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When a SWAT vacancy opens, a department wide announcement is distributed throughout the department. Any officer holding the rank of Police Officer (PO), Police Officer First Class (PFC), Senior Patrol Officer (SPO), Corporal or Detective is invited to apply. Applicants must have three years law enforcement experience and are screened through a six-step process: formal application, performance review, physical fitness test, marksmanship, oral interview, and administrative approval. 

The fitness test components are: a three mile run in under twenty-four minutes, followed immediately by ten overhand chin ups, fifteen dips, fifty pushups, and fifty sit-ups. Both the pushup and sit-ups have to be completed in sixty seconds. Candidates then run obstacle course wearing a tactical style vest. The obstacle course is approximately 400 meters long and includes: a four foot chain link fence, an incline run, a belly crawl, a six foot wall, and a 150 lb dummy drag. Immediately after the obstacle course, candidates run to the firing range where they must qualify by shooting two consecutive targets with a minimum score of 90 % on each. The fire their issued handgun using the Practical Police Course (PPC).

All current SWAT members must pass and maintain the same physical and shooting standards on a quarterly basis. These tests are sometimes unannounced


The Spokane County SWAT team consists of 26 tactical operators. Our tactical team trains 24 days and a week long team builder each year. Our team currently has two team medics. We also train with our local EDU unit for explosive breaching. Each tactical team member is equipped with a Commando rifle and a Glock 21 .45 pistols. We have 6 trained snipers who carry 308 rifles, one with night vision. Some of our equipment includes two Peace Keepers, a cart van, a hummer, three large box vans, a fifth wheel command post, a trailer with emergency lighting and a shared Lenco bearcat. The team also uses the department helicopter for air support.Our gas delivery systems include 37mm and 40mm launch platforms. Pole-cams, digital radios and various shields.

Currently the team consists of a Commander, an admin/logistics sergeant, a team supervisor, two entry team leaders, and a sniper team leader. Each team leader is in charge of the Alpha or Bravo team, which all members are divided between. Members fill a variety of assignments including entry team, police sniper, perimeter and breaching teams and chemical agent specialists. In addition, there is a SWAT K-9 team assigned to the team and are specially trained to operate in high risk environments.




.Equipment

The Team’s firearms are Heckler and Koch (H&K) with the exception of handguns and marksmen rifles. The team maintains and deploys the H&K MP-5, 33, 53, and the G3 model rifles. Handguns are the Glock .40 caliber fitted with M-3 tactical lights, and the marksman use custom rifles built off Remington 700 actions. The CART Team maintains and deploys all the specialty impact munitions and chemical agents utilizing both 37 mm and 40 mm launchers. Our retired member Skip Pavlischak, who is an adjunct instructor for the H&K International Training Division, provides us with training and technical assistance.

The Team also has the equipment necessary for all types of tactical missions. The equipment includes night vision devices, lighting systems, shields, bunkers, breaching tools, noise/flash diversions (NFDD), and other mission specific tools.

The Team uses two dedicated marked police cars for “quick response” deployment of weapons and equipment during duty shifts by member working patrol. Two Chevy suburbans, retrofitted with extended running boards and handles are utilized for most tactical missions. The Team also has a separate equipment vehicle and recently acquired an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).

Training

Each Team member attends Basic SWAT School, taught by instructors from the Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA). The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) accredits this course.

The team is divided into four squads with one team leader and one trainer assigned to each squad. Two squads train each Friday, with the marksman and CART members receiving additional training on Tuesdays. So, members receive twenty to twenty-four hours of training per month depending on their Team specialty. Six of the Team’s operators are cross-trained as marksman, three as chemical agent deployment specialists (CART), two as emergency medical technicians (EMT), six are certified firearms instructors and three are certified defensive tactics instructors. Training for the full team is held several times a year and usually includes one full week per year commonly referred to by members as “hell week.”

The team regularly trains in the areas of slow and deliberate searching, dynamic and hostage rescue entries, NFDD, marksmanship, immediate action drills, vehicle assaults, special events, active shooter scenarios, security details, open air assaults and camouflaged movement.

The team members also attend WSTOA training on a regular basis augmented by specialty schools such as courses presented by H&K or the Sure Fire Institute.

Deployment

The team is activated for standard tactical missions like high risk warrant service, high-risk arrest, barricaded persons, security details, hostage takers and sniper suppression. Last year the SPD Team was activated on fifty-six occasions spanning the gamut of tactical missions. Because Spokane is the largest metropolitan area in the Inland Pacific Northwest, the SWAT Team occasionally receives requests to deploy in an adjoining or near-by jurisdiction. We also have a close relationship with our local Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team.

