Sheriff’s Deputy: “You’re lucky I didn’t fuckin’ shoot you”

Spokane, Wash. — Spokane Sheriff’s deputies snoop around the wrong house, order the innocent resident out of the house, put him on his knees, and hold him at gunpoint. When the ordeal is over, instead of apologizing the deputy tells the man “you’re lucky I didn’t fuckin’ shoot you”.

Fortunately, the citizen survived the encounter.

Unfortunately, the attitude displayed by the deputies in this incident is not an exception, but rather one in a series of manifestations of the “Us vs Them” culture fostered by the Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.

The Sheriff has a habit of blaming the victims and defending the reckless and illegal actions of his deputies, creating an atmosphere of impunity that leads to harassment and even deaths of innocent people.

From The Inlander:

It’s dark — after 8:30 pm in December — and two Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies surround a house on North Five Mile Road, guns drawn. They’re investigating a potential burglary.

The only problem is, they’re snooping around the wrong house. They had been given the correct address, but they couldn’t find the house and assumed the caller was mistaken.

“Open the door!” Brooke says. “Sheriff’s Department!”

Deputy Evan Logan walks around back and shines his light through the windows. He checks the handle on the double French doors that lead into the basement

Unlocked.

Deputy Robert Brooke walks to the front of the house and shines his flashlight into the main floor “to see if he could see any evidence inside the home,” according to court documents. He checks the front doorknob. 

Locked.

Meanwhile, Connor Griffith-Guerrero, the 22-year-old who lives in the house, is watching a movie on Netflix in the basement. He sees the deputies’ flashlights and walks to the main floor to investigate. Griffith-Guerrero cracks open the front door, sees the deputy’s gun and screams as he slams it shut, thinking the cop was actually a criminal.

“Open the door!” Brooke says. “Sheriff’s Department!”

On hearing that the flashlights and guns are being held by police, Griffith-Guerrero opens the door. He’s ordered out of his house and onto his knees. The deputies put him in handcuffs at gunpoint, according to court documents.

Eventually they let him go when they see that the address on his ID matches the address of the house that they just pulled him out of.

“You’re lucky I didn’t f—-in’ shoot you,” Brooke says to Griffith-Guerrero, according to court documents.

Knezovich: Holyk’s Injuries Are the Result of His Own Actions

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On the night of May 23, 2014 deputy Joe Bodman of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office was driving his Ford Explorer SUV at 74 mph — more than twice the speed limit — down East Sprague Avenue. In violation of Washington state law, neither his siren nor his lights were on.  As he approached the intersection of Sprague & Vista, Bodman changed lanes to pass a pickup truck.

At the same time, a 15-year old boy, Ryan Holyk, entered the crosswalk on his bicycle. According to the the man driving the truck that Bodman had just passed, Bodman’s SUV hit Ryan’s head as the vehicle veered through the crosswalk.

Bodman came to a stop, and radioed dispatch: “I just hit a pedestrian”.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, including the deputy’s own admission and the presence of Holyk’s DNA on the bumper of the deputy’s SUV, the Sheriff’s office insisted that the vehicle never touched the boy. Just last month, on the second anniversary of the accident, the Sheriff’s Citizens Advisory and Review Board issued a report concluding that the deputy’s vehicle did not strike Ryan Holyk. The board’s vice chairman Bob West insisted that the report was “thorough” and accused critics of the report of having “a political ax to grind”.

Then last week Dr. Carter, an investigator in the Ryan Holyk’s case, made a damning discovery: he found an imprint of the boy’s hat band on the bumper of the SUV. Today, Knezovich held a press-conference, where Dr. Carter presented the evidence.

After the presentation, Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Lawrence Haskell made a short statement, saying that in light of the new evidence the Prosecutor’s Office will be requesting the entire file back from the investigators to take another look at the situation. “At this point, it would be way too early to speculate whether it would change that decision [to file criminal charges against Bodman]”.

