and towards the public, read the comments after the article at PoliceLink.com which including references to the young man as a “puke” and “punk” and a “cop hater”, among other things.)

This is what out-of-control police officers are about. Abuse of power. Power trips. Intimidaton. Bullying.

This officer — Sgt. James Kuehnlein of St. George, Missouri — basically threatens to set this kid up, f#*@ this kid up, and fabricate charges against him. In any number of other occasions the kid would have been tasered, a certain number of other times the kid would have been shot. If this kid were black, odds are he’s a dead man. This scene repeats itself all over America but the only place that you ever see it is, guess…. YouTube or GoogleVideo or the occasional incident that a passerby or cellphone user records. You won’t see it on COPS TV, of course, because the police retain editorial authority over COPS TV broadcasts.

The officer’s constant references to the young man’s attitude reminds me distinctly of Chief Kirkpatrick’s comments to the Spokane public on September 19, 2007 during her Chat/Forum when she said that things with the Spokane Police would get better when people in Spokane change their attitudes.

Please, dear Chief. Don’t pull that on us. Not after Zehm, and Eagle, and Pete, and Fitzpatrick, and Alford, and the Firehouse Sex Scandal, and Cpl. Frietag, and Al Odenthal, and the 4th of July, and so it goes and so it goes….

Yeah, we got an attitude, Chief. You work for us. We pay your salaries.

At that same event, Chief Kirkpatrick had a hard time understanding what bullying was despite clear, concrete examples being provided to her by the public. The clearest examples were 1) the case of the young man threatened late at night behind Yokes by an SPD officer who refused to provide his badge number and name when asked and 2) the case of the SPD officer who told Carmen Jacoby that his job was to remove homeless “shit bags” from a park and when she asked for his name and badge number was threatened with being put in the back of his patrol car.

Now hear this: The video which follows contains bullying. B-U-L-L-Y-I-N-G.

WARNING: Despite Chief Kirkpatrick’s repeated statements that her officers are obligated always to provide their name and badge number when asked, please consider whether or not you really want to try the line “Officer, I need your name and badge number” with a Spokane Police officer unless you have a witness or a video/audio recording.

Keep in mind that as this article and video indicate 1) the officer threatened to tear the young man’s car and camera apart, and 2) the video footage from the officer’s patrol car “is nowhere to be found” with the local police chief commenting about what happened to the video, “That’s the million-dollar question. Our policy says any contact the officer has with the public has to be on tape.”

Police are armed and trained to kill. They have other instincts, among them the instinct to not end up behind the same bars they send the public. As a result, they are not to be trusted in situations where they are violating the law or department policy. In general, law enforcement personnel do not tolerate the assertion of citizen rights and have been known to do serious bodily harm or fabricate charges rather than be challenged by a citizen.

Stay tuned for more.


Man Wants Officer Fired Over Stop

By Georgina Gustin, St. Louis Post Dispatch – Sep 12 2007 Man Wants Officer Fired Over Stop

St. George Police Chief Scott Uhrig talks with Brett Darrow, 20, Tuesday afternoon. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)



ST. GEORGE, Mo. – A young St. Louis man who videotaped a police officer’s angry taunts during a traffic stop, and later posted the footage on the Internet where thousands of viewers have watched it, said Tuesday he wants the officer fired.

Brett Darrow, 20, met with St. George Police Chief Scott Uhrig for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon and also filed a formal complaint against the officer, Sgt. James Kuehnlein.

During the meeting Darrow asked to see the videotape from Kuehnlein’s police car. But according to Uhrig, that footage, inexplicably, is nowhere to be found.

“That’s the million-dollar question,” Uhrig said. “Our policy says any contact the officer has with the public has to be on tape.”

Darrow had pulled into a commuter lot at Spokane and Reavis Barracks roads at around 2 a.m. Friday, when Kuehnlein approached and asked him what he was doing. When Darrow questioned why, Kuehnlein launched into a series of taunts and threats.

“The attitude escalated when he thought I was questioning his authority, but I was just trying to figure out what he was doing,” Darrow said Tuesday. “I was really scared. He was up in my face, spit coming in my face.”

