Posted on October 21, 2011 at 10:08 AM
Friday, Oct 21 at 5:25 PM
YAKIMA, Wash. -- The federal trial against Officer Karl Thomas resumed Friday.
Prosecutors say Thompson used excessive force in the 2006 beating of Otto Zehm and lied to investigators.
Officer Tim Moses was back on the stand Friday. Officer Moses testified Thursday that he does not recall ever telling medics anything about baton blows, despite testimony from an EMT that said otherwise. It also differed from Moses’ testimony in front of Grand Jury in 2009, when he said Thompson hit Zehm in the head with a baton.
On Friday, the prosecution asked Moses how good of friends he is with Moses. Security video played in court from the night of the beating shows Moses and Thompson talking in a corner of the store. Moses maintained he did not talk to Thompson until after Zehm went to the hospital. That differs from his testimony in 2009.
Moses told the prosecution he was confused about the video shown in court from the Zip Trip.
The prosecution then questioned Moses about what he told the complaining witnesses, the girls who called in the incident to authorities. Moses was asked if he in fact told the witnesses Zehm “had the tar beat out of him.” Moses said he never saw the security tape in full, and would like to. Upon seeing the video, he initially told the court he wasn’t sure the man in the video was an officer because he could not see a uniform. Moses later said he could tell Thompson was the man in the video.
Moses’ 2009 testimony was then addressed. He claimed it was not complete and accurate. Moses testified in January and June of that year, and said he was pressured by the FBI in the June interview. At that time Officer Moses said Thompson told him he hit Zehm in the head with a baton. He now says otherwise. When questioned about the truthfulness of his 2009 statements, Thompson said he did tell the truth then as he knew it.
The prosecution said Moses has previously stated he was not forced into giving false information, but the FBI did intimidate him. Moses testified in June of 2009 that the U.S. Attorney’s Office treated him well, but now Moses said he was not.
Moses said between four and six officers were struggling with Zehm when he arrived at the Zip Trip that night when the defense begins questioning.
They say Moses might have forgotten some of the information.
Throughout the rest of the defense’s questioning, Moses said he did talk to Thompson that night. He said the 2009 testimony was a summary of that conversation. Moses, who was testifying under immunity, then said that the FBI “got him to say Zehm lunged at police,” and he agreed to everything the FBI said to him because of their influence.
Moses says he "Didn't trust any of them. I thought we were all professional law enforcement officers,” when speaking about the FBI.
He says Thompson never said he hit Zehm in the head.
Sandy McIntyre, a close friend of Karl Thompson, was one of several Spokane police officers who responded to the Zip Trip that evening.
During her testimony Friday, McIntyre was asked if she ever said she thought Thompson overreacted toward Zehm. She stated that she never said that to anyone. She claims she wouldn't know, because she wasn’t present at the time of the baton blows.
Prosecutors pointed out McIntyre's 2009 grand jury testimony when she said "she could have" told someone about the head blows.
McIntyre claims the FBI pressured her into giving certain answers. She said they threatened her with obstruction of justice if she didn't comply with their demands.
McIntyre said that "scared the hell out of her."
Friday, prosecutors asked her, "Have you ever heard of someone saying "they don't recall" something to avoid disclosing something?
McIntyre said "yes."
During that same grand jury testimony, McIntyre said she "didn't recall" many facts. She admitted to saying she didn't recall things that she truthfully knew the answer to.
Officer Erin Raleigh, who worked as a patrol officer the night of the incident, took the stand after Moses. Raleigh told the prosecution Thomson was straddling Zehm that night. He testified Thompson said he was punched in the face, but Raleigh did not notice any injuries.
In grand jury testimony in 2009, Raleigh said he saw extremely tight leg restraints on Zehm. Raleigh also never saw Zehm kick officers, but legs were "flailing" in leg restraints. He said it took a number of officers to handcuff Zehm because he kept struggling after he was handcuffed. Raleigh also said officers had to use leg restraints because Zehm was fighting back so much, and that Thompson said he was assaulted by Zehm.
Raleigh testified he heard Zehm say that night that he “just wanted a Snickers.”
Raleigh described the night of the incident at the Zip Trip saying he never saw the initial altercation between Officer Karl Thompson and Otto Zehm. He said Zehm resisted multiple officers when they tried to arrest him.
Raleigh admits he never saw Zehm punch at Thompson or take a boxing stance.
Raleigh says Thompson told him he was punched in the mouth, but Raleigh never saw signs of this