After an officer involved shooting, we should wait for the results of the investigation before passing judgement.
Recently, an officer involved shooting took place in Spokane Valley. Sadly, it appeared to be “suicide by cop” by a heavily armed individual who had telephoned 9-1-1 with his intentions. Not much controversy there. We all have sympathy for the victim, the victim’s families, the deputies and their families. This must be awful for all involved.
Days after a shooting, law enforcement issues a press release with the names of the officers or deputies. These releases routinely list the training, commendations and awards, and sometimes past work experience of those involved.
Here’s the text of a local law enforcement press release – there is something odd here – see if you can spot which”one of these doesn’t go with the others”:
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the names of the deputies involved in the shooting incident that occurred at Sullivan and Indiana the night of February 11, 2014.
Deputy Brett Hubbell-14 year Sheriff’s Office veteran and SWAT Team Leader
Received a Certificate of Appreciation in 2010 for his professional work with a bank robbery investigation Sheriff’s Office Patrol Procedures lead instructor He’s received over 10 letters internally documenting his good work and professionalism. 3 years of previous law enforcement experience before joining SCSO
Deputy Jeff Thurman- 12 year Sheriff’s Office veteran and K9 handler with Laslo
Emergency Vehicle Operations and Control (EVOC) Lead Instructor and Subject Matter Expert for Pursuit Review Sheriff’s Office Field Training Officer Patrol Procedures Instructor Chief Tactical Flight Officer for SCSO Air 1 Received the 2013 National Tactical Flight Officer of the Year Award by the Airborne Law Enforcement Association Received a Certificate of Appreciation in 2010 for his professionalism and patience Received Certificates of Commendation in 2011 and 2012 for his excellent work. He’s received over 15 letters internally documenting his good work and professionalism 6 years of previous law enforcement experience before joining SCSO
Deputy Dale Moyer-7 year Sheriff’s Office veteran and SWAT Team member
In 2011 he received the Sheriff’s Star Award for his excellent work and professionalism. Sheriff’s Office SWAT and Patrol Procedures Instructor He’s received 3 letters internally documenting his good work and professionalism. 12 years of previous law enforcement experience before joining SCSO Received a Life Saving Award for helping a suicidal female in Kootenai County Previous law enforcement instructor at North Idaho College Joint Agency Drug Task Force detective, Field Training Officer, Patrol Procedures Instructor and Citizens on Patrol Instructor for Kootenai County Veteran-U.S Army Active Duty/Reserve
Deputy Ryan Walter-7 year Sheriff’s Office veteran and SWAT Team member
He’s received over 10 letters internally documenting his good work and professionalism 2 years of previous law enforcement experience before joining SCSO
Deputy Brian Hirzel-5 year Sheriff’s Office veteran
17 years of previous law enforcement experience before joining SCSO
Deputy Randy Watts has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 10 months
Prior to joining SCSO, he served in the U.S. Navy Helicopter Systems Operator-Search and Rescue Swimmer Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) instructor with the Join Personnel Recover Agency
The SIRR Team’s investigation of the incident is ongoing. No additional information is available at this time.
Did you spot the single line on Deputy Brian Hirzel? That is odd for a deputy that has his very own topic page at the local newspaper!
From public records, Deputy Hirzel has been involved in three officer involved killings (2 by gun fire, one by hand). While the investigating agency announced he would be interviewed 3 days after the Creach shooting, the deputy was on vacation to Las Vegas, one of many factors that created controversy and cynicism. There is a Mr. Hirzel that is also founder and principle investigator at Critical Investigations, LLC, a private investigation service in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (See additional footnote below as the web site appears to have been taken offline after this post).
Another of the deputies was involved in a previous shooting too, and this is not mentioned.
The Spokesman-Review read their own archives and pulled up the missing details.
Leaving out inconvenient detail is called “lying by omission“. No one actually lied, no one said anything that was not true. But the intent is to influence by giving part of the story in a way to intentionally misrepresent- in other words, it is propaganda. The recent news story about the Spokane Arena left out the most important metric of all – the long term downward attendance trend and that attendance for 2012 is almost 1/3 less than the peak. Dissembling is where true facts are presented in a way or in an ordering intended to lead one to an untruthful conclusion and is a common method used in propaganda.
This is what we call Spokane Propaganda-Style!
This blog post is not about the officers involved or whether the shooting was justified or not – this story is about Spokane Propaganda-Style. Propaganda leads directly to cynicism and a loss of trust in local institutions and leaders.
Just wanted to clarify that we did not haphazardly link to a random web site.
Deputy Hirzel’s LinkedIn page has a link on it to the Critical Investigations web site – see “Websites Company Website“. Portions of Deputy Hirzel’s LinkedIn page have almost identical wording to that used on the Critical Investigations web site. The Critical Investigations web site appears to have been taken offline after this post was made here on this blog.
An Internet Archive copy of the page is here: https://web.archive.org/web/20140110051522/http://www.criticalinvestigations.com/
Screen shot of the main page is here: image capture