Friday, November 4, 2011

Mayor, police chief apologize for officers saluting a convicted felon

Posted on Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 1:59 PM

click to enlarge ottoheader3.jpg

Two days ago, Karl Thompson was convicted of using unnecessary force on Otto Zehm in 2006, and for lying to investigators looking into the incident that led to Zehm's death. The same day, Mayor Mary Verner and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said he was to be fired.

Today, when Thompson was arrested by U.S. Marshals, 50 police officers saluted him. Nearby, Zehm's family watched.

The mayor and police chief issued this statement in response:

“We have acknowledged the pain that many of our officers feel as a result of the Thompson verdict, but it has been widely reported to us that the courtroom behavior of some officers, though protected as free speech, does not reflect the values we stand for. It clearly was insensitive to the friends and family of Otto Zehm, and for that, we apologize. We had previously directed that officers could not be in the courtroom while on duty. Still, on duty or not, we expect our officers — because of their position in the community — to live up to a high professional standard.”

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