Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2014

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LAW ENFORCEMENT:

Public meetings scheduled on changes to coroner’s inquests

In less than two weeks, members of the public will be able to provide input on how to change the coroner’s inquest process.

A nine-member panel created by the Clark County County Commission to examine the inquest process and recommend improvements will meet four consecutive Mondays, starting Oct. 18, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Meetings are also scheduled for Oct. 25, Nov. 1 and Nov. 8. The committee will forward its recommendations to the County Commission.

The meetings will be held in the commission chambers at the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway.

“We need to make sure we have a process that is fair and respectful to everyone involved, including the victims’ families, the police and the public,” Commissioner Steve Sisolak said in a statement. “The diverse views of the members of this panel will give us the chance to hear and weigh the opinions of all sides.”

The panel will consist of:

• UNLV law school professor Christopher Blakesley

• Bill Maupin, retired Nevada Supreme Court justice

• Margaret McLetchie from the local chapter of the ACLU

• Chris Collins of the Police Protective Association

• Sheriff Doug Gillespie of Metro Police

• David Roger from the District Attorney’s office

• Phil Kohn from the Public Defender’s office

• Richard Boulware from the local chapter of the NAACP

• John Fudenberg from the coroner’s office

The current process involves a county prosecutor picking witnesses, including the police officers, and questioning them in a quasi-judicial forum. At the end of the hearing, a jury panel decides if the shooting was justified, excused or criminal.

The issue received increased attention with two shootings in the last four months, one of Trevon Cole and the other of Erik Scott.

The public can provide feedback to the committee either directly at one of the meetings, by e-mailing [email protected] or by mailing Coroner’s Inquest Committee, c/o the County Manager’s Office, P.O. Box 551111, Las Vegas, NV 89155-1111.

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