Another good Inlander story by Mitch Ryals today, which fits right in on what I’m working on.
Of course, Joe Walker was one of the catalysts for bringing the Cotton/Straub affair to light with his “Whistleblower” complaint, from which he suffered some “pushback and dissension “so it only makes sense that he understands just how bad SPD is with transparency.
As far as the OPO being Pissed Off is concerned that becomes clear in this email exchange between OPO Logue and myself during my research for a story on the “Great Leak Investigation” so I thought I would go ahead and write about it today while I’m waiting for the rest of my PRR response concerning the leak investigation, as is ordinarily the case completion of the leak PRR response has been pushed back.
I gotta wonder why OPO Logue is sticking around with SPD’s efforts to intimidate him, and OPOC Chair Deb Conklin, who doesn’t like Logue making every effort to get rid of him, as evidenced in the video of the last OPOC meeting.
If you believe this statement in the Inlander article I have a bunch of bridges I’m willing to sell you.
“Right now our level of transparency is limited by staffing,” Meidl said. The department has lost at least two clerical employees since former Chief Frank Straub left the department in 2015, he added.”
Try and put aside the snarky stuff in the emails imaged below and consider that had the conversation between two former Marines take place face to face exact quotes would not be printable.
My Initial email to OPO Logue:
OPO Logue email response:
Everyone gets PO when someone questions their veracity… as for me I’m used to it. You can decide for yourself who is telling the truth in this case, but you also should keep in mind that under the OPO Ordinance even if the OPO or an Independent investigation uncovers any wrongdoing on the part of an IA Investigator, nothing can be done.
The next time you hear Mayor Condon say that the OPO Ordinance is “A National Model For Police Oversight!” or a Council Member saying “It Was The Best We Could Get!”, perhaps you will laugh right along with me?
I REPORT HSS YOU DECIDE!!!
Mitch Ryals the Inlander Journalist and Gadfly did a great job of covering the “McMurtrey Intimidation Leak Investigation Case” in the story linked below.
To be perfectly clear my description Ryals as a “Gadfly” refers to the fact that he is one of the very few Mainstream Media Reporters who covers the goings on in local law enforcement, providing reader stimulation while at the annoyance of local law enforcement, I was not referring to him as a horsefly, botfly, or warble fly. 😊
Definition of gadfly
- 1 : any of various flies (such as a horsefly, botfly, or warble fly) that bite or annoy livestock
- 2 : a person who stimulates or annoys other people especially by persistent criticism a political gadfly
I… as you might suspect… will be doing a story of my own since I was the “Gadfly” that caused all the commotion, however as is quite usual with the Condon Administration I’m still waiting for response to my Public Records Request regarding the “Investigation”.
Let’s be clear the investigation started long before McMurtrey made his IA complaint. Keep in mind the Mayor’s mouth piece Brian Coddington reviews all of my PRRs the minute they hit the City Clerk’s Office.
There are a lot of negatives associated with this intimidation attempt some of which were pointed out by the OPO Assistant Luvimae Omana.
“For Omana, who is Logue’s assistant, another big takeaway is the department’s focus on rooting out an internal leaker, rather than how to deal with misconduct identified through body camera footage. When the department originally investigated McMurtrey, the lack of an official body camera policy precluded administrators from handing down any formal discipline.”
Although Ms. Omana is dead on about the leak focus, IMO the Guild Control of all things Body Camera was a non-factor in the McMurtrey case as there was an independent witness (ASU Researcher) who was never even interviewed, and McMurtrey confessed on two occasions regarding his “atrocious” conduct.
Another negative is the way this was handled by one-time finalist for the OPO position Jacqui MacConnell a former Police Officer whom I spoke highly of when she was a Candidate for the OPO position. MacConnell replaced Tim Schwering as the Director of Strategic Initiatives, as I expressed at the time she was appointed as DSI my hope was she wouldn’t drink the Cool-Aide. MacConnell has disappointed me and we will see how she takes Gadfly Criticism.
