FBI, Nye County DA probe inmate tazing incident deputy fired, other people disciplined

A Nye County Sheriff’s deputy was fired and many other police officers disciplined after an inmate in the county’s Pahrump detention facility was zapped a number of times with a stun gun even though he was shackled and in handcuffs, sources inform the Pahrump Valley Instances.

A criminal investigation into the incident is underway and sources say the FBI is involved.

The newspaper has learned that former jail deputy Dan Ellis is at the center of the investigation. Ellis was placed on administrative leave right after video of the incident — which the newspaper discovered late Wednesday occurred in September of final year — was reviewed by a detective, turned over to the sheriff’s internal affairs section and determined to show excessive force by the officer, possibly rising to criminal battery on a prisoner.

At least five, and perhaps six, deputies who witnessed the incident and failed to report it were also disciplined. A single supply inside the sheriff’s office who did not want to be named said these officers have since been “retrained.”

Sheriff Tony DeMeo stated he would not comment about any open internal affairs investigations. He did confirm, nonetheless, that the FBI is searching into the matter.

“We self-reported this to the FBI,” he said.

1 supply in the sheriff’s workplace stated the inmate in query was causing a disturbance and possibly even hurting himself when he was tazed by another deputy. Right after the inmate, whose name has not been released, was subdued with restraints, Ellis allegedly continued to taze him.

The inmate was described by more than 1 police source as a homeless particular person. A detective was subsequently dispatched to get a statement from the inmate right after he’d currently been released from jail.

Ellis, meanwhile, was terminated on Feb. 25 following 4 years with the sheriff’s workplace. At some point a police report was sent to the district attorney’s workplace. Sources say criminal charges might be pending against Ellis.

District Lawyer Brian Kunzi would not confirm or deny that such an investigation is ongoing. He also would not confirm whether his office has received any reports with regards to this incident from the sheriff’s internal affairs workplace.

“Unfortunately, I cannot offer you any comment, simply because at this stage it is a personnel matter. All employment disputes have to be resolved in accordance with the terms of the collective bargaining agreement,” he wrote in an e-mail response to inquiries about the case.

Efforts to attain Ellis through telephone and at a Pahrump address were not profitable Wednesday morning. A supply in county government not authorized to speak about personnel matters told the newspaper that Ellis has filed notice that he will appeal his termination. Sources also say that the deputies disciplined in the matter could seek legal counsel by means of the Nye County Law Enforcement Association throughout questioning by the FBI.

Det. David Boruchowitz, president of the association, refused to comment because the matter is ongoing and is a personnel problem. He did confirm that it is customary for the association to supply legal counsel in circumstances exactly where deputies are called upon to provide details about incidents that result in disciplinary action.

A particular agent in the FBI’s Las Vegas field workplace, who sources say is leading the investigation into the tazing incident, referred questions to a public info officer who did not respond to a telephone message left Tuesday evening.

DeMeo mentioned it is his office’s policy to inform the FBI about incidents involving potential civil rights violations. The FBI became involved in this case following the sheriff’s internal affairs investigation was total and a separate criminal investigation had already commenced.

This is a building news story. Verify back for a lot more information as they emerge.

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