Nevada civil rights group to take up police militarization

Nevada’s advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will meet in Las Vegas this week to gauge public sentiment on the militarization of local police forces.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday at Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Nevada committee could decide to pursue further examinations into the issue of arming police with military-grade weapons, said Peter Minarik, a western regional director for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Meeting during the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. — where a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man — is a coincidence, Minarik said. The meeting has been scheduled for over six months.

During the meeting, committee members will listen to community members in an informal setting about specific issues relating to militarization, Minarik said.

Members of the public can email or present their comments verbally at Thursday’s meeting. Comments can also be submitted through Sept. 22 by sending letters to: Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 N. Los Angeles St., Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at or 702-383-4638. Find him on Twitter: @ColtonLochhead.