LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- If Metro continues to pay out million-dollar settlements, there may not be enough to go around according to County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.
This comes in response to the department’s tentative record-breaking settlement with the family of Trevon Cole, an alleged drug dealer who was shot to death by a metro officer in 2010 after police served a search warrant over a drug raid.
Cole was not armed, but a coroner's inquest ruled Detective Bryan Yant, the officer who pulled the trigger, was justified in firing his gun.
Despite that decision, a $1.7-million-dollar settlement with Metro is pending approval by the department's fiscal affairs committee. Sisolak sits on that committee, and he says the settlement will likely move forward, but its size does raise some questions.
“You know, we've paid out a lot of money,” Sisolak said. “I think this is the third million-dollar settlement that we've had in a little over a year."
The settlement would come from the police department's self-insurance fund.The agency puts money into the fund each year through the budget, but Sisolak confirmed some of the money will come from about $10 million in taxpayer money.
Sisolak said he worries that a recent backlog of coroners inquests could mean more payouts might be ahead.
Several other high-profile officer-involved shootings are pending, including the 2010 shooting of Eric Scott outside a Costco, and last December’s shooting of Stanley Gibson, an unarmed, disabled veteran who was shot and killed in December.
Sisolak said it's possible that if the fund runs out, the county will have to redo its budget if any other settlements come.