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October 21, 2014

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Police union will try to block coroner’s inquest changes

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Steve Marcus

Clark County commissioners debate changes to the inquest system during a meeting at the Clark County Government Center Tuesday, October 5, 2010.

Updated Monday, June 20, 2011 | 4:58 p.m.

The Police Protective Association will file legal action on Tuesday to block changes to the coroner's inquest process in cases of fatal officer-involved shootings.

The police union had pushed for a bill during the legislative session to eliminate coroner's inquests, but the effort ultimately failed.

An ordinance to revise the inquest hearing process was passed on Dec. 7, 2010. Changes include the establishment of an ombudsman to represent the victim’s family, the release of key evidence and investigative files, and the restructuring of meetings before the inquest hearing.

"A Petition for Writ of Prohibition and a Petition for Writ of Mandamus in District Court will be filed on the basis that the recently adopted changes to the inquest process render it unconstitutional," the police union said in announcing a Tuesday morning news conference.

The inquest process, in use for 40 years, was scrutinized following the high-profile officer-involved killings of Erik Scott, shot last July at a Summerlin Costco, and Trevon Cole, shot in his Las Vegas apartment in June 2010. In the wake of public outcry, commissioners reviewed the inquest process and held a number of public hearings at the end of last year.

Police officers and their union representatives were opposed to the presence of an ombudsperson in the proceedings. They said the ombudsperson would make the proceedings adversarial.

A two-day coroner's inquest in the November 2010 officer-involved shooting of Benjamin Bowman is scheduled for July 12-13 and will be the first inquest to implement the new changes.

The Las Vegas Police Protective Association represents more than 2,800 rank-and-file police and corrections officers employed by Metro Police, and marshals employed by the city of Las Vegas.

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  1. The unions for police officers and other public officials have become abortions of what they were intended to be. They do not serve the public intrest and should be abolished.

    Police3 officers need to be held to a higher standard than the rest of us. That means not shooting an inoccent person with no hostile intentions.

    Eric Scott did not need to die. He would still be here and the police need to be held responsible for that.

  2. Again, the tail is wagging the dog with a public employee union. The police officers' union and its good members should be ashamed. A few bad officers are again tainting the entire department, and holding Metro up for worldwide ridicule. I am disgusted with our public officials and these union "leaders." I wish this union could go the way of PATCO.

  3. gohugatree has the right of it. What he(?) doesn't point out (or is unaware of) is that our DA apparently refuses to take action when an officer is involved.

  4. "The police don't just shoot people because they enjoy it. "

    some do. the rest of your note is pure blather.

    and if I might be very brief on my feeling on this?

    FIRE THE A-holes!

    carry on.

    Oh yeah --- its beyond time for cameras in the cars. hiding something?

  5. Even with the new process at the inquest..I'm sure the results will still be JUSTIFIED in all the police killings..Hey, it's Vegas get used to it..I've been watching this stuff for all of the 32 years I've lived here and it ain't gonna change..

  6. when an investigation is under way and the police ask for volunteers to give their DNA or be searched or whatever people comment "if you haven't done anything wrong I see no problem with this" I guess this mentality does not apply to an investigation on the police only civilians