Groups seek records from case against ex-Las Vegas police officer

Updated October 3, 2018 - 8:09 pm

Civil rights groups are seeking records from the Clark County district attorney’s office related to its criminal case against a former Las Vegas police officer.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and the NAACP Las Vegas filed a records request with the office Tuesday in hopes of discovering more about its decision to bring the manslaughter case against former Metropolitan Police Department officer Kenneth Lopera to a grand jury, where proceedings are kept secret.

Prosecutors initially charged Lopera last year with manslaughter and oppression under the color of office in the death of 40-year-old Tashii Brown but later opted to take the case to a grand jury. The panel declined to indict Lopera in July, and the charges were dropped in August.

The request from the civil rights groups came a week after a public fact-finding review turned up little new information about the case. Tod Story, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada, called the hearing a “farce” and said it left several questions unanswered.

“Our opinion is that justice was not served,” Story said.

In a statement, NAACP Las Vegas President Roxann McCoy called the hearing process flawed and “an insult to the intelligence of everyone who attended.”

“The NAACP Las Vegas and the ACLU of Nevada will not stop until it is clear that police officers cannot choke and kill innocent members of our community without facing justice,” McCoy said.

The groups’ request seeks several records, including communication between the district attorney’s office and Metro, the police union that represented Lopera and District Attorney Steve Wolfson’s re-election campaign.

It also seeks information related to the practice of bringing in experts such as the Force Science Institute to contradict findings of the Clark County coroner’s office, and guidelines for taking cases before a grand jury rather than to a public preliminary hearing.

A grand jury picked up the case in March, months after Brown’s May 14, 2017, death. Story questioned the delay, saying, “The timing is suspicious.”

Requests for comment from the district attorney’s office were not returned.

Brown died by asphyxia due to police restraint, according to the coroner’s office. Methamphetamine use and an enlarged heart contributed to his death, which the coroner’s office ruled a homicide.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Crime
Family members of murder victims talk about their loss
Family members of murder victims talk about their loss. Susan Nash, 52, was killed in a shooting along with her daughter and one of her three sons on Sunday night. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Sayegh Cold Case Turns 40
Cary Sayegh was abducted from the playground of the Albert Einstein Hebrew Day School in Las Vegas in 1978. His body has never been found. (File Photo)
Review held in death of man after encounter with Las Vegas police
The mother of Tashii Brown, who died after an encounter with Las Vegas police on the Strip, not satisfied after public review of evidence. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vehicle of Interest in January Homicide
Las Vegas police released footage Friday of a “vehicle of interest” from a deadly shooting in January. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Hostage escapes clutches of robber before shooting
Metropolitan Police Department footage shows a man wearing a motorcycle helmet, identified by police as 27-year-old Mario B. Trejo, with one arm wrapped around a woman’s neck and held a handgun to her head.
Sunset Park Vigil
A small group of people gathered in Sunset Park to remember the three children recently killed in the area.
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nye County detectives pursue suspects
A swarm of Nye County deputies, at the request of Las Vegas police, surrounded a hotel room in Pahrump last week to take two fugitives into custody. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like