Planned Rally in Support of the Citizens Oversight Petition

Civil rights activists have announced their intention to hold a rally in support of establishing an independent citizen’s commission to oversee the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. After the rally, Rob Lee together with the Center for Justice attorneys will present the petition to the Spokane County Commissioners. In 2013, Robert Lee’s son Robert “Danny” Lee was denied essential medication while incarcerated at the Spokane County Jail. The family sued the jail and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, and received a settlement from the county.

The rally is to take place on Wednesday, September 2 at 11 am in front of the Spokane County Superior Court. Featured speakers include Doug Orr, a candidate for Spokane County Sheriff, Liz Moore of the Peace and Justice Action League, and Blaine Stum of the Human Rights Commission.  Ernie Creech, the son of Scott Creech, a 74-year old pastor killed by the sheriff’s deputy, is expected to attend the rally.

Below is the full text of the petition:

Petition summary and background

Unlike many other jurisdictions, including the City of Spokane, Spokane County lacks independent oversight of the Spokane County Sheriff’s office, particularly review of incidents that result in the death or injury of citizens. While most incidents involving use of force are justified, there are examples where law enforcement action is inconsistent with County policies or the law. Independent oversight provides impartial review and helps protect the trust of our community in the officers charged to protect us.

Action petitioned for

We, the undersigned, are concerned Spokane County citizens who urge the Spokane County Board of County Commissioners to enact a County Code requiring the appointment of an independentlyappointed law enforcement oversight commission with the ability to review law enforcement-involved use of force and incidents that result in the injury and/or death of citizens. This Commission must have the authority to investigate incidents and issue findings as to the consistency of officer actions with County policies and applicable law.

You may also download the petition in PDF format: County Oversight Petition