City reassigns officer indicted in Zehm case - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City reassigns officer indicted in Zehm case

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  • INSIDE>> Court Documents: Indictment of Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson

    SPD officer indicted in Otto Zehm death

    SPD officer indicted in Otto Zehm death

    June 22, 2009 04:05 PM PDT 2009-06-23 00:07:28 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just days after city officials essentially blamed Otto Zehm for his own death, a federal grand jury has indicted the first officer who responded to the confrontation that resulted in Zehm's death.>>
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    Otto Zehm Otto Zehm
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane Friday filed its formal response in the Otto Zehm federal civil lawsuit.  >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane 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 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. >>

SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane announced Thursday afternoon that the officer indicted on federal charges in the Otto Zehm case will be reassigned within the Spokane Police Department to a civilian police planning and analysis position while the civil rights case against him proceeds.

Officer Karl Thompson, was the first of seven officers to confront Zehm, a 36-year-old janitor who had schizophrenia. Zehm died two days after he was beaten with a baton, shocked multiple times with a Taser and hogtied inside the Zip Trip at 1712 N. Division St.

City Administrator Danek says the decision allows the City and the Police Department to continue to utilize Officer Thompson's training and experience, while also responding to the seriousness of the charges.

Thompson's indictment was announced June 22, just days after city officials essentially blamed Otto Zehm for his own death.

The City says will monitor the case as it proceeds and will respond appropriately if new information comes to light.

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