Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Police officer indicted in death of Otto Zehm

Spokane, Washington, June 22, 2009 - According to the Associated Press, a federal grand jury has indicted Officer Karl Thompson for striking and tasering 36-year-old Otto Zehm during a confrontation with police in a convenience store on March 18, 2006. Mr Zehm, who was developmentally disabled, never regained consciousness, and died two days after the incident. His death was ruled a homicide. From the article:

The indictment contends Officer Karl Thompson deprived Otto Zehm of his civil rights and made a false statement to investigators. He was accused of repeatedly striking Zehm with a baton and Tasering him in a convenience store.

City officials have said Zehm refused police orders to drop a two-liter bottle of soda he was holding, and fought with officers.

U.S. Attorney James McDevitt said Thompson will likely be the only officer indicted.
To read a Wikipedia article about the incident and the subsequent death of Otto Zehm, see here.

For more detailed coverage of the indictment of Karl Thompson, see this article by KXLY.