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Metro faces suit from police union alleging violation of officers’ rights

Two members of the Las Vegas police union sued the Metropolitan Police Department over officers’ rights when being investigated by the department for alleged misconduct.

President Steve Grammas and Sergeant-at-arms Bryan Yant of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association filed a civil complaint Thursday in District Court, alleging five different instances in which Metro did not follow proper protocol when interrogating officers.

Under state law and the union and department’s collective bargaining agreement, officers being investigated for alleged misconduct must be given a summary of the allegations and be notified no later than 48 hours before any interrogation or hearing is held, according to the complaint.

Questions during an interrogation or hearing must be about the alleged misconduct.

Yant and Grammas claimed in the suit that on two occasions Metro asked questions unrelated to misconduct and did not allow Grammas to fully prepare to assist the officers.

Yant represented three different officers who were interrogated about “an incident that occurred on January 10, 2022,” according to the complaint.

Among other topics, Metro asked the officers about the use of deadly force and their decision to use deadly force on that day, according to the complaint.

The three officers were served with a notice of investigation, but the notice did not allege any misconduct by any of the officers, according to the suit. The complaint did not detail what incident was being investigated by Metro.

On Jan. 10, five SWAT officers entered an apartment in the 3000 block of South Nellis Boulevard and fatally shot 19-year-old Isaiah Williams while serving a search warrant for a homicide suspect. Williams was not the homicide suspect. Two officers were injured by Williams’ gunfire during the raid.

Metro officers Kerry Kubla, 50, Brice Clements, 36, Alex Gonzales, 39, and James Rothenburg, 39, and Sgt. Russell Backman, 46, were later identified as the officers who entered the apartment. Kubla and Clements were injured.

Wattsel Rembert, 23, the man officers were seeking when Williams was killed, was arrested two days later. Court records show that a charge of open murder against Rembert was dismissed on Jan. 24.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

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