Ron The Cop

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

January 13th, 2012

Condon team big on ideas – and jargon

[From my post in Rick Rydell’s FaceBook page – slightly edited for typos and grammar]


Condon team big on ideas – and jargon

By Shawn Vestal  (Spokesman-Review – January 13, 2012)


I was going to give you my two cents having sat through this meeting but Shawn Vestal beat me to it. As you know I have a master of administration degree with an emphasis in public administration and an undergraduate degree in political science. Even my eyes were glazing over with the bureaucratic buzzwords that were rolling off the presenters tongues from their nice power points. I sent you a link to them yesterday. ( I went because I wanted to hear the public safety committee report. To Mayor Condon’s credit he did reach out for input but as I commented before many of those on the committee were the same Downtown elite that have their own interests. Much of this was a rehash of the same old Downtown pie in the sky fixes and solutions.

Again I would encourage you to read the work of Mr. X at Spokane Economics and Demographics Blog for an excellent analysis of why Spokane finds itself in the position it does ( Once you understand why Spokane is so different than the West Coast for no apparent reason – e.g., cheap water and power, good transportation air/rail/road, regional hub for four states and Canada, inexpensive housing, excellent medical care and higher education and culture amenities . . . I could go on, you can begin to change course of the battleship.

Then judiciously INVEST taxpayer money in those SECTORS OF THE LOCAL ECONOMY where the taxpayers can actually get a positive ROI without taxpayer money being siphoned off by the power elite. Look I’m not a OCCUPY WALL STREET ideologue. However I am a seasoned economic/financial crimes investigator with the academic creds to call a shovel a shovel!

The Spokane Regional Economy is not a free market and those in charge are raping and pillaging the MARKS/unsuspecting taxpayers at will for their pie in the sky projects – The Downtown Electric Trolley was again trotted out in one of these reports. Until these changes Spokane occur will continue its downward spiral with its best and brightest young people leaving for better prospects elsewhere, our prevailing wage will continue to be low, and our housing inexpensive/affordable – a polite way of saying a good percentage of our citizens are living in poverty dependent on government assistance with governmental transfer payments and retirees like me working on a second career that CHOSE to relocate here bringing the real growth that does occur.

I say ENOUGH already!!!

S-R Shawn Vestal has an excellent column on the BS that was being slung around the City Council Chambers by the well heeled elite.

I’ll rehash my punch list for Mayor Condon and post later if he really wants to make real change that we RIGHT THINKING conservatives want – less and smaller government, cut the regulations that are not well thought out that only impede business growth and concentrate on providing essential governmental services – SPD Crimes Against Property Unit and quit killing noncombatants. I agree with Vestal that there were two good things in this presentation – “De-militarized the police” and “Make information clear to all users.”


December 6th, 2011

UDPATE – Recall of Steve Tucker – Sullivan appears on Fitzsimmons Show

Shannon Sullivan the one who filed the recall on Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker appeared yesterday on the Mike Fitzsimmons Show on KXLY 920AM.  This show was recorded and can be listened to here:

CTRL+CLICK to follow…..should start downloading immediately.

Mike Fitzsimmons can be a tough critic and will challenge those who come on his show.  I listened to this show and sent this email to Mike today.


The only way evil can prevail is if good people do nothing!



Thanks for inviting Shannon on your show.  You are a tough critic but Shannon had the cojones to go on the air with you.  I realize you will weigh in with your legal training/knowledge in attempt to vet your guests for your listeners.  Also of course your show is not a news show but a commentary.  You are entitled to your opinion that Tucker’s inaction in office doesn’t rise to the level of justifying a recall.  Further the voters if dissatisfied with Tucker can choose to vote him out at the next election.

What you didn’t ask is why Shannon is out front on this.  See this answer I posted on Rick’s FaceBook page:

Ron T. Cop Because she resonates with the people that are uniformed about the ways of Tucker who are the ones who will vote him out of office if the recall petition is approved. If it wasn’t for Shannon the media wouldn’t be interested in this story. They probably wouldn’t give former Sheriff Bamonte or me the time of day because those in LE leadership have tried to marginalize, dismiss and or discredit us and thereby our concerns/critique of the invs of certain problematic OIS/OIDs we’ve tried to raise. Trust me Shannon is passionate about recalling Tucker. She doesn’t want to be in the forefront right now but circumstances dictate she take a leading role right now. The regular public is inclined to believe at LE leaders will tell the people because they don’t understand the inner workings of LE. A case of trust us we’re the professionals – nothing here to see move on. Obviously this wasn’t the case in the Zehm death. Bamonte and I are and our trying to educate the people that we have a problem. First and foremost a lot can be attributed to Tucker’s abdication of his sworn oath and goes along with the flow and won’t speak out

Of course I disagree for the reasons I’ve outlined below re the Zehm case and Tucker’s inability to ferret out that an ongoing overt cover-up was in the works in the Zehm case.  He sanctioned the rat holing of the video for a number of months until the CFJ/S-R pried it loose and Asst. Nicks had to admit he misled the press and didn’t correct this mistake.  Tucker and his office either knew or should have known that this cover-up was in the works.  Instead they went with the flow.  In my opinion if not malfeasance in office was misfeasance and or a violation of his oath of office.  The case against Tucker is additive/cumulative over his three terms in office.

