Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl confirmed Friday that the video of an arrest of a 29-year-old man fleeing police contained evidence of “policy violations” but denied suggestions his agency was attempting to downplay the incident.
*** Wait just a second Chief Meidl…now you are saying the video “contained evidence of policy violations”? The facts are and the records will show that SPD Use of Force Experts Lt. Boothe, and Sgt. Wheeler after reviewing the video found that there was “policy violations”, but when moved up the Chain to Lt. Staben and Major King the SPD’s expert analysis was overruled as within policy which of course prevented the OPO from knowing about it. Ellerman’s arrest took place February 12, 2019 over three months ago and now you have decided to change the finding because I brought it to the attention of the OPO?
“The mere insinuation that there’s a cover-up, again, puts me in a position where I want to be able to address that, because that is inflammatory, and it does a lot of damage,” said Meidl in an interview Friday. “It doesn’t matter what I can say, until I can say, here’s everything else.”
*** I’m not insinuating anything; I’m stating facts which you are well aware of Chief Meidl.
Meidl said the two officers are working patrol while the internal affairs investigation continues. He called the offer for the council to review the footage after signing a nondisclosure agreement “a compromise” that was proffered by the Spokane Police Guild in an effort to provide a fuller picture of the event to lawmakers without trampling the rights of their members.
*** “Without trampling the rights of their members”… say what? You just trampled on Dan and Scott Lesser’s rights by publicly stating that now you have decided there was “policy violations” was that intentional to put your friends in best position to file a grievance for any discipline that might come of this. Any Chief knows that you don’t tell the world that Officers committed “policy violations” prior to an IA Investigation being completed. If Dan and Scott Lesser committed “policy violations” back on February 12, 2019 how will you explain that they were never disciplined for those “policy violations” once the public sees the “horrific” Body Camera Video, and especially when you consider that the IA Investigation didn’t even start until after May 22, 2019. Beyond that if Ellerman decides to file a lawsuit against the City and SPD you just gave him exactly what he needs, because as everyone knows in Civil Rights and Excessive Force Lawsuits the key element is whether or not the Officers committed “policy violations”.
*** “a compromise”…I guess that just goes to show that the Police Unions do in fact run SPD and your lack of leadership includes hiding behind the Unions skirts when transparency is at issue and you are going to look exceptionally bad. A real leader would have gone public showed the video to everyone and as they teach you in Law Enforcement Leadership Training “fee-up and face-up” you sure aren’t showing you have the guts to do that.
“One of the things that I’m trying to do, is avoid the Spokane Police Department from being a political football,” Meidl said. “The challenge is, some other people can go out there and talk about it, and they can talk about it with the information they have, which may or may not be accurate.”
*** Every piece of my information is accurate, because good honest Cops, and others give it to me, and I corroborate it, and you know it. If you are so worried about accuracy let the public see the video and allow them to decide what is and isn’t accurate.
“Meidl said the two officers are working patrol”
*** So Chief does that mean Scott Lesser was booted from the SPD PACT which is another big problem for you and sent back to Patrol or do you consider PACT part of Patrol?
Since the Officers were accused of turning their BWCs off and on by Ellerman’s sister will the IA Investigation include questioning about BWC issues, and are you ever going to look into this Federal Case that was dismissed because of Dan and Scott Lesser or will Mayor Condon and Teresa Sanders prevent you from doing what is right and proper because it would ruin their we are all for and tough on Police Oversight baloney.
Since this was a US Marshal’s Operation are you going to inform Main Justice and the US Marshals Service in DC what a mess you and your people have created…after all the Marshals Service does pay all the overtime for the SPD PACT.
Of course, to actually do a legitimate IA Investigation you would have to interview the US Marshals involved, but in order to do that you have to jump through some legal hoops… been there done that I can help you with how to do it…just give me a call.
Chief Meidl you have screwed this thing up so bad and tried to cover it up in a real stupid way the only creditable solution is to have this matter investigated by an independent agency.