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Public hearing scheduled for Sept. 11 in Tashii Brown death

DA not prosecuting ex-officer in chokehold death
Posted at 11:37 AM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 13:16:32-04

The Clark County District Attorney's Office will not pursue criminal prosecution against a former Las Vegas police officer accused in a chokehold death. 

The DA's Office decided to not pursue criminal prosecution after a grand jury decided last week not to indict Kenneth Lopera in the May 2017 death of Tashii Brown, also known as Tashii Farmer. According to a statement, the burden of proof in trial is "substantially higher" than in a grand jury proceeding. 

"Considering the fact that a Grand Jury did not find slight or marginal evidence to support a criminal charge, it is highly improbable that a crime could be established beyond a reasonable doubt," the statement released Aug. 1 reads. 

Since grand jury proceedings are secret, the DA's Office has requested that a public fact finding review be held in the death of Tashii Brown. On Thursday, the DA's Office announced the fact finding review will take place at 9 a.m. Sept. 11 in the Clark County Government Center Commission Chambers, located at 500 Grand Central Parkway.   

Lopera had been facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and oppression under the color of office in Brown's death. 

The Clark County coroner determined Brown died of asphyxia due to police restraint procedures in addition to methamphetamine and an enlarged heart. 

The Las Vegas Police Protective Association brought medical experts to the grand jury that concluded he died of cardiac arrest in addition to the methamphetamine in his system. 

According to police, uniformed officers were attempting to conduct a stop with Farmer inside the Venetian hotel-casino, who was reportedly acting erratic and stated people were "chasing him."

He took off running into a secured area after officers tried to speak with him. Officials say that, as they caught up to him, Farmer attempted to enter a citizen's pickup truck and they were forced to use a Taser on him.

Initial information indicated that Farmer was placed in a Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint after continuing to resist arrest. The restraint requires officers to apply pressure to the side of a subject's neck to overcome resistance and allow safe control.

However, investigators say that an officer, later identified as Lopera, may have applied a rear naked choke to Farmer. The technique is not approved by Las Vegas police.