Spokane police officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. responded on March 18, 2006, to an ultimately false report that Otto Zehm stole money from an ATM. After confronting Zehm in a convenience store, a struggle ensued, and Thompson beat Zehm with a baton and Tasered him repeatedly. Other officers then rushed in, tied up Zehm, placed a plastic mask over his face and sat on him until he stopped breathing, according to court documents. Zehm died a few days later.
The Spokane County medical examiner ruled Zem’s death a homicide, but local prosecutors refused to file charges against Thompson. The FBI eventually investigated the case and filed charges against Thompson for using unreasonable force and making a false statement.
No matter how you cut this, this was a despicable act that resulted in the death of an innocent person.
No place could that be considered reasonable force. It is doubly despicable the actions the department took to protect their officer. Including throwing out other witness testimony that was unfavorable to the officer. There is no question that the officer is guilty of at minimum negligent homicide. His actions were taken without a thought or care to the rights of the victim. His actions immediately after the assault guaranteed his death. Even if this man was guilty the actions taken after illustrate the belief he was judge jury and executioner.
While he his now facing a trial, it was brought about by a federal investigation since local law enforcement refused to act and punish him. For that, he’s still a state sponsored criminal.
State Sponsored Criminal Count: #135 – Karl F. Thompson
Because after assaulting someone they should be restrained in such a way as to guarantee their death.