Bill Scott wants the Las Vegas police officers who shot and killed his son outside a Costco store to be held accountable.
But after 2½ months of waiting, he expects the coroner's inquest that starts today will be nothing more than an attempt to exonerate them and put his son on trial, he said Tuesday from a parking lot overlooking the store.
"I think we're going to hear, day after day, of attempts to trash my son's reputation and make him out to be something other than he really was," Bill Scott said .
Erik Scott, 38, was shot and killed July 10 outside the Costco store in Summerlin after employees had called police because he was carrying a gun and acting erratically, police said.
Three Las Vegas police officers confronted him as he left the store and fired when Scott pulled a handgun from his waistband, police said.
Scott, who had a concealed weapons permit, was carrying two handguns at the time of the shooting, police said.
Dozens of witnesses are expected to testify during the inquest, which could stretch into early next week.
Witnesses will include shoppers, store employees and the three officers who fired their weapons during the fatal confrontation: William Mosher, 38, Joshua Stark, 28, and Thomas Mendiola, 23.
On his blog, Bill Scott suggested his son had prescription painkillers and steroids in his system at the time of the shooting. But he said those had nothing to do with what happened in the few seconds he was shot seven times.
"They shot and killed him like he was an animal," Bill Scott said. "He was no more than a deer that the cops shot. There was no humanity at all."
Las Vegas police declined to comment, saying the evidence will be presented at the inquest.
Since Erik Scott's death, his family has waged an unprecedented public relations campaign suggesting a cover-up by Las Vegas authorities, including billboards throughout the Las Vegas Valley, a blog, media appearances and an airborne banner flying over a Southern California beach.
Recent fatal police shootings, including Scott's, have resurrected criticisms of the coroner's inquest, a fact-finding hearing held whenever someone dies at the hands of police.
The American Civil Liberties Union and other critics believe relatives of the dead should be allowed to directly question witnesses and examine evidence before the hearing, as is commonly done during inquests in King County, Wash. Those changes were rejected in 2007 when the Clark County Commission tweaked the inquest process after a review by a committee that included community groups, police and government officials.
In the near future, the ACLU plans to submit a proposal to the commission to revisit the inquest process and implement those changes.
At his news conference, Bill Scott remained skeptical that the inquest would get to the truth in his son's death.
"Remember, this is nothing but theater," he said. "This is reality TV, and the sole purpose of this is not fact finding. It is to exonerate three cops who killed my son."
Contact reporter Brian Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0281.