Where was the media in seeking the truth in the Zehm case?  IMO I don’t think we as citizens can afford to wait another three years before Tucker stands for election in three years.  Much of what we now know about the Zehm case did not come out until after the last election because of the feds getting their nose under the tent, impaneling a fed grand jury to get statements from reluctant witnesses and exposed the high level cover-up.  We now know high level officers, the Office of the City Attorney – Treppiedi, and the Office of the Mayor were complicit in the cover-up.  The Mayor’s and the Chief’s continued support of Ofc. Thompson actions after the feds filed their proffer to get Treppiedi nose out of their criminal case is totally disingenuous.  They were both lying through their teeth and or didn’t have enough sense to seek other legal advice beside relying on Treppiedi.

The Mayor should have pulled the plug instead of attempting to minimize potential liability to the City.  What could have been handled rather cheaply will now probably cost the City upwards of $10M dollars.

In short whomever writes the 200 word ballot summary can pick and choose among the four allegations.  It will be for a court to decide as to the legal sufficiency of the charges.  By statute and case law the court will not address whether the charges are true only that the charges are appropriate to that office and what is being alleged isn’t matter of discretion of that office.  The trier of fact is THE VOTERS as to whether the allegations are true.  This is not a legal action but a political action.  The burden of proof is what the voters believe.  The voters will then decide YES/NO whether Tucker should be recalled.

Mike I normally agree with you philosophically and ideologically but in this case I think you’re being a little hypocritical.  You were attacking the messenger who at least has the cojones to speak out when she sees injustice.  I don’t see many others stepping up to the plate.  You are always encouraging people to get out and hold their elected accountable.  This is one of those time.

Look in the last election IMO the voters are fickle especially when it comes to local office holders list way done on the ballot.  The two good Republican candidates took themselves out in the primary leaving Malone (D) to challenge Tucker.  It was a R year and those who were somewhat uniformed were included to vote for Tucker.  There were considerable voters that voted for Malone.  Tucker slickly continued to say he had the endorsement of Sheriff Knezovich which Knezovich did nothing to counter.  Further Tucker was not endorsed by the County Republican Party which was a strong statement.

Lastly we disagree re whether we have a problem with the local LE leadership.  I’m sorry we do.


Shelala on December 04 at 10:12 a.m.

I took the time today to go back into the SR archives and read all the stories involving Otto Zehm’s death, officer involved shootings, Tucker stories and other LE incidents that created a public stir. I have read every other news account, citizen’s comment and information I could find involving our region’s controversial issues. I feel dirty. As a tax paying citizen and a fellow human being, I think I should have camped on the doorsteps of the courthouse and screamed for change and accountability until they hauled me away. I have been critical of Sullivan’s recall efforts because I questioned her motives and feel she just wasn’t the person for the job, but she is at least stepping up. We ALL need to do just that before more lives are damaged or lost needlessly. Write a letter, sign a petition, go to a city council meeting, speak up. Take back our community. I am also ashamed of all the so called “good cops” out there. Your silence speaks for itself. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it in memory of all those who died, harmed and otherwise victimized by a system out of control. I urge you all to educate yourself on all that has transpired by all news sources and anything else you can find good or bad. If nothing else, you will realize a change was due long ago. If you ask yourself how this could happen. Look in the mirror.

Ron_the_Cop on December 04 at 3:12 p.m.


Thanks for your excellent comment. I had this in the works but hadn’t posted it yet.

The regulars have thoroughly discussed this recall effort now underway in two previous S-R article threads. Feel free to weigh in on this important community debate pro, con and or undecided:

Contrary to what some of our elected or appointed believe, they have become complacent in their positions and or have failed to uphold their sworn duties and responsibilities.

It is WE THE PEOPLE that empower them to govern. It is WE THE PEOPLE that also must hold them accountable

Some believe there have been too many police involved related deaths of “friendlies.” There are others that believe the actions of those who died were the fundamental cause.

IMO in which I’ve been outspoken there has been a failure of police leadership to lead by example and demand excellence of the police rank and file. Civilian law enforcement is very challenging and frequently calls for split second decisions. While somewhat physically dangerous, it’s much more mentally challenging and stressful. This stress leads to shortened life spans of police office because of stress induced illnesses. Also there is a distinct difference between the rules of engagement of the military in a war zone and that of civilian law enforcement in a civil society. Civilian law enforcement must not devolve into them vs. us . After all it is we who are the police and the police are us.
Police leadership must set the tone. Mistakes will be made as police officers are only human. However when mistakes are made the leadership must recognize them and work to correct policies, procedures and practice to minimize them from happening again.

