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Interview With Nevada Cop Block Editor, Kelly W. Patterson, RE: “Second Saturday” Graffiti (Audio Clip)

Below is the audio of an interview by Kelly W. Patterson, editor for NVCopBlock.org and member of the Sunset Activist Collective (SunsetActivistCollective.org) on the “Round Table Group” show, which is hosted by Jim Duensing and Sean Gruber regarding a citation the “Sunset 3” received supposedly for graffiti while drawing on a sidewalk with (wait for it) sidewalk chalk, which really is nothing more nor less than an attempt by the LVMPD to keep us from exposing their crimes and in all likelihood will do nothing but backfire and create even more publicity.

On June 8th, while participating in Nevada Cop Block‘s monthly “Second Saturday” protest against police brutality at the headquarters of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, three members of the Sunset Activist Collective, Kelly, Ballentine, and J.R. Dazo, were accused of doing graffiti while writing tributes to past victims of Metro, including Stanley Gibson; Eric Scott; and Trevon Cole, and bringing attention to the total lack of accountability within Las Vegas area police departments (not one cop has EVER been charged for shooting an unarmed/innocent person in the history of the LVMPD), and in fact throughout the country.

Second Saturdays

Every Second Saturday of every month at 5pm. Meet us in front of the LMPD Headquarters Buildings on 400 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.

In this interview, Kelly discusses the general lack of any repercussions for local cops that murder people (and animals), the incentive to kill that the policy of rewarding those cops involved in shootings with multi-year paid vacations (something that Jesus Arevalo mentioned as a motivation for wanting to find an opportunity to shoot someone shortly before he did exactly that to Stanley Gibson) while their friends “investigate” those shootings represents, and the details surrounding the Second Saturday incident itself.

The full video from the incident with Metro during Second Saturday is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAj5MKHlPiY

The full broadcast can be found within the archives of the Round Table Group show at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freedomizerradio/2013/06/10/the-round-table-group, which is part of the Freedomizer Radio Network – http://www.freedomizerradio.com/.

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“Let Me See Your I.D.” Stop and Identify Statutes – Know Your Rights

Stop and ID Statutes Map States Nevada Cop Block

Everyone should know their rights regardless, but it’s even more essential that you do if you intend to go out and film the police. Therefore, you should know if the state you live in has passed “stop and identify” statutes. If that is the case, then you should also know what is and isn’t required under such laws.

In 24 states police may require you to identify yourself. (If they have reasonable suspicion that you’re involved in criminal activity.)

“Stop and identify” statutes are laws in the United States that allow police to detain persons and request such persons to identify themselves, and arrest them if they do not.

Except when driving, the requirement to identify oneself does not require a person who has been detained to provide physical identification. Verbally giving identifying information is sufficient to satisfy that requirement.

In the United States, interactions between police and citizens fall into three general categories: consensual (“contact” or “conversation”), detention (often called a Terry stop), or arrest. “Stop and identify” laws pertain to detentions.

Consensual

At any time, police may approach a person and ask questions. However, the person approached is not required to identify himself or answer any other questions, and may leave at any time.

Police are not usually required to tell a person that he is free to decline to answer questions and go about his business. A person can usually determine whether or not the interaction is consensual by asking, “Am I free to go?”

Detention

Police may briefly detain a person if they have reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. Embedded below are videos from Flex Your Rights describing what reasonable suspicion is and when you are required to provide ID to the police. Police may question a person detained in a Terry stop, but in general, the detainee is not required to answer.[10] However, many states have “stop and identify” laws that explicitly require a person detained under the conditions of Terry to identify himself to police, and in some cases, provide additional information. (As of February 2011, the Supreme Court has not addressed the validity of requirements that a detainee provide information other than his name.)

Arrest

A detention requires only that police have reasonable suspicion that a person is involved in criminal activity. However, to make an arrest, an officer must have probable cause to believe that the person has committed a crime. Some states require police to inform the person of the intent to make the arrest and the cause for the arrest. But it is not always obvious when a detention becomes an arrest. After making an arrest, police may search a person, his or her belongings.

