LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3.com) -- Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said today that will not fire but instead suspend an officer who shot a man who was sitting in a car after a November 2012 fight with his ex-girlfriend.
Officer Jacquar Roston, 37, has been on paid administrative leave since the Nov. 11, 2012, incident when 22-year-old Lawrence Gordon was shot in the leg as he was sitting in the passenger seat of a car in a parking lot at the closed Hollywood Park, 1600 S. Hollywood Blvd. Gordon is disabled because of the shooting.
The incident began when the woman called police to say she was being beaten by Gordon.
According to Gillespie, Roston responded and was able to get the woman out of the car to separate the two, and then began questioning Gordon who kept reaching under the seat. Gillespie said the officer told Gordon to keep his hands in view and he refused to follow orders.
The sheriff said the investigation showed Gordon was attempting to hide some marijuana under the seat. Roston apparently mistook a shiny metal object on a hat that Gordon had in his hand as a gun and fired one shot at Gordon, hitting him in the leg.
Gillespie said that although Roston made several mistakes in his handling of the incident, he decided to give him the maximum penalty possible short of firing -- a 40-hour suspension.
Once he returns to the patrol force, Roston will receive extensive and specific training designed for him, the sheriff said.
The sheriff some of Roston's mistakes during the incident were his perception of a possible gun being wrong as well as his failure to call for back-up.
Metro's Use of Force Review Board had recommended Roston be fired for the mistakes he made, the sheriff said, as well as the fact that he did not admit his errors to the board.
A second review board recommended the 40-hour suspension after Roston admitted to making some mistakes.
During the news conference Gillespie said admitting mistakes has been an issue with many Metro officers and he is trying to create a more open and transparent force that can admit when it makes mistakes.
The sheriff said he did not know when Roston would return to the force to begin his personalized training. Gillespie said he believes Roston has the ability to be an effective officer on the force, but he needs to pass the training or he could yet face termination.
Roston has been employed with Metro since April 2009.