TAGONIST: Suspect dies by tasar; police refuse to cooperate


Officers refuse to answer questions in death of man shot with Taser
By Joe Schoenmann (contact)
Friday, Dec. 31, 2010 | 2 a.m.

*** begin quote ***

In the first test of the county’s new rules for reviewing police-involved deaths, officers connected with the Dec. 11 death of a suspect who was shot with a Taser are refusing to cooperate with investigators.

Their refusal to make voluntary statements to Metro’s Force Investigation Team is on the advice of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, said Chris Collins, president of the officers union. From Collins’ standpoint, not only is the officers’ refusal to cooperate the right thing to do, it marks the beginning of the end of the coroner’s inquest system.

The system, in use for 40 years, has come under fire in the wake of controversial shootings involving Metro officers, prompting Clark County commissioners to undertake a revision of the ordinance that lays the ground rules for the courtlike hearings.

*** end quote ***

[ANTAGONIST: It’s the Brett Farve defense. If I don’t cooperate, you can’t do squat. Try that in a private enterprise! It’d be “pick up your last check and forget any severance”. Why do the police think that they are immune to any consequences? I guess, like “star” athletes, who get away with everything forever, they get a mindset of ‘entitlement’. In short, the people should fear the cops. They are out of control. By any standard!]

[PROTAGONIST: The officers did cooperate, they gave complete statements which then can be used in any future inquest. Note from the article below…. QUOTE Collins said he wants officers to avoid being questioned four times about the same incident — during the criminal investigation, at the inquest, and then, if there is a civil suit, a deposition, and at a trial. To paint a picture of the problems that might arise, Collins gave a fictional example: After shooting a suspect, an officer tells homicide investigators he was 6 feet away when he shot; during the inquest, the ombudsman grills him and gets him to say it was “6 or 7 feet”; then a civil suit is filed and the officer has to go into a deposition and answer again; then he answers one more time during the civil trial. UNQUOTE This is exactly the tactic that defense attorneys use. They claim, “See, he wrote 6 feet in his statement, but now he says 6 or 7 feet. Gee, which was it? See, this guy doesn’t know what he saw!” That stuff kills me….just trial trickery They gave their statements, let them stand by them…at the appropriate time, not because some media trenzy wants to prosecute them before any inquest begins. ]

# # # # #