SPD Officer on leave pending investigation


by KREM.com


Posted on December 4, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 10:53 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Spokane Police Officer Barry O'Connell was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation, KREM 2 News learned Wednesday.

The investigation was not criminal. Officials would not comment on the specifics. O’Connell is banned from police facilities and is not allowed to discuss the investigation with anyone. Records showed O'Connell had four previous internal affairs complaints against him and five previous citizen complaints.

WATCH: Records show internal, citizen complaints against Officer O'Connell

Officer O’Connell has been with SPD for more than 18 years.

READ MORE: Three-week suspension for officer in child's wounding

O'Connell had previously been suspended for three weeks in 2012 after his young daughter accidentally shot herself in the leg with his service weapon.  An investigation found Officer O’Connell failed to comply with department policy requiring officers to secure their duty weapons at home and with other rules that prohibit officers from acting willfully, carelessly or negligently with city property.

READ MORE: Policy shows officer may have been in violation by not safely storing service weapon

The officer's daughter was 10 when she found and fired her father's unsecured gun in the family's master bedroom, suffering a non-life-threatening wound.

WATCH: No charges against Spokane officer after daughter shoots self with service weapon

Before the 2012 incident, complaints against Officer O’Connell included conduct unbecoming of an officer, untruthfulness, insubordination and sexual harassment. Two of the complaints resulted in suspensions; one for a week in 2009 and one for two weeks in 2010.

Spokane Police Department leaders told KREM 2 News in 2012 that some of the issues on O’Connell’s record at the time were normal for an officer who had been on the force for nearly two decades. Yet, different SPD leaders said Wednesday that's not the case and most officers have blemish free records.