Picnic shelter dedicated in Otto Zehm's memory

SPOKANE, Wash. - A private ceremony attended by city leaders and the family of Otto Zehm celebrated the dedication of a picnic shelter at Mission Park in Zehm's memory.

During the dedication a plaque recognizing Zehm was unveiled.

Among those in attendance were Otto's mom, Ann Zehm, his cousin Dale, Zehm family attorneys Jeffry Finer and Breean Beggs, Spokane Mayor David Condon and Police Chief Frank Straub.

The dedication of the picnic shelter in Zehm's memory was part of a brokered agreement between the City of Spokane and Zehm's family, settled earlier this year. That settlement included financial compensation to Zehm's estate, additional crisis response training for Spokane police officers and a written letter of apology to Zehm's mother.

The picnic shelter at Mission Park was chosen as the site for the memorial because Zehm liked to visit there.

Otto Zehm died in March 2006 following a confrontation with Spokane police at a Zip Trip convenience store on North Division. One of the officers involved in that confrontation with Zehm, Karl Thompson, was convicted in Nov. 2011 of violating Zehm's civil rights.

Thompson is currently awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for this November.

Wednesday would have been Otto Zehm's 43rd birthday.