Recall Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley
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On July 28, 2020 Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley released a disturbing, emotionally-charged letter in response to a diversity statement drafted by the Douglas County Public Library's Board of Trustees. This letter consists mostly of a slew of statistics which aim to prove Coverley's central argument that "data simply does not support claims that law enforcement is systemically racist or structurally biased." Most disturbingly, the letter ends with Coverley imploring the Library to "not feel the need to call 911 for help" due to their support of Black Lives Matter. The full letter is available here: https://sheriff.douglascountynv.gov/news/what_s_new/letter_to_library_board_from_sheriff_coverley It should be noted that the diversity statement does not mention police or the Douglas County Sheriff's Office even once and only expresses its commitment to equal treatment for all individuals and its support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Coverley's wildly inappropriate letter not only demonstrates abject disdain for members of the community that he claims to protect and serve, but it is a direct threat to the 14th amendment's provision to not "deny to any person within [United States] jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Moreover, the statement that “to support [the Black Lives Matter] movement is to support violence and to openly ask for it to happen in Douglas County” demonstrates an unsettling degree of ignorance. Coverley is completely out of touch with the Black Lives Matter supporters within his own community despite the fact that productive, diplomatic meetings have already taken place between BLM supporters and other members of the Sheriff's Administration. It's obvious that Dan Coverley has turned away from his community and instead lost himself in the polarized rhetoric surrounding what should not be a politicized issue. This emotional volatility and blatant disrespect for both the Douglas County community and The Constitution is wildly unbecoming for any law enforcement officer or elected official, much less one with access to 36.6% of Douglas County's general fund, according to data from FY 19/20.
As if that's not enough, this is not the first instance of Sheriff Coverley making inappropriate and emotionally-charged statements to community members simply for disagreeing with him. Earlier this month, in an email exchange with a community leader, Coverley was asked about enforcement of the recently instated mask mandate. In addition to publicly stating the law would not be enforced, a dereliction of the oath of office to enforce Nevada law, he made additional unfounded accusations accusing the member of having positions on current issues that were presumptuous and simply not true. This inflammatory presumption could put Valley residents with any differing points of view at risk of retaliation. A follow up email to add clarification was not responded to.
Still, Coverley's flagrant abuses of power don't end there. Perhaps the most disturbing feature of Dan Coverley's career involves an excessive force complaint regarding an arrest which took place on April 10, 2001. A video taken by an onlooker clearly shows then Captain Dan Coverley choking and shaking an unarmed, handcuffed man by the throat. A report of the incident states that the man in custody was then struck repeatedly and had his head slammed into the trunk lid of a police car. The full story is available at https://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/local/excessive-force-case-pending/ No disciplinary action was ever brought against Coverley or the other officers involved.
This man now controls an arsenal of military-grade weaponry and tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Sheriff Coverley's actions cannot and will not be tolerated. Douglas County deserves better.
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