Officer in Tashii Brown case charged with involuntary manslaughter

LAS VEGAS - Officer Kenneth Lopera will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Tashii Brown, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said in a news conference Monday.

Tashii Brown died as the result of asphyxia in the manner of homicide, according to the findings from the Clark County Coroner's office.

Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg, D-ABMDI, stated: “The autopsy determined the cause of death to be asphyxia due to police restraint procedures and other significant conditions included methamphetamine intoxication and cardiomegaly. The manner of death is ruled homicide.”

He was in Officer Lopera's custody when he died.

During a news conference in May, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said Officer Lopera used the "rear-naked choke hold" while restraining Brown. The method is not approved by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.

Metro releases body cam, surveillance video leading up to man's death

Officer Lopera, who did not give a statement to Metro Police, was on paid leave since the start of the investigation, but now he has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

He was taken into custody Monday afternoon, but he quickly posted bond.  The Las Vegas Police Protective Association, which is the union organization for Metro Police, paid his $6,000 bail. 

The head of the LVPP said Lopera didn't have any criminal intent and was doing what he thought he had to do to make an arrest.

I-Team Reporter Vanessa Murphy contributed to the writing of this report.


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