From the Zehm case it is clear in some of these deaths police leaders will attempt to conceal mistakes in order to limit potential liability. In the Zehm case there was an active cover-up by high ranking police officials, the City Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Mayor. This is UNACCEPTABLE as the necessary changes will not occur and the liability to the taxpayers will only grow.

If the US Attorney’s Office/US DOJ continues with its criminal investigation to seek out all those who were complicit in the cover-up and does pattern and practice investigation, this will correct many of the underlying causes that led to our current state of affairs. The citizens recognized this need for change in the last election. A otherwise popular mayor was not returned to office because of her disingenuous statements and failure to act decisively in the Zehm case. What remains to be done is to hold others in the criminal justice system that failed to act as well. In the case of Tucker he may be beyond the scope of the current federal criminal investigation.

IMO Steve Tucker abdicated his office and violated his sworn oath to the people. More so than anyone else it is the County Prosecutor’s duty and responsibility to ensure these OIS/OID investigations are thorough and a real search for the truth. Tucker more than anyone else could have raised the professional bar in these investigations. Instead of accepting at face value these investigations from the police by sending these investigations back for further work and and forcing the HARD QUESTIONS to be asked. Not that this would have resulted in criminal charges be filed but it would have helped uncover mistakes when they were made so they could be addressed and dealt with openly instead of sweeping them under the rug. Instead Tucker deferred to those police leaders that swept these incidents under the rung.


Flag as inappropriate

Ron_the_Cop on December 04 at 3:25 p.m.

[Continued from above]

Some have argued that Tucker can be held accountable at the next election. I respectfully disagree as he still has three years in office. We can’t financially afford his inaction in office. The Zehm case alone will probably cost upwards of $10 million dollars. Yes the City is reinsured above $2M by this will be reflected in higher premium costs and or failure to get such insurance.

The Creach civil federal civil rights case has now been filed and likely will end up costing more money too. I’M NOT SAYING that the facts and circumstance in the Creach case warranted a criminal filing but there are civil wrongful death issues that a jury must now deliberate on. The SPD led Creach OIS investigation was not a stellar work product which compromised the subsequent IA investigation by the SO.

Because LE officials are reluctant to admit that mistakes were made, it is unknown whether the necessary changes in police policy, procedure and training have been done e.g., unmarked police cars used for regular patrol and training re encountering armed citizens. IMO opinion the single most critical factor in this OIS was the use of the unmarked police unit for regular patrol. As an aside IMO such use is not permitted under existing exception in the RCWs for unmarked police vehicle. Both Mr. Creach and Deputy Hirzel made mistakes that led to a catastrophic failure.

The question remains have changes been made to minimize a similar incident from happening again?

December 1st, 2011

BREAKING – KXLY reporting recall on Steve Tucker, County Prosecutor by Shannon Sullivan


KXLY is now reporting that Shannon Sullivan who is the single mom who did the successful recall on Spokane Mayor Jim West, will file paperwork to seek the recall Steve Tucker for malfeasance, misfeasance and violations of his oath of office during his tenure as Spokane County Prosecutor.

The KXLY website has Sullivan’s statement of charges.  Attached is my sworn declaration of Councilman Bob Apple’s statement that is referenced in the Sullivan’s charging document but KXLY did not have a copy at the time of this report:

Every October the local Labor council has an open union meeting for all labor members out at the Fair Grounds and at these meetings some political office candidates are invited to give a speech.  It was at one of these events a few years ago that candidate Steve Tucker and as I heard it specifically stated that he would not prosecute public employees. 


Ron Wright

The only way evil can prevail is if good people do nothing!


Shannon Sullivan mounting effort to recall Prosecutor Steve Tucker

KXLY Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — Shannon Sullivan, the woman who led a grassroots effort to launching a new campaign to recall Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker.

November 25th, 2011

UPDATE – The SPD Salute of Ofc Karl Thompson – Insensitive, Disrespectful and a Violation of Department Policy

On I related note I just posted this on Rick Rydell Kxly Facebook to:

For those concerned about the direction and attitude of the SCSO and SPD as demonstrated in the overt cover-up of the Zehm case and to a lesser degree Creach OIS here's what I wrote to the families of Zehm, Creach, Dodd and Jo Ellen Savage. Also don't forget to friend the FaceBook page Recall Steve Tucker: . . . These officers violated policy they accepted as a condition of employment. . . . You have an important voice in our community to demand change and to hold accountable those who have failed us. If you agree join with us in demanding: 1. Demand that the US Attorney’s Office expand its current criminal investigation in the Zehm case to include any who were complicit and aided and or abetted in the cover-up and to prosecute for obstruction of justice. 2. Demand that the US DOJ initiate a pattern and practice investigation of SPD 3. Demand of the County Commissioners require all OIS/OIDs to be reviewed by an inquest panel as I describe in my letter below. Write to the US Attorney’s Office re expanding the Zehm criminal investigation: Tim Durkin, Assistant U. S. Attorney -EDWA 300 United States Courthouse P.O. Box 1494 Spokane, Washington 99210-1494 and to the US DOJ that has the authority to order a pattern and practice investigation of SPD and related LE entities: Mr. Thomas F. Perez Assistant Attorney General US Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Civil Rights Division Criminal Section - PHB Washington, DC 20530 If the salute by members of the SPD in federal court was offensive to you, you can officially complain to SPD Ombudsman Tim Burns as I have. There are SPD policies these officer violated that they have accepted as a condition of their employment: Office of Police Ombudsman The Old City Hall Building 221 N. Wall Street, Suite 238 Spokane, Washington 99201 (509) 625-6742 Fax (509) 625-6748 And lastly join in former Sheriff Tony Bamonte’s recall of Steve Tucker that he will soon launch. Please share with your social networks - friends and relatives, as this is how we can regain control of our local government that has lost its way. This City should not be run by the Police Guild and or the “powers that be.” You are not alone. WE THE PEOPLE chose who will govern and it is WE THE PEOPLE who can hold them accountable when they fail to serve us.


