The Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review to look into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Cody O'Bryan and George Tillman will be held next week in Commission Chambers at the Clark County Government Center at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway in downtown Las Vegas.
The review of Tillman’s death will be presided over by Hearing Officer Tom Pitaro. Sandra Stewart will serve as ombudsman for the review, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Agnes Lexis will represent the District Attorney’s Office in this proceeding.
The review of O’Bryan’s death will be presided over by Hearing Officer William Jansen. Mace Yampolsky will serve as ombudsman for the review, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Peter Thunnell will represent the District Attorney’s Office in this proceeding.
A fact-finding review is held when a police-involved death occurs and the District Attorney’s Office preliminarily determines that no criminal prosecution of the officer or officers involved is appropriate. Presiding officers and ombudsmen are selected by the county manager from lists approved by the County Commission. The ombudsman represents the public and the deceased’s family during the review.
During a review, the representatives from the District Attorney’s Office present witnesses and make a presentation of the essential facts surrounding the police-involved death. After the prosecutors finish their presentation, the presiding officer and ombudsman may also ask questions.
The procedure for questioning witnesses is informal and intended to provide the public with relevant information about the use of force. Members of the public observing the review may submit proposed written questions to the presiding officer on forms available at the review. The presiding officer may ask the proposed questions, revise them or decline to ask them if he deems them “redundant, irrelevant or an abuse of the review process,” according to County ordinance. At the end of the review, no formal determination about the manner or cause of death is rendered.