Part Two: Death of Frazier Park man helped trigger investigation of Sheriff’s use-of-force policy

  • [Covelli family photo]

    [Covelli family photo]

By Patric Hedlund with Marcy Axness, TME

There was a deeply emotional hesitation before picking up the cell phone this week to call the mother of a young man who was shot dead in the streets of our hometown almost 18 years ago.

Our goal was to alert the family that the California Department of Justice has finally come to an agreement with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office about correcting policies and procedures that may have contributed to her son’s death.

You may recall that Patricia Covelli’s unarmed son had been shot, twice, by a Kern County Sheriff’s deputy in the middle of a below-freezing winter night, after Nicholas had been beaten up—it is believed—by local thugs.

He was stumbling toward the officer, seeking help, when he was …(please see below to view full stories and photographs)

Photo captions:

Nicholas Covelli

The Covelli family were Italian, tight-knit, devoted. Nick was the youngest child by 10 years. He loved Little League, music and Christmas decorations. After his death, the family kept reaching for justice.

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This is part of the January 15, 2021 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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