This is an interesting quote from Assistant Chief Justin Lundgren:
“Not every police document is a public record,” Assistant Chief Justin Lundgren says via email. “Those documents that are public record have a specific process that much be followed to ensure the record is released in accordance with Washington State law.
“The investigation centered around the manner in which the record was released.”
Lundgren must have forgotten the tape-recorded interview I along with Mitch Ryals, and Rachel Alexander from the SR had with him and Meidl, and the series of stories I did regarding that interview. Somewhat surprising since SPD has been mining my blog… maybe the just missed it.
On a positive note two of McMurtrey’s supervisors, like others, recognized the distinct possibility that use of force history, two OIS cases, and patrol conduct there was a strong likely McMurtrey was a “Cowboy” which in law enforcement vernacular means an overly aggressive cop who could be dangerous. The problem for the cops that recognized the behavior, was that no-one above them was willing to deal with it and instead tried to hide it.
Lots more coming on this!
I GADFLY YOU DECIDE!!! 🙂
The question is will it result in yet another leek investigation?
As my followers and SPD know I received information long ago about some problems with the Zola shooting, including conversation in Body Camera Footage of Officers saying NOT TO USE Lethal force, so assuming during the Press Conference SPD plays all the BC Footage unredacted it will be interesting what it shows. Another issue is of course the deployment of rifles by SPD which was addressed by both the Use of Force Commission and COPS/DOJ in their reviews.
Keep in mind that this OIS took place well over one year ago and is only being made public now. I tried to get Ozzie to talk about it back in Feburary, but for a change he kept quite.
Why OIS Press Conferences?
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!
After seven months and at great expense to the taxpayer SPD’s IA Case into who my sources are has been concluded and Administratively Suspended. If you recall SPD tried to hide what SPD Chief Craig Meidl described as “the most atrocious demeanor” he has seen since he has been a Police Officer. Because many Cops are genuinely and rightfully concerned about the direction SPD is going I found out about SPD’s efforts to hide the truth and reported on it.
Make no mistake about it opening this IA Leak Case was without question an attempt to intimidate any officer who would even consider wanting to get the truth out. Even worse, based upon public records I have received as a result of my Public Records Request of January 13, 2017 regarding the original McMurtrey case there was also a concerted effort to try and intimidate staff of the OPO and members of the OPOC who gave statements to IA Investigators regarding the “Leak”. The City has still not provided all of the Public Records from my January 13th request and as a matter of fact withheld important documents for a period of five months after the City Clerk received them.
The documents I have not received from my January 13th PRR are of course those that involve communications between Meidl, Lundgren, and others regarding the handling of the McMurtrey case C16-004, and there is of course a reason those are taking so damn long (FADE AND FORGET)!
You have to ask yourself this question; “Is Mayor Condon’s and Craig Meidl’s wonderful statements about SPD “Transparency” just pure unadulterated BS?” The answer of course is; “ABSOLUTELY”.
Another case I am still waiting for is IA Case C17-003 involving the conduct of Officer John O’Brien which will likely result in another full-scale Leak Investigation because SPD’s efforts to hide it were unsuccessful. The conduct is similar to McMurtrey’s and involves a handcuffed African American suspect. For those that haven’t noticed O’Brien has recently been doing a lot of PIO releases. Another question is will Meidl have yet another press conference releasing the Body Camera Video in the O’Brien case like he did with McMurtrey, and will O’Brien like McMurtrey with the help of the Guild make an IA Complaint regarding the leak to waist more taxpayer money.
Where is the Mayor and City Council on the lack of SPD transparency? The truth is our lame duck Mayor only cares about any bad publicity getting out which reflects on his choice of a Police Chief or specifically contradicts his own transparency rhetoric. The City Council with only a couple of exceptions could care less, which is odd considering some are running for election with opponents who would be nuts not to throw their lack of doing anything right in their face. You might also wonder where the SPD Police Guild stands in this whole IA Transparency issue. You will see when some of the results of the current secret contract negotiations become public.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!