A camera in Darrow’s Nissan Maxima captured the incident. Darrow, a St. Louis Community College student, said he put the camera in the car about a year ago after getting a speeding ticket.

“I got a ticket I didn’t feel like I deserved,” he said. “I was thinking tickets, not this.”

In the footage, Darrow can be heard citing his Fourth Amendment rights – his reasonable expectation of privacy – to Kuehnlein. He said Tuesday he’s familiar with the law, through “reading statutes, reading constitutional law, reading case law. It’s just something I’m interested in.”

He said he was not trying to entrap the officer.

Kuehnlein could not be reached for comment.

After the incident, Darrow posted the footage on the Internet, where news of it spread quickly. He maintains he did not contact news media and had no idea the matter would get so much attention.

“I didn’t mean for it to be what it was,” he said.

Darrow said he was in the lot at that late hour because he had just left his cell phone at his girlfriend’s house, and the two decided to meet there to hand off the phone because the location was convenient.

Kuehnlein has been an officer with the department for about two years, and had come from the Riverview Police Department. Uhrig said Tuesday that, perhaps, Kuehnlein was not accustomed to having someone question him as Darrow did, with a camera recording his responses.

“Most officers aren’t used to being questioned like that,” Uhrig said.

St. George, a city of about 1,300 people, sits along Interstate 55 at ReavisBarracks Road. Its police department has four full-time officers and three police cars. An officer can patrol every street in the city in about 20 minutes, Uhrig said.

Uhrig said he has worked hard to cleanse St. George of its image as a speed trap with a police department staffed by unqualified novices. He said he has implemented new, more stringent hiring policies and expanded the department’s policy manual since becoming chief two-and-a-half years ago.

“We have a reputation for being traffic enforced,” he said. “It’s not true. My officers are told to enforce the law. I want quality, not quantity. I want the drugs, the impaired drivers. Those’re the things that make a difference.”

Uhrig said he would submit a report on the incident to the city’s police review board and the St. Louis County prosecutor as early as this week.

Watch the video:

Update: Officer Kuehnlein was fired by recommendation of the Chief of Police of St. George and by a 5-0 vote of the St. George’s aldermen. In Spokane, where we have no civilian control of the police and no independent oversight, Kuehnlein would have been suspended with pay and lived to bully and abuse citizens with a badge and a gun paid for by the same citizens. It is time for Spokanites to stand up for themselves and prove in fact that this is a democracy of, by, and for the people. Otherwise the Kuehnleins, Toroks, and Olsons will prevail and the police state will be the future of our children.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Videos, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

Citizen Review Commission is NOT the answer to independent oversight

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 11, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, my!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Chief needs to understand one thing.

We, the people, will open up the SPD.

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

The Chief should simply give it up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



In Memoriam — Otto Zehm (1970 – 2006)

Otto Zehm — Guitarist, Gentle Lion, Golden Heart

(J. Craig Sweat Photography)

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

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.




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 »

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 2, 2007

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

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



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

CragCrawler's Avatar

Spokane PD Hiring

Spokane is hiring. I herd through the grapevine that they are hiring 44 in the next couple of years. Don’t quote me on that though!
.. “The final measure of your life won’t be how well you lived, but how well others live because of you.” ~ Bill Gates”MOP” – Mobile Observation Unit ~ Sgt. Buck Savage

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

Good Info

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




Questions for Chief Ann Kirkpatrick:

1) Either of these your boys, Chief?

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

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

SPD ‘officer’: “I have a job…to get these shit bags out of the park”

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 24, 2007

You may have read the Spokesman-Review article about the September 19, 2007 forum/chat with Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick. The article referred to Carmen Jacoby, an outreach worker from the Community Health Association of Spokane (CHAS).

I was present at the forum when Jacoby told of being on a “bridge walk” with WSU nursing students at the 4th and Monroe Bridge Park. She described how a Spokane Police officer showed up. Jacoby told Chief Kirkpatrick and the public how she attempted to ask the officer a question to which he responded, “Who are you?”

Jacoby answered the officer, at which point he told her, “I have a job to do. I have to get these shit bags out of the park“.

