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DA says officers acted lawfully in two deadly OIS incidents

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Updated: 4/19/2012 6:21 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- The Clark County district attorney’s office has determined that the law enforcement officers involved in two deaths in 2010 acted reasonably and lawfully.

“In both instances the police were confronted with aggressive suspects who ignored clear commands from the officers and resisted efforts to resolve the incidents quickly and without the use of force,” District Attorney Steven Wolfson said.

Wolfson has pledged to have his office review all 18 officer-involved deaths that are awaiting a hearing in the long-delayed coroner’s inquest process. The last coroner’s inquest was held in September 2010.

Eduardo Lopez-Hernandez died Aug. 25, 2010, after an arrest on U.S. 95 near Boulder Highway. Witnesses said Lopez-Hernandez crashed into several vehicles on U.S. 95, got into a fight with as many as eight people and then fought the police officers.  

Lopez-Hernandez bit, kicked and hit the officers, and escaped from his handcuffs before the officers were able to subdue him, in part by using their Tasers, and get him in handcuffs again. At the conclusion of the struggle, the officers noticed Lopez-Hernandez was not breathing. The officers administered CPR until emergency medical responders arrived.

Police confronted Anthony James Brenes on Nov. 15, 2010, in a convenience store parking lot on East Desert Inn Road after receiving reports of a man getting into a fight with his girlfriend.

Witnesses said Brenes had a large stick or club and refused to follow clear commands of the officers to drop the weapon. Instead, Brenes threatened the officers, told them to shoot him, and continued moving towards one of the officers.

The officers shot Brenes with their Tasers and non-lethal bean bag rounds, but Brenes was not affected. As Brenes got increasingly closer to one of the officers, the officer shot him.

The determination that the officers acted lawfully in both situations is based upon the evidence available at this time. The cases could be reexamined if new information comes to light.
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