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May 23, 2015

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Erik Scott family files federal civil rights suit in Costco shooting

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The Las Vegas police department was sued in federal court Thursday by the family of Erik Scott, which claims his civil rights were violated when officers shot and killed him at a Costco on July 10.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for Nevada, names as defendants the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Sheriff Doug Gillespie, officers William Mosher, Joshua Stark and Thomas Mendiola as well as Costco Wholesale Corp. and Costco security officer Shai Lierly.

While the officers were found by a coroner's inquest jury to be justified in shooting Scott, Thursday's lawsuit charges Scott "did not engage in any conduct which would indicate he posed a threat to the safety of the officers or any other person."

Even though Scott was armed and witnesses said he was acting erratically, the suit alleges Lierly "falsely reported that Erik did pose a threat to the safety of other persons" and ordered a store-wide evacuation.

The suit alleges there have been "numerous prior incidents in which Metro officers engaged in unreasonable seizures and the use of excessive, including lethal, force," but that Gillespie has acted with "deliberate indifference" in failing to adequately train, supervise and discipline officers concerning unreasonable seizures and the use of excessive force.

Metro's policy is to not comment on litigation. Thursday's suit was filed by attorney Ross Goodman of Goodman Law Group in Las Vegas.

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