LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Clark County commissioners are checking up a on a process many of you asked for -- the police fatality fact-finding review process.
The new title is a mouthful but is it working? News 3’s Mackenzie Warren has a progress report.
When a police officer is forced to make that split-second decision: and they make the choice that ends with a loss of life—families on either side—whether it’s the gun or the badge—are broken.
For the officer that fired, it’s a decision they live with every day and for the families who lost someone, they want to know “why?”
On Tuesday Clark County Commissioners were asking the man in charge if the new process is providing the answers people need.
District Attorney Steve Wolfson is the first DA in Clark County’s history to provide a detailed report every time an officer shoots and kills.
“We can continue to be transparent and open in our review in our investigation,” Wolfson said.
County Commissioners played a key role in the creation of these fact-finding reviews by replacing the old system of a coroner’s inquest where police officers who pulled the trigger complained it felt like they were on trial—under the backwards premise of guilty until proven innocent.
The new process is out of the courtroom but still provides evidence on how an officer arrived at that lethal choice.
“The 9-1-1 calls to actually hear people's voices--who have inside knowledge--the diagrams-- I think that satisfies what the public needs which is answers as to someone who lost their life,” Wolfson said.
The DA’s office told commissioners on Tuesday the reviews are not perfect. Critics say they're a whitewash still favoring police which have refused to participate, fearing civil lawsuits.
“There was concern about awkwardness--or abruptness on how hearings end,” Drew Christensen of the district attorney’s office told the board of commissioner.
At the meeting commissioners approved the addition of “closing remarks” in hopes the reviews feel more complete.
Commissioner Lawrence Weekly pointing out it can be intimidating for the public to take part in something like this—that’s why weekly, alongside the d-a, will soon host town halls to educate the community .
"I think that makes a tremendous difference especially for those who are uncomfortable coming to the fact-finding meetings so that’ll be great they're comfortable in their own communities," Weekly said.