September 24, 2010

Exclusive: Another Character Witness for Erik Scott

Irrelevant character assassination seems to be the order of the day at the Erik Scott inquest as we go through the third day of the process. Prosecutors have spent the the first days of the inquest talking about everything but the actual facts of shooting. Quite frankly, there is little chance that this farce can end with justice being served. There have been at least 200 inquests there since 1976, and none have led to the criminal prosecution of a police officer.

Not surprisingly, the prosecutor's attempting to portray Scott as a violent drug addict runs completely counter to the way friends and co-workers characterized the West Point and Duke MBA grad.

In an exclusive to Confederate Yankee we have the testimony of someone who claims to have been one of Erik Scott's business rivals. I think we'd all be thrilled to have our rivals speak of us in such glowing terms.

Unlike many who've come to their own opinions on the unfortunate episode, I knew Erik Scott. I competed with him, directly, in medical device sales for two years before moving on to another surgical specialty. Less than two months before his tragic death, he reached out to me regarding openings in my field and I was only too happy to oblige him. Competitors and doctors, alike, respected him and I can't recall a negative word being uttered against him. To my knowledge, he was a go-getter and never demonstrated any of the erratic behavior his ex-girlfriend seems inclined to attribute to him. In short, while I hope for justice's sake that the police responded properly to what they construed as a dangerous situation, I find it difficult - in the extreme - to believe Erik pulled his weapon and pointed it at an officer. The rumors I've heard regarding the incident involve him gesturing - hands held overhead - in a manner to acknowledge firearm possession in his "fanny pack." He was, indeed, a large and well-muscled man who could have provoked fear in lesser trained individuals, but it seems more than improbable to me that he'd draw his weapon in such a scenario. As anyone who's lived in Las Vegas for some time could tell you, law enforcement may tolerate the lesser "BS" from irresponsible tourists, but the serious business is met with a decidedly different edge. I'd be comforted to find I'm wrong about this and that the Erik's death, while tragic, was largely his own responsibility. But I fear this is not the case. The dearth of video surveillance footage from one of the highest volume, best-located Costco retail locations in greater Las Vegas strains credulity. As a weekly shopper at that very location, this incident strikes close to home in more ways than one.

I've withheld this character witnesses name by request, as he rightly fears a potential backlash from a suspect law enforcement community in Las Vegas. It is worth noting, however, that this statement is far more in line with the statements of those who knew Erik Scott the best than the character being created during the inquest.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 24, 2010 02:39 PM

Seems as if many here are not willing to give Law Enforcement the benefit of the doubt until the inquest is over. This saddens me as a Police Officer and retired Marine.

Posted by: YatYas at September 24, 2010 10:01 PM

Boycott Costco...
When I was young there were no reports of overreaction by law enforcement like there are today, so I suppose that the level of scepticism is high, and note the number of comments are very low in this series of threads.
If law enforcement has succeded in intimidating the general public to the point that none dare confront them politicaly or openly......that is very bad for a Democracy. Very bad.
It may also explain the difficulty in getting proper raises from politicians.

Posted by: Ron at September 25, 2010 12:57 AM

"Seems as if many here are not willing to give Law Enforcement the benefit of the doubt until the inquest is over. This saddens me as a Police Officer and retired Marine."

Tango Sierra. Too many LEOs get away with antics that would land "civilians" in prison for 5-10. You want the benefit of the doubt, you need to earn it.

Posted by: Cobalt Shiva at September 25, 2010 02:16 PM

When I was a LEO, we expected to be held to a higher standard than the general public. Mr. Scott is dead because the store reported him in violation of an unpublished policy. By all accounts, the Vegas police sent a group of officers who surrounded Mr. Scott shouting conflicting orders then fired when Mr. Scott started to comply with one of the three orders. If Mr. Scott made any mistake, it was moving before the panic died down. The disappearance of the store videos and the dispatcher's tape has all the appearance of a cover-up. This will do nothing to protect the 3 officers, their department or the city. I realise I am judging after the fact but there is no excuse for Mr. Scott's death. It appears the officers did not know the law they were sworn to uphold, reacted in a hysterical and unorganized fashion, killed someone complying with their conflicting requests and are now attempting to hide their inadequacies. I'd say these officers are in deep trouble as is anyone attempting to cover this up.

Posted by: Jerry in Detroit at September 25, 2010 11:13 PM
Seems as if many here are not willing to give Law Enforcement the benefit of the doubt until the inquest is over. This saddens me as a Police Officer and retired Marine.

It saddens me as a citizen, as well. Not because I think there is any rational reason to give them the benefit of doubt, but because I think that this situation has been well and truly earned by the few bad apple cops in this country, and by the masses of "good" cops who look the other way, day after day.

Posted by: Phelps at September 26, 2010 12:02 PM

Thank you for following this and for sharing the statement on one of Erik Scott's competitors. Very insightful.

Posted by: DisabledVeteran at September 29, 2010 08:05 AM

YatYas, thank you for your service in our military and as a police officer. Most of us know many great people who are law enforcement officers, just as many of us know many great people who are teachers, politicians, lawyers, bankers, parents, mechanics, farmers, etc. Many of us have friends and relatives in law enforcement. But we are all human beings who sometimes make mistakes and sometimes, given the right circumstances, can do things that are not ideal. Many law enforcement agencies have avoided the problems that seem to plague Las Vegas. Where I live, the law enforcement agencies do a great job on both protecting the public and policing their own ranks. They seem to take care of errant officers before the public is even aware of it. Law enforcement officers are held to a very high standard of conduct. They also seem to have a higher level of training than Nevada. Nothing like what has been occuring in Las Vegas has happened where I live. It is unheard of. Perhaps the officers were only doing what they were trained to do. But perhaps Las Vegas needs to take a step backwards and ask, "Can we learn anything from this?" I feel very sorry for Erik, the Scott family and friends, and the officers. But God can sometimes use tragedies like this to open eyes to prevent something even worse.

Posted by: ConcernedCitizen at September 29, 2010 08:18 AM