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July 31, 2014

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Erik Scott family files federal civil rights suit in Costco shooting

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The Las Vegas police department was sued in federal court Thursday by the family of Erik Scott, which claims his civil rights were violated when officers shot and killed him at a Costco on July 10.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for Nevada, names as defendants the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Sheriff Doug Gillespie, officers William Mosher, Joshua Stark and Thomas Mendiola as well as Costco Wholesale Corp. and Costco security officer Shai Lierly.

While the officers were found by a coroner's inquest jury to be justified in shooting Scott, Thursday's lawsuit charges Scott "did not engage in any conduct which would indicate he posed a threat to the safety of the officers or any other person."

Even though Scott was armed and witnesses said he was acting erratically, the suit alleges Lierly "falsely reported that Erik did pose a threat to the safety of other persons" and ordered a store-wide evacuation.

The suit alleges there have been "numerous prior incidents in which Metro officers engaged in unreasonable seizures and the use of excessive, including lethal, force," but that Gillespie has acted with "deliberate indifference" in failing to adequately train, supervise and discipline officers concerning unreasonable seizures and the use of excessive force.

Metro's policy is to not comment on litigation. Thursday's suit was filed by attorney Ross Goodman of Goodman Law Group in Las Vegas.

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  1. And here I thought the family would be swayed by the new "transparency" of the Inquest Process; & the whole notion that no verdict be arrived at... I really thought that one would have appeased them for the loss of their son.
    This is so NOT just about Eric Scott, folks.
    You would have to be completely blinded by Allegiance to The Man to solely blame Eric Scott for the Costco fiasco.
    I assume we want to hold our Law Enforcement to a higher standard than the crooks; no???
    This is another step in bringing about change in the way Metro does business... and it will be a very EXPENSIVE step. That's on Sheriff Doug and the rest of Metro's Admin., current & prior.
    It's time for Regime Change.

  2. State sanctioned murder, by the Police use of force policy, tactics and by shield laws that make any police officer immune from prosecution of murdering a citizen. It is truly sad that our society has devolved to this. The people no longer have a right to life as we can be murdered by the State (the police) at any time . . . and the State will claims that right over every citizen. It happened at Ruby Ridge with a Mother and Child . . . murdered, It happened a Waco, TX and it appears happens all the time in Las Vegas, NV. Murder, simply cold blooded, primed to kill, bloody murder by the State of its citizens. When will this stop? When will the people get justice?

  3. Oh, knock it off, you crybabies! If you become the victim of a crime, you'll speed-dial 911! Maybe, with your childish attitude, you'd be better off calling the American Criminal Liberties Union and have Allan Lichtenstein come to your aid. Yeah, that'll work! Considering the number of low-lives they deal with every hour of every working day, and the fact that they never know how quickly a situation might escalate, Metro officers do a damn good job. Too often, they have to make split-second decisions in order to save others and themselves. If anyone is stupid enought to show a weapon to an officer and not follow instructions, he's not a victim, he's a moron!

  4. The guy was a nut job and now it looks like he got it from his family. Sheesh!

  5. I have no problem with further scrutiny of this tragedy. Indeed the inquest process leaves a good bit to be desired. District Court maybe the best venue to address this cleanly and transparently, for the sake of the family and the public.

    A lot of things had to go wrong at Costco on July 10 for something like this to happen--by wrong I mean that no one intended for things to end in a shooting--Metro included. Based on what I read many events transpired in a short amount of time and the shooting was just the last one. I doubt if I could have done any better than the officers did at that time.

    Nevertheless we need to collectively understand what happened and how it happened in a transparent process to try to avoid incidents like this from happening again. I am not convinced the inquest achieved this.

  6. If Metro did nothing wrong, what do they have to fear from due process in a court of law. Interesting how the people that are concern about "the government being to big" give license to law enforcement to do anything they want.

    Unlike Cole, Scott has money for the day in court.

    I trust the attorney for Scott more than an ex-cocktail waitress or an ex-drug counselor, who happen to be talk show hosts, when it comes to this incident.

  7. Chunky says:

    No surprises here! The Scott family has prepped and planned for this all along. They'll apparently do anything to further their denial that Erik Scott was an out of control prescription drug addict who was living lie and who was so out-of-control that he broke the law carrying multiple concealed weapons while under the influence of drugs and then failed to follow the orders of armed police officers.

    That's just part of what Chunky thinks!

  8. The family understands very well that Erik had a difficult time. I fail to understand the necessity to legally murder this guy at close range. Apparently the Sheriff doesn't have a negotiation proceedure. I also think Erik could have been subdued without firing many rounds into his central body mass - what a term for delivering a bullet to where it will kill the other guy. It is NOT about crybabies - we are supposedly living in a sophisticated society - not one where the guy with the best shot and biggest one is always right. Everyone has rights. Even those who accuse others of being crybabies.

  9. Chunky says:

    Erik Scott died from a lethal level of arrogance and ultimately stupidity combined with a failure to obey the law and officers of the law.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  10. I understand that the family is devestated and needs to vent through law suits. Sue Metro, okay, but leave the Costco security guy out of it.

    Whereas Metro has officers that are trained to deal with deadly situations, the Costco guy normally deals with shoplifters; not something lethal.

    This guy has a responsibility to ensure the safety of the customers in his store. Erik Scott was acting erratically in the store. How egregious his behaviour was - none of us truly know. What we do know is it was egregious enough to bring the attention of Costco security, and they found an erratic behaving customer who was armed.

    I think it's understandable that the security guy acted in the fashion he did. He has to err on the side of caution. He can't possibly know the mind set of Erik Scott. I do believe that Erik Scott meant no harm, but how is this guy to know that? He did what he had to do.

    As for Metro, we all watch too much television. These officers don't deal with deadly situations often. I truly believe the public has a Hollywood induced mindset that police authorities deal with these kind of things commonely.

    The truth is - they don't. Ask yourself; you drive up to a situation with an armed assailant, you order him to drop his weapon, and he doesn't respond. How do you react?

    Could this have been handled better? Of course. All I know is I've walked into Costco and other stores countless times and I've managed to leave without the police drawing down on me.

    I feel bad for the Scott family, but Erik Scott brought this on himself. There was no reason he needed to enter into this store packing, and there is no reason that he walked out of that store, faced Metro with guns drawn, and acted in a manner that they felt a need to fire their weapons.