Last Friday, a group of concerned citizened convened in Spokane City Hall to protest the creation of a new police ombudsman office. In a statement to the press, they said, "Our community deserves real and lasting change in the Spokane Police Department. The Police Ombudsman cannot conduct independent investigations and cannot discipline officers who use excessive force or otherwise abuse the public. This is not reform; it is just spending taxpayer money on window dressing.
"Let the city know that we will not be fooled again. Let Shonto Pete, the family of Otto Zehm, and all of the others know they are not alone. End police abuse and hold the city of Spokane accountable!"
Those who addressed the media on Friday: Liz Moore, director of Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, Shonto Pete, Tom keefe, attorney who worked with the Seattle Police Department on issues of misconduct and accountability, Agnes Broncheau, board member of VOICES, Ron Anderson, chair of the board of National Alliance on Mental Illness, Spokane Affiliate, Bart Haggin of the Progressive Democrats of America, Spokane Chapter, Dave Browneagle of Medicine Wheel Academy, and Deb Abrahamson, director of SHAWL Society.
Many of these same individuals are planning a "Rally For Real Police Reform," to convene Thursday, June 25, at 5:00 pm, in front of Spokane City Hall.