Archive for the ‘Scott Creach’ Category

The following is an email that I got yesterday from long time family friend Alan Creach. I’ll let him do the writing in this blog:
Dear Friends,
You may share my frustration at the continuing disregard for law and the lack of justice when it comes to acts committed by law enforcement. I am speaking of the recent murder of my father at the hands of a Spokane Valley Policeman. As you know Dad was killed back in August on Wednesday night after church. He had gone out after being awakened by the sound of a car backing up to the outdoor floral display at the Plant Farm, a business that he owned that has provided our familie’s livelihood for the last 40 years. Dad went to investigate what he saw as a theft and was subsequently killed. What we now know by forensic evidence is that Dad was in a submissive posture when he was shot. All these facts were known by Spokane County Prosecutor when he decided not to charge the officer. All these facts are known by Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich but he has yet to act in bringing any diciplinary action against the officer. I have attempted to share with the community the details of the investigation but in short this has been a cover up job since August 25th, beginning with the investigating agency SPD allowing the offender to leave town on vacation to Las Vegas for 9 days before making a statement.
In short there have been a number of laws that were broken by this officer but it appears that his actions are not a result of his flawed thinking but a result of flawed training. To begin with he was on patrol in an unmarked car. This is a flagrant violation of RCW 46.08.065 which states that patrol cars are to be marked on both sides. This is a decision by County Sheriff command staff please see Sunday April 3 Spokesman article . In addition he took up position in the greenhouse parking lot as a part of his training. This is deals with property rights and everyone knows that even in criminal situations the law enforcers must get a warrant before tresspassing into private property.
I have attempted to address these issues with the Sheriff, he thinks he’s right, he feels bad, he says, but is unwilling to address these issues with training.
I have spoken to the County Commissioners, they feel bad but they need more information, they’ll be in touch.
I’ve spoken to the FBI in Spokane, they are busy but will be in touch in a couple weeks that was 6 weeks ago.
I’ve spoken to the Spokane Valley Council and they feel bad as well but they can’t talk about it, something about impending investigation, hmm, something about litigation hmm, we haven’t filed anything.
But we now have a chance to get some answers.
Spokane Valley Mayor is going to have some state of the city meetings where issues that concern us can be addressed by citizens, and answered by council members. There are 4 meeting times:
April 11th 7-8 PM Spokane Valley Fourth Memorial Church
April 14th 7-8 PM Greenacres Christian Church
April 21st 7-8 PM Seth Woodard Elementary 7401 East Mission
April 28th 12:30- 1:30 at Center Place by the YMCA

I would suggest that if the murder of Scott Creach is an issue with you then this would be a good opportunity for you to speak out and excercise your right to free speech. I believe that to often we as Christians remain silent until it is way to late.
You may be saying, what impact is this going to have on the system as it exist.
Spokane Valley has contracted with Spokane County Sheriff for all their policing services.
That contract can be ammended or cancelled at any time.
Spokane Valley City Council are the ones who pass ordinances that impact us everyday.
Just because the Sheriff wants to violate state law does not mean that he can in our town. City Council can pass a law that says all County Police Cars must be marked if they are operating in the City Limits, it is within their rights.
They can also pass a law that says all cars must turn on emergency lights when they cross over onto private property.
They also can pass a law that sets a minimum standard for training and behavior in order to operate as a Spokane Valley Policeman.
It is time that we demand that our elected officiials stand up and do something about protecting us because as it stands all our lives are in danger until some type of action is taken.
I hope that you will take time out of your busy schedule to plan to be there, at least to one of these meetings and speak out and demand that the law be upheld in protection of all citizens in this valley. I believe that if we raise a united voice in this matter that the Spokane Valley City Council will respond by insisting that the Sheriff and his men obey the law and treat us all with dignity. You all knew Scott Creach and what he stood for , its time to act while the window of opportunity is open.

Alan Creach

On top of this past year’s obviously high percentage of trigger-happy police, there have been several cases through recent years, like Otto Zehm vs. the police, and Shanto Pete vs. the police, that I had to just shake my head at the way things are in this town, and I’m guessing most towns. I’m not a big advocate for making up new laws but things need to change and Alan’s a good guy to support in the cause. It just seems to me that Alan has a good head that he expresses well and that this issue he is addressing needs to be addressed. I know that when he talks he’ll be speaking clearly and from the heart and he’ll be reperesenting his entire family, including his father.

