City Council Issues Statement On Zehm Settlement - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City Council Issues Statement On Zehm Settlement

Press Release Issued By Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart:

The Spokane City Council unanimously approved the settlement in the Otto Zehm Civil Suit at last night's Council meeting.  Our hearts go out to Otto Zehm's family and we believe that the settlement is the right thing for the Zehm family and the City.  While this is a move in the right direction, we recognize there is a way to go for citizens to restore trust in our police force and City.

The City Council believes that we can restore trust in our police department in two ways:  1) Ensure that police reform is moving forward and 2) Getting to the point where we can do a full investigation of why the City of Spokane responded in the manner they did after the Otto Zehm tragedy.

"We understand and agree with the need for our community to understand the who, what, why and when of the Otto Zehm incident," says Council President Ben Stuckart, "but we also need to recognize that while the civil suit has been settled there are still ongoing criminal investigations.  As long as these investigations are open we cannot be seen to be interfering with them.  With that said, we will address the details of the Otto Zehm case once all criminal investigations have been closed."

In the time leading up to resolution of all the ongoing criminal investigations, the City Council will continue to focus on Police Reform.  At yesterday's Public Safety Committee meeting a thorough review of the Council list of Police Reform measures was conducted.  Many items are being negotiated with the Spokane Police Guild and we have made significant progress on items including, but not limited to: publishing Internal Affairs reports, Crisis Intervention Training for Officer's and targeting our resources to better investigate property crimes. 

We are moving in the right direction and will continue to monitor and implement new programs to improve the trust between our police department and Spokane citizens

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