S-R Reporter Jim Camden has a new story running re a new police tape of last year’s 4th of July demonstration that resulted in several arrest by SPD. Seems the last defendant was about to go to trail when a new police tape surfaced. Here’s a comment I just sent to Camden:

KXLY has a portion of the new tape of the incident on July 4th. I’m not going to comment on the incident itself but the defense does have an issue re this tape not being turned over during normal [pretrial] discovery. If this tape shows this defendant complying with a lawful order of police baring any other evidence to the contrary, the defense has a case for dismissal.

Ron the Cop


This just went up at S-R web site.  Here’s a comment I sent to S-R Reporter Camden on his previous article.

Ron the Cop


Mr. Camden,

Kudos on your follow-up article on the “missing” tape.  Just thought I would share some insights that may have not been apparent to you as a former insider.

There are a number of constituencies with multiple agendas coalescing around this story. Just read the threads at S-R Blogs “A Matter of Opinion,” and “Community Comments.” The main issue is the transparency of both the Spokane Sheriff’s Department and the Spokane Police Department because of past professional and ethical lapses regarding transparency.  With the election of Sheriff Knezovich and the appointment of Chief Kirkpatrick much positive change is occurring.  As a former police union president of a force of some 340 sworn officers I understand the issues surrounding the current “ombudsman” discussion.  While I would support the police guild in their efforts to protect the due process rights of their members, because of past credibility issues with the public trust there is a need for compromise to regain that trust.

This latest issue will be seized on by the various factions as a justification for their positions.  I’m sure by now you’ve realized I’m not a fan of entrenched public bureaucracies in carrying out their missions as charged by the public.  With this said there are nuances in this latest story that the public needs to know so that they can make informed decisions regarding their governmental agencies.

This is definitely a classic example of “left/right” hand within the law enforcement community.  Having some experience with JTTFs here’s some internal dynamics that has some relationship to the Global War on Terror.  From your report it appears that the two detectives were “on loan” to the FBI Spokane Regional JTTF.  There are memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between agencies that supply personnel to these task forces that delineate  command and control.

Generally the JTTF chain of command structure is federal and they control the release of info on their active investigations.  This is why their “work product” may be kept separate from normal police evidence “chains of custody.”  Also from past experience with JTTFs in general they are oftentimes “one way” in communicating with their local and regional law enforcement partners.  This “stove piping” of our intel community is one of the major contributing factors as to why our enemy was successful in carrying out 9/11 attack.  You can read more of this in a piece I wrote a number of years ago:

The Traditional Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice Paradigm is Ill Prepared to Fight this War on Terror

From your report the two detectives were assigned to gather intel with who Travis Riehl was associating.  The other police on the scene may have been completely unaware of their presence.  The interesting dilemma here brings up a discussion on “sources and methods” regarding intel gathering. Generally the FBI has very involved guidelines before surveillance can begin on a US citizen engaged in “terrorist activities.”  If criminal prosecution is anticipated and this is the goal of the operation then the methods employed must meet our due process standards or  intel and evidence gathered in any further law enforcement action would be inadmissible in a subsequent criminal trial under the exclusionary rule against that individudal.

Since Riehl I’m assuming is a US citizen methods employed would need to follow US Constitutional guarantees and case law safeguards.  If Riehl was hypothetically being watched for contacts with international terrorists operatives, all bets would be off if criminal prosecution of Riehl was not the goal.  This is a fine line to walk as I explain more fully in my piece above.  When a terrorist cells becomes operational and launches an attack it’s a moot point re criminal prosecution because the guilty parties are dead.  The goal needs to shift to prevent the attack in the first place and not to respond and prosecute after the fact.

This is the dilemma poised by an embedded asymmetrical enemy that seeks our total destruction within our intel agencies who gather information outside the normal parameters of our domestic law enforcement agencies.  These are the discussions surrounding the FISA courts and the ability of the Commander in Chief under his separate war powers under the US Constitution to intercept communications of the enemy.  Think about it for a moment regarding the consequences of our ability to intercept and  decode the German and Japanese codes in WWII.  The results of the battles of Midway and the Coral Sea may have gone the other way.  Our Constitution was never intended to be a suicide pact.

Bottom line is that these are issues that may have been mudding the waters regarding the release of  this new tape.  If there is exculpatory information in this new video then this should trump any other issues.  If the Riehl investigation was ongoing and it’s disclosure would compromise the investigation, a compromise conceivably could have been worked out “in camera” with the hearing judge to provide the critical footage in the local criminal trial.

Ron the Cop
Friends of Mark Fuhrman


Fourth of July protest charges dismissed

Staff reports
May 9, 2008

The City Prosecutor’s Office will dismiss criminal charges against Michael C. Lyons, the remaining defendant in the Fourth of July protest incident, according to the Spokane Police Department.

“Since additional video surfaced in the case on Monday morning, more documents that were not part of the prosecution case file have been identified,” according to a news release sent at 5:09 p.m. today. “While acknowledging that the documents themselves in no way diminish the strength of the City’s case, the City Prosecutor has concluded that it no longer makes sense to continue to try the patience of the Court for misdemeanor charges.”


Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and City Prosecutor Howard Delaney will review internal policies “to ensure more effective interaction in such cases,” according to the news release.

Kirkpatrick fully supports her officers in this matter, according to the release.

“I am disappointed that we are unable to move forward and present our case in court,” Kirkpatrick said.

Mayor Mary Verner agreed.

“Our police officers acted professionally and with restraint in the park last summer,” she said in the release. “Their actions were commendable on that day, and I am sorry that we will not be able to proceed in court.”