This recent story in the Spokesman Review really brings forward many unanswered questions.
Perhaps the most glaring question is why the SCSO, Spokane County Prosecutor, Rob Cossey, and the reported victim are allowing the case to be scrutinized, analyzed, and in a sense tried in the press? Exactly what is the motivation for all the publicity? These are questions the media should be asking themselves, as well as key figures including the Sheriff and Prosecutor but for some reason apparently have no inclination to do so, or aren’t reporting on it if they are.
Unfortunately for the female officer her name is widely known in the Spokane Community simply because the SCSO, Spokane County Prosecutor, Rob Cossey, and others involved apparently didn’t feel the need to have the search warrant affidavits sealed in this case. I can understand Cossey not objecting because in the end all the publicity may well help his client from the standpoint of demonstrating to a jury that the SCSO Investigation was motivated by something other than getting to the truth and may have been the product of some political agenda or desire to demonstrate just how great the oversight process is in Spokane.
For those that don’t recall I dealt with some of the issues here, but this second information release needs some more scrutiny.
To be clear the SCSO and Spokane County Prosecutor had the option to have the court file sealed but for some reason decided not to. The obvious question reporters should be asking both Knezovich and Haskell is “Why”. It is pretty easy to anticipate the answers “It’s all about transparency and the public’s right to know.” Any seasoned investigator or investigative reporter knows that is the answer they will get and would have this follow-up question ready. “Why is transparency so important in this case and not important in cases of Officer Involved Deaths?” Pretty easy stuff really.
Most people aren’t aware of an investigative tool available to the Spokane County Prosecutor that was put in place years ago specifically to investigate Corruption and Organized Crime that tool is the Special Inquiry Judge Proceeding (been there done that). Granted the last two times the public is aware of in which the SIJ was utilized “The Great Massage Parlor Caper” and “The Carlile Murder Case” The Prosecutor and Law Enforcement blew it by releasing secret information from the SIJ, so there is no guarantee they would get it right this time.
BTW, the Spokesman Review covered extensively “The Great Massage Parlor Caper” in the beginning, but not a peep since. What ever happened to all those people charged and the property seized SR?
Back to the SIJ.
The disadvantage in utilizing the SIJ is that it is supposed to be done in secret so the public doesn’t get to know what went on unless someone is charged and the case goes public. That of course means WE have to rely on the integrity of the individuals involved and the system. I know…I know; I’m just stating the facts.
The advantage is witnesses called before the SIJ can be forced to testify or go to jail including cops. They can also be charged with perjury if they lie in their testimony.
Another advantage is that the SIJ was designed, as every Prosecutor knows, to protect innocent people from being subjected to public disclosure of unsubstantiated and untrue allegations of criminal conduct.
The obvious question of course for the media to ask both Knezovich and Haskell is; “Why did you choose not to utilize the SIJ, which would open the door to forcing cops to provide evidence while at the same time protect everyone involved?” Chances of that question being asked are almost nil.
The media accounts without reading the affidavit seem to portray the possibility, but a search warrant affidavit is a long, long, way from establishing whether or not “Obstruction” actually occurred and where it occurred.
See Above! 🙂