Otto Carl Zehm (3147)

3/18/2006: Spokane Police responded to a convenience store where Otto Zehm, a developmentally disabled janitor, had withdrawn money from an ATM. Zehm was unarmed and not a threat to the seven officers. Zehm was struck by batons at least seven times, Tasered twice, improperly hog-tied, and given an oxygen mask unattached to any tank. The victim lapsed into a coma and died several days later. Police chief James Nicks withheld public records from the local Spokesman-Review newspaper. Ultimately one involved officer was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison in the case. The city settled for a $1.67M payment to the family, budget for re-training the police force, budget for new rules regarding the use of force, and a permanent memorial to the victim.

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Location of death