Sheriff Knezovich spoke immediately after and went on the defensive, saying that “One of the things that needs to be pointed out, is, every ounce of evidence that you’ve seen today was collected by either Spokane Police Department detectives, Spokane Sheriff’s Office forensic unit, or the Spokane Sheriff’s Office.. erm.. expert in reference to this.. this case. It shows just the amount of diligence and good police work that was done in capturing all this.. material. So, on the fifth review of this.. case, there was uh.. new evidence that was found and that will be examined and we will move forward with the, um, the information that we gained from that. Um, questions?”

Reporter: “How will this impact the lawsuit?”

Knezovich responded: “You know.. the lawsuit really is irrelevant in reference to this.. um.. this type of situation. It’s more important to make sure we do what’s right. It’s more important that citizens of this county have this information, and that the prosecutor’s office has this information. So they can make a determination as far as what happened here in this.. ah.. instance. The last thing we will ever do, is, uh.. not release evidence in reference to any case because that’s just not how we operate.”

Reporter: “Dr. Carter, why wasn’t this done before?”

Dr. Carter : “To be honest, with you, I can’t really tell you, um.. quite frankly, because I was looking at it in context.” He proceeded to explain that the discovery was partly the result of a careful reexamination of the photos, and part a happy accident with the photo of the bumper and the hatband displayed side-by-side. “Of course, you’ve already been alerted to the fact that this is there. Once you see it, you can’t really unsee it… it’s a subtle pattern, it’s disjointed, it’s in two different pieces, and it’s not a complete hat band,  it doesn’t immediately pop out at you.”

Reporter: “How long ago did it catch your eye, and how long did it take you to come to this conclusion?”

Dr. Carter: “A week to a week and a half ago, I had received animations from the plaintiffs, where they were laying out their theory about how the event took place. And their theory, that Mr. Holyk put the bike down, and that he had turned about 180 degrees, back to his right, to exit the crosswalk and to go back to the north, and then he was struck in the head, spun back around and dropped right on top of the bike, which to my mind at that point seemed highly speculative. But I said — as a forensic analyst, as a scientist, and an engineer — one of the things that I want to do was evaluate the theory against the evidence and see if perhaps potentially I missed something.. so I went back, and — the sheriff didn’t ask me to do this, nobody asked me to do this, I did this on my own. To go back, and look carefully at the photos and see if, for some reason, there was something that I missed. And, I found this, I would say — after several hours of looking through the photos, before I actually found this.

Knezovich: “Over the course of that week, um.. Dr. Carter’s information could not be verified, until we had the hat. We still don’t have the hat, so we haven’t been able to definitively match the hat. We were able to find photographs of the hat, give them to Dr. Carter, and the.. um.. County’s attorney and the county’s expert in this case reviewed Dr. Carter’s.. um.. information and came to the same conclusion.. um.. last Friday. Dr. Carter finished his review, finished the report, I received the report this morning, and we’re presenting that report today.”

Reporter: “What does this say about the previous reports, that came out that said that there was no contact?”

Knezovich: “That’s.. that’s what it says.. uh.. this report still says basically the same thing. Deputy Bodman’s vehicle didn’t knock Holyk off the.. off his bicycle, didn’t hit the bicycle, didn’t hit Holyk on the bicycle, and what it shows is, as Dr. Carter mentioned — the plaintiff’s theory — that, after he dropped the bike, he spun, at 21 inches off the ground, and tried to go to the north and that’s when he was hit by deputy Bodman’s vehicle as it was going around him. That’s the only difference, is, um — there’s, as Dr. Carter mentioned — many of the mechanics of this, it really can’t be explained.”

Reporter: “So, is still [unintelligible] that he knocked Holyk off his bike?”

Knezovich: “Right. Had Holyk stayed on the bike, this wouldn’t have happened. It’s when he spins that 180 degrees and heads back towards the crosswalk.. or, the sidewalk.”

Reporter: “So, you’re saying Holyk’s injuries are still a result of his own actions, and not the deputy’s?”

Knezovich: “That’s.. There’s a combination of information here, Mitch. So, yes. ”

Reporter: “So, to be clear: this does not, necessarily, say that the officer was at fault, in any way?”

Knezovich: “No. That’s yet to be determined.”

Reporter: “You said you don’t have the hat. Where is it?”

Knezovich: “The family has the hat. The plaintiff’s attorney has the hat.”