SPOKANE, Wash. – In the second day of Spokane Police officer Karl Thompson's use-of-force trial a jury heard Thompson tell a Spokane investigator that Otto Zehm was "ready to strike" and in a "boxing stance" while inside the Zip Trip on March 18, 2006.

Thompson recounted the events of the deadly brawl in a recorded interview with Spokane police Detective Terry Ferguson, which was played before the jury Friday morning.

Five years ago Thompson entered the Zip Trip at 1712 N. Division St. with information that Zehm may have robbed two women in a car using a nearby ATM. That information later proved to be false. Federal prosecutors countered that Zehm entered the convenience store, which he routinely visited, to buy a soft drink and fast food.

Gritty video from the convenience store security cameras show that within seconds of Thompson entering the store, he ran up to Zehm. Thompson insisted Zehm posed a physical threat and used the two-liter bottle as a weapon.

"It was not a passive stance, it was a very resolute stance. His whole body suggested that it was tensed and prepared to respond either by pushing, throwing or charging me," Thompson was heard saying on the recording. "That's the interpretation that I recognized. That's the snapshot that I have from a lot of experience and training."

Thompson said he instructed Zehm to drop the bottle several times but said Zehm refused. Prosecutors said Thompson then proceeded to whack Zhem with a baton multiple times.

"There were a lot of growls and roars and screams," Thompson explained on the recording. "The majority just being guttural loud growls and roars - somebody who's typifying the high level of commitment of resisting or attacking."

Thompson insisted that his actions were meant draw Zhem down to the floor and arrest him. Federal prosecutors countered that Thompson's repeated blows to Zhem's head constituted deadly force.

"I had deadly force available but I did not perceive this as a deadly threat," Thompson continued.

The 2006 confrontation inside the Zip Trip ended when Thompson – followed by several other Spokane Police officers – beat, tased and hog-tied Zhem. Zehm stopped breathing at the store and died two days later in the hospital without regaining consciousness. Two months later, in May 2006, the Spokane County Medical Examiner ruled Zehm died of a homicide.

"You can hit someone in the head inadvertently but we try to mitigate that in our training," Robert Bragg Jr. said, who is in charge of physical force tactics at Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, also known as Police Academy.

Bragg testified at length Friday about batons and their parameters as a use of force.

Bragg discussed Thompson's request to use his non-standard baton from Los Angeles, where he previously worked. He explained that the baton was longer & wood, not metal like usual batons.

"I found that interesting, that he actually preferred a longer baton," Bragg said, since he said police officers don't have to get as close to a person if the baton is longer.

Shortly after the tape concluded 19-year-old student Britni Brashers took the stand. She was an eyewitness inside the convenience store the night of the brawl. Her testimony of the events provided a stark contrast to officer Thompson's recollection.

Then 13-year-old Britni Brashers and then her seven-year-old sister said they were buying milk and a couple of candy bars at Zip Trip. At the time, the teen recalled seeing Zehm "looking at items just like any other person". She said he was holding a two-liter soda bottle, by the cap, dangled at his side.

When Officer Thompson entered the Zip Trip, Brashers testified that Thompson approached Zehm "quickly and frantically" never saying anything – or issuing any commands - to Zehm beforehand.

"As (Officer Thompson) was getting closer, he was reach for his baton and once he got closer he pulled it out and hit (Zehm)," Brashers explained. She said she watched as Officer Thompson hit Zehm hit with baton seven to 10 times on his upper body "with a full cock-back swing."

Zehm was "very startled," Brashers continued and was never in a "boxing stance" which Thompson had previously indicated. Once struck by Thompson, Brashers described Zehm screaming in a "little bit of pain and a little bit of anger" ."

Defense attorney Carl Oreskovich cross-examined Brashers at length, questioning if she knew the difference between pain and angry pain.

He also used a scale model of the Zip Trip to question exactly what Brashers saw during the confrontation. He argued that it was possible she did not see the entire confrontation as aisles could have obstructed her view.

Later that night when she got home Brashers said watched the news to hear about the confrontation but saw errors in the reports, largely that the news reported Zehm lunged at officers. Since that's not what Brashers said she saw, she had her mom call the stations to set the record straight.

Oreskovich also questioned Brasher about how much Federal officials influenced her statements. Brashers responded that she was told to "tell the truth."

