DOJ Still Deciding Whether to Investigate SPD - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

DOJ Still Deciding Whether to Investigate SPD

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash. - More than a year after former Spokane Mayor Mary Verner requested that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate the Spokane Police Department's practices, the case is still being reviewed.

KHQ found out Friday that the request is still on the table but that officials at the DOJ in Washington D.C. have yet to make a decision.

In a press conference Thursday, U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby explained that the review is taking a long time, in part, because the DOJ is reviewing somewhere between 40 and 50 of the same cases across the country.

"They're very expensive to do and very time-consuming. And the issues in those other departments, I can tell you, involve a lot more officers than the issues we feel are involved here," he explained.

Verner said the investigation would be an audit designed to identify "patterns and practices" by the department that could lead to discrimination. The move was meant to boost public trust in the department.

Ormsby reminded the public that the U.S. Attorneys office is still supportive of a "patterns and practices" investigation but said his goal would be to make the Spokane Police Department function so well that a DOJ audit wouldn't be necessary.

Ormsby continued to say that it's important his office help SPD in technical areas if they wanted help. That is to say, federal experts or officials could help the force to build a better relationship with the community or perhaps with training. Helping without an audit, Ormsby said, is much less intrusive and far less costly.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Priest Lake lots auctioned off

    PHOTOS: Priest Lake lots auctioned off

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:46 PM EDT2014-08-29 00:46:58 GMT
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. >>
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. For years, those already living on the sites leased the land from the State of Idaho, but the State was looking to sell. Residents already living on the sites showed up on Thursday to buy them back, and many were successful. 


    >>
  • Viral Video: Little boy's hysterical response to mother's pregnancy

    Viral Video: Little boy's hysterical response to mother's pregnancy

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:29:39 GMT
    KHQ.COM - When Shanee Gibson Hart of Fort Lewis, Washington, shared the news about her pregnancy with her son, Tré, she thought he would be thrilled. Instead, his reaction was a little different than expected. "This is exasperating!" Tré exclaimed. "Why you want to get another baby?...That doesn't make no sense!">>
    KHQ.COM - When Shanee Gibson Hart of Fort Lewis, Washington, shared the news about her pregnancy with her son, Tré, she thought he would be thrilled. Instead, his reaction was a little different than expected. "This is exasperating!" Tré exclaimed. "Why you want to get another baby?...That doesn't make no sense!"
    >>
  • Priest Lake Auction: Saying goodbye to home

    Priest Lake Auction: Saying goodbye to home

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:50:23 GMT
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. >>
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. People who have been leasing land from the state, some more than 40 years, will find out if they get to keep their property in an auction.Back in 2010, the State of Idaho decided to divest more than 300 lake lots on Priest Lake.
    >>