Spokane County offers $2 million to settle Creach shooting

Spokane County settles Creach shooting case for $2 million – Spokesman.com – June 21, 2013.

Deputy Hirzel, the shooter in this case, remains employed with the County Sheriff’s department. He left on a week long vacation the morning after he shot Scott Creach, while the investigating agency, Spokane Police Department, told the public that Hirzel was to be interviewed on Monday (which was not true – he was not interviewed until much later). The Sheriff said officers had a “72 hour rule” that prevented them from being interviewed for at least 72 hours after a critical incident. The Sheriff subsequently eliminated the 72 hour rule.

Hirzel’s police car was returned to service without being processed for evidence (more here).

In late 2010, there were 7 police shootings with 5 people killed and 2 wounded over a six month period, with a six month per capita rate of officer involved shootings five times greater than a 12 month rate for New York City.

We were assured at the time that all shootings were fully justified. Since then, the City and County have been spent taxpayers money to settle civil cases related to these suits, suggesting the assurances given earlier about justified shootings may not have been correct. Spokane is a relatively poor community and the costs of the various law suits may have negative impacts on the ability of the city and county to fund government services.

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