Variations in “stop and identify” laws

  • Five states’ laws (Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, and Ohio) explicitly impose an obligation to provide identifying information.
  • Fourteen states grant police authority to ask questions, with varying wording, but do not explicitly impose an obligation to respond:
  • In Montana, police “may request” identifying information;
  • In 12 states (Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Wisconsin), police “may demand” identifying information;
  • In Colorado, police “may require” identifying information of a person.
  • Identifying information varies, but typically includes
  • Name, address, and an explanation of the person’s actions;
  • In some cases it also includes the person’s intended destination, the person’s date of birth (Indiana and Ohio), or written identification if available (Colorado).
  • Arizona’s law, apparently written specifically to codify the holding in Hiibel, requires a person’s “true full name”.
  • Nevada’s law, which requires a person to “identify himself or herself”, apparently requires only that the person state his or her name.
  • In five states (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island), failure to identify oneself is one factor to be considered in a decision to arrest. In all but Rhode Island, the consideration arises in the context of loitering or prowling.
  • Seven states (Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, and Vermont) explicitly impose a criminal penalty for noncompliance with the obligation to identify oneself.
  • Virginia makes it a non-jailable misdemeanor to refuse to identify oneself to a conservator of the peace when one is at the scene of a breach of the peace witnessed by that conservator.

What is Reasonable Suspicion?

When Are You Required to Provide ID to the Police?

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Join Nevada Cop Block at the Anarchist Cafe (A-Cafe) for “Disarm the Police”

This week, Nevada Cop Block will be hosting a special event as part of a local activist get together known as the Las Vegas Anarchist Cafe, which will focus on bringing accountability to Las Vegas area police.

This event, “Disarm the Police,” will be an informational and organizing meeting regarding issues with police brutality, lack of accountability, and official corruption. In addition, there will be discussion about setting up regular actions based around bringing attention to and addressing those issues.

Methods, goals, and acceptable outcomes will all be discussed. Also, information about how to get involved with local police “watchdog” groups, such as Nevada Cop Block (NVCopBlock.org), will be provided for those wanting to become more involved on an ongoing basis.

The Las Vegas Anarchist Cafe meets Saturdays, from 6:00—8:00pm, at Sunrise Coffee Shop, which is located on Sunset Rd. between Pecos and Eastern (map below). The A-Cafe is not a place, it’s an event–a social experiment in urban anarchy, organized by the Southern Nevada Alliance of the Libertarian Left and a group of unaffiliated local anarchists. The A-Cafe is a forum for anarchists in the Las Vegas area to get to know each other, to hang out, to shoot the breeze, to talk some shop, to talk about the projects that we are working on, and to organize new projects. Anyone who’s an anarchist, anti-statist, or just anarchy-curious is invited to join us.

Drop in any time — the gathering is informal, and based on chatting and sharing information. There isn’t a fixed agenda. (But if you want to set up an organizing meeting for a particular project with a fixed agenda, A-Cafe is a great place to meet people to invite.) Feel free to drop in at any time and leave whenever you need to.

Bring yourself. Bring a friend. And bring anything — ideas you’ve had, projects you’re working on, literature, zines, flyers, art, whatever — that you’d like to share with some like-minded people.

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“25 Feet of Injustice” by Ballentine of the Sunset Activist Collective

A Statement Regarding the “Chalk Back” Action of Jan. 19, 2013, Hosted by Nevada Cop Block:

25 ft of Injustice

So Much Injustice, So Little Pavement.

At the end of today when I got home my hands were black with dirt, my knees were bruised and I have a pretty nice blister going on one of my toes. I did four hours of dancing and then went over to fight for justice for the people who have been murdered by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. When I say “murdered” I mean just that. I mean that Stanley Gibson, Trevon Cole, Erik Scott and a dozen or so others were actually murdered by the police.

Many of the actions we do against the police are chalking actions because it has the effect of making a powerful statement to people walking by and it lets the police know that we are watching them and won’t stand for this. We know that our corrupt government backs the police 100% of the time and that if a cop kills someone, they’ll get a desk job whereas if I did it I’d face a trial for my life or liberty.

We do not accept this and so once again, we joined others downtown at the Clark County Government Center and the police head quarters up the street to express ourselves and our frustrations on the side walk. I usually know at least some of the people who do this with us. This time I was pleased to find only two people who I’d met before which is good because it means that new people are interested.

