This is a follow-up story to these previous stories and others involving SPD transparency issues:
One of the big pains in the butt for Investigative Reporters is having to study page after page of data, reports, court cases, emails, text messages, and all kinds of stuff. If you don’t do the work you can easily overlook something. I don’t think I have overlooked anything as far the battle between SPD’s Patrol Anti-Crime Team (PACT) and the Detective’s Targeted Crimes Unit (TCU), if I have I’m sure I will hear about it.
Aside from the ongoing issue of SPD’s lack of transparency which I’ve pointed out in my previous stories there is a real concern on my part and obviously on the part of others that there are serious problems with some of the cases SPD’s PACT are trying to make. As you can see from my previous story ( “NO LEAK INVESTIGATION REGARDING THE BATTLE BETWEEN SPD’S DETECTIVES AND THE PATROL ANTI- CRIME TEAM!!!”) SPD Detective Lonnie Tofsrud was punished for even bringing up the possibility that Officers lied in building a case. There are a number of serious questions which pop up throughout the IA Investigation of Detective Tofsrud a few of which he points out in his rebuttal to the IA Case.
(***It is a good idea to always make sure you get the Officer’s rebuttal when you do PRRs for IA cases.)
After the IA Case Tofsrud filed a Human Resources complainant against SPD Brass for the way the case was handled which will be an interesting read when I get a response from the City to my PRR regarding Tofsrud’s complaint.
Since I broke a story on November 16, 2018 regarding the Ombudsman Commission making a formal complaint against Chief Meidl about SPD transparency, and the Spokesman Review followed up on my story on November 28, 2018 as did the Inlander on December 27, 2018 the information flow has been non-stop.
SPD “Terry Stops” has been a big issue for some time and SPD Chief Craig Meidl doesn’t like media stories which put SPD in a bad light and has been mum so far on my requests for contact regarding this story. Heck I’d even be satisfied with a nasty email like former Inlander Reporter Mitch Ryals got after this story as long as I was able to ask Meidl a few questions.
The OPOC and more specifically Commissioner James Wilburn has been trying for some time to have SPD turn over data on African American “Terry Stops” for some time, but they have had zero success even though the Public Records Act specifically allows data to be provided to provided to, among others the “Washington state commission on African-American affairs”, so once again I will suggest that the OPOC and Mr. Wilbur contact the Washington state commission on African-American affairs and have them demand the data from SPD.
A few other stories regarding Wilburn’s transparency attempts:
Ombudsman Commissioner James Wilburn, a former president of the local chapter of the NAACP, requested through Logue access to the case files involving use of force by officers against minority groups. The commission argues that the law allows any commissioner to “request the (ombudsman) to examine or re-examine specific non-disciplinary policy or procedure issues.”
“How can I do my job? You’re going to deny me what I’m here on this commission to do,” Wilburn said.
THE HONORABLE SALVADOR MENDOZA, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
“And you try to mislead? That was offensive. That has never happened to me as a practicing lawyer, and it never happened to me as a judge. The Court’s going to grant the motion to suppress, including the fruits.”
I see a common thread in the cases I have been reviewing and the Winston Brooks case is typical of what I see. I won’t get into a whole lot more at this point and you can draw your own conclusions from what I have provided here.