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Kirstin Blaise Lobato Freed After 15 Years in Prison for Las Vegas Murder Prosecutors Knew She Couldn’t Have Committed

Wrongful Murder Conviction Overturned Kirstin Blaise Lobato

In spite of evidence of her innocence, the Clark County DA’s Office did everything they could to prevent Kirstin Blaise Lobato from being freed after over 15 years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit.

After spending her entire adult life in prison for a murder she didn’t commit, a Las Vegas woman has finally been released. Kristin Blaise Lobato spent over 15 years behind bars in spite of evidence that she was over 150 miles away at the time the killing took place. However, she was finally able to walk out of the Clark County Detention Center a free woman for the first time since she was 18 years old on January 3rd.

Meanwhile, even after a judge had declared her innocent and ordered her release, prosecutors with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office refused to acknowledge the improprieties carried out during her trial(s). In fact, they even briefly had plans to force her to spend another year in the county jail for having been caught having sex with another inmate during the time that she was wrongfully imprisoned.

Fortunately, Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez also dismissed that case, instead ruling that the time she had already spent in prison for a crime she didn’t commit was sufficient punishment for that as well and giving her credit for time served. Judge Gonzalez then ordered that Lobato be released from custody immediately.

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson and Chief Deputy District Attorney Sandra DiGiacomo have attempted to justify their efforts to keep an innocent woman in prison by contending that the fact she was found guilty at trial by two juries means she is. However, the case against Lobato was very much flawed from the start and those verdicts were more a product of what was kept from the juries than the strength of the evidence actually presented to them.

Kirstin Blaise Lobato Released From Prison

There was virtually no physical evidence tying Lobato to the murder of Duran Bailey, a homeless man who was found beaten to death and castrated in a Downtown Las Vegas dumpster in 2001. The only real justification for her to even be a suspect was a story that she told to several people that she had fended off a rape attempt by cutting her attacker’s penis with a knife.

She had told that story weeks prior to the murder, though, and had identified the location where that incident happened as a different area of town. In spite of that, police investigators characterized her description of stabbing a man attempting to sexually assault her in the groin during an interrogation as a confession of Bailey’s murder.

More importantly, Lobato was positively verified to have been at her parents’ house in Panaca, Nevada, nearly 200 miles from Las Vegas on July 8, when Bailey was murdered. Based on that and other inconsistencies in the physical evidence, experts brought in by her defense attorneys testified that it would have been impossible for her to have carried out the murder.

However, that testimony was suppressed by Judge Valorie Vega during the original trial. Meanwhile, the prosecution was allowed to present a expert witnesses that made the ridiculous claim that flies in Las Vegas act completely different than flies anywhere else in the world do.

In addition, the district attorney’s office actively fought to prevent additional DNA testing on the physical evidence recovered at the scene, even after the Innocence Project offered to pay any costs involved. All previous DNA testing had excluded Lobato and, due to the violent method of Bailey’s death, it’s unlikely the person who murdered him could have done so without leaving their own DNA behind (such evidence from an unknown source was in fact found).

Of course, if Lobato was guilty those tests would more than likely definitively prove she was present at the crime scene. So realistically the district attorneys should have had their own incentive to cooperate with the DNA tests.

Regardless of that, Judge Vega ruled against allowing the testing. Shortly after, Vega chose not to run for reelection following an (unrelated) official reprimand against her by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline. In what’s probably not a coincidence, almost exactly three years after Judge Vega left the bench Kristin Blaise Lobato walked out of the front door of the Clark County Detention Center.

Background on the Case and False Convictions

Not Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson and his underlings at the DA’s office have gone to great lengths to keep someone who was obviously innocent in prison. Not too long ago, I reported on the case of Demarlo Berry, who was falsely convicted of murder based on testimony from a witness that was coached and paid off by detectives from the LVMPD.

Not only were the prosecutors in the case complicit in manufacturing evidence against Berry, they also delayed his release for four years after that witness recanted his testimony and the real murderer had confessed. Then, once they finally realized that they couldn’t prevent his release, they portrayed it as if they were responsible for freeing him.

In another case, Fred Steese was issued a pardon last month in order to clear his record of a murder he was falsely convicted of and spent twenty-one years in prison for after he was beaten and coerced into confessing. Prosecutors also hid evidence that definitively proved he was in another state at the time and photo lineup results that pointed to his innocence.

Instead of releasing him after he was declared “actually innocent” by a judge, they threatened to refile the charges and drag out the process coercing Steese into accepting a plea deal for second degree murder to ensure he wouldn’t have to stay in prison for years while fighting those new charges.

Numerous other convictions in Clark County have been overturned recently, including several death penalty cases, due to racial discrimination by prosecutors during jury selection. Obviously, for Wolfson and his prosecutors the important issue isn’t guilt or innocence, but rather simply whether they can get a conviction, even if it they know it’s a false conviction.

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Racist Carmel, Indiana Police Department Sergeant Refers to Crime Victim as “Dumb Nigger”

Sgt Sean Brady Racist Carmel IN Police Officer

According to a reader submission, after failing to properly hang up the phone Carmel Police Sgt Sean Brady was overheard calling a man who had reported having his house broken into a “Dumb Nigger.”