A second eyewitness, Carissa Dougherty, who was in the parking lot of the Zip Trip the night of the confrontation was also called to the stand by the U.S. Government. Dougherty testified that she was sitting in her car in the parking lot but had an unobstructed view of the store inside.

"The officer had his hand on his baton when he went past me" and immediately struck Zhem on the back shoulder blade," she said.

Karl Thompson on trial for excessive use of force, violating Zehm's civil rights, and lying to investigators. His trial was moved to Yakima in light of intense media publicity. The trial is expected to last five weeks.

Everyone blames the cops,in this case they should. I have personally met a lot of good cops but he Is NOT one of them. BUT what about the Mean spirited girls who thought it would be a good prank and funny to call the cops on a mentally chalenged innocent sole? I kenew him,Otto was a gental,generous,kind,happy fellow,with the sole of a child. because of his innocence,he was an easy target for evil,mean people. Sadly,the 2 girls got off with a TAP on the hand.THEY STARTED THE BALL ROLLING THEY ARE JUST AS GUILTY!!! there actions cost a good innocent man his life, all so THEY could get a laugh at Otto's Expence!!!!!! If they had not called the cops with a FALSE report The cops would not have come and Otto would stll be alive today,bringing smiles to those who knew and loved him. SEND the GIRLS to prision,Teach them EVIL IS NOT FUNNY!!! BULLYS BEWARE!!! People don't like bullys.

Who killed Pastor Scott? Question: Who killed Pastor W. Scott Creech in the parking lot of his business in the Spokane Valley on August 25, 2010 ?


The Spokane County sheriff’s deputy who shot a 74-year-old Spokane Valley pastor last year will face no disciplinary action over the fatal encounter.

Deputy Brian Hirzel followed all departmental policies and procedures during the Aug. 25 encounter with Wayne Scott Creach (Pictured Above),

Answer: One of Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich’s deputies, Brian Hirzel, who was allowed to go on vacation immediately after the killing and before being interviewed about the events. And, of course, the Sheriff’s finest is being interviewed by the Spokane Police Department’s finest so we all know that true justice is just around the corner.

More important perhaps is the need for a thorough going look at our law enforcement and just exactly why they conduct themselves in the ways they do. What is their mentality? What is their training? Why is everyone from a 74-year-old pastor to a pre-teen girl at risk of death, maiming or abuse in any encounter with these individuals?

Let’s start by looking at this photo Below:


(photo from Spokane County Sheriff’s website — August 8, 2007)

Do you really want these guys prowling your parking lot or manhandling your daughter if she has a bit too much to drink on high school graduation night?

There are a few other photos at the link below.

http://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/weaponry/

And here is a history (admittedly incomplete) of Spokane area law enforcement abuses — http://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/abuse-laying-out-the-case/

Next to his smiling photo on the Spokane County Sheriff’s website, Knezovich published these increasingly absurd words: (quote) Your Spokane County Sheriff’s Office consistently invests available resources toward community-wide safety and security, economic viability and the positive, nationwide reputation of our County.

We do so by providing a highly-trained, dedicated team of professionals, working in partnership with our community, through utilizing their unique talents and skills in conjunction with new technology and research based criminal justice training. (end quote)

For Pastor Scott, like so many others in the Spokane County area, there is neither safety nor security nor justice. Clearly, the technology is of little positive use, the research and the mentality it spawns are flawed, and the leadership is on the wrong side of the line that divides our community from those who would bring death, terror and sorrow to our families and neighborhoods.

And as for “the positive, nationwide reputation of our County” to which Sheriff Knezovich refers, one can only ask with all due respect, “What has Ozzie been smoking?”

The Spokane Police SWAT Team first came into existence in 1972. Back then the Team consisted of five members, who had their own military fatigues and who’s arsenal consisted of two pump shotguns, a privately owned big game rifle, and the department issued six shot revolvers.

Today the team consists of twenty-five highly trained members. The Team is “part-time” meaning that SWAT is a specialty assignment in addition to a primary function like patrol or detective. This speaks to the dedication of the members because it requires them to work the equivalent of two “full-time” jobs. The team structure consists of a commander holding the rank of lieutenant, a four member-training cadre holding the rank of either sergeant or corporal and twenty-one operators who span the ranks of detective to police officer. The ranking member of the training cadre also serves as the acting commander in the absence of the lieutenant. There is one member assigned to full-time SWAT duties providing administrative, equipment, training, and tactical support.


Plant Farm at 14208 E. Fourth Ave in Spokane Valley on Thursday to pay respects to W. Scott Creach, who was shot and killed at the Plant Farm by a Spokane Valley police officer late Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010.

