Clark County commissioners mull coroner's inquest changes - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Clark County commissioners mull coroner's inquest changes

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The coroner's inquest process is in need of another revision after part of the county's first draft was ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, it was back on the table at the meeting of the Clark County Commission. Suggestions for revision included increased transparency and even a name change.

However, some contend the current process, a discovery procedure which determines an officer's actions during a fatal confrontation, works just fine.

"We as the victims deserve to know what the cops did," said Alma Chavez, whose son was shot and killed by a Las Vegas Metro officer last year.

"I need to know the statements. I need to know the story. I need to know why they made the decisions they made, and I want them to be accountable for what they did," Chavez said.

Under the current coroner's inquest process, Chavez may never get those answers.

Following public comments, county leaders handed the microphone to Metro Sheriff Doug Gillespie.

"What I suggest (for) today (are) some suggestions, recommendations as to how we can move forward," Gillespie said.

Gillespie suggested a name change and efforts to bring more transparency to the process. Most of the commissioners agreed with him. Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani wasn't one of them.

"And now we are being asked to fix something that is not broken and hasn't even had the opportunity to be vetted," she said.

Wednesday's suggestions were requested two years ago, when the inquest was modified. The public voted on the process and those changes were implemented.

"We changed the name, we did it already. We got rid of findings, we did it already," Giunchigliani said.

Still, revisions may be in the works.

"My office is going to participate in whatever you as a board come up with. Whether it's the original ordinance with a tweak or a new ordinance, the District Attorney's Office is going to be there," said Clark County DA Steve Wolfson.

Meanwhile, as the process drags on, Chavez said she will continue to fight for change, transparency and answers.

Commissioners plan to take up the issue again in January.

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