SSCC #135 – Spokane PD

This one’s right out of my own back yard.

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.

Zehm fell to the ground, where he was hogtied while on his stomach. A plastic mask that was not connected to an oxygen bottle was placed over his nose and mouth. Officers sat on him.

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.

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About Barron

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

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