Note: This post was shared with Nevada Cop Block anonymously via reader submission. If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

As stated in the submission, someone vandalized and stole property belonging to this resident of Carmel, Indiana, as well as several of his neighbors. He maintains that even though he received no response after reporting it, those neighbors informed him that they had. Being that he was the only non-white victim and also the only one that hadn’t been contacted by police, he suspected that the reason was race-based. As a result, he placed a follow up call to the Carmel Police Department to ask for an explanation.

According to the submission, rather than being helpful, Sgt. Sean Brady, who answered the call, was rude and dismissive of him. In addition, he says that Sgt. Brady confirmed his suspicions that the lack of response was racial in nature after he inadvertently failed to hang up the phone at the end of the conversation. Sgt. Brady could be heard discussing the phone call with another, unidentified man, and referring to the man as a “Dumb Nigger.”

Incidentally, Sgt. Sean Brady is also one of the many, many, many “Bad Apples” who have received awards from their department. In 2014, he was the recipient of a merit award for “Distinguished Service.” (To be fair, technically he did distinguish himself with his “service” during this phone call and his unintentionally overheard recap of it.)

Date of Incident: October 03, 2017
Officer Involved: Sgt. Sean Brady
Dept. Involved: Carmel Police Department
Dept. Facebook Page: CarmelPD
Dept. Twitter Account: @Carmel_Police
Dept. YouTube Channel: Carmel Police Dept.
Administrative Contact: Lieutenant Charlie Driver
Dept. Complaints Email: [email protected]
Dept. Phone No.: (317) 571-2500
Dept. Address: 3 Civic Square Carmel, IN 46032
Let Them Know What You Think: Community Feedback – Police

In this day and age, there is no excuse for anyone, let alone a law enforcement officer to use racial slurs. I am a Carmel resident and tax payer who had the misfortune of having to refer to the CarmeI Police Department after my family and I were made victims of crime. I followed the process after our property was vandalized and stolen by calling the police and having a report filed. Weeks went by and we heard nothing and were never contacted by anyone with the department.

I would under any other circumstances have the patience to wait, understanding that maybe there were more serious crimes or pressing matters that the Carmel Police Department was tending to, but I found that wasn’t the case. Several neighbors fell victim to the same crime and all had reported their incidents to the department. The neighbors that I spoke with afterwards all stated that they had at least received a follow-up phone call from a detective to confirm that their incident was being investigated.

Again, trying to give the department the benefit of the doubt, I reached out to the criminal investigations unit myself. You should also know that all of my other neighbors are white and my family is the only black family on our street. Our white neighbors received notice from the Carmel Police Department, while ours was excluded.

Sgt Sean Brady Carmel PoliceWhen I called the Carmel police for follow-up, I spoke with Sgt. Sean Brady with the criminal investigations unit. Sgt. Brady was rude, even hostile and made it seem like my complaint and the property that had been stolen or vandalized was unimportant to his department and that he had no desire to provide the service which my tax dollars pay for.

I asked for an explanation as to why my “white” neighbors were receiving police assistance and why their complaints were being investigated, but my family, who were victims as well, were excluded. Sgt. Brady stated “I don’t have time for this” and ended the phone call before providing an explanation.

Sgt. Brady may have thought that he terminated the call, but the phone didn’t disconnect on his end and I could still hear what was happening in the background of the office and what was being said. I could very clearly hear Sgt. Brady saying to another person (it’s unknown if the male voice in the background was another officer) ” I don’t know what that dumb nigger expects for me to do for him.”

I’ve made calls and have sent messages to complain on this racist officer with his own department, but naturally they have gone unanswered. Here is a word of advice for anyone of color who deals with this department or anyone of their officers. This is a racist department that needs to be investigated for the hate crimes that they commit on tax payers, citizens, and the good people who happen to be of color who have the misfortune of having any sort of contact with them.

Sgt. Sean Brady referred to me as a “dumb nigger” and I can only imagine how many others have also been subjected to this man’s hateful and racist outlook. He made it very clear that he lacks the ability to see victims of crime as just that, but rather, he can only see the color of a person’s skin.

Sgt. Sean Brady, racist Carmel, Indiana police officer, needs to be investigated for his racist comments, unprofessionalism, and the prejudice and hate that he has shown.

– More Than the “N Word”

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Yes, All Cops ARE Bastards; How and Why Modern Policing Discourages Moral Responsibility

ACAB All Cops Are Bastards Police Violence Corruption

The “Thin Blue Line,” that even “Good Cops” abide by almost without exception, not only protects “Bad Apples,” but also enables and even incentivizes police corruption and violence.

Note: This post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via reader submission. It was originally posted at JohnLaurits.com, entitled, “All Cops Are Bad: How Modern Policing Negates Moral Responsibility” and has been posted as it was originally published by Laurits. (Some links to relevant content on NVCopBlock have been added within the original text.)

There are several ways you can support the writing and other work of John Laurits and I would encourage you to do so. That includes paypal donations, monthly Patreon contributions, as well as donations of Bitcoin  using the following wallet address: 1Nr5EvC3Ye6nZDJJP2ikD7X9SpxdAmeeZV.

If you see (or write) any blog posts, news stories, social media posts, or videos that you feel are relevant to NVCopBlock, send them to us. Also, please share any personal videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you have by sending them to us.

