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Lawyer wants DA to give BLM shooting probe to feds

Reported by: Antonio Castelan
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Updated: 8/27 11:35 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- A Las Vegas attorney wants the U.S. attorney to take over the investigation of the February slaying of a 20-year-old man by Bureau of Land Management rangers at Red Rock Canyon.

Jacob Hafter, representing the family of D'Andre Berghardt Jr., said Tuesday that Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson has the results of a police investigation but doesn't have jurisdiction because the case involves federal agents.

In a letter to Wolfson, Hafter requested release of the investigation file to the family. He also wants Wolfson to forward the report to the U.S. attorney’s office for possible action. He insists the file of the completed investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department is a public record. He also wants to know the names of the BLM rangers who shot Berghardt.

“We'd like to know the identity of the officers from the BLM that were involved in the shooting,” Hafter said. “We'd also like to learn their files. How many arrests have they made in their career."

Berghardt was killed Feb. 14 on state Route 159 at Red Rock Canyon after authorities say he made threats and tried to climb into a Nevada Highway Patrol vehicle.

Referring to the case of the officer-involved shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Hafter said a grand jury there is expected to have the case in two months. It’s been six months since rangers shot Berghardt, who, like Brown, was unarmed.

In his letter to the district attorney, Hafter cites state and county law in arguing that Wolfson has no jurisdiction in the case because it involved use of force by federal officers.

Wolfson would not talk with News 3, but his office said he is deciding whether to order of police fact finding review.

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