Presiding Officers Appointed to Police Fatality Process - 8 News NOW

Presiding Officers Appointed to Police Fatality Process

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The family of Erik Scott attends a coroner's inquest into the man's shooting death by three Metro Police officers in 2010. The family of Erik Scott attends a coroner's inquest into the man's shooting death by three Metro Police officers in 2010.
Gulf War veteran Stanley Gibson was shot to death by a Metro Police officer in 2011. Gulf War veteran Stanley Gibson was shot to death by a Metro Police officer in 2011.

LAS VEGAS -- The final names are out on who made the cut to be a presiding officer for Clark County's new police fatality review process.

This fact-finding hearing replaces the decades-old and controversial coroner's inquest.

The next time an officer pulls the trigger and kills a person, the review board will be the forum where the evidence is laid out, with the presiding officer having a key role.

Criminal defense attorney Ozzie Fumo is one of 10 presiding officers for Clark County's police fatality review process.

"I wanted to give a little input if I could, and this was a way for me to give back a little bit," Fumo said. "It's not going to give (the families) any piece of mind, but hopefully it will answer a lot of their questions about what happened to their loved one."

Clark County commissioners approved the presiding officers.

Commissioner Susan Brager said each presiding officer brings a different perspective of legal expertise to the table.

"We have some people that have been (district attorneys), lawyers in town forever," she said. "We want this process to make a difference, so that the community feels comfortable in knowing that we take it seriously."

For Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, balance was essential.

"Right now the ordinance, in my opinion, the way it was crafted, gives all the balance to the district attorney and not to the public," Giunchigliani said. "It was important that the presiding officers that we selected have that perspective and won't be just assumed to go-along to get-along."

Lisa Mayo-Deriso, a spokesperson for the family of Erik Scott, who was shot and killed by Metro Police officers at the Summerlin Costco in March 2010, called the presiding officer role "critical."

"I think this presiding officer is critical because of the role of the (district attorney)," she said. "The nature of this new panel is still very one-sided and not quite as publicly transparent as it should be."

Commissioners said they hope the next time an officer uses deadly force, the forum will provide the public some much-needed answers.

An ombudsman will be appointed to represent the interests of the family of the person shot and killed by a police officer.

The first case before the new police fatality review process will be the shooting death of Gulf War veteran Stanley Gibson, which is expected to begin in a few weeks.

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