November 25th, 2011

UPDATE on recall of Co Prosecutor Steve Tucker

See previous post:

BREAKING – Former Sheriff Tony Bamonte to form committee to recall Co Prosecutor Steve Tucker

I just posted this comment on Rick Rydell KXLY (Facebook page):

UPDATE – Regarding the recall of Co Prosecutor Steve Tucker there is a FaceBook page that was created sometime ago. However former Sheriff Tony Bamonte is now leading an effort to Recall Steve Tucker (This is the FaceBook page). Please friend this site and watch it for future updates. A Committee is now forming to construct the recall petition that will be alleging malfeasance in office. Once this petition is created this effort will be more public.


In the meantime if anyone was present at this meeting where Steve Tucker made this statement as witnessed by Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple, please contact us either by posting here or on the Recall Steve Tucker FB page:


Every October the local Labor council has an open union meeting for all labor members out at the Fair Grounds and at these meetings some political office candidates are invited to give a speech. It was at one of these events a few years ago that candidate Steve Tucker and as I heard it specifically stated that he would not prosecute a public employee and though mic used have no idea if recorded but very much doubt the organizers would share such a recording. I then would think enough witnesses that heard the same thing could collaborate . . .


Det. Ron Wright (Retired – 35 yrs Riverside PD, CA)

November 23rd, 2011

BREAKING – Former Sheriff Tony Bamonte to form committee to recall Co Prosecutor Steve Tucker

For Immediate release – Spokane, WA –

BREAKING – Former Sheriff Tony Bamonte (of Breaking Blue fame ) is forming a committee to seek the recall of County Prosecutor Steve Tucker. A formal announcement will come in the near future. This action will allege malfeasance in office stemming from Tucker’s abdication of his sworn duties and responsibilities to the people.

This action stems from Tucker’s failure to exercise his leadership role in ensuring that recent problematic officer involved shootings and deaths (OIS/OIDs) were fully investigated regardless of whether formal charges were filed – Jo Ellen Savage RPS Parking Garage, Otto Zehm – SPD, Scott Creach – SCSO and Quentin Dodd – SCSO. And there may be more issues and cases that emerge after the committee is formed and begins to prepare its recall petition.


This is a grass roots effort. To be successful we need to bring this message directly to the people. Please spread the word within your own social networks. WE ARE THE PEOPLE – the government is empowered by US!

November 19th, 2011

Sheriff Knezovich offers to lead SPD

Here’s my opinion of Sheriff Kenzovich’s offer to lead the SPD in an email I sent to Mayor-elect Dave Condon:

Mr. Condon,

The day after the your debate with Mayor Verner where the issue of the possible consolidation of the SO/SPD crimes against property unit was discussed, I saw Sheriff Knezovich having lunch with Mayor Verner in the food court of RPS. While there may be some benefits of consolidating these departments, now is not the best time to move forward on these discussions until the immediate issues with SPD are resolved.

I would encourage you to read the comments in S-R Brunt’s article thread. Your initial gut response was correct:

Sheriff offers to lead SPD

Talk of policing merger renewed as city makes transition

And the earlier version of this article:

Knezovich offers to lead Spokane Police Department

Mayor-elect David Condon said Thursday that he is open to Knezovich’s offer, but added that he’s heard from other potential candidates, too. Spokane Mayor Mary Verner has said she plans to start a national search for a police chief so that a process is underway when Condon becomes mayor. Condon said he’s OK with Verner moving ahead with a search as long as the selection is made after he becomes mayor.

Condon said he wants his transition team to consider whether he should pursue a consolidation with the sheriff’s office.

“Simply put, it’s on the table,” said Condon, adding that he’s also open to considering interim Assistant Chief Scott Stephens for a temporary role as chief while final plans are being assembled. “As a political leader I owe it to myself to understand what it means. By no means is it something I take lightly.”

I still maintain the best course of action is to:

Request that Asst. US Attorney Tim Durkin via US Attorney Michael Ormsby expand the current criminal investigation of the overt cover-up of the Zehm death to include and who were complicit and or aided and abetted for obstruction of justice.

