Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2016

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Attorney for family in police shooting calls inquest process ‘a farce’

Erik Scott's Attorney

Erik Scott's Attorney, Seg. 2

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  • Erik Scott's Attorney, Seg. 2
  • Erik Scott's Attorney, Seg. 3
  • Erik Scott's Attorney, Seg. 4
  • Erik Scott's Attorney, Seg. 1

Attorney Ross Goodman’s request for the family of Erik Scott, killed by Metro Police in July, to have access to evidence prior to a coroner’s inquest on Wednesday has been denied by a Clark County judge.

Joe Tommasino, staff attorney for Clark County courts, wrote on behalf of Judge Tony Abbatangelo that county code does not “contain any language that would enable inspection of evidence before the time of the inquest.”

In his original motion, Goodman argued that the code gives Abbatangelo the general authority to “insure a fair and just hearing” as the presiding officer over the inquest.

In response, Tommasino wrote that the judge “is only empowered to ‘conduct the inquest as he deems necessary to insure a just and fair hearing.’”

Goodman, appearing Thursday night on “Face to Face With Jon Ralston,” said it is unfair that the Scott family cannot view the evidence before the inquest. While there is nothing that “confers any broad public right of access to such records, exhibits, or other evidence,” there is also nothing that prevents the judge from allowing the family to examine it, Goodman said.

“It just goes to show you what a farce this process is,” Goodman said. “It’s only designed to clear police officers in the arena of public opinion.”

Scott was killed by police July 10 outside the Costco store in Summerlin after authorities say he pointed a gun at an officer. Some witness accounts have contradicted Metro’s version of events.

Goodman also accused Metro of attempting to distract the public by leaking information about Scott’s divorce. The real issue, Goodman said, is the whereabouts of the Costco security video.

The video, Goodman said, has been in Metro’s possession for the past two months.

“If you want to have a fair and just hearing, then what is the prejudice by having the victim’s family take a look at that evidence to inspect it for themselves?” he asked.

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