Las Vegas Sun

September 1, 2014

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Metro Review Board resignations to come under scrutiny of civil rights panel

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Sheriff Douglas C. Gillespie addresses the media about the death of David Vanbuskirk, a Las Vegas Metro Police Department Search and Rescue officer, Tuesday, July 23, 2013.

The state’s advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights wants to probe the status of Metro Police’s Use of Force Review Board, which fell into turmoil last month after the sheriff overturned a recommendation made by the board.

During a meeting this afternoon, the Nevada Advisory Committee unanimously approved going forward with a project described as “fact-finding activity” related to Metro’s Use of Force Review Board.

Six civilian members of the Metro review board have resigned since Sheriff Doug Gillespie opted to save the job of Officer Jacquar Roston, who mistakenly shot an unarmed man in the leg last year. The review board had recommended Roston be terminated.

Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody also abruptly retired following Gillespie’s decision.

The committee intends to either conduct a public meeting or a series of interviews with select individuals within 90 days.

Committee members discussed inviting the following people to participate: the review board members who recently resigned, Moody, Gillespie, current review board members, other local police chiefs and representatives from the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, ACLU and NAACP, among others.

The committee then would submit a report — based on the interviews and other research — to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Part of the committee’s intent is to put this issue on the radar of the federal commission, said Michael Pennington, chairman of the Nevada Advisory Committee.

If the committee determines the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights should make recommendations related to Metro’s Use of Force Review Board, it could make that suggestion also, Pennington said.

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