Wednesday, September 29 2010 5:22 PM EDT2010-09-29 22:22:56 GMT
As Erik Scott's family looks to put the coroners inquest verdict behind them, they are now looking at filing a lawsuit. Their family attorney says they are planning to file a civil suit against Las Vegas police and Costco because of the shooting.More>>
Wednesday, September 29 2010 4:22 PM EDT2010-09-29 21:22:19 GMT
The police union has its own opinion on the coroner's inquest process. They played a role in the process changes that took place in 2007 and say if more changes are going to be made, they definitely want a place at the table for the discussions.More>>
Wednesday, September 29 2010 2:37 PM EDT2010-09-29 19:37:43 GMT
Las Vegas' top cop says he backs the actions of officers who shot a 38-year-old man outside a membership warehouse store, and says the department will defend itself if the man's family files a federal lawsuit.More>>
Tuesday, September 28 2010 8:48 PM EDT2010-09-29 01:48:05 GMT
Critics of the coroner's inquest process point to the Erik Scott hearings as an example of the need for reform. Meanwhile, supporters of the system are coming to its defense. Among them, a retired Metro undersheriff who once faced a coroner's jury.More>>
Tuesday, September 28 2010 12:29 AM EDT2010-09-28 05:29:51 GMT
Much of the questioning in the coroner's inquest into the police shooting of Erik Scott has focused on where Scott's gun was at the moment he was shot to death. Witnesses have given conflicting testimony.More>>
Sunday, September 26 2010 1:04 PM EDT2010-09-26 18:04:11 GMT
Several witnesses testified Saturday at the coroner's inquest into the officer involved shooting death of Erik Scott. Scott was shot by police while leaving a Summerlin Costco on July 10. Some witnesses described Scott as reaching for a gun, others said it appeared he was handing it to the officer.More>>
Friday, September 24 2010 11:56 PM EDT2010-09-25 04:56:01 GMT
A District Attorney's Office investigator says a subpoena was issued for Erik Scott's girlfriend to appear at the inquest, but she has failed to do so. Several witnesses including Costco employees and shoppers were called to the stand Friday describe what they saw on the day Scott was killed.More>>
Friday, September 24 2010 10:41 AM EDT2010-09-24 15:41:47 GMT
The first person to take the stand Friday morning in the coroner's inquest will be Metro Police Officer William Mosher who fired the first shot at Erik Scott outside Costco on July 10. He started his testimony yesterday after jurors heard the 911 call made about Scott's unusual behavior.More>>
Wednesday, September 22 2010 9:14 PM EDT2010-09-23 02:14:35 GMT
The first day of the coroner's inquest into the death of Erik Scott outside a Summerlin Costco has finished. Seven jurors and four alternates are hearing the inquest.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- A recent 8 News NOW-Las Vegas Review-Journal poll suggests the majority of southern Nevadans don't have much faith in the coroner's inquest process. As a result, local leaders are talking reform again.
This is not the first time public opinion has prompted reform. In 2006, the controversial shooting death of 17-year-old murder suspect Suave Lopez lead to a formal review of the coroner's inquest process.
Recommendations were made, public hearings were held, and changes were implemented. But in the words of one participant, if we're still taking about it the reform fell short.
Las Vegas police officers shot and killed Lopez as he attempted to escape from a squad car in handcuffs. His death, found justified by a coroner's jury, prompted a formal review of the inquest process.
"The controversy, if anything, has increased, not diminished," said Allen Lichtenstein with the Nevada ACLU.
Lichtenstein served on the working group assembled later that year by the Clark County Commission.
"I think the failure of the modest, if you want to call it that, changes that were made before and the fact that we're still having these particular problems, hopefully, will lead to the kind of meaningful change we should have had back then," he said.
The group made up of representatives from Metro, the Clark County District Attorney's Office and other primarily government stakeholders presented three recommendations to county commissioners. The most significant was replacing appointed hearing masters with elected justices of the peace.
While Lichtenstein agreed with move, now in county code, he insists the overall effort fell short of meaningful reform.
"I think on the part of the governmental officials that were there, there was this idea that it might need a little bit of tinkering, but basically no real problem. And we saw it differently," he said.
The ACLU and the NAACP lobbied to give the families of the deceased a voice in the inquest process. Currently, families and their attorneys may only submit written questions to the presiding justice of the peace for review.
In former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, the minority opinion found an unexpected alibi. Young left the working group prior to completion when he left office in 2007.
"I don't think it's all the way there," he said. "A lot of cops are going to kill me, but I said this then and I'll say it now, I think that it needs a little more. I don't know if adversarialness is the right term, but I think the family members of the deceased need a better opportunity to ask direct questions."
Young advocates a process that would allow families, through an attorney, to question witnesses, including police officers, provided the questions receive prior approval from the court. He cautions against reforms that would jeopardize the rights of police officers. But he, like Lichtenstein, suggest a balance is attainable.
"We want a process that we can all believe in and I'm not sure we're there yet," said Young.
Four years and 44 police shootings separate Suave Lopez from Erik Scott -- the latest catalyst for change.
Metro officers killed Scott earlier this summer in a Summerlin Costco. While the status quo will govern his inquest, Young and Lichtenstein hope future proceedings may take a different shape.
"We're not looking for a steamroller here. We're looking for something that will be accepted by the community, by the participants and something that will absolutely be geared solely to unearthing the truth, regardless of where that truth leads," said Lichtenstein.
The coroner's inquest may not be perfect, but many jurisdictions don't even have a public process. Police shootings in Washoe County are reviewed privately by the District Attorney.
On the other end of the spectrum, Seattle allows for family involvement through an attorney.
Back in 2007, three members of the working group visited Seattle to learn more, but the group as a whole rejected it as a viable option for Clark County.
Monday, September 1 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:06:07 GMT
Some medical providers say they often deal with Hispanic patients who are afraid to seek medical care. In some cases, it has to do with a language barrier, but in most cases, it is fear among undocumented immigrants that they could end up being deported. More>>
Some medical providers say they often deal with Hispanic patients who are afraid to seek medical care. It's hoped the opening of a new medical clinic will change that.
Monday, September 1 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:58:50 GMT
The three-day holiday weekend ended with visitors crowding the airport and freeways as they made their way back home. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association, around 313,000 people visited Las Vegas over the Labor Day weekend. More>>
The three-day holiday weekend ended with visitors crowding the airport and freeways as they made their way back home.
Monday, September 1 2014 5:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:51:43 GMT
Tens of thousands of people bid farewell to summer by enjoying Lake Mead for Labor Day weekend. While there were a few minor rescues, DUI's and boating incidents, the vast majority of people had some fun in the sun. More>>
Tens of thousands of people bid farewell to summer by enjoying Lake Mead for Labor Day weekend. While there were a few minor rescues, DUI's and boating incidents, the vast majority of people had some fun in the sun.