Request of the US Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights initiate a pattern and practice investigation of SPD

And lastly call upon the Spokane County Commissioners to require that all OIS/OID investigations be reviewed by an inquest panel, presided over by a superior court judge before a jury pulled from the jury pool under the rule of law and evidence.

I would add now:

Call upon Chief Kirkpatrick to leave now and bring in an interim police chief to manage the department until a new Chief can be selected.

There are potential local candidates that could fill this need that are familiar with the department, the personnel and the issues now facing SPD.   I’ve heard through my sources that Asst. Chief Scott Stephens should be considered to serve as an interim chief.  Chief Kirkpatrick’s contract can be bought out to give her the pension service credit she wants.  Although IMO I think she should be fired now.

This will accomplish in an expeditious manner what the citizens of Spokane are demanding without having to rely on local and state political action and other related MOU issues with the Guild.  The Issue of civilian oversight on other matters can be discussed in the meantime.

The Sheriff will have his hands full with the Creach family’s wrongful death civil suit that was filed in federal court yesterday.   See the attached information regarding the Creach family filing a federal civil rights case against Sheriff Knezovich et al.  The Sheriff may also find himself enmeshed in any expanded federal criminal investigation of local law enforcement practices.

The Sheriff is fully aware of the circumstances surrounding the death of the Jo Ellen Savage in the RPS parking garage.  The Sheriff did very little to counter it’s cover-up by Steve Tucker.   Both former Sheriff Bamonte and I believe there was compelling probable cause for her death to be investigated as a First Degree Manslaughter under WA State Law.   The public narrative facilitated by the reporting of the Spokesman-Review that this case was seriously reviewed by the feds and that there was a federal grand jury review of the facts/evidence of the Savage death is a red herring and false respectively  We both have a very extensive paper trail where we brought this cover-up to the attention of both Sheriff Knezovich and Chief Kirkpatrick. Please see Sheriff Bamonte’s attached letter to Sheriff Knezovich dated 01-13-09.

The Sheriff’s has a close political relationship with County Prosecutor Steve Tucker.  So far this local cozy LE relationship with Tucker has allowed these problematic OIS/OIDs to be swept under the rug.  In my research no one will ask the hard questions.  Tucker will not ensure these investigations are complete and thorough.   These investigations while going through the motions have not been a real search for the truth e.g., Zehm, Creach, Dodd and there may be more.  Instead these investigations have concluded, “We did nothing wrong . . . nothing here to see . . . move along.”

The Sheriff is very popular with the citizens and to his credit has been more transparent than the SPD.  The citizens believe that the Sheriff would bring the much needed leadership that the SPD so desperately needs.  Out of the limelight however there are others including me who believe this would not be in the best interests of the SPD and or the citizens at this critical time.

See the comments below some of which I can attribute to the source.


From former State Senator Bumgarner


From: garybumgarner

To: Thomas Clouse;Doug Clark

Sent: 11/18/2011 12:40:00 PM

Subject: Knezovich

Can you believe the arrogance of Sheriff Knezovich offering to lead the Spokane Police Department at a time like this when he himself condoned the shooting of Scott Creach by deputy Brian Hirzel?  Knezovich is as guilty of covering up brutality as anyone in the Spokane Police Department.  I spent an hour one on one with Ozzie as he justified the killing, and he didn’t convince me one bit.  In my opinion Ozzie should go out at the same time as Hirzel.  It is unbelievable that we tax payers will have to cover the settlements over the Zehm and Creach deaths by the over zealous law enforcement officers of our community who have been supported by their training superiors to use violent means to subdue innocent citizens without properly identifying them.   I hope Mayor elect Condon will dismiss the sheriff’s offer without consideration.

( I would be pleased to see this message appear in the letters to the editor, and you have my permission to route it appropriately.)

Thank you for your great reporting.

Gary D. Bumgarner

Spokane, WA 99224


Bob Apple 

I think this possibility was hinted at about a week ago in the media.  A benefit could be if then, large enough to have an independent Internal Affairs Branch Department to investigate and report as expected from City Ombudsman with even punitive recommendations, then it could be an overall good thing.  However presently the cover-up attitude within the Sherriff and the County Prosecutor are just as pronounced as in the City of Spokane’s executive staff.


Me too….a bold shot at regional government….I do not like it! City government power needs to balance county government power, as well as state powers balancing federal powers….I hate all of my ‘governing eggs” in one basket!!!


Dick Adams to Ron
show details 10:53 AM (10 hours ago)  

The citizens of Spokane should all be indebted to you for what you have been doing to expose the culprits.

I can`t believe the sheriff, who was a party in the cover-up of the Otto Zehm crime, thinks most of the Spokanites would even consider him. If it wasn`t so serious, where Ozzie is offering to fill in for Spokane`s police, its really laughable. Personally I believe the sheriff is corrupted along with the other    lowlife officials.

Dickthis guy should not repeat not be given any opportunity to lead the SPD – he has a sufficient amount of poor leadership traits to frankly also make him seriously unqualified……….


