SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane Friday filed its formal response in the Otto Zehm federal civil lawsuit.
"We agree that the death of Mr. Zehm was a tragedy, but we maintain that the City, and the officers who responded, did so in a reasonable and lawful manner," says Howard Delaney, City Attorney. "The City's response provides greater detail about the facts of the case and the City's position under the law, based on the events that unfolded."
The lawsuit, which names the City and nine police officers, was filed earlier this year and was recently amended by the plaintiffs. No trial date has been set.
When the suit was announced it alleged the police department and its former acting chief engaged in a conspiracy to portray Zehm as the aggressor after the 36-year-old mentally disabled janitor's March 18, 2006, scuffle with Spokane police officers in a North Spokane convenience store. Zehm's death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.
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