City Council requests quicker reviews of shootings involving police

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 22 at 2:58 AM

Poll:
Do you think the Spokane Co. Prosecutor should review officer-involved shootings quicker?

SPOKANE, Wash.—Members of the Spokane City Council want the Spokane County Prosecutor to review officer-involved shootings quicker.

The Spokane City Council is debating on Monday night whether to send a letter to Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker because they believe that several months to a year to review an officer-involved shooting is too long.

 READ: Letter drafted for Spokane Co. Prosecutor Steve Tucker

The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office deemed two officer involved shootings were justified in April. One of those shootings happened in August of 2013 outside of a Salvation Army. The other happened in May outside of a home in North Spokane.

 READ: Officers found justified in Aug. Salvation Army shooting


A shooting in North Spokane in late March involved five Spokane Police Department officers. The Spokane Investigative Regional Response team was reviewing the case in April. The investigation will be forward to the Spokane Co. Prosecutor after their investigation. 

"I think we can do it effectively and do it quicker, that's my sense,” said Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder.

KREM 2 News pulled up other officer-involved shootings in Spokane and found that in some cases the prosecutor declared the shooting justified after more than one year. In other cases, it only took five months.

"We should aspire to be the best of all cities and not settle,” said Snyder.

A Spokane City Council letter addressed to Tucker asks him to look at how he can speed up his review. It is also a recommendation the Department of Justice gave the City.

READ: Protocol for Spokane authorities after officer involved shootings

City leaders said it would help officers move forward if they do not have to wait so long to find out if their shooting was justified.

"They're sitting there, for a very long time, wondering if they're going to be brought up on any sort of charges or not,” said Snyder.

KREM 2 News was unable to get in touch with the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday to see if anyone could comment on the letter.

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