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   I kept waiting to get all the facts surrounding the Scott Creach incident before I made a decision on what to make of it all but the facts keep trickling in and they do not add up. So we wait around for a week to find out which officer shot Scott and then we wait a while longer to find out he was vacationing in Montana and then Las Vegas and did not have time to set the record straight for the family and the entire community before he took off his long-planned vacation.
I do not see how  the officer could have one relaxing moment on his vacation knowing that he just shot a pillar of the community that he works for and that there is tempest brewing in that community over the fact that everyone is getting very impatient to hear your side of the story. Honestly, as I mull all of this over, I can see where the officer is suffering and surely wishes he had parked somewhere else that night. I can see where going to visit his mother in Montana might have been therapeutic after such a traumatic episode. But I wonder what he was thinking to be able to jet off to Vegas and come back to give his long-awaited side of the story.
And then we finally get his side of the story and it makes little sense. He is saying that he repeatedly told Scott to drop his weapon and that Scott came up to his police car and belligerently refused to drop his weapon. I am sorry but Scott Creach was not an idiot and I don’t think that anyone believes that he decided to commit “suicide-by-cop”  that evening. But as more and more trickled out, it seems as though Scott did set himself up to be gunned down though he could not imagine  that he would ever be fired upon.

   Scott’s actions were incomprehensible to me that fateful night. When a cop says “drop your weapon” that is just what you do. I have read it all and followed this whole thing from the beginning and I am sad to say that Scott Creach behaved in such a way that he put his life on the line and he lost the most precious thing we all have for no good reason. Sure the cop should not have escalated the episode by striking him with the baton but he is a cop and he acted like you better fear  a cop might act. Scott behaved strong-headed in a situation where he should have been as meek as a lamb to preserve his own existence. He should have put his gun on the ground and simply explained who he was with his hands raised in the air.

  I feel so badly for the family but if that were my dad, I would be pissed off that he did not react to the situation in such a way that he would still be amongst us instead of being buried in Oklahoma. Blame the cops all you want, but cops are cops and we have to understand that they are out there doing their job and they make mistakes at theirs just like we make mistakes on our jobs. But sometimes when they blow it, good citizens can wind up dead.

   Like the whole Valley and especially those who knew and loved him, I was shocked to hear that Scott Creach had been gunned down outside his home. While I only knew him from a distance, it was actually a short distance and started back in 1965 when he brought his young family to Spokane from Oklahoma and joined our church, Pines Baptist at 8th and Pines. I was 7 years old and he would have only been 29.

   While 29 seems so young to me now,  at 7 he was a full-grown man with 3 kids close to my age. There was Serena who was a little older and Edith who was my age and Alan who seemed like a little kid compared to me. It turned out he was only two years younger and really we were both little kids and now we’re both middle-aged men much older than our parents were then.

   I almost felt sorry for the Creach kids because Scott seemed so stern. Alan was a mischievous little fellow and would often have his high spirit and big smile abruptly curtailed by his father’s intense scowl and strong fingers tightly compressing one of his ears. Back then I found myself in a similar situation with, what I felt, was an even sterner dad, and so instead of feeling sorry for Alan, I took comfort in knowing that my misery had good company.

   The Creach’s left Pines in 1971, and so I lost that weekly contact I had with the kids in Sunday School and seeing the family sit in the same spot  during service 2 or 3 rows back next to the far right aisle. But Scott’s hands did far more than keep Alan in line, and I would see him for one reason or another over the years. I remember working with my dad putting in the foundation on one of Scott’s first greenhouses. Scott was there with his sleeves rolled up doing labor work while serving as his own general contractor.

    Elaine’s parents went to his church and so we went there once and I watched him baptize my nephew after listening to his sermon. Beyond the occasional seeing him in the flesh or hearing his named mentioned in conversation, Scott kept popping back in my head with his radio spots on gardening. I always smiled because I knew the guy and I knew that each one summed him up so well. He was always dead serious in his lesson and you knew he knew very well what he was talking about as he spoke with an even pace in his Southern accent. Then at the end he would usually banter with the host for a few minutes and you were able to pick up his sense of humor and that he was comfortable with himself.

    Though I would only catch his spot by chance, I heard him dozens of times through the years. I greatly admired his marketing savvy with the use of the radio and figured it had something to do with the constant addition of more and more greenhouses at his place on 4th. But the thing that struck me most was how consistent he was through the years. The man was a lesson in staying the course and I will always appreciate people like him and my own parents who live honest hard-working lives and do what they can to make this a better world. Though I would never have guessed it at 7 years old, Alan was pretty lucky to have the dad he had.