(Editorial) Police are allowed to investigate themselves.  Really, that is the current ludicrous situation. That is now what happens when a citizen files a complaint about the Spokane Police Department.  There are no checks and balances. No real oversight.  No Transparency.  Prop 1 on the Spokane Ballot for the February 12 election would change that.

Prop 1 in Spokane  mandates independent investigations of complaints of police misconduct.   It also gives average citizens a voice by creating a citizen oversight committee.  We need this to prevent another citizen like Otto Zehm from being killed.  Here is a video and transcript of Spokane City Councilwomen Amber Waldref asking us to vote “yes” for Prop 1 to support our Spokane Office of Police Ombudsman and giving him or her the authority to independently conduct real investigations.  According to Spokane City Councilwomen Amber Waldref,

Prop 1 for an Independent Police Ombudsman

Prop 1 will enshrine the Office of Police Ombudsman and a Citizen Oversight Committee to work with the Office of Police Ombudsman in the Spokane City Charter.  It is a very important amendment to our City Charter for many reasons . . .  Number one . . . one of the most important issues the City of Spokane has faced in many many years is increasing the transparency and accountability of our Police Department after the Otto Zehm incident . . .  Putting the Office of Police Ombudsman into the Spokane City Charter so it will be there for every more.  Number two, Prop 1 will create a citizens committee to work with the Police Ombudsman.  The Citizens Committee will be advising the City Council, the Mayor, and the Police Ombudsman to really say these are the issues that Spokane Citizens are concerned about . . . and provide more oversight and transparency.  Also, it is always important to have a public vote on important issues  . . . and Prop 1 will move us on the path to independent oversight of the Spokane Police Department.

Please vote “Yes” on Prop 1 for an Spokane Office of Police Ombudsman that can independently investigate the Spokane Police Department when there are citizen complaints of misconduct.

(Related Post: Waldref is running for re-election for Spokane City Council and her opponent Mark Hamilton is facing legal scrutiny.  A lawsuit alleges that he is not a resident of the City ward for which he is running to represent.  Moreover, utility bills suggest and eye witnesses claim that Mark Hamilton was not living at the address).

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Filed under: Initiatives, Propositions, Levies, and Bonds

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