I read your article ("In Their Best Interest," 2/23/17) and agree that children of all ages need to be represented by an attorney. I am a juvenile dependency attorney in Stockton, California. I represent both children of all ages and parents. I have since 2006. I am moving to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and looked into practicing juvenile dependency in Spokane. I was shocked that children are not appointed attorneys until they are 12. Adding attorneys does not complicate anything. CASAs are great, but they are not representing the child's rights. Case in point: Tomorrow, Sunday, I visit a sibling group. There is a fight between the paternal relatives, CPS and the mom. I am the kid's voice. And I will fight for what they want AND what is in their best interest. A CASA is their buddy but cannot argue the way that I can.
Anyway, I hope that Washington is able to appoint attorneys for children at all stages. And once I move, I'll do it if need be!
Shannon Murphy Gomez
Readers respond to Mitch Ryals' blog post about the Spokane Police Department replacing detailed reports on internal affairs investigations into police misconduct from its website with less-detailed case summaries:
Katie Wilcox: Is this to keep the public from developing a distrust of law enforcement or to protect the police officers who snapped from being vilified for life? Does the public have enough trust in the system to believe that they are filtering out the psychos who become cops?
John Phillips: I agree with this. An innocent LEO [law enforcement officer] under investigation will be found guilty in the media. The officer's name will be permanently associated with his false accusation by the time the investigation finds no evidence of wrongdoing. Wake me if the SPD begins hiding the results of internal investigations.
Justin Dane Robinson: Spokane Police have a history with corruption and misconduct that goes back for decades. Same stuff, just a different generation. ♦