Lopez Family Sues Las Vegas Police For $23 Million

(5 p.m.) -- The officer-involved shooting of a handcuffed teenager is dragging the Metro Police Department into federal court. Friday, a civil rights attorney filed suit asking for millions of dollars, and dramatic changes from daily operations of the police department.

San Antonio, Texas attorney James Myart walked up the steps of the Las Vegas Federal Courthouse and slapped police with a $23 million civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit.

This is exactly what Police Protective Association president Dave Kallas feared.

"What a travesty it is when families sue our police department taking taxpayers dollars taking monetary damages because of the criminal acts of a relative of their family. To me that is somehow unjust," Kallas said.

But Myart says money is only a part of what he's after.

"23 million dollars. I picked out of the air and I want all of you to understand that this is not about money. This is about justice. This is about equality," Myart said.

He wants police self-evaluations of officer-involved shootings to be ruled unconstitutional. Co-counsel Las Vegas attorney Arthur Williams says this is the only way to know the truth about police shootings.

Williams said, "Through litigation you can't hide, you have to produce facts, witnesses will be called and maybe we will find out the truth."

A family member of the victim says the lawsuits are only prolonging the pain.

The suit also demands that Metro police install video cameras on police cars. None of the cruisers currently have video cameras.

Eyewitness News asked Metro for reaction to the lawsuit Friday, they say they are going to withhold comment until they've had an opportunity to look through the lawsuit.

(12 p.m.) -- The Lopez family is now filing a federal civil rights suit against the Metro Police Department. The father of Swuave Lopez filed the $23 million lawsuit late friday morning.  

James Myart, the lawyer for David Lopez, was joined by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, as well as the two officers involved in the shooting, are all named in the lawsuit that asks for changes to the coroner's inquest process and asks for cameras in all police cars.

The officer-involved shooting happened in May after police arrested Swuave Lopez.

The teen was handcuffed and placed into a patrol car. But police say he somehow escaped and that's when the shooting took place.

In June, a coroner's jury found the officers were justified in the shooting.

Lopez was a suspect in the murder of another teenager, Kyle Staheli, who was killed allegedly so Lopez could steal his car.

Send feedback to reporter Ky Plaskon at kplaskon@klastv.com


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Community Calendar
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Connect with 8 News NOW
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Founder's Day of Caring
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Community Pride
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Politics Now
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

Video Center