RENO, NV - “This was a complete clusterfarce. It should never have happened,” says defense attorney Ken McKenna.
McKenna says his clients, NHP Officers Matt Moonin and Donn Yarnall, set up the interdiction team within NHP.
The teams job is to find criminals illegally transporting drugs, guns, or even chemicals on Nevada's highways.
When a new director came on board his clients were removed from their positions.
They are suing the NHP in Reno Federal Court.
“Dismantling of what they had created which was a gold standard interdiction, task force K9 program,” McKenna says is what happened.
He paints a picture of Monday night and what he says illustrates just how bad the situation has gotten.
“The vehicle was running, The keys were in the vehicle instead of the officer's pocket. The suspects were left unattended. Then when the individual gets going in the car he should have never been able to disengage the shotgun out of its locked position. But he was and then he kills himself,” says McKenna.
McKenna says he hopes to get a hold of the dash cam video that he says will bolster his claims in federal court.
He says he knows of people within NHP who have seen the video and say its explosive.
“I haven't seen the video. I haven't spoken to the troopers involved. Its still a very,very fresh case and still under investigation,” says Trooper Chuck Allen with Nevada's Highway Patrol.
Trooper Allen showed us the dash cam in his vehicle--most NHP cars have them he says.
Because the recording is digital it cannot be altered even when taken from the vehicle.
While he says it can be viewed on scene-- he showed us how that can be done--much was taking place on Monday.
He finds it tough to believe troopers at that time would be looking at it on site.
But, what the video will show can work for or against the department.
“Let the investigators who are assigned to this case provide the facts,” says Trooper Allen.
While McKenna wants the dash cam video from all NHP vehicles involved in Monday's incident.
He won't be entitled to it until the investigation is complete.
And those videos may or may not help in in his lawsuit.
He's still working on obtaining 7,000 NHP dash cam clips going back several years.
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