Spokane police union balks at independent investigations - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane police union balks at independent investigations

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SPOKANE, Wash. - The union representing Spokane police officers says a rule requiring an outside agency to investigate officer-involved shootings is an unfair labor practice.

The "fatal incident protocol" was adopted last year by Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich after a series of shootings. It requires investigations led by another law enforcement agency.

Spokane Police Guild Vice President Jeff Harvey says the rule takes jobs away from Spokane police investigators. The guild represents about 270 police department employees.

Kirkpatrick and Knezovich say independent investigations by another agency avoids potential conflicts of interest and accusations that an agency is unfairly protecting its own officers.

Harvey says the union is concerned that an officer's career can be destroyed by a sloppy investigation.
     
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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