Former Chief of Police, Roger Bragdon and retired Detective Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak both played significant roles in the development of a professional Team that lives up to its motto: “We give it R. Best.” The motto is dedicated to Corporal Robin Best who died training with the Team. Robin’s name is among those on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC and it appears on similar memorials here in the state of Washington.

— “It’s a very dangerous thing when you’re telling cops they’re soldiers and there’s an enemy out there. I don’t like it all.”  Joseph McNamara, Hoover Institution research fellow and former police chief of San Jose and Kansas City * —]

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note #4Posted by Arroyoribera on January 3, 2008Andrew “Skip” J. Pavlischak — Adjunct Instructor for Front Range Training and Consulting, LLC, and Firearms, Tactical and Specialty Instructor for TeamOne Network

Skippy retired from the Spokane Police department after 27 years of service. A U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, Skip has 26 years experience as an SPD SWAT team member, team leader, and commander in a full-time position. He is a certified firearms, distraction device, and chemical agent instructor. Skip is also a Master Sub Gun and Pistol Instructor. He assisted in the formation of the Washington State Tactical Officers Association and is a past president. Skip was also the lead instructor for basic and advanced SWAT training for the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) and worked as a Gang Unit Leader and in the Special Investigations Narcotics Unit. He recently attended a course at New Mexico Tech for certification for instructing in Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings through the U.S. Department of Justice.

[For more on the Washington State Tactical Officers Association and its sponsorship by numerous mercenary training companies such as Triple Canopy and Blackwater USA, see the following links:

All white Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA) -- includes photos

WSTOA sponsors -- includes links to sponsor companies ]

[For more information on the history of the Spokane Police Department SWAT team, its weaponry, and Skip Pavlischak, please visit this link.

Posted in In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Spokane LE Personalities, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

A man reportedly armed with a knife was shot to death by police in northwest Spokane early Sunday.

Spokane police officers were dispatched to the home at 5726 N. Elgin St. shortly before 4 a.m. to check on a report of domestic violence, according to the Washington State Patrol. No other injuries were reported.

The shooting was being investigated by the Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team, which is composed of officers from the Washington State Patrol, the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators declined to identify the dead man or the two police officers who confronted him, but the man’s relatives identified him as 26-year-old Kenneth Dennis.

Close neighbors didn’t see the shooting and several slept through it, but at least one was awakened by gunshots and a woman screaming.

Neighbors said the incident involved a young couple with two children younger than 5 who moved in less than two months ago.

They said they hadn’t had a chance to meet the newcomers, who were quiet and caused no trouble in the neighborhood of small, neatly kept homes.

The fatal shooting occurred inside the home during the initial contact with the man, according to the WSP, but it’s unclear what prompted the officers to open fire. WSP Trooper Troy Briggs said the preliminary investigation has determined that the man was armed with a knife.

The WSP is handling the investigation under interagency agreements calling for outside investigations in police-related shootings and other use-of-force incidents.

Sunday’s confrontation is the seventh in which law enforcement officers have shot Spokane County residents since Aug. 25, when a sheriff’s deputy killed a Spokane Valley pastor. Five of the shootings have been fatal.

Neighbors said there had been a gathering at the home Saturday night.

They said several people, perhaps five, socialized on the front steps around 8:30 p.m.

“The laughter told me they’d had some beers, but it wasn’t disruptive,” said neighbor Sean McCarthy.

“It was just a bunch of people standing there gabbing,” said another neighbor, who declined to give her name.

Later, she called police when she was awakened by gunshots and a woman’s screams.

“All I could see was a woman running across the front lawn and two men standing there,” she said.

The neighbor said she was surprised how fast police arrived.

“They came very quickly,” she said. “There must have been 10 police cars here within the first two minutes.”

She said two men she saw silhouetted by a porch light could have been police officers who were already at the scene.

“I had no clue what was going on until the red tape went up,” the woman said.

Sherry Harms, who lives next door to the home where the shooting occurred, said the couple who lived there had done “zero” to attract attention.

“It’s just been completely quiet over there,” Harms said. “I don’t even know what they look like.”

Another next-door neighbor, Heidi Harris, agreed the couple were “very quiet” and caused no problems.

“They seemed like a nice couple,” she said. “They weren’t partiers.”

Harris said she and her husband “said ‘Hi’ to them,” but they seldom saw the family.

“They’ve been unusually sort of absent,” McCarthy said. “It was weird.”

Harris said she and her husband, Randy, have lived next door to the house where the shooting occurred for three or four years, and the house has had three renters in that time.

