Las Vegas Sun

September 21, 2019

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County might show Costco shooting inquest on TV

The coroner’s inquest into the July 10 fatal shooting by Metro Police of West Point graduate Erik Scott at the Summerlin Costco could be shown on the county's cable channel.

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who also sits on Metro’s Fiscal Affairs Committee, wants fellow commissioners to vote on the idea at their next meeting Sept. 7.

Approval from the commission is needed because the live broadcast on cable Channel 4 would supercede regular coverage of the commission’s zoning meeting on Sept. 22.

Sisolak has talked to Sheriff Doug Gillespie and Coroner Mike Murphy, both of whom approve of the idea, he said.

"I think it’s important for people to be able to see the inquest and make up their own minds," Sisolak said. "It will either ease their feelings or they won’t like it. But I don’t see how openness and transparency can be a bad thing."

Gillespie said not everyone can get to the courthouse to watch the inquest.

"This isn’t new," he said. "It’s been done before and I’m in support of it."

The inquest is a procedure allowing a jury to decide if a fatal shooting by an officer was justified, excusable or criminal. Three Metro Police officers shot and killed Scott as he exited the store.

Though held in a courtroom, inquests are not trials. And while police say inquests provide transparency, critics such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada have called them shams. The ACLU has said it would like to see the state attorney general handle the cases to eliminate what it perceives as bias, because witnesses are questioned by a lawyer from the District Attorney’s Office.

KLAS-TV will broadcast the inquest on digital cable Channel 128, a station spokeswoman said. KSNV-TV also will carry the inquest live on Cox Cable 123.

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