LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – On Monday, a judge ordered the Clark County School District to release body camera video from a February 9 incident outside Durango High School, where bystander video shows an officer slamming a student to the ground.
“The public should have a full understanding of what happened on that day, and CCSD needs to stop denying our requests to public records,” said Athar Haseebullah with the Nevada ACLU.
Tuesday, lawyers with CCSD and the Nevada ACLU were back in court for a status check on documents related to the case.
“We are asking for any and all information related to the February 9 incident near Durango,” said Haseebullah, “and instead of just sharing that information, they have tried to muddy the record over and over and over again. It does beg questions about the transparency with which they’re trying to operate.”
A big point of contention in the courtroom Tuesday was the district’s claim that the Durango High School incident is separate from the internal investigation into the CCSD police officer involved.
“The district has maintained there are two separate incidents here,” said CCSD’s attorney Jackie Nichols. “We have a February 9 incident related to juveniles and the handcuffing of juveniles and the issuance of a citation to a juvenile. and then what we have separately is an internal investigation in relation to a police officer, nothing in relation to the juveniles.”
However, the ACLU argued that both investigations stem from the February 9 incident, and therefore, all of the documents in the internal officer investigation should also be shared in compliance with their public records requests.
“One investigation is targeting the juveniles, and one investigation is targeting the officer, but it’s the same conduct. It’s the same incident that’s being investigated. And if you look at our requests, how we phrase it again and again as time has gone on, is we’ve not made that distinction they’re saying we’ve made. We’ve never made that distinction,” said a lawyer with the Nevada ACLU.
Ultimately, all parties agreed to extend the deadline to 30 days for CCSD to turn over the citation information and other documents, which is the same as the deadline to release the body camera video.
However, after the hearing, Haseebullah said he expects the district will likely appeal the judge’s order to release the video as that deadline approaches.
“Since they’ve mostly been a nuisance since the beginning instead of being an assistance, I would imagine they’d probably try to appeal it. There’s really no good faith effort to do so,” he said.
The ACLU and CCSD lawyers will be back in court next on March 19 for another status check on the emails and documents involved in the case.
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