Reporter: “Where is deputy Bodman now?”

Knezovich: “Deputy Bodman is still on patrol.”

Ryan Holyk’s Hat Band Imprint on Bumper of Deputy’s Car

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From KHQ:

In the fifth review of the case, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says a new report by one of his investigators shows an imprint from Ryan Holyk’s hat on the bumper of Deputy Joe Bodman’s patrol car. 

Dr. Jarrod Carter found evidence that the hat Ryan was wearing at the time of the crash left an imprint in the same area that Ryan’s DNA was found on the bumper.

“It indicates very clearly that the bumper did in fact hit Holyk’s head,” Dr. Carter said in a press conference on Wednesday.

The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office says they will be taking “another look” at the case, in light of the new evidence.

This news comes just weeks after the Sheriff’s Citizens Advisory and Review Board issued a report concluding that the deputy’s vehicle did not strike Ryan Holyk. At the time, the Spokesman-Review newspaper quoted Knezovich as saying “This is the fourth outside review. I don’t know how many reviews other people might want.”

 

Sheriff’s Office Spends $5,000 on Report Praising Knezovich

From Spokesman-Review:

In her 13-page report, sent to the board and Knezovich on May 5, [the contractor hired by the Sheriff’s Office – KR] Olson praises the proactive approach the sheriff and board members took in soliciting an outside look at their oversight approach. She offered several reform ideas, including instituting term limits for board members and asserting more authority in recruitment and requesting reviews of certain cases and policies.

Olson’s $5,000 visit and evaluation were paid from the sheriff’s budget. Knezovichcalled her observations “well thought-out.” But he said his office did not have the budget to hire a full-time staffer.

Knezovich also said some reformers had unrealistic expectations about the independence of that position, pointing out that members of the Spokane Office of the Police Ombudsman are paid by the city.

“Doesn’t that just put me back in the same position, with people saying, the sheriff hired this person?” Knezovich said. “There is no complete independence. You’ll never get that.”

Bob West, vice president of the Citizen’s Advisory Board, said he’s been working with Spokane County Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn on freeing up some money for a paid staffer.

“It would be nice if we could have our own office, like how people go to the city ombudsman now,” said West. [CAB currently holds meetings in a meeting room adjacent to Ozzie Knezovich’s personal office]

Official Portraits of Kathryn Olson

Kathryn Olson

The Power of the Constitutional Sheriff

Richard Mack is the former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona and is best known for suing the federal government over the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which he alleged violated States’ rights and the United States Constitution. He won the lawsuit.

Watch the video to learn why it is so vitally important to have a sheriff who is willing to stand with the people of his county, against an oppressive federal government.

Knezovich Seeks to Become Law Enforcement Czar

OZZIE_KNEZOVICH.JPG_t1140Spokane, Wash. — In an unexpected turn of events, the chairwoman of the Police Leadership Advisory Committee resigned Monday, and called on the Spokane mayor to let Ozzie Knezovich run a consolidated, regional police force.

Mary Ann Murphy, the former director of Partners with Families and Children, was quoted by the Spokesman-Review as saying “Most of the citizens in this region trust him. [Letting him run a regional police force is] the single most defensible thing we can do, as a placeholder.”

Knezovich has been persistent in wanting to add the title of police chief to the elected sheriff title he currently holds. This would give him control of the two currently independent agencies, paving the way for their merger into a “metro-style” police force.

Spokane Militia Commander: I Am Very Concerned About Ozzie Knezovich

Spokane Valley, Wash. — In a recently released video Dan Hansen, who serves as the Commander of the 63rd Battalion Lightfoot Militia, stated that he is “very, very, very … concerned about Ozzie Knezovich”.  

Addressing a crowd of “Tea Party Patriots” at a Northwest Grassroots Movie Night, he acknowledged that many of the audience members “have been long standing against [Knezovich] and some of the things that he’s been saying. I like to let the people to, kind of, show their colors. He has shown his colors in a lot of ways.”

Dan-Hansen

Hansen continued:

“Because of the position that I’m in, as the Commander of the 63rd, as a militia person, as you well know, we get hammered, day in and day out, in the news. Both locally, and across the nation — as a militia.