We will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

All Cops Are Bad: How Modern Policing Negates Moral Responsibility

Anyone following the news is probably aware that body-cam footage of Daniel Shaver’s murder was released earlier in December right after the officer who murdered him walked away with no conviction. A day after the video’s release, Oklahoma prosecutors chose not to file any charges after a deaf man walking with his cane was killed when police fired a taser and five bullets into his chest, pelvis, and arms after he failed to hear them shouting at him. Also during the same week, an 11-year-old black girl was held at gunpoint, hand-cuffed, and stuffed into the back of a police cruiser by officers who were searching for a middle-age, white, female suspect in Michigan. Meanwhile, an unarmed person was being shot to death in San Francisco by a rookie cop on his 4th day. As this post is written, US police have killed 1,132 human beings in 2017 so far and yet — in spite of this ongoing state-sponsored terror — questioning the integrity or usefulness of police institutions is still somehow seen as a pretty extremist thing to do.

There are a lot of very good reasons, however, that no one has ever written a song called Fuck Tha Fire Department

History & Origins of the Police:
A Tale of Two Law Enforcement Paradigms

Daniel Shaver Murder Philip Brailsford

Daniel Shaver and the cop who got away with murdering him

The police — or, more specifically, the policing institutions that exist today — are younger than most people imagine. The type of policing that exists today first emerged in France during the 1700s and the earliest use of “police officer” only appears in the USA in 1794, while the first known use of “police station” is from 1817. Just 200 years ago. The concept of policing has existed for a long time, of course — but these cops are something else…

Traditional Concepts of Policing:
Watchmen & Community Self-Policing

Long before the police institutions of today were established, policing was mostly a grassroots enterprise. In pre-industrial Europe, the law was usually enforced by volunteer watchmen who formed local groups known as the night watch or simply the watch. With the exception of large cities ( which is where empires, such as Rome, liked to keep their armies ), most towns and communities did not expect government authorities to deal with everyday criminal activity — so people did it themselves. While a lack of official oversight meant watch-groups could be prone to corruption, the fact that similar groups appear all over world-history shows that self-policing at the local level is a viable model that can spring up spontaneously in human society.

Private Security & Mercenary Forces

In cities with greater levels of crime, the watch might be assisted by inspectors or constables employed by the city’s authorities to protect commerce and help with more serious crimes. Merchants and traders who had a lot of valuable goods typically hired private security guards to protect their wares. Even with the watch and a city official on duty, businesses did not expect the government to take responsibility for guarding their interests — it was, after all, their business.

The Modern Police Department:
A Government Takeover of Policing

acab history police riot gear militarization ftp

1850 Historical Poster No Police Aberystwyth Boys Community PatrolsThen, the police changed in a big way. As the feudal power-structures of Europe broke down beneath a wave of revolutions in the 18th century, governments took a more active role in law enforcement and the first centralized policing organization was created in France by King Louis XIV. The duties of the new police were bluntly described as a mechanism of class-control over workers and peasants:

“ensuring the peace and quiet of the public and of private individuals, purging the city of what may cause disturbances, procuring abundance, and having each and everyone live according to their station and their duties

While France’s Gendarmes were seen as a symbol of oppression in other parts of Europe, the French policing model spread during the early 1800s as Napoleon Bonaparte conquered much of the continent. By the mid-1800s, modern policing institutions — publicly-funded, centralized police organized in a military hierarchy and under the control of the state — had been transplanted everywhere from Tsarist Russia to England and the United States.

Power, Paramilitary,
& Political Policing

plantation police slave patrols history of US copsPolicing became the exclusive right of governments as other law enforcement groups were absorbed into new and “official” institutions. The new police were not just tasked with serving the public, however — they also protected the political power of their new employers. It was a revolutionary era and the new police were shaped by rulers facing a particularly mutinous  population. The use of police as the vanguard of state-power was a major development and it was adapted to repress popular movements all over the world. Early police organizations in the US, for example, pretty much handed blue uniforms to former slave-patrols and anti-union mercenaries who had historically protected the interests of plantation-bosses in the South and industrial capitalists in the North.

( For more on the historical links between slavery, anti-union security, and law enforcement, read “Private Property Is the Police-State” )

The Problem of Modern Policing:
The Negation of Moral Responsibility

This was a fundamental shift — police were no longer organized as a response to the needs of communities but as an instrument of state-authority. With government officials deciding the scope and extent of policing practices, watchmen became employees of the government and ordinary citizens no longer had any control over the police. A watchmen’s authority could be challenged if they pissed off too many peasants because it was the peasants who organized the patrol to begin with — the authority of the state, however, is trickier to challenge.

FTP Don't Trust Cops Sesame Street Big Bird

Today, the police are a military hierarchy organized in a chain of command of captains, sergeants, etc — patrols do whatever their superior officers’ say, those officers do whatever their superiors say, and so on into the bureaucratic abyss. To be part of the police, officers must obey orders, just as the members in any military must. Since failing to obey orders is a pretty quick and reliable way to leave a police force, cops who disobey orders are pretty rare ( and only employed as officers very briefly ).

Because of this, cops lack what philosophers call moral agency.

