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November 21, 2019

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National group honors 2 Metro officers in fatal Erik Scott shooting


Steve Marcus

Metro Police Officer William Mosher testifies about shooting Erik Scott during a coroner’s inquest at the Regional Justice Center Thursday, September 23, 2010.

Click to enlarge photo

Metro Police Officer Joshua Stark gestures toward the jury as he testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010. Stark was one of three officers who shot Scott.

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Metro Police Officer Thomas Mendiola testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center on Sept. 28, 2010. Scott was shot and killed by Metro officers at the Summerlin Costco store July 10.

The National Association of Police Organizations has honored two Metro Police officers who were involved in the fatal shooting of Erik Scott last summer.

Officer William Mosher and Officer Joshua Stark are Nevada’s 2011 honorable mentions for NAPO’s "Top Cops" awards. Mosher and Stark were two of three officers who fatally shot Scott in July at the Summerlin Costco.

The third officer, Officer Thomas Mendiola, was charged in January with a felony count of furnishing a firearm to a prohibited person and relieved of duty without pay pending the outcome of the case.

NAPO’s website says the "Top Cops" awards program began in 1994 and pays tribute to “outstanding law officers across the country for actions above and beyond the call of duty.” The website says officers throughout the country are nominated by fellow officers. An awards ceremony will be held May 12 in Washington, D.C.

Chris Collins, executive director of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, serves as sergeant-at-arms and is a NAPO board member. Collins said each year he nominates Nevada officers for the award. In addition to nominating Mosher and Stark, Collins also nominated Officer Mike Madland, who was shot by 26-year-old Damon Beal following a car chase in March last year, and his partner at the time, Officer Christopher LeBlanc, who fatally shot Beal.

“Of all the heroic things our officers do every year, those were the ones I thought deserved to be nominated,” Collins said. “I took the entire year’s worth of events the Metropolitan Police Department had been involved in and said, ‘Who do I believe should be recognized on a national level (for) heroic efforts to protect our citizens in this valley?’ Those two events came to my mind. I believe that they deserved the award.”

The three officers shot and killed Scott on July 10 outside Costco after authorities say he pointed a gun at an officer. A Clark County coroner’s inquest jury ruled in September after six days of testimony that the three officers were justified in the shooting.

Since the shooting, the Scott family has been vocal in its protest against Metro Police, Costco and the coroner’s inquest system, which saw substantial changes in December after an inquest panel suggested changes to the Clark County Commissioners.

Following the inquest, the Scott family filed a lawsuit against Metro Police, the three officers and Costco.

The Scott family has since dropped Costco from the federal lawsuit but family attorney Ross Goodman said in January the family “preserved the right to hold Costco accountable in state court within the two-year-statute of limitations.”

Collins said he is unsure if Mosher and Stark will be able to attend the ceremony in May.

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