Public criticizes newly appointed Spokane Police Chief Meidl - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Public criticizes newly appointed Spokane Police Chief Meidl

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane’s newly appointed police chief had his hands full during a public forum Wednesday night. 

Since Mayor David Condon appointed Craig Meidl to the position in July, the biggest criticism of the new chief has been the process in which he was selected, and his past support of Karl Thompson, the convicted Spokane police officer in the notorious Otto Zehm case.

These two issues were the focus of Wednesday nights meeting.

“You are thus a participant yourself in another scandalous episode in Spokane history,” said one man while referring to the selection process.

“Tell us the name of the person, according to you, who screamed out ‘present arms’,” asked another about the Karl Thompson incident.

When Meidl refused to answer one woman said, “then you can’t be chief.”

Meidl was able to answer some questions without having to defend himself, including the use of force in the department.

“The problem we are seeing is the disproportionate use of force against minorities,” said Meidl, who wants to fix the problem.

Meidl said the meeting was productive because he was able to hear from the public and address their concerns, but some say he avoided many of their questions.

The City Council said they would consider confirming Meidl, but only after getting input from the community. Wednesday was the second time Meidl hosted a public forum since being appointed.

City Council will vote on whether to confirm Meidl as chief on Monday.

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