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Officers facing misconduct claims shouldn’t be named publicly, police union lawsuit claims

A Las Vegas police union is suing the agency’s independent oversight board, seeking to bar it from publicly identifying officers it scrutinizes.

The Las Vegas Police Protective Association contends that the Metropolitan Police Department’s Citizen Review Board is violating officers’ privacy by publishing their names in its meeting agendas, findings and recommendations, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday.

“The CRB’s disclosure of this information violates Nevada law and abridges the rights of peace officers,” the lawsuit said.

Formed more than two decades ago, the civilian-run board evaluates misconduct claims made against Metro officers as well as internal investigations conducted by the department. In past years, the board has almost always dismissed complaints or sided with internal affairs’ determinations, a Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation found in 2021.

Representatives from both the union and review board declined to comment on the litigation Thursday.

The lawsuit alleges the board is violating state law by publishing the names of officers as part of its meeting agendas because the board’s actual discussions are confidential. But Nevada’s open meeting law requires public bodies to publish agendas with a “clear and complete statement of the topics scheduled to be considered during the meeting.”

Also, state law deems that the board’s findings are public record, but the lawsuit argues Nevada Supreme Court rulings shield government employees’ identities when releasing them could lead to harassment and retaliation.

The union filed the lawsuit on behalf of seven of its members: William Catricula, Edwardo Garcia, Matthew Glover, Jeremy Jacobitz, Raymond Kwan, Aristotle Legaspi and Justin Turney. The co-plaintiffs are all Metro officers with misconduct complaints that were probed by the review board and either dismissed or unsubstantiated, records show.

Clark County and Las Vegas, which created the board, are named as co-defendants, along with Metro.

The litigation marks the second lawsuit filed this year by a police union seeking to conceal the identities of officers under public scrutiny.

In September, the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers union sued the Review-Journal, asking that a judge force the newspaper to either remove or modify a video of Henderson corrections officers. The surveillance video was published as part of an investigation into excessive overtime and mistakes at the city jail.

District Judge Mark Denton ruled against the union, allowing the video to remain online without changes.

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ByMSDavidson on X. Davidson is a member of the Review-Journal’s investigative team, focusing on reporting that holds leaders and agencies accountable and exposes wrongdoing.

Review-Journal staff writer David Wilson contributed to this report.

LVPPA vs CRB Lawsuit by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Scribd

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