RTC AKA RBT returns from the “undead” and posts the following comment in the S-R Blog “A Matter of Opinion” re the not guilty verdict in the Jay Olsen Spokane PD shooting case.  For newer readers RBT was banned for life from S-R blogs by former S-R Editor Steve Smith for his incessant ankle biting re the RPS bond fraud and the related Savage manslaughter case.  I was only seeking the truth ala Lt. Columbo and Smith finally had to drop the axe as the truth was leaking out adverse to the interests of the S-R’s owners.


Nice to see you’re back in town. Just a little perspective from my point of view. I haven’t spoken with anyone inside the PD on the Olsen shooting. I’ve just read the S-R reports and listened to Mark Fuhrman when his show was on.

Olsen was way out of line re police policy/procedure and tactics. If the jury had decided to hold him to the level of a police officer they should have convicted at least for “reckless endangerment.” Without sitting in court and hearing the evidence I’m speculating the defense was able to convince the jury to hold Olsen accountable to the standard of an ordinarily citizen. Of course the testimony of the dispatcher saying Pete admitted to taking the car gave rise to some reasonable doubt (Mind we have another tape missing). It then comes down to state of mind of Olsen and what he believed Pete was doing that caused him to be in imminent fear for his life. The defense apparently was able to sway the jury in this direction. The jury is what the jury is and whether good or bad brings the perspective of ordinary citizens into our criminal justice system.

In my 35 year tenure as a police officer we lost six officers alone from gunshots. This is not to mention many more from surrounding agencies. Hesitation can kill. On the other hand Olsen did not display good tactics and judgment that somewhat precipitated the events.

Don’t get me wrong the Spokane PD is in need of major reform but from what I’ve seen the majority of street cops I’ve seen are hard working and trying to do a difficult job for many different constituencies. If there is anyone to find fault with I would look at the County Prosecutor’s Office for not making a compelling case in front of the jury. You are very well aware of my concerns re this office involving another manslaughter case that they are currently dithering on whether to file.


S-R Columnist Doug Clark has this column up today.  I posted this comment in the discussion thread:

Chef Gus,

I couldn’t agree more. County Prosecutor Steve Tucker is an elected County official. The prosecutor in this case is an employee of and responsible to Tucker. The Board of Commissioners has no authority over Tucker other than approving his budget. Tucker is elected to office because no other credible candidate have chosen to run against him. Tucker has been backed by the S-R twice so far when running for office. I’m told on most days you can have an audience with Tucker at the 19th hole of the Downriver Golf Course or The Globe. Doug has commented on Tucker’s activities in the past. Does that give you some insight:-)

I posted a related comment in Camden’s thread the other day and will post as a separate comment here as it is relevant. In the meantime here’s an email I sent to Doug Clark re his assessment of the prosecutor and my opinion of Tucker’s job performance



I don’t know if you saw my post at “A Matter of Opinion” but sometimes we do think alike:-). As you are aware there is another important case that the Co Prosecutor’s Office is currently dithering on. Steve Tucker has sought a limited review of this case by the State AG. I’m smelling a setup here and will post an analysis later. Bottom line is no one has done the underlying criminal investigation that is necessary. Key witnesses have not been interviewed. See my followup letter to Sheriff Knezovich and Chief Kirkpatrick ……

Based on my professional experience there is strong probable cause for issuing a criminal complaint. This case needs to go to trial so that a jury can weigh the facts and decide if anyone is guilty of manslaughter. Steve Tucker shouldn’t be allowed to dump this case. Those who have responsibility for doing a criminal investigation are all passing the ball around the bases without throwing the ball to home plate.