LAS VEGAS -- Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson released a final report today that shows how a series of mistakes and missed opportunities led to the December 2011 death of Stanley Gibson.
The Report on Use of Force also explains how some of these errors led a police officer to mistakenly believe that Gibson fired at police officers first, prompting that officer to shoot Gibson. Because that officer was responding to what he perceived to be a deadly threat, his actions were not criminal.
“Mr. Gibson’s death was especially tragic because there were so many missed opportunities to get him the help he so obviously needed,” Wolfson said. “On top of that, there were mistakes and a breakdown in communication in the apartment parking lot that led directly to the shooting.
“However, I believe that through subsequent policy changes and training the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has addressed many of the issues raised in this report. I believe that if the officers were presented with these same circumstances today we would have a different outcome.”
The report chronicles multiple events during the 36 hours leading up to Gibson’s death on Dec. 12, 2011; including several 911 calls made by Mr. Gibson, contacts with emergency responders, and attempts by police officers to get him the help, through the Legal 2000 process, that they believed he needed.
The report also explains why criminal charges will not be forthcoming in this case.
As the report states, a variety of factors created the situation in which the shooting out of a side window by one officer was mistaken by another officer for Gibson shooting at the police.
“The Nevada Supreme Court makes it perfectly clear that the mere perception of danger, as opposed to actual danger, is sufficient to warrant a killing in self-defense,” the report states.
Information used for this report was provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, an independent investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Office and a Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review held Feb. 28.
-- From news release