Civil rights groups call for police reform in Las Vegas
Several civil rights groups say a review of Metro by an office at the Department of Justice isn't enough. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Several civil rights groups say a review of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department by an office at the Department of Justice isn't enough.
Following several questionable officer involved shootings, two civil rights groups have called for an outside investigation into Metro's use of force policies.
The NAACP and the ACLU claim many in the community are upset over recent police shootings. They claim officers are not getting the necessary discipline when they are involved in repeated questionable shootings and that's just one of the reforms they're calling for.
In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, representatives with the NAACP and the ACLU addressed the media and the public regarding a recently announced review into Metro's use of force policies and procedures.
"We feel that this is essentially a delay. I don't want to call it a tactic, but I think they need to have that review," says Richard Boulware with the NAACP of Las Vegas.
What these groups are talking about is the civil rights investigation they asked for in a petition back in January. Although the Community Oriented Policing Services office -- also known as COPS -- is doing a review for the first time ever with a law enforcement agency. The ACLU and the NAACP says it's one with no real bite or push for immediate reforms.
"We don't need a review to tell us that officers need to be disciplined or terminated when they engage in misconduct. We don't need a review to tell us that there needs to be a greater accountability of officers. In the interim, people are being treated poorly or mistreated by the police," says Boulware.
And while the DOJ seems to imply that a civil rights investigation could come later, some in the community fear what will happen until that time.
"We should not be afraid of the police. We should not be concerned about what happens. And also, it creates distrust," says Boulware.
Distrust that seems to grow with every officer involved shooting, and a community that mistrusts the information reported by police after such incidents.
Metro could only confirm the COPS review and says they are working to address community concerns. They have been told by the DOJ not to comment until the review is complete.