A coroner’s inquest into one of the most highly publicized police shootings in recent memory got under way Wednesday, but it looked like just another morning outside the Clark County Regional Justice Center.
The court proceeding into the July 10 shooting death of Erik Scott drew only a handful of quiet protesters. They stood at the bottom of the courthouse steps two or three at a time, holding glossy, professionally made signs and talking to passersby.
Dustin Deguevara traveled to Las Vegas from Newport Beach, Calif., to help organize the protest and "to be here to support the Scott family," he said.
"This was supposed to be my vacation home to Denver. I called my parents and family and said, ‘Maybe next year.’ This is too important."
Deguevara said he met Erik Scott eight years ago through Scott’s brother, Kevin.
"He was an unbelievable man," he said.
Deguevara had the signs made, about 20 in all, featuring pictures of Scott and slogans such as "Sheriff Gillespie: The entire world is watching your cover-up" and "Character assassination of a deceased man — there’s nothing lower."
Deguevara said his last trip to Las Vegas was for Scott’s funeral. He has no plans to come back after the inquest.
"Now that I’ve seen the ugliness, I’m just not comfortable here," he said.
Amy Park showed up at the courthouse in her hospital scrubs to carry one of Deguevara’s signs and to show her support for her friend Erik.
Park said she got to know him during the year they spent working at the same medical supply company. "He’s one of the finest people I’ve ever known, and I can’t believe this happened to him."
When she wasn’t picketing, Park was in the courthouse watching the inquest by video link from an overflow room on the first floor.
She also used her iPad to track updates on the proceedings posted throughout the day on the Scott family’s official Twitter account.
The large and boisterous crowd some had predicted never materialized on the first day of the inquest.
Satellite trucks from local stations lined Third Street more than an hour before the scheduled 10 a.m. start time, but the cameras had nothing to shoot.
The only person on the scene in uniform was Brittany Reiner, who stood across the street from the courthouse in short shorts, fishnet stockings and a low-cut shirt with police patches on it.
The costume was a coincidence. She was there to advertise her friend’s legal service for people with traffic citations.
Asked if she has been following the coverage of the Scott shooting, Reiner said, "Not at all. So, he was shot by the police?"
Contact reporter Henry Brean at email@example.com or 702-383-0350.Clark County coroner’s inquest into Erik Scott shooting
Scott portrayed in inquest as depressed man addicted to painkillers
WATCH ONLINE AND ON TV
Inquest begins at 10 a.m.
Live coverage of coroner’s inquest – Channel 4
The inquest will be broadcast live by Clark County’s cable channel 4. KSNV-TV and KLAS-TV will show the inquest on Cox Communications digital channels 123 and 128, and on their websites, KSNV-TV and KLAS-TV