Spokane Police Officer Placed On Administrative Leave - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Police Officer Placed On Administrative Leave

Ofc. Barry O'Connell Ofc. Barry O'Connell

KHQ.COM - Spokane Police Ofc. Barry O'Connell is on administrative leave pending the outcome of a internal affairs investigation.  

The investigation is not criminal and we don't know if it's related to the incident in 2012 in which his daughter shot herself with his police gun.

An investigation at that time found he did not properly secure his duty weapon.

PREVIOUS STORY:

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The daughter of a Spokane Police Officer came home Thursday night from the hospital after she accidentally shot herself in the leg with her father's police-issued gun on Eastern Sunday.  Officer Barry O'Connell is still under criminal investigation by the Spokane County Sheriff's for the incident.
 
He could also face potentially further punishment by the Police Department since policy requires service weapons to be secure. They will also consider O'Connell's lengthy disciplinary record which Spokane Interim Police Chief Scott Stephens described as "more involved than other officers."
 
The first complaint was lodged in 1994 and the last one was lodged in 2010. The most serious incidents - for which O'Connell had two lengthy suspensions - happened with the last three years. Most recently, in 2010, he was suspended for two weeks for Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer as well as Insubordination. In 2009, O'Connell was suspended for a week after someone within the department accused him of Sexual Harassment and Improper Conduct. Both of the suspensions were unpaid.
 
He's also received counseling and verbal and written reprimands for several other incidents.

"I think that shows a pattern of being involved in misconduct but the misconduct is not of a patterned nature if that makes sense," Stephens said. "If anything there's a pattern of poor judgement?"
The list does not provide details about the incidents themselves or what led to the investigations. At the department, Stephens said the discipline dolled out is progressive, which is why O'Connell was suspended for two weeks after the most recent internal affairs investigation. Keep in mind, former Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was the person responsible for deciding upon O'Connell's discipline regarding these incidents.
 
However, when does a list of disciplinary actions become too much?

"That's a great question and one we ask ourselves all the time: how much is too much?" Stephens continued. "I want to make sure that when I'm making my decisions, they're firmly based on labor laws, and that I can justify precisely what I'm doing and that the sentence fits the offense - that the discipline meets the misconduct."
At this point, Chief Stephens said he is waiting until the Sheriff's Office investigation is complete before he begins the internal affairs investigation.
 
Stephens added, "I will manage this appropriately. I will do what's right."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Head-on crash kills 1, injures 8, when driver attempts to pass slow-moving vehicle on Hwy 95

    Head-on crash kills 1, injures 8, when driver attempts to pass slow-moving vehicle on Hwy 95

    Thursday, November 23 2017 4:01 PM EST2017-11-23 21:01:52 GMT

    SAGLE, Idaho - A fatal and serious injury head-on crash has killed one man and injured eight others, including five children, who all had to be transported to Kootenai Health. The crash occurred on Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, on Highway 95 at milepost 466.5, two miles south of Sagle, Idaho.

    >>

    SAGLE, Idaho - A fatal and serious injury head-on crash has killed one man and injured eight others, including five children, who all had to be transported to Kootenai Health. The crash occurred on Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, on Highway 95 at milepost 466.5, two miles south of Sagle, Idaho.

    >>
  • Cops: Naked drunken man drives into tree while having sex near Tacoma

    Cops: Naked drunken man drives into tree while having sex near Tacoma

    Friday, November 24 2017 1:42 PM EST2017-11-24 18:42:08 GMT

    LA GRANDE, Wash. - Authorities say a man who was drunk, naked and having sex with a woman while driving south of Tacoma missed a curve and struck a tree. Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova says the crash happened at about 6 p.m. Wednesday on Mountain Highway East near La Grande. 

    >>

    LA GRANDE, Wash. - Authorities say a man who was drunk, naked and having sex with a woman while driving south of Tacoma missed a curve and struck a tree. Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova says the crash happened at about 6 p.m. Wednesday on Mountain Highway East near La Grande. 

    >>
  • Baltimore cop killed one day before scheduled testimony against colleagues

    Baltimore cop killed one day before scheduled testimony against colleagues

    Thursday, November 23 2017 12:16 PM EST2017-11-23 17:16:42 GMT

    BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's police commissioner says a detective killed last week was slain a day before he was set to testify in a corruption probe into activities of indicted police officers.   Commissioner Kevin Davis announced the revelation Wednesday, a week after the detective was shot in the head in a vacant lot. Rumors have been running rampant in Baltimore about the unsolved case.

    >>

    BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's police commissioner says a detective killed last week was slain a day before he was set to testify in a corruption probe into activities of indicted police officers.   Commissioner Kevin Davis announced the revelation Wednesday, a week after the detective was shot in the head in a vacant lot. Rumors have been running rampant in Baltimore about the unsolved case.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Homicide investigation underway in Newman Lake after woman's death

    Homicide investigation underway in Newman Lake after woman's death

    Friday, November 24 2017 4:59 PM EST2017-11-24 21:59:37 GMT

    NEWMAN LAKE, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriff's Major Crimes Detectives are investigating the death of a woman in Newman Lake as a homicide.  Friday morning, deputies were called to a home to assist fire personnel already on scene. Firefighters reported the woman in her 30's was having an unknown medical problem. Despite life-saving efforts, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

    >>

    NEWMAN LAKE, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriff's Major Crimes Detectives are investigating the death of a woman in Newman Lake as a homicide.  Friday morning, deputies were called to a home to assist fire personnel already on scene. Firefighters reported the woman in her 30's was having an unknown medical problem. Despite life-saving efforts, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

    >>
  • 8-year-old hurt when car crashes while child is steering it

    8-year-old hurt when car crashes while child is steering it

    Friday, November 24 2017 4:47 PM EST2017-11-24 21:47:42 GMT

    WHITEHALL, N.Y. - Authorities say an 8-year-old child is hospitalized with serious injuries after a car crashed as the child steered the vehicle while sitting on a New York man's lap. State police say 36-year-old Brett Reynolds, of Whitehall, took his mother's car late Tuesday and allowed the child to steer while Reynolds worked the pedals.

    >>

    WHITEHALL, N.Y. - Authorities say an 8-year-old child is hospitalized with serious injuries after a car crashed as the child steered the vehicle while sitting on a New York man's lap. State police say 36-year-old Brett Reynolds, of Whitehall, took his mother's car late Tuesday and allowed the child to steer while Reynolds worked the pedals.

    >>
  • Skagit River flooding worse than expected, hits homes, roads

    Skagit River flooding worse than expected, hits homes, roads

    Friday, November 24 2017 3:43 PM EST2017-11-24 20:43:36 GMT

    HAMILTON, Wash. - Officials say that flooding was worse than expected on the Skagit River north of Seattle. The Skagit-Valley Herald reports that water in Skagit County was receding Friday morning with the river level dropping. The flooding peaked Thursday, closing roads and prompting several homes in Hamilton to be evacuated during the Thanksgiving holiday.   

    >>

    HAMILTON, Wash. - Officials say that flooding was worse than expected on the Skagit River north of Seattle. The Skagit-Valley Herald reports that water in Skagit County was receding Friday morning with the river level dropping. The flooding peaked Thursday, closing roads and prompting several homes in Hamilton to be evacuated during the Thanksgiving holiday.   

    >>