Offended by the officer’s remark, Jacoby asked the officer for his badge number. The officer then told her to move back or he would put her in the back of his patrol car.

The Spokesman-Review’s report on Jacoby’s statement to the Chief at the forum reads, “Jacoby said the officer used an obscenity to refer to the homeless”.

The obscenity used by the officer to refer to the homeless was “shit bags“.

Chief Kirkpatrick is known for promoting her “zero tolerance policy” on misconduct. Apparently it does not apply either to calling citizens “shit bags” (or “faggots” for that matter) nor does it extend to threatening to put community professionals in the back of your patrol car for asking for your badge number.

Would it be exaggerating to say that the Chief’s once impressive little PR line about “zero tolerance” and her other little ditty about “you lie, you die” are starting to sound a little hollow?

“What it’s like” by Everlast


For a complete version of “What it’s like”, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L–IXGV797Y

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Videos, War Abroad & At Home, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

Lies, damn lies, and…SPD Cpl. Lee and statistics differ on crime rate

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 24, 2007

Lies, damn lies, and statistics?

Or is that lies, damn lies, and Corporal Lee?

Yes, I know. That is harsh. But then how do you explain what these guys “believe”?

In this KXLY 4 report (see video below) entitled “Spokane Bucking National Trends”, Spokane Police Corporal Lee states on behalf of the Spokane Police Department that “we believe crime is up”.

Yet the statistics say crime in Spokane is down, and down very significantly in 4 out of seven categories with no change in two others.

The report compares 2004 Spokane crime statistics to 2007 statistics (as of June 5, 2007) projected over the entire year. And what do the numbers say?

……………………………………………..2004…………………. projected 2007 …………………. percent change

Murder………………………………….. .9………………………………. 9…………………………………….. none

Rape ……………………………………. 90……………………………… 78………………………………….. down 13%

Assault……………………………….. 799……………………………. 711 ………………………………….down 11%

Burglary…………………………….3368 …………………………..1980 ………………………………….down 41%

Theft……………………………… 12,763………………………….. 6426 ………………………………….down 50%

Robbery…………………………….. 310……………………………. 420……………………………………. up 35%

Car theft………………………….. 1830………………………….. 1835…………………………………… up 0.5%

An interesting corollary statistic has to do with the number of Spokane Police officers on staff each of these two years:

……………………………………………..2004 ………………………. 2007……………………………. ……. change

Total SPD Officers …………….. 298………………………….. 273…………………….. ……… 25 less officers

So how does one explain the contradictions evident in Corporal Lee’s math, statistical analysis, and beliefs?

In attempting to explain, one could take Chief Kirkpatrick’s approach at the September 19, 2007 Forum/Chat at City Hall. The Chief wagged her finger, lectured, and smirked her way through 2 hours of “dialog” with Spokanites as she roundly chastised speakers as being just plain wrong and needing to get their facts right before they stand up in public to offer their perspectives as John and Jane Q. Public.

However, a better approach here in this instance would be simply to lay forth the political realities evident in the disparities between the statistics and Cpl. Lee’s “beliefs”. (Note: The disparities between reality and ‘belief’ in politics are known as ‘spin’). So, again how does one explain Cpl. Lee’s ‘spin’ on Spokane crime statistics?

Answer: More crime (real or perceived) equals more officers, equals more money, equals more guns, equals more fire power, equals more control.

So let’s go back to the beginning and hear now from SPD Corporal Lee:

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Videos, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

Police Records Missing? Have Jeanie Spiering check the storage closet

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 16, 2007

Ever had difficulties obtaining police records from the Spokane Police Department? Ask the Spokesman-Review. Or ask me. We certainly have.

First let’s look at what the law says about public disclosure in the state of Washington.


Disclosure of records (State of Washington)

WAC 44-14-06002 Summary of exemptions.

An exemption from disclosure will be narrowly construed in favor of disclosure. RCW 42.17.251/42.56.030. An exemption from disclosure must specifically exempt a record or portion of a record from disclosure. RCW 42.17.260(1)/42.56.070(1). An exemption will not be inferred.1


What that means is it doesn’t matter one iota what Chief Kirkpatrick, Captain Roberts, Det. Dan Torok or attorney Jeanie Spering doesn’t want to release. If it is not specifically exempt, it belongs to the public.