One of these people was Rondha Gibson, the widow of Stanley Gibson, she walked around and read the things we wrote and I could see she was very much still grieving a year now since her husband was taken away from her needlessly.

The issue of police brutality is near and dear to the Sunset Activist Collective. Our final point on the eight principles reads that even if a person doesn’t belong to the 1% they can still protect the 1% or long to be among them. That’s what the police do. They make capitalism possible. This idea that the police are here to protect people is bullshit. The police are the internal armed wing of the government, sent to do it and the corporation’s (like Zappos) bidding. We also recognize and oppose a pattern of violence against the poor and against minority groups on the part of the government and the police. For these reasons we stand against the police.

Sunset was instrumental in helping craft the demands against the police department and local government. Sometime ago, the father of victim Erik Scott noticed our demands and helped spread them around. Through these protests we met Rondha and Rondha now knows the Father of Erik Scott. We will bring justice to the people who live here.

The way my hands and knees got scraped up was I spent quite awhile on them scrawling the demands of Sunset and NVCopBlock.org on the sidewalk and then I listed some of the more well known abuses of the police in Vegas, five to be specific: The recent murders of a dog named “Bubba”, Stanley Gibson, Erik Scott, and Trevon Cole, as well as Emmauel Dozier, who didn’t get shot or die but actually shot four pigs who he thought were breaking into his home during an unannounced drug raid. He has been charged with trying to kill these cops. No drugs were found.

I left out quite a few stories of abuse, sexual assault, other murders, and stories of abuse from the North Las Vegas cops or the pigs in Henderson. When I’d finished writing I noticed that these five injustices with our ten demands took up about 25 feet of sidewalk. When you can fill a sidewalk with that much shame and terror then its time for things to stop.

Government has not listened. The public protects the police by enabling them, telling them “thank you” and giving them little things to eat. I say stop. I say adopt the policy of “I don’t speak pig.” You don’t have to tell a cop anything except your name, age and place of residency. You don’t have to show them anything other than your ID. Tonight as we were traveling from the government center to the police Head Quarters a pig pulled up alongside us, got out and said “how’s it going?”

I said nothing. I refuse to let this person into my life or to greet him. He then asked “do you mind if I ask where you are going?” or something like that. Kelly looked at this pig and said “Actually I do mind if you ask, its none of your business.” Then we started walking away. We could hear the cop still trying to talk to people. He reminded me of a nerd that used to linger around everyone when we were hanging out, he’d try and start a conversation with you and you’d just ignore him. It must feel awful to have people give you the cold shoulder. That is how that cop was treated and that makes me happy. That we made this person uncomfortable. I’m proud of Kelly for the correct response. I’m proud of everyone who when asked “who is in charge?” didn’t say anything or said “no one.”

Anyone who talks to the cops legitimizes them. I’m not here to be friendly. I’m here because someone they know murdered someone. I don’t want to hang out and shoot the shit, I’m upset and rightfully so. And anyone who has a problem with me using the word “pig” to describe a police officer, they probably read my web posts and the sunset website. I make sure to call them that so they will read it and have a terrible rest of the day. It’s the least I can do.

As we all were getting packed up we talked about doing this monthly until the revolution comes. We discussed setting up a planning meeting to bring more people down for these. If you’re interested let me know.

-Ballentine, the Sunset Activist Collective

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Don’t Let Coroner’s Inquest Reforms Become Yet Another Victim of Police Intimidation

Las Vegas Coroner's Inquest

Why are Las Vegas area police so afraid of transparency and accountability?

Tomorrow, Dec. 4th, beginning at 9:30 AM the Clark County Commission is scheduled to vote on proposed reforms to the Coroner’s Inquest process in which killings by Las Vegas area police are reviewed and facts surrounding them are made public.

If you have any desire to see transparency in cases where police shoot people and accountability for those innocent people amongst that rapidly growing number you should do everything you can to attend that meeting and let your feelings be known. (See map below.)

Reportedly, with the exception of Chris Giunchigliani, the commission is preparing to vote against the proposed reforms, which would effectively end the Coroner’s Inquests.

