Shonto Pete, Shot in the Head by a Spokane Cop, Has Civil Case Dismissed With No Lawyer to Represent Him

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Shonto Pete and Jay Olsen were both drunk on the night of Feb. 26, 2007. They were at Dempsey's Brass Rail in downtown Spokane when Olsen, an armed police officer who was off duty at the time, said he saw Pete trying to steal his car. A foot chase ensued, and Olsen wound up shooting Pete in the back of his head as he fled. Pete survived. Olsen's career did not. Now after a long, twisted path through the court system, Pete is walking away with none of the $750,000 that he sued Olsen and the City of Spokane for.

The reason: Pete couldn't find a lawyer.

The Spokesman-Review reports that U.S. District Court Judge Edward F. Shea dismissed Pete's lawsuit after he still wasn't ready to proceed at the latest hearing, saying:

"I know this is a sad day for you Mr. Pete. I gave you 100 days to complete discovery. You have simply failed to carry that out, so I'm dismissing the case."

In the aftermath of the shooting, Olsen quit the force in shame, and Pete was further exonerated when he was acquitted for the auto-theft charge stemming from the allegations levied by Olsen.

Back then Pete had a lawyer, David Partovi, who he "hugged" after winning his auto-theft case.

But in the subsequent civil case, Judge Shea agreed to drop the City of Spokane from the lawsuit after Olsen quit the police force. After that, things fell apart for Pete. His lawyers quit and he was ultimately unable to find a new attorney. Something about no longer suing a city's rich coffers but instead the meager pockets of a ex-cop had the lawyers spooked.

After the hearing Pete had some choice words for Judge Shea, telling the Spokesman:

"It's a joke. Judge Shea is a joke. What justice is that when you can't even get a fair shake in front of a jury to discuss your case? You get to shoot someone and not be held responsible. People are supposed to be held responsible for the things you do. And [Olsen] got off scot-free."

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