Federal obstruction charges are expected to be filed soon against two more Spokane Police officers in connection with the city’s handling of the Otto Zehm investigation, which U.S. Department of Justice officials have called an “extensive cover-up.”
What were they covering up I hear you ask?
Thompson was the first officer to arrive that night at the Zip Trip, 1712 N. Division St., after two young women erroneously reported that Zehm had taken their money from a nearby ATM machine. A jury convicted Thompson after the video showed him strike the unarmed and retreating Zehm almost immediately during a struggle that later included six other officers.
Zehm was struck as many as 13 times with a baton, shocked with a Taser multiple times and was eventually hogtied. After a plastic mask was placed on his face, he stopped breathing and never regained consciousness. He died two days later.
It gets worse.
While the primary officer was responsible, what he was found guilty of was not for the homicide he committed. Instead he was found guilty of needlessly beating him and then lying to cover up his actions. He is punishment for the cold blooded murder of an innocent man who committed no crime other than not being able to grasp what was happening? Six to 8 years. Most depressing in all of this:
Had it been any civilian who had done something like that it would have been a murder charge. The officer initiated force without any indication it was required. Beat the hell out of the suspect who was innocent, hog tied him, and then placed a non rebreather mask on him without oxygen. Where I’m from at minimum that’s manslaughter since the mask was the final blow. He was negligent and it resulted in a mans death. That fact though was ignored and that’s not what he went to jail for.
Two other officers then attempted to aid him in his cover up. They are just as culpable in this mans death by their actions.
State Sponsored Criminal Count #288: Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr.
#289: Officer Sandra McIntyre
#290: Officer Tim Moses
Because when someone wants a snickers bar, you beat the hell out of them and then suffocate them.