Special Investigative Unit Vows to Maintain An Unbiased Investig - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Special Investigative Unit Vows to Maintain An Unbiased Investigation of Pasco Officer Shooting

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PASCO, WA. -- One of the main concerns we keep hearing from people is the process of officers investigating other officers. 

The phrase, 'this is a homicide investigation' was repeated several times in Friday's presser for the Special Investigative Unit.

Sergeant Ken Lattin and Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant promised that the investigation done will not be biased. We asked how they plan to make sure that happens.

Three Pasco Police Officers shot and killed a man. According to Kennewick Police Sergeant Ken Lattin, the Special Investigative Unit is not taking that lightly. 

"The officers made decisions," Sgt. Lattin said. "Right or wrong we'll find out. But they have to live with those decisions. Just because they're a police officer is not going to change how we're going to investigate this. We will find out the truth. And we will report it and Mr. Sant will make a decision. Doesn't matter if they wear a badge or not."

The Special Investigative Unit removed the Pasco Police Department from the investigation. Local police departments, sheriff's offices and the Washington State Patrol are in charge of gathering the facts. 

Still some people worry about the integrity of their findings. 

"We are the best at investigating deaths," Sgt. Lattin said. "If not us, then who would investigate? There's no one else who's qualified to investigate homicides than law enforcement. And whether that's us or it ends up being the FBI who decides to come in, it's still law enforcement."

Sergeant Lattin is confident that the SIU is the best equipped to handle the investigation. 

"The criminal investigation is what SIU does," Sgt. Lattin said. "This is no different than any other homicide investigation involving two citizens, two strangers or a domestic violence homicide. We handle this in the same manner as that. This is a death at the hands of another person in this case a law enforcement officer."

We talked to Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel Friday who said he has made up his mind to move forward with an inquest no matter what the evidence is from the Special Investigative Unit.

Another media briefing from the SIU is planned for next Thursday.