“We’ve never had any problems with anybody,” either in the rental house or elsewhere on the street, Harris said.

Most residents in the neighborhood own their homes and, except for the new family, “we all know each other,” she said.

SPOKANE VALLEY -- A sleeping toddler came close to being shot Saturday night inside a Spokane Valley apartment when someone fired shots into the building.

Police say they were called to 15917 E. Sprague around 10:25 p.m. Saturday when a man called to report the shooting.

Police say the reporting party told them he was walking through the complex parking lot and was approached by two males. One of the men, who only identified himself as "Joe," asked him why he called police to report a noise complaint.

The reporting party told officers he saw the man reach for the waistband of his pants, and fled into his apartment. That's when police say "Joe" fired two shots into the apartment, one of them going into the bedroom where the reporting party's daughter was sleeping.

According to officers, the bullet hit a metal post on the child's bed, and the bullet fell into the blankets. The three-year-old's mother found the bullet when she checked on the child.

Police say "Joe" is a white male, 25 to 29-years-old, six feet tall and thin. He was clean shaven and possibly left-handed as that was the hand he used to fire a shot into the air. "Joe" was wearing a white baseball cap with a dark logo, a white zippered and hooded sweatshirt with a black logo, and dark-colored pants. He had tattoos on his neck, possibly on the left side, of a spiders’ web with cursive writing.

The shooter’s companion was a white male in his 20’s who was about 5’10” tall and had a thin build. He had a dark complexion with short brown hair and a mustache. He wore a colored, zippered hoodie and dark jeans.

An 18-year-old accused of punching a man as he tried to break up a party near Spokane was charged with second-degree murder after the man died.

Treven Lewis is held on $500,000 bail, and The Spokesman-Review reports his next court date is Tuesday in Spokane.

Authorities say Frank James Motta had been asked to keep an eye on a neighbor's house while she was out of town.

Her teenager was having a party March 10 and Motta was trying to break it up when he was fatally injured.

Lewis says he punched Motta to protect his pregnant girlfriend.

The 65-year-old Motta died March 15.

He was a Vietnam War veteran and was a principal of River View High School from 1982 to 1984.

He recently worked as a patient advocate at Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

A suspect was arrested today in Spokane Valley for the May 12 shooting death of a 44-year-old man.

Shane Caleb Smith, 38, is accused of murdering Warren Scott Flinn, who was found badly injured May 13. Flinn died May 16 at a local hospital of what the medical examiner’s office ruled were gunshots to his head.

Details on what led detectives to identify Smith as a suspect were not immediately available. Detectives and forensic specialists searched a home at 6704 E. 3rd Ave., Tuesday after Smith was arrested there.

“The detectives did an outstanding job,” said Deputy Craig Chamberlin, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. “They’ve been working nonstop following up on all leads.”

Investigators believe Flinn is a transient, but court records show he lived at an address on South Audubon Street until as early as September. He also spent time in Florida and California, where he has felony convictions for burglary.

Volunteers at an organization that helps homeless people in the West Central Neighborhood said Flinn approached them a couple weeks ago asking for money for a bus ticket out of town because he feared for his safety.

Smith’s criminal history includes convictions for drunken driving, second-degree malicious mischief, obstructing a law enforcement officer, residential burglary and second-degree escape, according to news archives.

Disabled homeless man who was set afire in Spokane dies

By The Associated PressA homeless military veteran and amputee who was set afire while sleeping in his wheelchair on a street in Spokane is dead.

Douglas R. Dawson, 50, died late Monday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after being taken off life support, hospital officials said.

Sean Knold, 23, of Seattle and Matt Tramell, 22, of Portland, who were arrested after an unrelated robbery of a woman in Spokane on Friday, the same day as the attack on Dawson, remained in custody and could face charges in his death, police said.

"Their statements led detectives to believe the pair was involved in the fire," Officer Thomas Lee said.

A friend said Dawson, who had one leg, had been homeless in Spokane for at least three years. The motivation for the attack was unclear, police said.

Democrat Peter Goldmark's congressional campaign staff announced plans to serve a free dinner in Dawson's memory this evening at a picnic area in Spokane's Riverfront Park. Goldmark is seeking to oust U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Spokane.

Spokane police requested first-degree murder and first-degree arson charges on today against a man who allegedly set fire to a wheelchair-bound homeless man last month.

Police are seeking charges against Matthew B. Trammell, 23, in connection with the death of Doug Dawson. Police are not currently considering charges against Sean P. Knold, 23, who was reportedly with Trammell at the time of the incident.