We have a good standing, not only locally, but across the nation. We have an outstanding name. And we have a good relationship with alphabet soup — federal, FBI, DEA, anything that has to do with firearms — we have a good rapport with them. And that rapport is important, not only for us as militia, but for you.

But what I want to explain to you tonight, is this: I have been in meeting after meeting, trying to get things resolved with Burns, Oregon. Two weeks straight, no work, nothing but Burns, Oregon. Federal agencies coming talking to me constantly, because they know they have an open door with me. Trying to get a hold on what they’re thinking, in order to get some sort of resolve to it. They don’t get it. They just flat out don’t get it. They understand, to some extent, but they don’t get it.

So what I’m wanting you to know tonight, is this: that, with our elected official, Sheriff Knezovich, is that he, as well as the alphabet soup, has said this to us: if you get pulled over, or you’re wanting to be pulled over by a law enforcement official, no matter whether it’s a marked or unmarked vehicle, you will get pulled over. If you don’t submit to the authority and what they’re saying in the immediate context of the word, meaning when he says “put your hands up, get down on the ground” — if you do not perform what they’re saying in an immediate way, you could very well be in the same situation as LaVoy is in. What is that telling us? That’s a death threat. This is very, very alarming to me. Because, first off, it tramples all over the Constitution. My argument that I want to make you aware of tonight, my argument with the authorities — whether it’s Sheriff, whether it’s alphabet soup, is this: so that means, if you put up your hands, but you don’t get down in a timeframe that you expect them as a law enforcement officer, that you will shoot them — whether they’re armed, or not; whether they brandish a weapon, or not. And basically, the answer was “you take that chance, if you do not perform according to the law enforcement officers confronting you.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m telling you: we have a major problem. We have a huge responsibility here — and that’s where, again, the Tea Party is so important, and you need to have more family and friends here. Because, we have got to change the hearts and minds of people through elections. Period. Weapons will do it, but I tell you what — there’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. That’s not the initial way to go. It should be the absolute last resort. And I need you to know, that as the commander of the 63rd, that has always been my philosophy. And, just like the beautiful young lady tht was up here speaking, the Holy Spirit leads my way of thinking.

But tonight, what’s important for you to know — and my militia members don’t even know at this point — is that, what I just shared with you: if you do not perform, as the law enforcement expects you to perform, you could very well be in the same position as LaVoy Finicum. So, you need to make your choices. If you carry, if they know that you carry a weapon, you will be put on alert to the law enforcement that you are carrying a weapon, and you will be instructed basically the same way as LaVoy Finnicum — so, you must perform. So, the warning tonight is: you either perform, if you step out of line, you very well could be shot. That’s plain and simple, it’s exactly what they said to me, it’s exactly what they want me to get back to anybody in the militia, is exactly what’s going to happen.

So, what does that mean to each and every one of you? How many of you have concealed weapons permits? [looks around the room for a show of hands] A good many, majority. Just be concerned that that’s going to happen. I just want to let you know what the temperature gauge was, it’s not good, I was hoping for better, I’m still working with the alphabet soup and others in order to try to get a better understanding of what we are, who we are, and that they need to stay on task with the Constitution. And constant reminder of the Constitution, because I guarantee you — this Communist regime that is moving forward that wants to eliminate what was up here on the movie earlier, wants to eliminate that old piece of paper.

God Bless you all, and just keep us in prayer, please.

Knezovich: Oregon-Style Standoff Possible in Spokane

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From KXLY:

While that standoff in Oregon has ended some, like Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, believe the issue is far from over, that its bound to happen again, possibly right here in Spokane County.

Knezovich says pretty plainly that there are people out there who believe they’re above the law. He believes that you can have your own interpretation of the Constitution as long as you obey the rules.

He points out that just last spring, Spokane almost had a similar situation to the one in Oregon, when a group of gun rights activitists flooded the federal courthouse plaza to protest a ban on weapons on the premises. The group carried guns and disregarded a court order to stay off the grounds.

While this was a peaceful rally and no one was hurt, Knezovich says that others in the country have ended badly.

