City sued over Otto Zehm death - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City sued over Otto Zehm death

Incident in North Spokane convenience store Incident in North Spokane convenience store

Bill Morlin
The Spokesman-Review

SPOKANE, Wash. - A federal civil rights damages suit was filed this afternoon against the city of Spokane and nine of its police officers by the estate of the late Otto Zehm.

The suit alleges 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 two days was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.

The suit further alleges for the first time that police officers involved in the incident and the acting police chief did not tell the medical examiner that a plastic oxygen mask was placed on Zehm's nose and mouth as his wrists and ankles were bound on the floor.

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