Airway Heights officer under criminal investigation following Inlander story detailing allegations of domestic abuse

click to enlarge Several women have accused Airway Heights Police Officer Curtis Tucker of abuse. - COURTESY OF HEIDI STARR
Courtesy of Heidi Starr
Several women have accused Airway Heights Police Officer Curtis Tucker of abuse.

The Spokane Police Department is now conducting a criminal investigation of Airway Heights Police Officer Curtis Tucker, who was the subject of an Inlander article published Thursday containing allegations that Tucker had abused several women.

Tucker has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to a statement yesterday from Airway Heights Police Chief Brad Richmond. He says this comes after the department "received information" yesterday morning referencing conduct by Tucker.

"I can confirm we are conducting a criminal investigation," Spokane police spokesperson Julie Humphreys says. She wouldn't say specifically what prompted the investigation because it's an active case.

Tucker, who's been with the Airway Heights Police Department for 15 years, has been accused by two ex-wives in court documents of domestic violence, including sexual assault and verbal and physical abuse. One of them, Heidi Starr, filed a petition for a domestic violence protection order in 2017, detailing incidents in which she said Tucker had hit her, choked her, raped her and held a loaded gun to her head. Three other women who've had personal relationships with Tucker told the Inlander that he was abusive as well. All five women have said they were afraid to call police or file a report because Tucker was a police officer.

Airway Heights Police Department knew of Starr's allegations in 2017 but did not conduct an internal investigation. Two years later, in 2019, the department chose Tucker to be its board representative on the Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition. He was removed as an agency representative for the coalition last week, the coalition said.

Tucker, who has denied all allegations of abuse, did not return a message seeking comment Friday. His attorney, Teresa Keene, responded via text message and initially denied any criminal investigation was being done before suggesting that it had to do with the Inlander's "lies." She declined to identify any inaccuracies in the Inlander's reporting.

Previously, she described Tucker as a "nice, Black police officer" and said his ex-wives "are very difficult White women — they're Karens, OK?"

Starr, meanwhile, says she hopes Tucker will be held accountable if he's found guilty of any criminal offense. She's glad to see an investigation being done.

"It just makes me so incredibly relieved and hopeful," she says. 

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About The Author

Wilson Criscione

Wilson Criscione is the Inlander’s news editor. Aside from writing and editing investigative news stories, he enjoys hiking, watching basketball and spending time with his wife and cat.