As has been well documented, the original Coroner’s Inquests served more as a dog and pony show where the official cover story was pushed and contradictory evidence and witnesses were minimized or outright withheld. All of which only served to exonerate police when they murdered innocent people rather than as a true fact finding investigation.

The inevitable criticisms and lack of confidence in such an obviously orchestrated and dishonest process led to demands for reforms from the families of people killed by Las Vegas police under suspicious circumstances, several communitty organizations, as well as both the NAACP and ACLU on behalf of victims. The resulting reforms, while not a perfect solution provided for several changes in the Coroner’s Inquest process to bring more transparency and increase the chance for true accountability, such as the ability for the victims to be represented by a lawyer that would have the ability to question witnesses. This in and of itself was an important step forward, since the District Attorney, who controls all the evidence and witnesses presented during the Coroner’s Inquest, has demonstrated a bias toward the police officers involved.

Las Vegas Coroner's Inquests

An all too common in the Las Vegas area lately.

Not surprisingly, the police and in particular the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (LVPPA) have very little interest in a transparent process that might expose the murders their colleagues have committed. The LVPPA in it’s misguided attempts to “protect” police regardless of how glaringly wrong individual cops might be in a case or how negatively that affects the ability of other cops to do their job, has advised police not to cooperate with the new inquest should it be implemented. They also attempted to have the reforms thrown out as unconstitutional via a lawsuit that failed, but required that some minor procedural alterations be made to who was in charge of the inquest proceedings.

Unfortunately, largely because of that refusal to participate by local police, the County Commissioners are reportedly ready to buckle to pressure and scrap the Coroner’s Inquest process altogether. This would be bad for many reasons, not the least of which are that the alternatives are dramatically worse than the already inadequate original version of the Coroner’s Inquest was.

In most cases since the Coroner’s Inquests were put on hold, District Attorney Steve Wolfson has been issuing statements to explain his lack of desire to hold officers accountable for their actions. The fact that he recently stated that Henderson police are actually trained to kick defenseless people in the head repeatedly as a reason for not punishing a police officer in one of those statements doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence in that as a viable substitute.

Nor does the use of grand juries as the other apparent option hold much hope for a fair outcome. As was pointed out on this site a while back, grand juries are highly secretive and in pretty much every other respect, including the DA’s exclusive control over witnesses and evidence, have all the same flaws that the previous Coroner’s Inquest process contained.

The lack of accountability for their actions up to and including outright murder has lead to a shoot first mentality amongst the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and other area police. It’s actually getting to the point where it is hard to keep track of the instances of police involved shooting because they happen so often. Recently approved reforms are the only way to ensure transparency and justice for the families of the victims of questionable shooting by local police.

Further Info and Reasons to Support Coroner’s Inquest Reforms:

Erik Scott

Erik Scott was murdered by Las Vegas Metro police on July 10, 2010. The obvious problems with the Coroner’s Inquest proceeding in his case were likely the final straw that lead to the current reforms.

Statement (via Facebook post) from Bill Scott, Eric Scott‘s father:

Per Lisa’s appeal (below), please consider being at the County Commissioners’ meeting on 4 Dec.

Potential Outcome 1: If the commissioners cave in to the PPA (police union), only the District Attorney will be deciding whether officer-involved shootings were justified. As DA Steve Wolfson has demonstrated, to date, he NEVER finds fault with Metro shootings, because he relies completely on Metro’s flawed “investigations” of OISs.

In a recent case, Wolfson “chose” to not review high-definition security-system video evidence that clearly proved Metro officers shot and killed a young man for no reason (the Olivas murder). If the DA can’t be bothered to look at indisputable data/evidence that counters Metro’s cover-up narrative, how will 1) victims’ families know the facts surrounding their loved ones’ death, and 2) rogue/bad police officers be held accountable for shooting innocents?

Potential Outcome 2: If the county commissioners decide to eliminate the NEW coroner’s inquest process and go back to the long-ago-discredited grand jury process, reviews of OISs will be a secret, closed-door process. The grand jury would be stacked with “citizens” who are cop-friendly, and, again, rogue/bad cops would be routinely exonerated. That outcome is virtually guaranteed, because appointments to the grand jury would be carefully controlled by those friendly to Metro and beholden to intransigent obstructionists, the PPA union.