Moral Agency & Diffusion of Responsibility

Good Cops Ignoring the Violence Corruption of Bad ApplesMoral agency is the ability to know whether an action is right or wrong. For example, if a bear kills a person, there is no moral issue because that’s just how bears operate but, if a person kills a person, they need to hire a lawyer because people typically have more options than bears do, which means they can be held responsible for their actions. Murder is not just killing — murder is having a choice not to kill and killing anyway. Without moral agency, there is no murder. In fact, the whole idea of “justice” assumes that moral agency exists, which is why most legal systems do not prosecute kids or folks with certain mental illnesses — if someone lacks the ability to do the right thing, it is pointless to punish them for not doing it.

Modern policing deprives cops of moral agency at a structural level. With a militaristic chain of command as the institutional core, moral responsibility for the actions of individual officers is transferred to the abstract spook of governmental authority. The result is that nobody can be held responsible and the officer becomes an inanimate tool in the spooky hand of an unseen and unaccountable bureaucracy — the police officer becomes no more than a vessel for policies, totally devoid of agency and free of its consequences.

And without agency, there can be no accountability. There can be no justice.

Why All Cops Are Bad
( Yes, Every Last One)

ACAB All Cats Are Beautiful All Cops Are BastardsIf you are stopped by a cop, then A.C.A.B. means ‘All Cats Are Beautiful’ — but, in any other situation, A.C.A.B. stands for All Cops Are Bad or All Coppers Are Bastards, depending on how edgy you wanna be. There is extreme social pressure from all sides to support the boys in blue ( as the Ninja Turtles call them) and criticism of the police is supposed to be followed by reassurances that “most cops are good” or that “it’s just a few bad apples.” But all of that sidesteps the actual problem, which is a structural problem. The fact that 3.3% of all injuries treated in US emergency rooms are inflicted by police is not because some cops are unpleasant people — it is because the institutions are structured to shield officers from being held responsible for their actions as individuals.

All cops are bad because no cop has moral agency. They might be a good parent or a good friend or even a good saxophonist — but they are not a good cop. Without agency, moral responsibility is negated and the result is that nobody is responsible for executing Daniel Shaver on his knees as he pleaded for his life. Nobody is responsible for Philando Castille being shot to death in front of his partner and her child and nobody is responsible for firing the bullets that extinguished the life of a 12 year-old black child named Tamir Rice as he played in the park.

Fuck the Police” Is a Moral Statement

Cops Beating People with Batons Police BrutalityAs the first paragraph of this post was written, 1,132 human beings had been slaughtered by US police so far in 2017 — as its last paragraphs are written, that number has grown to 1,142.  And it will grow more by the time most of you read this. (Note: It’s now up to 1,147, as of the time this was cross-posted on Dec. 20th. – Less than one day later.) Instances of particularly despicable police violence, such as the execution of Daniel Shaver, sometimes force their way onto the newsreel — but the vast majority who are killed by police simply slip into the oblivion beneath the headlines. There are not enough hours each day to report on that much suffering.

And none of this is going to change, either — not until more of us have had enough. Not until our courage to speak out against the police is greater than the social and political pressure to deny that the problem exists. Not until more of us are more offended by cops shooting kids than by someone saying “fuck the police.” Fuck the institution of policing. Fuck the structural mechanisms that rob police of their humanity as much as they rob our mothers of their children. And even if your brother-in-law or [insert family-member or relative here] is a really nice person — when they wear that badge — fuck them, too.

In solidarity,
John Laurits

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LVMPD Documentary “What Happened in Vegas” Premieres in Los Angeles on Friday (Dec. 1st) at Laemmle Music Hall

Documentary What Happened in Vegas Ramsey Denison Laemmle Los Angeles Premier

What Happened in Vegas” by Ramsey Denison, the documentary about police brutality and corruption at the LVMPD, premiers in Los Angeles at Laemmle Music Hall 9pm Friday Dec. 1st.

Los Angeles Premier

What Happened in Vegas,” the award winning documentary by Ramsey Denison, is set to open in Los Angeles tomorrow. The official West Coast theatrical premier of the documentary about corruption, coverups, and police brutality at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is being held at the Laemmle Theater in Beverly Hills (a “Secret Path to Oscar Qualifying” for independent films, short films, and documentaries) at 9pm on Friday, December 1st. (Purchase tickets here.)

As has been detailed numerous times here at NVCopBlock.org, What Happened in Vegas explores the extremely controversial killings of Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, Stanley Gibson, and Tashii Farmer-Brown by Las Vegas police and the cover ups that followed. Several other instances of violent, racist, and/or outright criminal acts by members of the LVMPD are also featured to illustrate the overall systemic corruption within the department.

In the run up to the official opening, What Happened in Vegas has already received positive reviews from the Los Angeles media. In a preview article in the LA Weekly (originally published at the Village Voice), Daphne Howland writes:

Denison’s documentary What Happened in Vegas is more than a revenge project. He unveils a pattern of police malfeasance, including cover-ups and lies, through disturbing stories of unjustified deaths.

It’s a damning takedown of the city’s powers that be — casinos cozy with a sheriff willing to protect their interests, and a constabulary infected with a Wild West mentality, armed with military weaponry and prone to lies. He argues that those powers even abet a law enforcement debacle surrounding the recent mass shooting at an outdoor music festival that left 58 concertgoers dead and nearly 500 injured.