Both Trammell and Knold are in Spokane County Jail for robbery.

Dawson, a 50-year-old amputee, died June 26 at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

When Douglas Klages last talked to his parents, he was planning for the future.

The 46-year-old Spokane native struggled with alcoholism but wanted to clean up. He told his parents so in a phone call last Thursday.

“He said, ‘I know you’ll be happy: I’m lining myself up for a treatment program,’” said his father, Don Klages. “It was a terrible addiction.”

The next day, Don and Karen Klages learned of their son’s murder.

Hikers found his body in a small cave inside the Dishman Hills Natural Area Friday afternoon, where Spokane County Sheriff’s detectives believe he’d been camping.

An autopsy showed he died from blunt-force trauma to his head, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Now, as detectives search for his killer, Doug Klages’ friends and family are struggling to understand how a man with no enemies and a generous heart could end up beaten to death. Klages’ death is the first homicide investigated by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office this year.

“This community is grieving,” said Dean Whisler, day room manager at the Union Gospel Mission, where Klages stayed on and off for several years. “Everyone loved him.”

Detectives are trying to piece together how Klages spent the last 24 hours of his life, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

No time of death has been publicly released, but employees at Truth Ministries men’s shelter, 1910 E. Sprague Ave., said he showed up between about 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, then left after arguing with another guest.

Klages was extremely drunk that night, but “he didn’t drink all the time,” said Director Marty McKinney. “He stayed here quite a bit.”

Klages, a father of two, graduated University High School in 1982. He loved to cook and started working in restaurants as a teenager. He had experience at top restaurants, but his alcoholism soon kept him from permanent employment, Whisler said. He owned a home with his wife but moved out after a divorce, family said.

He always had a home with his parents in Cusick though he often stayed at shelters in Spokane and sought treatment for his addiction. But he never prevailed, Whisler said.

Still, Whisler said, “He never blamed his circumstances on someone else.”

“You could tell that he was not what you would consider a typical transient person,” Whisler said. “Even when he would come looking like crap because he’d been out sleeping on some bench, he looked like Patrick Swayze.”

Klages showed up at the Gospel Mission, 1224 E. Trent Ave., last Tuesday looking for a place to stay. But he still was drunk from the night before, Whisler said, and he promised to sober up before returning.

“He said, ‘Oh gosh, Dean, you wouldn’t believe how much I drank…I think I’ve hit my bottom this time,” Whisler said. “His transparency was so refreshing and honest, even in the midst of the demons he was fighting.”

Klages was an easy-going man known for his cooking abilities and strong work ethic, Whisler said. ‘He’d say ’When I’m busy, I don’t think about drinking,” Whisler said.

Klages’ daughters, 19-year-old Erika and 14-year-old Racheal, called him “a great dad” who never missed a birthday. When Racheal visited from New York last summer, Klages’ goal was to stay sober for her, Whisler said.

Whisler said Klages grew up camping and was “quite skilled at it.”

He likely went to the Dishman area “because he felt safe out there.”

“He didn’t come across as someone you’d want to take advantage of, but he does seem like the type to take the shirt off his back,” Whisler said. “Someone with ulterior motives could have taken advantage of that servant’s heart.”

SPOKANE, Wash. - A man charged with killing a homeless amputee by =
setting fire to grass as he slept next to his wheelchair last summer =
entered a modified plea to a murder count Tuesday.

Matthew Brian Trammell, 23, entered an Alford plea to second-degree =
murder in the June 26, 2006, death of 50-year-old Doug R. Dawson, known =
by his street name as "One Leg Doug."
Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges =
prosecutors have enough evidence to convict. Trammell had been charged =
with first-degree murder.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza scheduled sentencing for =
Oct. 12. Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Rachel Sterett said =
prosecutors will seek a prison term in the high end of the state's 10- =
to 18-year sentencing range.

Police allege Trammell and Sean Paul Knold, 24, had just robbed a woman =
downtown on June 23, 2006, and fled to an alley where Dawson was =
sleeping.

Officers responding to the robbery call received another call of a fire =
in the alley, where they found flames burning near Damson's midsection, =
including his pants, blankets and wheelchair. He died three days later =
at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Knold and Trammell were arrested for the robbery and were later =
questioned about Dawson's death after a fire investigator reported that =
he believed the fire had been intentionally set.

Court documents indicate Trammel originally implicated Knold, but then =
admitted igniting the grass near Dawson. Detectives contend the damage =
to Dawson's wheelchair, clothing and bedding indicated an ignition =
source other than burning grass.

