But Manchin has yet to reveal much about the type of panel he is looking to create. On Tuesday, spokesman Matt Turner said Manchin discussed an investigation with his chief of staff, Jim Spears, and Joe Thornton, acting secretary of the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, which oversees the State Police.
"I presume what the governor ultimately wants to achieve is a completely independent panel whose report and investigation are going to be very objective," Eure said, "and, as a result, that will make certain findings and conclusions that will educate the public and perhaps lead to greater police accountability in West Virginia."
Eure said board members who are former prosecutors would understand police work and the process.
Independent panels are better at looking at what should be changed for the future than at whether something criminal happened, Gennaco said.
"A panel can't really look at the criminality piece," he said.
Such incidents need a special investigator to look at whether a crime was committed. On Thursday, Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Dan Holstein said he contacted the Legislature's Commission on Special Investigations, which also agreed to investigate the incident. Also on Thursday, State Police spokesman Michael Baylous reiterated that the agency would accept Manchin's decision in regard to an outside investigation into what happened on April 5.
Several investigators in the Legislature's Commission on Special Investigations are former State Police troopers, which creates a potential conflict of interest in their investigating of the incident, Eure said.
"You probably should not have anyone who has worked for the State Police in West Virginia investigating it," Eure said. "You want to fully explore the relationships of those involved."
Another approach to conducting a criminal investigation would be to appoint a special prosecutor - someone who has a general reputation for integrity, said Samuel Walker, professor emeritus of criminal justice at the University of Omaha and an expert on police accountability.
"You need people with sufficient staff to be able to do research," he said.
Reach Gary Harki at gha...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.