Denison keeps up the pace — those television skills coming in handy — and unpacks a lot. But he also allows in some light. There are plenty of Las Vegas police officers who want things to change, and Denison gives them, and the victims’ families, a voice.

(As mentioned within the review, What Happened in Vegas also addresses several questions and issues about the investigation surrounding the shootings from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas by Stephen Paddock during the “Route 91 Festival” on Oct. 1st.)

Last week, What Happened in Vegas premiered in New York City at the Cinema Village Theater in East Manhattan on  Black Friday. Subsequent New York showtimes after the official theatrical premier can be found here. The New York opening represented the first showing of the movie within commercial theaters. Prior to that, What Happened in Vegas enjoyed a very successful run of screenings at film festivals throughout the country.

After premiering to rave reviews at Cinequest in San Jose in March, What Happened in Vegas won several awards in subsequent festivals. Among those awards was Best Documentary at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival and the Grand Prize award at the Anthem Film Festival, which is hosted by FreedomFest here in Las Vegas.

In addition, What Happened in Vegas is currently available for pre-order on iTunes.

Police Interference with Las Vegas Showings

Incidentally, outside of the two festival showings previously mentioned, audiences within Las Vegas have yet to see What Happened in Vegas. The reason for that is very much not because of a lack of interest. In fact, three different commercial theater chains had at one time expressed interest in showing the movie here in town.

However, in all those cases that initial interest waned due to the controversial nature of the film and potential fallout from it. It’s even been reported that they received visits from representatives of the LVMPD to help them make that decision. Sources I’ve been in contact with have also told me that Metro has issued a memo to all of their officers directing them not to discuss What Happened in Vegas publicly.

Once you see the movie, you will very much understand why Metro desperately doesn’t want it to be shown theatrically within the city of Las Vegas. It very clearly, convincingly, and dramatically lays out the criminal nature of Sheriff Lombardo and others at the top of the LVMPD and the real consequences of it for the residents and visitors of Las Vegas.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

“What Happened in Vegas” Filmmaker Intro

Body Cam Video of Tashii Farmer-Brown Murder by Officer Kenneth Lopera

The LVMPD’s Shifting Timeline for the Oct. 1st Las Vegas Mass Shooting

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Police Brutality Documentary “What Happened in Vegas” Set to Premier in New York on Black Friday (Nov. 24th)

New York Premier What Happened in Vegas Cinema Village Theater

“What Happened in Vegas,” the documentary about corruption and police brutality within the LVMPD by Ramsey Denison, premiers in New York at Cinema Village on Friday, Nov. 24th.

New York Premier

What Happened in Vegas,” the award winning documentary by Ramsey Denison, is set to open in New York City this week. The first showing of the movie about police brutality within the city of Las Vegas takes place at the Cinema Village Theater in East Manhattan on (Black) Friday, Nov. 24th at 7:00pm. Subsequent showtimes after the official theatrical premier can be found here.

As has been detailed numerous times here at NVCopBlock.org, What Happened in Vegas explores the extremely controversial killings of Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, Stanley Gibson, and Tashii Farmer-Brown by Las Vegas police and the cover ups that followed. Several other instances of violent, racist, and/or outright criminal acts by members of the LVMPD are also featured to illustrate the overall systemic corruption within the department.

In the run up to the official opening, What Happened in Vegas has already begun receiving positive reviews by New York media. In a preview article entitled “A Filmmaker Reported Police Brutality in Las Vegas. So the Cops Arrested Him,” Daphne Howland of the Village Voice wrote:

Denison’s documentary What Happened in Vegas is more than a revenge project. He unveils a pattern of police malfeasance, including cover-ups and lies, through disturbing stories of unjustified deaths.

It’s a damning takedown of the city’s powers that be — casinos cozy with a sheriff willing to protect their interests, and a constabulary infected with a Wild West mentality, armed with military weaponry and prone to lies. He argues that those powers even abet a law enforcement debacle surrounding the recent mass shooting at an outdoor music festival that left 58 concertgoers dead and nearly 500 injured.

Denison keeps up the pace — those television skills coming in handy — and unpacks a lot. But he also allows in some light. There are plenty of Las Vegas police officers who want things to change, and Denison gives them, and the victims’ families, a voice.

(As mentioned within the review, What Happened in Vegas also addresses several questions and issues about the investigation surrounding the shootings from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas by Stephen Paddock during the “Route 91 Festival” on Oct. 1st.)

The New York opening represents the first showing of the movie within commercial theaters. Prior to that, What Happened in Vegas enjoyed a very successful run of screenings at film festivals throughout the country.

After premiering to rave reviews at Cinequest in San Jose in March, What Happened in Vegas won several awards in subsequent festivals. Among those awards was Best Documentary at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival and the Grand Prize award at the Anthem Film Festival, which is hosted by FreedomFest here in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles Premier, Las Vegas Showings, and Beyond

Next month, What Happened in Vegas will make its West Coast theatrical premier when it opens in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Theater in Beverly Hills on December 1st. BTW, word on the streets is that playing at the Laemmle Theaters is a “Secret Path to Oscar Qualifying” for independent films, short films, and documentaries that normally haven’t received the attention that big-budget, studio films are afforded. So, Joe Lombardo and the rest of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in theory could really get their ivory tower shook up by a cameo with a guy named Oscar come February. (#JusSayin)

Speaking of the LVMPD and appearances they desperately don’t want to happen, outside of the two festival appearances previously mentioned, audiences within Las Vegas have yet to see What Happened in Vegas. The reason for that is not a lack of interest. In fact, two different commercial theater chains had at one time expressed interest in showing the movie here in town.