Knold said he saw Trammell on the ground near Dawson but he denied =
seeing him set the fire.

Both men ran from the scene and caught up with each other in a parking =
lot just east of the crime scene, according to court documents. Knold =
told detectives he thought Trammell was joking when Trammell told him, =
"I just lit that guy on fire."

Knold, 24, was not charged in Dawson's death.

A Spokane man badly beaten in an alley late last month died this week and two teenage suspects have been charged with his murder.

Police say a print on the face of Kent S. Moses, 60, matched a shoe worn by Nicholas A. Parrish, who is charged with first-degree murder.

His alleged accomplice, Justin A. Summa, is charged with second-degree murder.

Both boys turned 17 in October. Parrish is in Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center; Summa is out on $100,000 bond.

Moses died of head trauma Wednesday at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where he’d been since police and medics found him Nov. 29 in an alley behind his home near Bridge Avenue and Nettleton Street.

Moses, who police say suffered from other medical conditions, was wearing slippers. His upper dentures and three ribs were broken.

“I think they were just intoxicated and just picked a fight with this guy,” Spokane police Lt. Dave McGovern said of the suspects. “He was just out in his backyard.”

A friend of the boys said they’d been drinking at his apartment near the alley but were kicked out “because they became belligerent,” according to court documents.

Moses was beaten soon after that, prosecutors allege.

Parrish told police that “he had stomped on the ‘old guy’s head,’ ” according to court documents, but that he was too drunk to remember anything more.

Police say Summa told them he hit Moses in the lower ribs.

Summa’s girlfriend told detectives that Parrish was the assailant and that Summa had tried to stop him. She also said Parrish had returned to the alley to rifle through Moses’ pockets and beat him again, according to court documents. Parrish denied this, police said, but the allegations led to his increased charge of premeditated murder.

Parrish has juvenile felony convictions for third-degree assault and car theft. Summa has two juvenile misdemeanor convictions for assault and trespass. He attended North Central High School before he was arrested.

He posted $75,000 bail after he was charged with first-degree assault Dec. 3 but was arrested on the murder charge Thursday. He posted $100,000 bond Friday and was released.

Parrish remains in Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center on $150,000 bond, which was set by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark Friday.

SPOKANE -- Police are investigating an alleged rape that occurred in the basement of an East Spokane church early Saturday morning.

Officers arrested Michael Bosch, 47, around 5:00 a.m. Saturday. He is currently in the Spokane County Jail on First Degree Rape charges.

Police say Bosch brought the alleged victim to Mending Fences Fellowship, a church near the intersection of Sprague and Magnolia Saturday morning.

According to investigators, Bosch tied a wire around the woman's neck, put a bag over her head, and tied her to a pipe in the church basement before sexually assaulting her.

Mending Fences Pastor Kevin Ch'en told KREM 2 News Bosch has been an active member of the church, volunteering and making positive changes in his life.

Ch'en says Bosch was given a key to the facility because he was doing remodeling work in the building and needed a place to stay. Ch'en says church policy is that no one stays there overnight or is at the church alone. Now, Ch'en feels somewhat responsible for the crime.

Bosch's bail has been increased from $50,000 to $75,000. Police expect to file other charges against him.

Law Enforcement MisconductState v. Charles McNabb, superior court no. 03-1-01961-6, court of appeals no. 22939-4-III: Defending competent person’s right to refuse food and medical treatment while detained pending trial and challenging constitutionality of force-feeding order. Washington Supreme Court ruled 8-1 on April 10, 2008 that the state’s interest in applying the Department of Corrections’ force-feeding policy “outweigh his [McNabb's] right to refuse artificial means of nutrition and hydration.” Read majority opinion here. Read dissent here.

Christopher Ostrander v. T.H. Madsen et al., federal district court no. CS-99-0017-WFN, 9th Cir. court of appeals no. 00-35506, 00-35538, 00-35541: Civil rights action for police brutality. On First Amendment and other grounds, 9th Circuit affirmed dismissal of counterclaims for defamation and malicious prosecution. Settlement, including compensation, negotiated after remand. Reply Brief: Ostrander v. Madsen

State v. Dayna Christoph, court of appeals no. 19112-5-III: The Center represented Ms. Christoph in vacating juvenile conviction based on coerced false confession and ineffective assistance of counsel in failing to discover overwhelming evidence of innocence. On appeal by state, court of appeals affirmed order vacating illegal conviction. Reply Motion to Vacate: State v. Dayna Christoph

