Trial begins for cop in death of Spokane man



SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The surveillance video shows a Spokane police officer rushing up to Otto Zehm in a convenience store and knocking him to the ground.

Officer Karl F. Thompson then struck the mentally disabled janitor 13 times with a baton. Other officers jumped into the fight. They hogtied Zehm, placed a plastic mask over his face and, according to court records, put their weight on him until he stopped breathing.

Zehm died two days later without regaining consciousness.

On Wednesday, five years after Zehm’s death, the federal court trial for use of excessive force and lying to investigators begins for Thompson. The trial was moved to Yakima because of intense publicity.