However, in both cases that interest waned due to the controversial nature of the film and potential fallout from it. It’s been reported that they even received visits from representatives of the LVMPD to help them make that decision. Sources I’ve been in contact with have also told me that Metro has issued a memo to all of their officers directing them not to discuss What Happened in Vegas publicly.

Regardless of that, plans are for the movie to show theatrically within the city of Las Vegas, one way or another, at some point after the New York and Los Angeles premiers. In the meantime, What Happened in Vegas is currently available for pre-order on iTunes.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

“What Happened in Vegas” Filmmaker Intro

Body Cam Video of Tashii Farmer-Brown Murder by Officer Kenneth Lopera

The LVMPD’s Shifting Timeline for the Oct. 1st Las Vegas Mass Shooting

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Update: Las Vegas Police Officer Previously Caught Committing Perjury Promoted (Again) to Captain

LVMPD Capt. Yesenia Yatomi Promotion After Perjury

Capt. Yasenia Yatomi, who ordered the illegal arrest of Las Vegas attorney Stephen Stubbs in order to question a suspect without his attorney present and then lied about it under oath.

Normally, once you know the actual background of the subject of Las Vegas ABC affiliate KTNV.com‘s “feel good story” about a female LVMPD officer receiving a promotion, its opening line would be rather ironic:

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s newest captain is beating the odds…”

Of course, in this situation we’re talking about a cop and more specifically a Las Vegas cop. So any sort of amazement or disbelief in relation to their horrible and even outright illegal behavior on the job and lack of any sort of meaningful consequences should always be immediately and completely suspended.

The true fact of the matter is that if newly promoted Captain Yatomi was employed in any other sort of career field just the fact that she wasn’t fired after she was caught in court committing perjury in order to justify ordering the illegal arrest of a lawyer would have huge odds against it.

In fact, it could be argued that, even among the police in most cities outside of the Las Vegas area, being exposed (once again in court) as having falsified an official police report would also carry pretty good odds of landing a police officer in jail.

What’s not mentioned at all within that article is that Capt. Yatomi has a rather large and infamous history of misconduct over the past several years. As can be seen in the video embedded below, in 2013 then Sgt. Yatomi, as part of the LVMPD Gang Task Force, arrived at a traffic stop in which members of a motorcycle club, the “Bikers for Christ,” were being questioned by a group of Metro patrol officers.

In spite of the fact that one of the detained bikers had asked Stephen Stubbs, a local attorney who was present at the time, to represent him during that questioning, Yatomi immediately ordered him to leave. Stubbs refused to do so, explaining that the man had a Fifth Amendment right to counsel. Instead of honoring that request, Yatomi ordered the arrest of Stubbs for “obstruction.”

Stephen Stubbs Arrest Video

That, in and of itself, would be a violation of the Constitution and, based on that, an illegal arrest of an attorney who had every legal right to represent their client during questioning. At the very least, it should have brought into question Yatomi’s knowledge of the law and her (rather important) job requirement to actually be aware of and uphold the Constitutional rights of citizens. The fact she was in a supervisory position as a sergeant only compounds those factors.

However, rather than dismissing the charges and admitting to being in the wrong, Yatomi subsequently created a second police report with a falsified description of the arrest, alleging that Stubbs had actively interfered with the officers’ investigation. Fortunately for Stubbs, a bystander had filmed the entire incident. Otherwise, he likely would have been sentenced to jail and possibly even disbarred as a result of Yatomi’s false report.

Instead, once the video was shown in court, Stubbs was declared innocent by Judge Eric Goodman. That video evidence was convincing enough that Stubbs was not even required to present a defense. It gets even worse, though. Not only did Yatomi lie in the police report she presented to prosecutors, she also withheld the original police report in order to cover for her illegal actions. Since a police report constitutes a sworn statement, both the falsification of the second report and the withholding of the first are criminal acts.

Regardless of this blatant and obvious string of crimes Yatomi had committed, she suffered exactly zero repercussions for her intentional illegal actions. Judge Goodman refused to hold her in contempt for having committed perjury and evidence tampering within his courtroom, ruling that it was up to the LVMPD to file charges against her. And you know that didn’t happen, because Metro is known as the most corrupt police department in the country for a reason.

In fact, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has not only reached new lows in failing to hold Yatomi accountable in any way for her crimes, they’ve rewarded her quite handsomely for them. As shown in the video embedded below, in 2016 Yatomi was promoted to lieutenant. As part of that promotion Lt. Yatomi, who had been publicly exposed as a perjurer that withheld evidence in order to justify an illegal and unconstitutional arrest, was placed in charge of Metro’s internal affairs division (the department that investigates cops accused of misconduct).

