CCSD declines public records request after Durango police encounter

FOX5 retains legal representation to obtain undisclosed information, body-worn video
On Monday the ACLU of Nevada said body-worn camera footage of a police encounter last month near Durango High School should be released “immediately.”
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 7:58 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Clark County School District has denied a public records request by FOX5 for information regarding in incident involving a CCSD Police officer and a student at Durango High School.

CCSD Police Department says police were on the scene in February investigating reports of a gun in the area. But the department has not said why CCSD police officers approached the group of students. One officer slammed a student to the ground and at least two others were placed in handcuffs. One student who was handcuffed told FOX5 he was trying to record the incident on his cell phone, while a second student told us police approached him and said he was jaywalking. No gun was found on the students.

FOX5 has retained legal representation to obtain the bodycam footage from the CCSD Police Department, as well as an incident report, which would detail the department’s version of what happened. However, the school district’s public records department denied FOX5′s request to obtain that report. It did so, in part, because of privacy concerns.

“Personally identifying student information is confidential under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,” said CCSD officials in their written response to FOX5.

District officials also said, “The documents and videos are evidence in an ongoing, pending, and active employment investigation.”

An attorney representing FOX5 said some personal information could be redacted, such as someone’s address, but said CCSD couldn’t entirely withhold these records simply because the incident is under investigation.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department often releases bodycam footage, along with a narrative of police incidents, prior to many investigations that are not complete.

“The district will provide public records as soon as the release will no longer impede or jeopardize the employment investigation (subject to withholding or redactions based on confidentiality and privilege),” said CCSD.

On Monday the ACLU of Nevada said body-worn camera footage of a police encounter last month near Durango High School should be released “immediately.”

The ACLU says it is representing two Durango High School students who were “attacked” by CCSD Police Department in February. It has requested information on the incident, including bodycam footage.

“If the requested records are not released within the next 30 days, we will be taking this matter to court,” said Chris Peterson, ACLU of Nevada Legal Director.

Peterson added, “CCSD police have repeatedly and falsely suggested our clients were involved with guns in order to justify their officers violently attacking and detaining our clients without cause. Our clients demand this slander cease and that the bodycam footage be released immediately.”

CCSD police have not given any timeline for releasing such information.