I think the initial . . . Investigation  and the second investigation or lack thereof is a good  way to descibe his charachter to the decision makers regarding takeover of SPD.

Recent retired employees of the Sheriff should also be contacted and questioned regarding his integrity and ethics.  I can provide names…These people are very credible..


Knezovich offers to lead Spokane Police Department

Wake me up and tell me I did not read this statement above.

Is he trying to duck under the bullets at the range from the Creech 11 million dollar law suit against the County? His judgment in that case was full of more holes than a mafia guy sitting in a barber’s chair. . .

Is it possible we could plummet down hill from Kirkpatrick to Knezovich?

K to K does not make anyone’s day.

I always ask myself when I read this stuff, What next?

Maybe John Powers will come back and have a roof top dinner at the INB center.

  Lord, Help us All,  Have a terrific Friday in the River City, Jock

November 19th, 2011

BREAKING – Scott Creach family files federal civil rights case against Spokane Co Sheriff Knezovich and Deputy Hirzel

Spokane, WA   The family of Scott Creach who was shot to death by Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hirzel has filed a federal civil rights/wrongful death action against Spokane County, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Deputy Hirzel in federal court yesterday 11-18-11.  Please see attached complaint.  I spoke with Alan Creach, son of Scott Creach, earlier today and he is referring all questions to their lead attorney:

Robert B. Crary
Crary, Clark & Domancio, P.S.
Attorneys at Law
9417 East Trent

Spokane, WA 99206
509-926-4900 (Tel)
509-924-7771 (Fax)

See my previous post on the Creach OIS:

Sheriff Knezovich meeting with Creach family & pressor at 2PM on SCSO Creach OIS IA Investigation


Estate of W Scott Creach et al v. Spokane County Washington et al

Share |

Plaintiffs: Estate of W Scott Creach , Imogene Creach , Alan Creach , Ernest Creach , Serena Leonard  and Edith Carroll
Defendants: Spokane County Washington, Brian Hirzel and Ozzie Knezovich
Case Number: 2:2011cv00432
Filed: November 18, 2011
Court: Washington Eastern District Court
Office: Spokane         Office
County: Spokane
Presiding Judge: Rosanna Malouf Peterson
Nature of Suit: Civil Rights – Other Civil Rights
Cause: 42:1983
Jurisdiction: U.S. Government Defendant
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff
November 5th, 2011

The SPD Salute of Ofc Karl Thompson – Insensitive, Disrespectful and a Violation of Department Policy – Seems the Mayor and the Chief don’t think so



Insensitive, Disrespectful and a Violation of Department Policy – Seems the Mayor and the Chief don’t think so

BTW I’m not voting for Mayor Verner.  If elected I will work for her recall for malfeasance in office.

This is not an ideological and or a liberal/conservative based issue.  This is an issue that all citizens of Spokane should be deeply concerned about no matter their political affiliation.  This has everything to do about the rule of law –

As Archibald Cox said after he was fired in the “Saturday Night Massacre” in the Nixon Watergate Scandal

“Whether ours shall continue to be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people,” Archibald Cox stated after his firing. Ten days later, impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives began as the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Peter Rodino, started its preliminary investigation.

From my post in the S-R article thread on the actions of some 48 SPD officers who were present in federal court when the US Marshall took now convicted Ofc. Karl Thompson into custody:

Ron_the_Cop on November 05 at 6:13 a.m.

Insensitive, Disrespectful and a Violation of Department Policy – Seems the Mayor and the Chief don’t think so

Prepared statement – “The courtroom behavior of some officers, though protected as free speech, does not reflect the values we stand for,” Yes it’s protected free speech but these officers are still bound by SPD policy.

S-R quote –

“Kirkpatrick later said she had warned officers that they could not attend the hearing while on duty. She has directed the city’s human resources director to check for violations of that directive.”

What the Hell! Human resources director?

Kirkpatrick said she understood reactions like Reagor’s from the community. “Was it insensitive to the Zehm family? Sure,” Kirkpatrick said of the salute. “Was it actionable? No.”

This is an actionable SPD policy violation and there should be an immediate IA investigation

I do understand the emotional need to show support albeit perhaps misdirected and uninformed –HOWEVER the manner in which this was done discredits all officers that serve. This action in the courtroom no less was disrespectful of the rule of law, the sanctity of the court and of course the victim’s family.

Retired SPD Major Crimes Detective Brian Breen posted the possible violations of SPD’s Policy Manual –

Let’s see if the Chief and the Mayor have any kind of integrity at all or who really runs this city. Based on past discipline the minimum for each officer is two days suspension without pay, no vacation substitution.

See if they feel so strongly about doing what they did in open court with a convicted felon that they are willing to walk in and admit what they did and take the unpaid days.

Or shall we see if the Chief is like I’ve said all along, the worst we have ever had.

Standard 4.4:
Members of the Spokane Police Department shall maintain a level of conduct in their personal and business affairs in keeping with the high standards of the Spokane Police Department

Standard 4.9:
Members of the Spokane Police Department shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner which does not discredit the law enforcement profession or the Spokane Police Department

Standard 4.10:
Members of the Spokane Police Department shall not be disrespectful, insolent,
mutinous or insubordinate in attitude, or conduct, or by disregarding a lawful order.