And now, just four years after knowingly and intentionally committing multiple felonies in order to justify an illegal arrest, Yasenia Yatomi has “beaten the odds” by being promoted to the rank of captain and put in charge of the Bolden Area Command. That certainly inspires confidence that the LVMPD has cleaned up their act and can now be trusted to hold their officers accountable. I feel safer already.

Lt. Yatomi is Promoted and Put in Charge of Internal Affairs

Previous Posts on NVCopBlock.org About Capt. Yasenia Yatomi:

  1. The LVMPD Gang Task Force is Corrupt and it Extends All the Way to the Top
  2. Head of LVMPD Internal Affairs Ordered to Answer Perjury/Withholding
  3. Head of LVMPD Internal Affairs Accused of Perjury; Judge Recused Self Due to “Negative Opinion” of Her
  4. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs Found Not Guilty in 5th Amendment Right to Counsel Case
  6. Attorney Stephen Stubbs Arrested for Refusing to Leave His Client’s Side
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Update: Two Years Later the TSA is STILL Keeping You Safe Five Percent of the Time

Transportation Security Administration TSA Failed 95 Percent

Once again, TSA inspectors have failed to find 95% of the mock weapons sent through checkpoints by Homeland Security agents working undercover.

Just over two years ago, in June of 2015, I posted about tests Homeland Security had run at airports across the country. In those tests, undercover agents were sent through pre-boarding checkpoints run by the Transportation Security Administration. (Video from that original post is embedded below.)

Those agents carried realistic looking weapons and explosive devices past TSA screeners in order to determine how often the “weapons” would be detected. This included replicas of pistols, knives, nunchucks, tasers, ammunition, and even defused hand grenades.

Out of 70 items that should have been stopped, TSA screeners found a grand total of three of them. As I noted, at the time that translates to a failure rate of 95%. Not exactly a number that will make you feel happy as you stand in the giant line at the security checkpoint next time you fly somewhere.

Surely they’ve addressed those issues in those 2+ years and improved dramatically, though. After all, you could seemingly stumble into a higher level of success just by randomly guessing which passengers have some sort of contraband in their luggage. Right?

Not so much, according to the Washington Times:

Undercover federal agents successfully snuck drugs and explosives past security screeners at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last week, according to the local Fox affiliate.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) conducted the test last Thursday by sending agents disguised as ordinary passengers into the airport in order to see if screeners were up to snuff, KMSP reported.

The TSA “red team” attempted to smuggle 18 different items past airport security that should easily be detected but prevailed almost every time, the Fox affiliate reported.

“In most cases, they succeeded in getting the banned items through. 17 out of 18 tries by the undercover federal agents saw explosive materials, fake weapons or drugs pass through TSA screening undetected,” KMSP reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the operation.
In fact, it could have even been worse this time:

The security test was ultimately abandoned once the TSA’s failure rate reached 95 percent, the station reported.

So, before the Mercy Rule was invoked, the TSA screeners in Minneapolis had successfully found a weapon being smuggled onto a plane once. Which, like 2015, equates to just five percent of the time.

Basically, when you eliminate groping people; especially underage passengers, taking lewd photos of unsuspecting women, and stealing shit out of your luggage, they just aren’t very proficient at what they do. (To be fair, they do seem to be pretty good at finding spare change passengers being subjected to their ineffectual security theater leave behind.)

Truth be told, they actually couldn’t be much less useful (and would be quite a bit less annoying and exploitative) if they just slept through their shift, like the guy in the picture at the top of this post.

Minneapolis – St. Paul TSA Screeners Fail Yet Again

Successful Five Percent of the Time in 2015

Groping People to Keep You Safe Almost Never

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Mother of Tashii Farmer-Brown to Hold Press Conference After “What Happened in Vegas” Screening at Anthem Film Festival

What Happened in Vegas Documentary LVMPD Tashii Farmer Brown

Following a screening of “What Happened in Vegas” on July 20th, 2017 at the Anthem Film Festival, which is part of Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, the mother of Tashii Farmer-Brown will give her first press conference.

Trinita Farmer, whose son was killed on May 14th by a police officer in a parking lot outside the Las Vegas Venetian Hotel, has previously refused requests for interviews. Tashii is featured in the documentary, which includes moving footage from his funeral. The funeral was closed to the press.

What Happened in Vegas,” directed by Ramsey Denison, documents four murder cases in which all of the victims were killed by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officers: Tashii, a black man who was choked to death after asking a police officer for help; Trevon Cole, a small-time drug dealer; Erik Scott, a decorated ex-army officer and West Point graduate shot in a Costco parking lot; and Stanley Gibson, a disoriented combat army veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

Also attending the post-screening press conference will be family members of the other victims; director Ramsey Denison; Larry Burns, a 27-year veteran of the LVMPD and former candidate for sheriff; and Neill Franklin, executive director of LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership).

The film screening is open to members of the press and begins at 3:20pm PT.  The press conference will follow the film at approximately 4:50pm PT.  Both events will take place in the Versailles 3 room of the Paris Las Vegas Conference Center, July 20, 2017.

Members of the media who wish to request credentials to the film screening and/or to the press conference should contact Norann Dillon at [email protected] or 855-850-3733 x206.  Media are asked to check in at the main registration desk in the Exhibit Hall (Concord Ballroom).