If the community is to have any hope of holding its police force accountable, getting rid of dangerous “cowboy cops,” and stopping the epidemic of senseless, deadly OISs, it’s imperative that county commissioners modify the NEW coroner’s inquest ordinance to ensure it complies with the recent Nevada Supreme Court ruling.

That’s a simple change to the existing ordinance, but the PPA union is fighting reinstatement of inquest hearings under the new procedures, and any other credible means for “civilians” to hold police officers accountable for their deadly behavior.

Unless hundreds of Las Vegas-area citizens show up on 4 Dec. and explain to the commissioners that murders-by-cops will NOT be tolerated, the PPA will prevail, and the commissioners will cave to union and DA pressure. And killer-cops will never again be deterred from shooting, when less-than-lethal alternatives would be more appropriate.

As you think about whether to expend the time and effort to attend the 4 Dec. meeting, please consider: If Officer Wm. Mosher had been TRULY held accountable for his 2006 shooting, he might have been either in prison, or fired from the Metro police force and not on the streets of Las Vegas on July 10, 2010. And my son, Erik, would be alive today.

Letting PPA union thugs run roughshod over county commissioners and a community has deadly consequences. Erik paid for Metro/PPA thuggery with his life. Who will be the next killer-cops’ victims?

Thanks for your kind support of this vital campaign to restore justice.

Regards,
Bill Scott

The post referencedby Bill Scott in his statement:

When the Government Prosecutes one of Its Own, the Scales of justice are Tipped Heavily Against the Common Citizen

STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW.

The Clark County Commission will be discussing the coroner’s inquest process for officer-involved homicides on December 4, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. We need the Commission to pass a simple housekeeping measure to allow the inquests to proceed. The Commission needs to understand that the public does not want it to abandon or water down the coroner’s inquests for officer-involved homicides. The LVMPD has a very high rate of officer-involved homicides, and the public deserves to know the facts when a member of the community is killed.

Meet outside the County Commission building at 9:15 a.m. on December 4, 2012. We will have free t-shirts so you can tell the Commission: “START THE INQUESTS. WE DESERVE TO KNOW.”

What is the inquest process?
In December of 2010, the coroner’s inquest process was reformed into a transparent, public airing of the facts when the LVMPD kills a member of the public. The 2010 reforms did not make the process adversarial. They replaced the jury and verdict with a panel and neutral factual findings. To help get at the truth and ensure fairness, they also provided for participation by the officers, family members, and the public. The reforms were responsive to widespread concerns from citizens and the product of a democratic process and public input. The Sheriff supported the reforms and they also had broad public support (including from PLAN, the Las Vegas NAACP, NACJ, and the ACLU).

Why haven’t we had any inquests since reforms were passed?
Unfortunately, the Police Protective Association (PPA) has fought the implementation of the new inquest process, trying to avoid transparency. The Nevada Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court of Nevada have both rejected the PPA’s arguments that the process violated their rights, finding that the coroner’s inquest is a fair process. The Nevada Legislature also refused to abolish the inquest.

How can we fix the inquests?
The Nevada Supreme Court recently held that justices of the peace cannot preside over the inquests under current law. The Clark County Commission can easily fix this technical, procedural issue if it has the political will to stand up to the PPA. The issue regarding who should oversee inquests was not part of the 2010 changes. The pre-2007 had hearing master, oversee inquests. Just like justices of the peace, hearing masters are attorneys. They already oversee non-officer homicide inquests and are qualified to preside over inquests into officer-involved homicides.

Why should the inquest be fixed?

Stanley L. Gibson

Stanley L. Gibson, a disabled Army vet, was murdered by Ofc. Jesus Arevalo on Dec. 12, 2012

The public deserves to know what happens when the LVMPD kills a member of the community, and transparency is needed to restore the trust between the LVMPD and the public. The County has spent significant sums of money and time on the 2010 reform process, to defend the inquest in court, and to lobby at the legislature. That money should not go to waste.

Most importantly, since the 2010 changes were passed, there have been 22 officer-involved homicides. This means that a total of twenty two families now stand in line waiting to learn the facts about how their loved ones were killed. Without an inquest, there is no way for families to get direct access to information about their family members’ deaths. The families and the public that employs police officers want and deserve an open and transparent process in place so they can assess the facts surrounding office-involved homicides themselves.

