SPD officer federally indicted for beating Otto Zehm

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 3:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 29 at 12:23 PM

SPOKANE -- A Spokane Police officer has been federally indicted for causing bodily harm to a mentally disabled man, who died after fighting with officers in 2006.

Otto Zehm was at a North Spokane Zip Trip convenience store in March of 2006. Two people called 911, claiming he robbed an ATM. Five Spokane Police officers responded to the scene, where Zehm was tasered and restrained.

Zehm died in a Spokane hospital less than two days later. He went to the hospital about 10 minutes after the fight for breathing difficulties.

According to U.S. Attorney's, 61-year-old Officer Karl Thompson, one of the responding officers, repeatedly struck Zehm with a baton and tasered him, resulting in bodily injury. Attorneys also say Thompson made a false entry in a record investigated by federal authorities.

Combined, the charges carry a 30-year maximum sentence, and a $500,000 fine.

Thompson has been placed on paid administrative leave by the Spokane Police Department.

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