For information on the Anthem Film Festival, contact Jo Ann Skousen at [email protected] or 407-620-9025.

The Anthem Libertarian Film Festival focuses on films about individuality, choice and accountability. It is part of FreedomFest, an annual event that brings together over 2,000 attendees and 250 speakers with sessions on public policy, history, science & technology, art & literature, health & wellness, investments and economics. FreedomFest has been called “the world’s largest gathering of free minds.”   This year’s conference runs July 19-22, 2017, at the Paris Las Vegas.

Body Cam Video of Tashii Farmer-Brown Murder by Officer Kenneth Lopera

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

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“What Happened in Vegas” Anti-Police Brutality Documentary to Show at Anthem Film Festival (Freedom Fest) July 20th

What Happened In Vegas Ramsey Denison LVMPD Documentary Movie Police Brutality

On July 20th at 3:20pm, “What Happened in Vegas,” the documentary by director Ramsey Denison about police brutality, corruption, and cover-ups within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (AKA: “Metro“) will be screening during the Anthem Film Festival. The annual film festival, which takes place from July 19th to the 22nd, is part of Freedom Fest, which is also held annually here in Las Vegas.

The screening will be held at the Paris Hotel and Casino, which is located on the Las Vegas Strip. Passes for an entire day, as well as all access passes for the entire festival, can be purchased in advance at their online ticket link. (Freedom Fest tickets are also available at the same link.) In addition, tickets for individual screenings can be bought at the door for $10.

As has been previously reported here at Nevada Cop Block, What Happened in Vegas premiered at the Ciniquest Film Festival in March and received rave reviews from critics during multiple showings there. This will be the second screening held here in Las Vegas. Previously, in April, the movie showed at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival and won the award for best documentary.

What Happened in Vegas focuses on the murders of Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, and Stanley Gibson by Las Vegas police officers and the cover ups of those murders by the leadership of the LVMPD. All three of those shootings were extremely controversial and heavily debated at the time they took place within Las Vegas.

However, none of them received widespread coverage by the media outside of Las Vegas. That lack of publicity for police killings and the role the local media, politicians, and casinos play in that is a major focal point of the movie. In addition, several cases of police brutality, racial profiling, and false arrests by members of Metro are also highlighted.

(Full Disclosure: I am personally in the movie. Stanley Gibson was a personal friend of mine and I also contributed general knowledge about other cases that I have learned through involvement with Nevada Cop Block and police brutality activism within Las Vegas.)

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Innocent Man Framed For Murder by LVMPD Detectives and Las Vegas Prosecutors Freed After 22 Years in Prison

Demarlo Berry Released From Prison Innocence ProjectLast week, Demarlo Berry was released from a Nevada prison after serving 22 years for a murder he didn’t commit. He had been sentenced to life without parole in prison for a 1994 robbery at a Las Vegas Carl’s Jr. and the murder of Charles Burkes, the manager.

Based on media reports of his release, you would think that the Clark County District Attorney’s Office had supported and even played a significant role in his exoneration. That’s far from the truth, though.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

For years, Berry’s legal team has asserted that incredible trial testimony, as well as a written confession from another man in 2013, proves their client was wrongly convicted.

A Clark County judge on Wednesday signed the order of dismissal that secures the release. The Clark County district attorney’s office had agreed to dismiss the case Tuesday, following a monthslong (sic) investigation by members of the office’s newly formed conviction review unit.

Prosecutors for years had fought Berry’s claims of innocence with assertions of his guilt, but on Thursday they hailed the case as the first release resulting from the review unit established in October.

“They’ve finally done what we think they should have done all along,” (lawyer Craig) Coburn said.

For years, Coburn along with the Rocky Mountain Innocence Project had been fighting to prove he had been falsely convicted. However, Las Vegas prosecutors had fought just as hard against his release. That includes even after the real killer confessed all the way back in 2013.

Steven Jackson, who has been in prison in California for a separate murder since 1996, had voluntarily confessed and in the process provided details only the person who had committed the crime could possibly know. In addition, a woman provided an independent statement that Jackson had confessed to her shortly after the murder occurred.

In fact, the reality is that district attorneys, along with police officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, manufactured witness testimony against Berry to ensure his conviction. As can be heard in the audio file embedded below (at approx. 6:30), that witness later recanted his claim that Berry had made a jailhouse confession.

In the process, Richard Iden also stated that detectives from the LVMPD coached him on what to say and provided him with details of the crime to bolster his testimony. As reward for that false testimony, Iden was given a favorable plea deal. He was also paid off with free plane tickets home to Ohio to visit his family, a free hotel room during the trial, and cash “per diem” payments.

Of course, while District Attorney Steve Wolfson is busy patting himself on the back for “causing the release of Demarlo Berry from prison after 22 years,” there’s been no mention whatsoever of any sort of accountability for the prosecutors and detectives who illegally manufactured evidence in order to put him there. Nor is there any mention of why it took four years after the real killer had admitted his own guilt before they finally decided to stop fighting that release.

And BTW, Nevada is one of eighteen states in the country that don’t provide any sort of compensation to people who have been exonerated after false convictions. So, unlike the guy the prosecutors paid off to provide false testimony at his trial, Berry will get nothing from the State of Nevada for the decades he was wrongfully imprisoned.

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