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3-week suspension for officer in child's wounding

July 25, 2012
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SPOKANE, Wash.—Spokane's police chief says the officer whose young daughter accidentally shot herself in the leg with his service weapon in April has been given a three-week unpaid suspension.

The Spokesman-Review reports ( http://is.gd/MSdhSz) that an internal investigation found that Officer Barry O'Connell failed to comply with department policy requiring officers to secure their duty weapons at home and with other rules that prohibit officers from acting willfully, carelessly or negligently with city property. Interim Chief Scott Stephens announced the penalty Wednesday.

City spokeswoman Marlene Feist says the discipline also stipulates that an additional incident of poor judgment "will lead to termination."

The officer's daughter was 10 when she found and fired her father's unsecured gun in the family's master bedroom, causing a non-life-threatening wound.

Prosecutors earlier declined to charge O'Connell in the accidental shooting.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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