Standard 4.11:
Members of the Spokane Police Department shall be courteous and respectful in
their official dealings with the public, fellow members, superiors and subordinates.

Standard 6.3:
Members of the Spokane Police Department shall conduct themselves so as to set exemplary standards of performance.

Ron_the_Cop on November 05 at 6:16 a.m.

Federal Receiver Action by the US DOJ?

There is a decent retired cop and some others, Brian Breen, being one of them in town that are angry and embarrassed by this action by a number of SPD officers:

I’ve already talked to some embarrassed ex-cops, as well as some federal employees.
If it isn’t an IA complaint by 1300 hrs. Monday. I’ll make it. If I need photos and video, I’ll post my email. Please accept my apologies. . .

If necessary. I’ll have the names of everyone in the courtroom aside from the SPD people by Tuesday afternoon. I’ll collect the video and any stills available. Those that will allow it, I will do tape recorded interviews. I will do a PDR for time cards and shift logs. I’ll request an interview with Judge Hutton, and very probably get it. I’ll easily get statements from the Marshals, the US Attorney, and the court security staff. And yes try and get statements CO and the rest of the defense team as well as the media present. I’m sure Finer will give me a statement, and make the family available for statements.

Basically I’ll do everything IA should be doing and I’ll hand the damn thing to them on a gold platter, if they won’t do the right thing after that, then there is nothing more I can do.

What these young guns don’t realized is that they are under the watchful eye of the US Department of Justice that could take the SPD into receivership.

Ron_the_Cop on November 05 at 1:09 p.m.


There were more appropriate ways of showing support for Ofc. Thompson than IMO a show of open defiance inside the courtroom. I am very sure this caught the attention of the feds. Trust me from prior experience inspection under the federal microscope in not a pleasant ordeal.

I do agree with you regarding the application of the unsanctioned/unapproved use of the mask. Not turning Zehm on his side immediately after he was under control and the application of the mask were the direct cause of his death IMO – positional asphyxia. This is not an uncommon experience within LE circles and so ignorance is not a very good defense re a criminal filing for negligent homicide/manslaughter. The burden for these crimes under existing state law is only – reckless disregard. This is much less that the federal CRV burder of willful.

Some have asked why the feds didn’t charge manslaughter here. It’s simple the feds don’t have a specific section for neg homicide/manslaughter. The only available federal actions are civil/criminal civil rights violations.

This goes back to my disdain of Steve Tucker for not raising the professional bar in these OIS/OIDs. Mistakes will be made. The question is whether we learn anything from them and change practices and training so the risk of these tragic incidents happening again are minimize. Had Tucker done so perhaps Zehm, Creach and others would still be alive today.

As I said in the earlier thread when EthicsinLE ( ) challenged my training and experience, I agree as does Brian Breen the SPD rank and file has significant issues with Chief Kirkpatrick and the current command staff. This requires a political solution. To effect this change you need the support of the community to do so. This display in court yesterday did nothing to build that support with the community.

Someone made the reference to police as being sheepdog to guard the flock from evil. This is true but with this caveat –

On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs –
(From the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman)

…The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.


I have filed a formal complaint to be merged with the complaint Brian Breen intends to file with SPD Ombudsman Tim Burns regarding the actions on 11-04-11 of some members of the Spokane Police Department.  You can read my complaint letter here.  Any who feel this action was disrespectful can also contact Mr. Burns by phone, email and or fax to join in Brian Breen’s complaint.

Office of Police Ombudsman
The Old City Hall Building
221 N. Wall Street, Suite 238
Spokane, Washington 99201
(509) 625-6742
Fax (509) 625-6748

October 31st, 2011

BREAKING – SPD Ofc. Thompson’s case now in hands of jury & my opinion and commentary

[Note: slight corrections for typos and some additional links]



Spokane, WA –  The federal civil rights trial against Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson is now in the hands of the jury.  The jury heard the closing arguments of the US Attorney’s Office by ASUA Butros and defense counsel Oreskovich.  The news media’s tweets can be seen by using the search word [ #zehm ].  I too was present in Spokane watching the live feed from Yakima.  I filed my commentary at KXLY Rick Rydell’s FaceBook page:

[Note: Scroll this feed for my live commentary as this trial progressed.  I linked to S-R Meghann Cuniff’s tweet more than any others as her tweets captured the essence the best in my opinion.  My fat fingers couldn’t keep up with her.  Here’s a link to her tweets!/meghanncuniff ]

Ofc. Thompson was charged with unlawful use of force violating the civil rights of Otto Zehm and also lying to investigators.  The closing arguments have not changed my opinion.  Ofc. Thompson created his own emergency to justify this level of force.  His tactics were not consistent professional police practice.  In short it would be safe to say he “cowboyed” this call and it resulted in a tragic outcome.

