Fact-finding Reviews for Deaths of Watson, Charland and Brown Scheduled

The Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Reviews to look into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of John Riddell Watson III, Justin Charland and Fred Brown have been scheduled for later this month.

All of the reviews will begin at 9 a.m. in Commission Chambers at the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway in downtown Las Vegas.

The review of Watson’s death will be held on Monday, June 14, and will be presided over by Hearing Officer William Jansen. David Fischer will serve as the ombudsman, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo will represent the District Attorney’s Office for the review. Watson died during a confrontation with law enforcement in December 2019.

The review of Charland’s death will be held on Monday, June 21, and will be presided over by Hearing Officer Mandy McKellar. Terry Jackson will serve as the ombudsman, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Danielle Pieper will represent the District Attorney’s Office for the review. Charland died during a confrontation with law enforcement in May 2020.

The review of Brown’s death will be held on Monday, June 24, and will be presided over by Hearing Officer William Jansen. Michael Troiano will serve as the ombudsman, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Schwartzer will represent the District Attorney’s Office for the review. Brown died during a confrontation with law enforcement in April 2020.

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, 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.

CCTV will carry the entirety of the proceedings. Clark County Television is available in the Las Vegas area on Channel 4/1004 on Cox cable and on CenturyLink on Channels 4 and 1004 as well as in Laughlin on Channel 14 via Suddenlink. Live streaming of CCTV programming is available at https://www.youtube.com/user/ClarkCountyNV/live. CCTV is also available in Boulder City on Channel 4 and in Moapa Valley on Digital Channel 50.3. One may watch CCTV on streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV via the YouTube app.

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Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability.  With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.4 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 7th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1.1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.