Officer Jay Olsen was found not guilty of first-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Olsen--breaking department policy by getting drunk while carrying a concealed weapon, driving drunk, and not calling 911 while chasing or after shooting Shonto Pete--was apparently saved by police dispatch supervisor Marvin Tucker who testified that he spoke with a shooting victim who said he had stolen a truck. Unfortunately, the 911 tape had been erased. Pete had been tried and found innocent of those charges about 18 months ago. Tucker did not testify at that trial. The jury in this trial was not allowed to know that Pete had been found innocent so Tucker's innuendo was allowed to stand. Remember, administration of the law is not necessarily the administration of justice.
Otto Zehm was a placid soul unknown by most people in Spokane. Had he not died at the hands of the Spokane Police Department three years ago he would not have warranted an entry in Wikipedia nor would Doug Clark have made "Otto" buttons for us to wear and remind each other of the injustice done almost three years ago for which no one has been held answerable.
The only recourse for Pete and Zehm's mother are the federal courts. The Center for Justice filed yesterday on Zehm's behalf. It could easily take a year before there's a trial. Shonto Pete, thankfully alive, can look forward to the same lengthy, arduous process.
Along with these major incidents, members of the Spokane Police Department also gained notoriety for attacking a peaceful but boisterous group of so-called anarchists in Riverfront Park, telling a fireman to delete the photos of a young girl from his camera which could have been used as evidence, and taking photos of bare breasts with a department cell phone as well as having sex in and driving drunk in a police car.
If the Spokane Police have shown anything it's that they are adept at looking out for themselves. I find it a sad state of affairs when I have to tell my children not to trust the police, do whatever they tell you to do, and no matter what they say or what you did, do not answer a single question without a parent or attorney present.
An air of menace and suspicion has enveloped the Spokane Police Department. It taints the cops who do their job ethically and legally and makes it more difficult for them because the public trust is essential.
How long before justice is served and trust is earned?
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