The $64 question is whether Ofc. Thompon’s actions rise to the level of willfulness as required by this criminal civil rights section.  Mistakes, poor judgement, poor tactics, ignorance and mistakes do not rise to the level of willfulness as required by this section.  The burden of proof required for this violation is high threshold to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  I believe it was, but this is for a jury to decide as it should be.  As to lying to investigators, I have no doubt in my mind there was a conscious effort to conceal that mistakes were made and lies were told to investigators.  This is similar to the Watergate Scandal.  The cover-up and lies are worse than the underlying offense.

At least this time a jury will decide whether there was a violation of law and not a closed group of insiders in a bush league presided over by County Prosecutor Steve Tucker.  As I commented in S-R Doug Clark’s column in yesterday’s paper:

October 30, 2011 in City

Doug Clark: There’s a stink in the courtroom and the hotel room

Ron_the_Cop on October 30 at 8:26 a.m.


Stink in the courtroom in Yakima? The smell from the dirty laundry at City Hall now openly displayed is overwhelming. Can the voters of Spokane can smell it too. Will they do anything about it?

I’m not voting for Mayor Verner.

Read Ofc. Thompson’s disingenuous testimony and that of others of SPD’s finest in the news media’s tweets – use search term – #zehm. SPD’s use of force experts would find some justification for the use of lethal force for someone asking for a Snickers bar. Read the testimony of the US Attorney’s Office use of force expert retired LA County Sheriff’s Lt. Callanan –

Ok I’ve said before that Ofc. Thompson used poor police tactics and in essence “cowboyed” this call. S-R Cuniff – Callanan on Preuninger’s view: “I totally disagree with that opinion” A single officer would not want to engage potential armed robber. “There are other things to do than close & capture,” Callanan says. “It’s too fast, ..I don’t see an actual threat to the officer.” [Defense now screaming an objection.] Defense vehemently objecting. “Simply putting Mr. Preuninger’s name into that question does not make it proper rebuttal.”From my running commentary at KXLY Rick Rydell’s facebook page if you have a FB account.

I court watched several times in Spokane and it’s obvious to me these officers have never been held to this level of scrutiny before in Tucker’s bush league where everyone CYAs each other. The general aw shucks attitude and that we are the professionals and we know best clearly showed. They are now playing in the major leagues. It’s clear they don’t like this – Ofc. Moses for one did himself no favors as he was clearly uncooperative/argumentative on the stand on direct from the US Attorney’s Office while his memory suddenly improved considerably on redirect from the defense without having to pull teeth.

While there are many fine men and women doing a very difficult job day in day out at SPD, it’s apparent they have been abandoned by SPD’s police leadership. This failure of leadership has been condoned and tolerated if not actively sanctioned by the Office of the City Attorney and the Mayor. The City Council is clueless and spineless and cowers in fear at the of the mention of the name of the Spokane Police Guild as counseled by the City Attorney’s Office of violating the Guild’s union contract.

And of all it’s County Prosecutor Steve Tucker the most who has abdicated his duty and responsibility to WE THE PEOPLE in not holding accountable local law enforcement for its lapses. While some of these officer involved shootings and deaths may not be criminal in the nature, their investigations in some have been very lacking or in the Zehm case an active cover-up was underway. Tucker could have but didn’t raise the professional bar of these OIS/OID investigations.

Who runs this City?

As I posted in S-R Clouse’s latest report from Yakima:

While the death of Zehm was very tragic and the result of poor police practice/procedure/tactics tantamount to a negligent homicide/manslaughter under WA state law, the cover-up is much worse. Bottom line is Tucker and his bush league that covers each others’ back will never bring such a criminal complaint let alone prosecute those responsible for this cover-up.That’s why I’ve demanded that the Mayor and City Council immediately request the US Attorney’s Office to expand it’s current criminal investigation to include any that were complicit and or aided/abetted in the cover-up and to prosecute them for obstruction of justice. So far the Mayor and the City Council have refused to do so. Further the Mayor has not settled the Zehm civil case even though the handwriting was on the wall when the US Attorney Office filed their proffer in April 2010. This will cost WE THE TAXPAYERS dearly.


S-R reporter Tom Clouse file this report last night.

November 1, 2011 in City

Thompson case goes to jurors

Prosecuting, defense attorneys make closing arguments

. . . He does the job we demand,” Oreskovich continued. “Now he gets accused of a crime and accused of creating a web of lies.”

Boutros challenged Oreskovich’s notion that after 5 ½ years Thompson was somehow the victim.

“Don’t forget what happened to Mr. Zehm,” Boutros told the jury. “Don’t forget the terror and panic Mr. Zehm suffered with no way to stop the acts from continuing. His last words were, ‘All I wanted was a Snickers.’ We are asking you to let the defendant know that no one is above the law.”


Ofc. Thompson found guilty on both counts:

November 3, 2011 in City

Spokane police officer convicted of excessive force, lying

Prosecutors to seek six to eight years; defense promises ‘to keep fighting’


November 5, 2011 in City

U.S. marshals take convicted Thompson into custody