Here is but one tale. I’ll share the moral with your first: Ask the city attorney handling your records request to check the storage closets at the Spokane City-County Public Safety Building as well as at the Monroe Court Building. You never know what you will find next to the mop and a bottle of Mr. Clean.


Law enforcement records on the allegations against Hahn and his subsequent suicide have been difficult to obtain using a state law that provides public access to government records.

The Spokesman-Review first sought access to Hahn’s records in 2003 and was told that follow-up detective reports were either destroyed or did not exist.

In April of this year, some of the documents the newspaper requested were found in a cardboard box in a storage closet at the Spokane City-County Public Safety Building. But sheriff’s officials said they still could not locate reports that should have been written by two senior sheriff’s officers who found Hahn’s body in his apartment.

Because Hahn’s apartment at 3424 S. Regal was in the city limits, police officers were also called to the scene. When the newspaper requested records from Spokane Police in 2003 and again in June, attorney Jeanie Spiering said the department “does not have any further records” relating to Hahn.

This month, the police department’s follow-up report, written in 1982 by Major Crimes Detective Charles Staudinger, was included among more than 3,400 documents obtained from a private attorney defending Spokane County.

Staudinger’s one-page report concluded Hahn’s death was a suicide. It did not mention the sexual abuse allegations against the deputy.

Another public document reveals that while The Spokesman-Review was seeking records on Hahn in 2003, the police department was conducting an internal investigation into “missing police records.”

According to an internal affairs report, Assistant Police Chief Al Odenthal ordered the investigation in 2003. Although the report concludes there were no missing Hahn records, several officials are quoted as saying there may have been a possible “cover-up” in the 1980s.

Spiering “believed that she had heard about a possible ‘cover-up’ in the 1980s involving the initial sexual abuse allegations against Hahn,” according to the report.

The same report also quotes now-retired sheriff’s Lt. Ken Marshall and Sgt. Ron Ethridge, who said they believed Hahn’s involvement with boys “was covered up” by senior sheriff’s officers.

[This material is excerpted from Spokesman-Review reporter Bill Morlin’s July 31, 2005 report entitled “Disturbing Connections Emerge” as posted at BishopAccountability.org ].

——–(end excerpt)——–

As I said, this is but one tale. The moral of the story: Ask the city attorney handling your records request to check the storage closets at the Spokane City-County Public Safety Building as well as at the Monroe Court Building. You never know what you will find next to the mop and a bottle of Mr. Clean.

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

Clean Sweep — Changes eliminate Kirkpatrick testimonial on Worley Website

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 10, 2007

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

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

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

Worley — Kirkpatrick testimonial

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WORLEY: Well, certainly, there are.

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

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

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

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

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

WORLEY: You’re welcome.

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

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

Ethical Lapse by Chief Kirkpatrick?

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 15, 2007

(Update — September 10, 2007 — The website for Mike Worley’s business, Police Practices Consulting, was changed on September 5, 2007 . The “testimonial” page was removed and replaced with a client’s page. Chief Kirkpatrick’s testimonial was removed and replaced with a red dot representing the $8,800 tax-payer financed report contracted with Worley and his company by Spokane Mayor Hession. Under the column labeled DISPOSITION, it reads “settled”. Does that mean that the portion of Worley’s report dealing with the Otto Zehm killing has been revisited by Worley and completed. According to the October 26, 2006 edition of the Spokesman-Review, Worley’s report summary states, “A subsequent report will be released addressing the Zehm case when all investigative materials have been completed and reviewed.” In the Zehm case, a Spokane Police officer was the lead investigator of his seven Spokane Police colleagues. Worley recommended that practice end and that an outside agency always have the lead in such investigations.)

Is it ethically acceptable for Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick to provide a testimonial on the business website of police consultant Mike Worley?

Worley — Kirkpatrick testimonial

I doubt that Mayor Hession expected the Chief to do such a thing when he hired Worley and his consulting firm, Police Practices Consulting LLC, in July 2006 to review the SPD/Firehouse sex photo scandal, the Otto Zehm homicide, and the Civilian Advisory Commission.

