It seems, and the fault of many, Clark County elected officials, have decided to get rid of the coroner's inquest which is used to get facts on police officer involved killings. Instead of a jury Clark County has decided to let the District Attorney determine if the cops involved will face charges.
Clark County has had a coroner's inquest for a very long time but then the liberals on the Clark County Commission decided to get involved and changed procedure. The inquest went from a fact finding hearing to a hearing that could become adversarial as the victim's lawyer was allowed to ask questions through an ombudsman. The police unions in the area refused to go along with this new type of inquest and so new inquests have been scheduled for over a year and a half.
Now, the DA is reviewing the cases. From the Las Vegas Sun: The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has cleared Metro Police
of wrongdoing in three April 2011 officer-involved shootings.
The announcement, made Wednesday morning, came after a review of the cases by the District Attorney’s Office....
Previously, officer-involved deaths were reviewed during a coroner’s
inquest hearing which included public testimony in a courtroom. But the
inquest process has been tied up with legal challenges for the past two
years – the last case was heard in September 2010 – prompting District
Attorney Steve Wolfson to begin having his office review the cases on
“When law enforcement is involved in a deadly confrontation, the
public deserves to find out what happened and why,” Wolfson said in a
Now, because we don't have an inquest, we, the public lose out on the facts of the cases. The police are not going to give us all the information about the shootings and so, we have to depend on an elected official, the District Attorney.
We now have lost the transparency we had with the inquests. The inquests were not perfect because no cop was ever recommended for criminal charges, but at least the cops had to put their evidence in writing and be put on the stand in court. The cops and other witnesses had to answer questions from a DA along with the judge and even the jurors.
So, without any debate, Clark County just lost the coroners inquest without even a word of debate. Typical Clark County. And because all the Clark County commissioners and the DA are Democrats, typical Democrats.
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