Thursday, February 27, 2014

New developments surrounding officer-involved Red Rock shooting

There are two new developments in the investigation into an officer-involved shooting at Red Rock Canyon on Valentine's Day. First, the family of D'Andre Berghardt, the 20-year-old man who was shot and killed, wants the coroner's medical assistant taken off the case. Second, the Bureau of Land Management is responding to one congressman's demands for answers after he turned up the heat in a letter to the agency's Washington, D.C. office. The Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday it will cooperate with Congressman Steven Horsford's demands for answers following Berghardt's shooting death. Jeff Krauss of the BLM's Division of Public Affairs told Action News, "We are reviewing Congressman Horsford's letter and look forward to working with him on his requests." The response comes less than 24 hours after Action News obtained Congressman Steven Horsford's letter to the deputy director of the BLM, demanding full disclosure of the "...circumstances that led to the shooting of Mr. Berghardt," the "...Use of Force training BLM rangers undergo before deployment to the field," and finally "...the Bureau's preliminary assessment of whether Use of Force protocols were followed." Family of the man killed are relieved lawmakers are demanding a closer look. "There are significant concerns with what happened here," said Jacob Hafter, the attorney representing the family. It is especially important because they said Berghardt isn't getting a fair judgment. It all goes back to cellphone video originally obtained by the Review-Journal which shows two BLM officers and a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper in a scuffle with Berghardt moments before he was shot nine times. According to the family's attorney, the medical examiner assigned to Berghardt's case at the Clark County Coroner's Office saw that video, and they weren't happy with what she said. "She insinuated that she reviewed the video and drew conclusions as to the appropriateness of the shooting based on the video. That's not her job," Hafter told Action News. The family's attorney has now formally requested Dr. Lisa Gavin be removed from the case, saying "She seemed to be influenced by the conclusions of certain government officials that Mr. Berghardt was acting erratically, with superhuman strength, and/or inappropriately, as allegedly depicted by the video." Later on in the two-page letter, Hafter also said, "Dr. Gavin should be focused on a detailed physical examination of Mr. Berghardt and his anatomy. I have grave concerns about her ability, however, to do so."The coroner's office said no way to removing Dr. Gavin from the case. They said it's not only her right, but her responsibility to review everything that may have influenced a person's death...more

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