Welcome to The Fuzz, featuring a rundown of law enforcement-related news from Eastern Washington, North Idaho and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Northwest.
This week: a conversation about use of force
charges in domestic violence-related death, a backlog of heroin
tests in Idaho, and one Freeman High thief
1. Spokane police ombudsman and police chief to re-evaluate use of force policy
Police ombudsman Bart Logue and SPD Chief Craig Meidl announced last week that they intend to consider changes to the department's use of force policy.
One fatal shooting in particular has lingered in the back of Logue's mind. In April 2016, officers fixed their guns on a man outside the House of Charity shelter
. The man held a knife to his chest and pleaded with officers to kill him.
The man was killed by police gunfire, and the officers were cleared of criminal charges and internal policy violations. But during internal reviews, one officer, who fired a rifle, told investigators that he aimed for the man's head.
That answer has nagged at Logue. Although he acknowledges that the officers' decisions to shoot the man were justified, the question remains: "How deadly should deadly force be?"
"Bottom line, Mr. Logue and members of the [Office of Police Ombudsman Commission] are very impressed with the determination and open-mindedness that Chief Meidl has shown towards this very important topic," ombudsman commission chairman Ladd Smith writes in an email. "His willingness to look at his department critically to see if things may be done better is exemplary."
2. Sheriff's detectives seek murder charge in death of a man found in his bathroom
Detectives arrested Matthew C. Bossard, 35, in the death of a man found by a family member's caregiver covered in blood in his bathroom, according to a news release.
Police believe the death was a result of domestic violence, which is a factor in more than 80 percent of homicide investigations in Spokane County and Spokane Valley dating back to 2016, the news release says.
The name of the deceased man, and the cause of death, have not yet been released by the Spokane County medical examiner.
3. Drug testing backlog in Idaho
Idaho State Police forensic scientists are becoming overwhelmed with requests to rest heroin and other opioids, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported
According to the Tribune,
ISP has two drug analysts on staff, and each completes about 90 cases per month. They received 378 cases in August.
4. Freeman High School thief pleads guilty
Renee Mann pleaded guilty to theft and identify theft for stealing a purse out of a Freeman High School mother's vehicle while the panicked mother rushed into the school to check and see if her children were safe, the Spokesman-Review reported
Mann will be sentenced next month. Two other people, Larry Flett and Nicole Jensen, are also accused of stealing from Freeman High parents who abandoned their vehicles along Highway 27 on Sept. 13, the morning a 15-year-old Freeman sophomore opened fire in a second-floor hallway
, killing one student and wounding three others.