Federal Court Documents Show SPD’s Reaction To Otto Zehm’s Death - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Federal Court Documents Show SPD’s Reaction To Otto Zehm’s Death

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SPOKANE, Wash. – As the November 15th sentencing of former Spokane Police officer Karl Thompson nears, new federal court documents detail one man's account of what happened in the days following Otto Zehm's beating death in 2006. 

Some 50 pages of grand jury testimony from 2009 were recently released.  In them, Spokane Police Detective Jeff Harvey recounted a particularly shocking statement he says was made by a fellow detective, Terry Ferguson.

In his testimony, Harvey recounts that Ferguson felt surveillance video from the Zip Trip station where the beating death happened was inflammatory.  He recalled Ferguson advised that because of the potential public reaction, she was actually glad that Mr. Zehm was Caucasian as opposed to being Black. 

Karl Thompson has been convicted of using excessive force then lying about it to investigators.  His defense team is asking the judge to sentence Thompson to roughly 1-2 years, while US prosecutors are asking for roughly 9-11 years. 

The attorney for the Zehm family's civil case, Jeffry Finer, told KHQ, "Given how far apart they are recommending, both sides could be disappointed." 

But Thompson's Nov. 15th sentencing in federal court may not be the last chapter in this story.  Finer also said, "One or both sides could appeal the sentence."

 

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