"Move the inquest forward" is the message several community leaders are urging county commissioners to follow. Elected officials will be discussing the coroner's inquest process during their regular meeting.
In 2010, the Board of Commissioners adopted an ordinance for inquests for officer-involved shootings. The vocal group of community leaders say the public and victims' families deserve an open and transparent process, a change from the one currently in place.
"Right now, there are 22 families that are waiting (for) a coroner's inquest. Unless you have a coroner's inquest, you don't get any of the background information. You don't get to see any of the police reports, you can't listen to the 911 tapes," said Lisa Mayo-Deriso, a family activist.
While the District Attorney's Office had no comment about the issue, earlier this year District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he believed in trying to implement the new rules before changing them.
"Two people know everything that went on - one is the decedent, who is no longer with us, and the officer who pulled the trigger. The decedent can't testify, and if the officer refuses to testify - I question how much fact finding you are really going to get out of this," said County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.
Sisolak said he did not support the ordinance when it started nearly two years ago but says something needs to be done.
"I want to do something that will [bring] information that the officer possess into the light of day so the public has the opportunity to see what the officer was thinking or doing. What their mind set was at the time and what action [was taken] and [what his or her] version of events was," said Sisolak.
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