With No Inquest In Sight
And The DA’s Office Rulings Already a Month Old
Gillespie Aims for “Unprecedented Level of Accountability.”
The reports don’t contain any earth shattering information. They are basically just a rehash of the findings the Clark County District Attorney quietly released last month, but Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie says the release of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s (LVMPD) internal findings regarding fatal officer encounters is major step towards the transparency he promised the community since he was caught misinforming the public around the circumstance surrounding the 2009 death of office James Manor.
During a press conference held yesterday Gillespie told the community “Addressing the use of force with the public is one of Metro’s top priorities,” and that by releasing the findings of both The Force Investigative Team the Office of Internal Oversight. The OIO is was formed in February if this year in response to the public outcry following the controversial shooting deaths of Trevon Cole, Erik Scott and Stanley Gibson, as well as the publication of the Las Vegas Review Journal’s investigationinto the past 20 years of police shootings in Clark County.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson’s recent decision to no longer wait for legal challenges to the Coroner’s Inquest to be resolved, and released his office’s findings in seven of the 19 fatal use of force incidents that await the Nevada Supreme Court Ruling on the whether or not the Inquest violates officer’s Constitutional rights. Gillespie did acknowledge that the privacy rights were concern while he contemplated releasing internal documents that have for decades remained secret.
“I believe the release of these documents will place this process and its outcome in the full light of day without jeopardizing the right to privacy of our officers involved,” Gillespie stated.
The reports released by Metro covered the department’s findings in the Dec 11th, 2010 Taser death of Anthony Jones. Officers Mark Hatten, Timothy English, Richard Fonbuena, and Steven Skenandore were cleared by the Da’s office in May. Hatten had pulled Jones over for a routine traffic infraction. The stop culminated in Hatten using his x-26 Electronic Control device (Taser) 19 times on the Jones who died on the scene. All officers involved were found to have acted within department guidelines, however Jones’ death was the catalyst to Metro’s change in its Taser Policy. The other two reports also found no violations of department policies by the officer’s involved in the shooting deaths of 22-year-old Benjamin Bowman and 32-year-old Anthony Brenes. Both men were killed on November 15th, 2010. Bowman was killed during the robbery of a PT’s Pub and Brenes, armed with a sticks and stones, was shot after a police responded to a domestic disturbance at an East Las Vegas Speedee Mart.
The Sheriff says the OIO and Fit reports will be made public 30 days following the DA’s release of its findings.
- Clark County DA Continues to Clear Cops Without Inquests (clarkcountycriminalcops.wordpress.com)
- DOJ Review of LVMPD officially underway (clarkcountycriminalcops.wordpress.com)
- Coroner’s Inquest – Delayed Indefinitely (clarkcountycriminalcops.wordpress.com)