“The sad thing is, the law abiding gun owners in this community have made one thing very clear to me, whenever I’ve run into them, whenever I talk at their events, ‘Sheriff, will you please tell these people to stop, they’re making us all look bad,'” he said.

Knezovich added that it’s very hard to have a productive conversation about the Constitution staring down at the business end of a gun.

Alleged Sex Offender: “I’m Friends with Ozzie”

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From KHQ-TV:

Court records show 52-year-old Plank arranged to meet a 15-year-old girl in a hotel room for sex in exchange for Xanax and cash. However, the girl Plank agreed to meet didn’t actually exist and he was actually communicating with police officers the entire time. 

The investigation started earlier in the month when detectives received information that Plank “had a habit” of having sex with young girls in exchange for Xanax. Police then began communicating with Plank.Detectives say Plank agreed to meet the “girl” Thursday afternoon at a motel on Sunset Highway. When Plank showed up at the agreed upon meeting time to the agreed upon room, officers arrested him. 

After being read his Miranda rights, Plank told officers “I know you guys aren’t trying to entrap me, but this is embarrassing. I’m friends with Ozzie (Knezovich),” according to court documents. 

 

Knezovich Fantasizes About Arresting Militia Members

The Inlander published an article in which Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich expresses his opinion on the Hammonds case, the standoff in Oregon led by Ammon Bundy, and the militia in general. Unsurprisingly, the sheriff again aligns himself with the federal government against the militia. From the article:

Knezovich, a vintage law-and-order conservative, isn’t sympathetic to the Hammonds, citing the allegation that Hammonds were trying to “light up the whole country on fire” in order to cover up poaching.

“This wasn’t just a little, ‘Oops I burned some weeds,” Knezovich says. “This was done purposefully.”

But his condemnation of Ammon Bundy and the militia is even more pointed.

“They hijacked the Hammond issue for their own purposes,” Knezovich says. It particularly irritates him as a gun-rights supporter. “Quite frankly they are doing severe damage to their cause. Doing severe damages to their organization.”

He doesn’t buy the idea these militia members are part of the age-old American tradition of civil disobedience.

Of course not. Because the FBI told him that they aren’t:

“I’ve actually been following it fairly closely,” Knezovich says. “I’ve talked to the FBI about it. Especially after Matt Shea’s post from yesterday…. [He] basically stated that the FBI was trying to prevent a peaceful solution to the issue.”

According to the sheriff’s “The Threats We Face” presentation, the Bundys should have obeyed the federal government’s orders, and Anthony Bosworth did every law abiding gun owner a disservice, by exercising his 1st and 2nd Amendment rights in front of the federal courthouse. The sheriff admits that the presentation is offensive to the people in the liberty movement, but he doesn’t care. In fact, he’s getting ready to do it again:

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is putting on a special edition encore presentation of his controversial “The Threats We Face” presentation from last summer. 

“I’m updating it a little to address the issues that have happened since then — Paris, San Bernardino, this mess in Oregon right now,” Knezovich says. “It’s guaranteed to irritate the Tea Party further.”

In the spirit of irritating the Tea Party, the sheriff shares his fantasizes about arresting militia members:

He suggests such a confrontation could certainly happen in Spokane County in the future. “It could have happened with the federal courthouse building with [gun-rights activist Anthony] Bosworth,” Knezovich says.

So how would he, as sheriff, handle such a militia standoff?
 
“We’re not going to give them what they want,” Knezovich says. “We’re not going to make them martyrs… [But] if they come and point guns at people, they will be arrested.”

Let them protest until they burn themselves out, he says. Then, after they leave, that’s when you arrest them and file charges.

On January 3, Rep. Matt Shea shared his thoughts on the situation in Oregon on his Facebook page, saying, in part:

I suspect our Sheriff and President Obama will try to once again to paint Constitutionalists as domestic terrorists as part of the President’s gun control agenda this week. And therein is the problem. Divisive rhetoric by Obama and our Sheriff (with the only solution seemingly being taking away yet more rights “for our own good”) is only going to make the situation worse.

Knezovich took offense, demanding that Shea “quit lying about me supporting the President’s agenda”. However, the sheriff’s words and actions make it clear whose side he’ll be on, should the orders come to disarm the citizens.