Advocacy Groups Wary of Feds' Report on Police - 8 News NOW

Advocacy Groups Wary of Feds' Report on Police

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LAS VEGAS -- In less than a month, there have been six officer-involved shootings: four involving Metro police officers and two involving the Henderson Police Department.

On Thursday, the Department of Justice released what it called groundbreaking recommendations following a review of Metro's use-of-force policies and practices. The department's report found Metro's policies "dated" and "not meeting community needs," a department official said.

Representatives from the National Advancement for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada said the suggestions are not enough and the two organizations are continuing to fight for accountability of Metro Police officers.

After reviewing the recommendations, officials from the Las Vegas chapter of the NAACP and the ACLU said they are disappointed.

The officials said more needs to be done to guarantee accountability and transparency within the police department.

"(They) need to have a way for the community to know as much as possible about what happened and to know that the information came from an independent source so that we can trust that when these things happen it was necessary and there was no choice," said Richard Boulware, vice president of NAACP Las Vegas. "Right now we don't have that.

Since Oct. 29, Metro officers have been involved in four shootings.

According to the NAACP and the ACLU, if there are stiffer training requirements and policies in the field, the amount of officer-involved shooting would decrease.

"The Metro police department did not put any emphasis on de-escalating these kinds of confrontational situations until earlier this year when they changed their use of force policies," said Dane Claussen of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Added Boulware of the NAACP, "We need to have some kind of independent review process. We need to have cameras on the officers now because what happens is we hear these incidents of what going on or a homeless man is attacked and then shot behind a clothing store. We really don't know what happened."

Both organizations said most concerning about the suggestions presented Thursday is that they are simply that -- suggestions that are not required to become policy.

"They are going to come back in six months and review and say, ‘We'll check on them and if that doesn't work we'll come back and review them in another six months,'" Boulware said. We need immediate action. We need the inquest process to be updated and to move forward and we need cameras on the officers and in the cars right away."

The Henderson Police Department declined to comment on the recommendations.

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