State v. Randy McReynolds, 117 Wn. App. 309, 71 P.3d 663 (2003): Filed amicus brief for Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on proper unit of prosecution for possession of stolen property. In published opinion, court of appeals adopted arguments from amicus brief, curbing power of overzealous prosecutors to stack duplicative charges. Amicus Brief: State v. Randy McReynolds

Katherine Knox; Donald Westerman v. Spokane County District Court, superior court no. 00-20585-8-1, and court of appeals no. 19951- 7-III: Represented city and county public defenders in obtaining writ of mandamus ordering district court to comply with state-mandated procedures for appointment of counsel in criminal cases. The writ redressed systemic denial of the constitutional right to counsel. Brief: Knox/Westerman v. Spokane County District Court.

To download consultant Sam Pailca’s April 2007 report recommending independent oversight of the Spokane Police Department, see Pailca Report

To download Tim Connor’s 1981 investigation of police violence in Spokane, see Violent Cops?

To download the article about the then-police chief’s response, see Violent Cops Follow-up

Immediate Police Action Plan February 2012

The Mayor’s Immediate Police Action Plan identifies a series of actions designed to help restore public trust and confidence in the Spokane Police Department. Since taking office on Jan. 1, Mayor David Condon’s top priority has been his work to reform the Police Department.

Public Safety was the focus of one of the Mayor’s Transition Team committees, which developed a series of recommendations to improve the City’s police services. And, in his first official act as Mayor of the City of Spokane on Jan. 3, Mayor David Condon named an interim Police Chief along with a number of other initial steps designed to address public trust and confidence.

Additionally, the Spokane City Council also has identified the need for police reforms. In an action on Monday, Feb. 6, the Council approved a resolution designed to "achieve improvement in accountability and confidence in the Police Department and in law enforcement."

This plan includes actions resulting from information and recommendations provided by the Transition Team Public Safety Committee, the City Council, the Police Ombudsman, the Mayor’s Advisory Board on Policing, the interim Police Chief, and many comments provided by Spokane citizens.

As part of its resolution, the Council identified four areas of concentration, and the Mayor’s plan is organized according to those priorities. They include:

In addition to the actions defined in this plan, the Spokane Police Department will work to validate the actions taken. The Department will adopt COPS Standards and Guidelines for Internal Affairs and other standardized procedures, where appropriate, to ensure compliance with best practices within the industry and will seek recertification through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA). 2

The work undertaken will be subject to review by the Use of Force Commission as well as the U.S. Department of Justice. In late 2011, the City requested that the DOJ conduct what’s called a "pattern or practice" investigation into the Spokane Police Department.

*** Oversight: The City believes open, transparent and accountable government works best for the citizens of Spokane. Community Involvement: Community involvement is a key element to an improved relationship between citizens and the Police Department. Training: Additional areas of training and possible changes to existing training will improve the quality of and confidence in law enforcement. Enhanced Delivery of Service: By improving the delivery of services, including data collection, the Police Department can improve accountability and public confidence. Oversight • Publish redacted Internal Affairs investigations.

The City will develop a policy on the review and publication of closed internal affairs investigation reports, with participation by the Office of Police Ombudsman. Evaluate the use of Police body video cameras. The Police Department will research the steps will be necessary to implement a body camera program, including estimated costs. Implement independent investigative authority for civilian oversight of Police. The Office of Police Ombudsman will research the Police Commission model of civilian oversight and report back to the Mayor and Council with a plan for enhancing such oversight in Spokane by June 1, 2012. Re-energize citizen advisory role. The Police Department will re-energize the existing Police Advisory Committee (PAC) and continue to hold quarterly community outreach meetings. Community Involvement • Increase access to officers within the community.

The Police Department and Office of Police Ombudsman will be available at many community and neighborhood meetings. Police officers will regularly attend Neighborhood Council meetings. Increase community participation in law enforcement. The City will encourage citizens to volunteer in the COPS Program, in the Reserve Officer Program, or as interns in the Police Department or the Office the Police Ombudsman. The Citizen Academy will be reinvigorated and reformatted to allow more citizens to participate. Community members will be encouraged to participate in ride-alongs with police officers. Enhance communication with the public. Police Department Command staff will communicate with the media and citizens at high-profile incidents to ensure accurate and reliable information. The City will provide information that is consistent and easily accessible for citizens. Communicate community-generated accolades. Include opportunities during the legislative portion of City Council meetings to recognize police personnel for accomplishments and exceptional service as submitted by community members. Include information on City web sites.


Mayor David Condon

City of Spokane



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