I Know Mine Do.
Jay Olsen was off duty. He had been drinking, and was sitting in his truck outside the bar with a friend when a man named Shonto Pete approached them and asked for a ride. When Mr. Olsen declined, Pete made an aggressive move towards Mr. Olsen who responded by firing four shots from what had been a concealed pistol, one of which struck Pete in the head. Another of these bullets struck an empty home. Four shots in response to an aggressive move, and olsen was aquitted of all misdoing. Jay olsen was in violation of police rules for carrying a concealed weapon while drunk, shot four times at a man who supposedly made an "aggressive move" towards him, and was aquitted because it was self defense. The charges for firing a weapon in a residential area were dropped, and it is unlikely that olsen will get even a slap on the wrist for carrying and firing a gun while drunk.
Otto zehm was a mentally disabled janitor on a late-night gas stop. His medication had been lowered, and because of that his lawyers say he was anxious and confused that the banks was closed. He had a $500 paycheck on his person and a hefty bank account at that branch. He was seen by a young woman who said he was screaming and flailing his arms at the atm she had used just a moment ago. She was likely afraid that zehm would rob her, and called 911. The dispatcher told police that Zehm appeared to be high, and had taken money from the girl who made the call, but both statements were untrue. Police caught up with zehm at a nearby zip trip, where he wanted to buy a candy bar and a 2-litre soda. The security camera in the zip trip shows an officer enter and within 30 seconds of entering the store the officer had struck zehm with a baton, and tasered him, knocking zehm to the floor. Police administrators claim zehm lunged at the officer with the two liter, but the video enhanced by federal investigators shows that zehm was clearly in a defensive position, and was attempting to block the additional six baton strikes and two, 50,000 volt taser shocks he received from a second officer. Records show that both of these officers have used their tasers before on mentally ill persons, and the baton used was longer and stronger than standard issue batons. Zehm was hogtied on his stomach and a plastic oxygen mask was placed over his mouth and nose as a makeshift anti-spitting device after the 20 minute fight. Zehm never regained consciousness and died two days later. The police department denies wrongdoing except to say that the officers should not have used the mask. A federal investigation is pending.
Between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31 2008, there have been 12 deaths in Spokane County involving police, sheriff, jail and other commissioned officers. Most of the victims suffered from mental illness or drug issues or both.
It was also discovered that spokane officers have been hiding money in a separate bank account with which they payed for equipment, training, and vehicles without following standard bidding practices.
I am usually much more supportive of law officials, but in the last few months I have seen what I believe are several guilty men walk free because of the protection their job provides to them. I believe that the police departments in my area are allowed to get away with too much, and their attitude is one far from their purpose to serve and protect.
"Oh, you can’t stop a cop with a bottle of pop,
You can’t outrun a badge and a gun,
Cause when the law’s on your side you can do homicide,
And not worry because nothing gets done."
From "The ballad of Otto Zehm" by Doug Clark