And I am sure the public will consider it highly questionable.

Worley promotes himself as a national expert on police matters and conducts “independent reviews” for police departments, attorneys and journalists.

In October 2006–in the wake of years of scandal and controversy surrounding the conduct of Spokane police officers and administrators–Worley submitted his report on the Spokane Police Department. Subsequently, scandal has continued with further killings of citizens by Spokane Police officers, acts of brutality against citizens practicing free speech and civil liberties, officer misconduct on and off the job, and the recent botched tasering of a suicidal man who jumped to his death from the Monroe Street Bridge.

According to Worley’s report, “A subsequent report will be released addressing the Zehm case when all investigative materials have been completed and reviewed.”

As of today, to my knowledge, that subsequent report by Worley is still pending. Is Worley still under contract to the city of Spokane?

In either case, what is Chief Kirkpatrick doing scratching Worley’s back with her testimonial on his website?

Quoting the Worley’s Police Practices Consulting, LLC, website:

“[Mike Worley’s] review, I think, has been thorough, it has been independent, it has been complete, and it has been fair.”
— Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, Spokane Police Department

As a matter of fact, Worley’s review is NOT complete. He stated that he would not proceed to investigate the Otto Zehm matter until the FBI investigation and other investigations of the matter were completed and that a subsequent report would be forthcoming following the closure of those investigations.

Will Worley be able to be thorough, independent, complete, fair, ethical and honest after Chief Kirkpatrick has lent herself and her obligation to the people of Spokane to promoting Mr. Worley’s business interest?

Another curious twist is that Spokane seems headed towards a Boise-type police oversight system involving an Ombudsman and staff. Interestingly, Worley worked 32 years for the Boise PD, including as head of internal investigations and of criminal investigations, and was there when the Boise Ombudsman system was developed.

Mike Worley, of course, is part of the Thin Blue Line. Like Chief Kirkpatrick, he too was a chief, for two years in Meridian, Idaho.

And now he’s down in Blue Grass country, Louisville, Kentucky with his consulting business. Meanwhile Chief Kirkpatrick came out of Memphis, the home of the Blues. Law enforcement is a tight group and everywhere you look in this one it just all keeps coming up blue.

This entire proposition requires a whole lot more trust than the Chief or any employee of the Spokane Police Department deserves.

So one has to ask: Has the pending Worley report on the Zehm debacle been suspended indefinitely or canceled permanently? Will Worley essentially become an informal consultant to the Chief regarding how to manage a meddlesome, independent Ombudsman, if that is the model Spokane adopts?

Clearly as far as the Spokane Police Department, the Prosecutor’s Office and City Hall go, Otto Zehm is dead. Dead and buried and never to be exhumed. Case closed.

However, that is not the desire of the people of Spokane who intend to commemorate his death next year with the type of protest and commemoration which he has not received to date.

In any civilized city in the country, no, in the world, a wall of flowers, candles, and sympathy cards would have lined the street where he was beaten, tasered, hog-tied, suffocated, and killed by Spokane’s finest on March 18, 2004.

We owe it to Otto Zehm and the list of those killed by the SPD under questionable circumstances and those criminally killed by the SPD to demand the following:

1) A clear conclusion to the Otto Zehm investigation and all reports and analysis of that matter;

2) The implementation of a legitimate and independent police oversight mechanism and NOT the current moribund and fraudulent Citizens Advisory Commission;

3) An end to investigations of the Spokane Police Department by the Spokane Sheriff’s Office; and

4) Independent investigation, prosecutions, autopsies and inquests in all cases of killings by Spokane Police personnel or misconduct by Spokane Police personnel where it is determined appropriate by a legitimate independent oversight mechanism.

And with that, we return to where we started:

Is it ethically acceptable for Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick to provide a testimonial on the website of Police Consultant Mike Worley’s business?

Posted in Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 31, 2007

Police Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting

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

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

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

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


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

Police Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Current members of the Police Advisory Committee are:

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



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

From the City of Spokane website:

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

Commissioners shall serve for 4 (three) year terms.

The Citizens’ Review Commission meets as needed.

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

Vacancies: 0

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

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