Is there any reason to wait?
There is no reason to keep delaying. While the PPA has appealed the case it lost in federal court to the Ninth Circuit, there is no stay or injunction in place and nothing stopping the inquest from moving forward. In fact, both the Nevada Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court have already determined that the process adequately protects the rights of officers. Even if the PPA continues to improperly refuse to allow officers to participate regardless of whether the officers have any right to the protection of the Fifth Amendment claim, the inquests can move forward. Enough other evidence—evidence such as dispatch records, other witnesses, reports, and even video in some cases—can tell the story of what happened.

No more excuses. Start the inquests. We deserve to know.

————————————————————————————-

Be there and make your voice heard!


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Statement of Demands for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Depatment – Submitted by Sunset Activist Collective

Las Vegas police have killed 146 people in the past decade and not one single one of them has been ruled unjustified.

Recently, Nevada Cop Block received a list of demands from a local activist organization known as the Sunset Activist Collective. Based on Metro‘s (along with other Las Vegas area police departments) long and prolific history of abuses and even outright murders, those of us at NVCopBlock.org have no problem posting and even endorsing these demands, especially those criticizing the use of a grand jury to cover up Stanley Gibson’s murder and calling for Sheriff Gillespie to resign. Based on his and other local officials’ history of covering up and minimizing police crimes, we feel that nothing short of that will be required in order to bring accountability to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Here are those demands in their entirety:

 

1. We believe that the grand jury is a worse, more corrupt process when applied to public officials than the old Coronor's Inquest was and is only used when other public officials want to cover up their crimes while appearing to actually hold them accountable.Therefore, we demand that District Attorney Steve Wolfson file charges directly for a public jury trial against Officer Jesus Arevalo for the murder of Stanley Gibson.

2. We demand a face to face televised apology by Sheriff Doug Gillespie to  the families of Stanley Gibson, Trevon Cole and Erik Scott.

3. We demand the immediate resignation of Sheriff Doug Gillespie at the conclusion of demand #2.

4. We demand that any seized property be returned to the victims of police shootings. If that property has already been disposed of, then a equitable and fair compensation should be arranged within a reasonable amount of time.

5. We demand compensation for the victims of police shootings, including but not limited to monetary compensation, all lost future wages, funeral expenses, property damages, medical expenses and one half the expense of a four year college education for each child of the victim.

6. We demand that all charges against Emmanuel Dozier be dropped on the basis of the right to self defense.

7. We demand an end to the tactic of neighborhood saturation, which really amounts to targeted and unlawful harassment primarily of low income and minority neighborhoods. A majority of residents whose only crime is being poor shouldn't have to be harassed because a small minority of their neighbors have committed crimes (many of which fall into the category of victimless drug crimes).

8. We demand that any police officer who engages in a shooting that wounds or  kills a person who is unarmed be placed on unpaid leave pending a public trial. Nobody else gets an automatic paid vacation for shooting someone.

9. We demand that police prominently display their badge numbers and not interfere with public observation, including being filmed, by anyone while on duty. Citizens already have a legal right to record public official performing their jobs in public spaces and transparency serves the dual functions of deterring abuse of authority and providing a neutral witness of any interactions.

10. We demand that if local or state government enacts unjust laws such as a law similar to Arizona's SB1070 or a ban on feeding the homeless, that the police department refuse to enforce such laws. "I'm just doing my job" has never been a good excuse for participating in acts of injustice.

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Join Nevada Cop Block for the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police Day, Sunday, Sept. 30th

Be a part of the fun and compete for prizes.

It’s that time of year and once again Nevada Cop Block will be participating in CopBlock.org’s “National Chalk the Police Day” festivities. Plus, as an added bonus this year we will also be competing for prizes offered by Cop Block in several categories. In addition, this year we will be doing it at a much more visible and significant location. The original “Chalk the Police Day” action was a national action called for by CopBlock.org as a reaction to the arrest of activists in New Hampshire‘s Free State Project for drawing with chalkon sidewalks around the Manchester police station. The charges consisted mostly of intimidation charges such as “graffiti” (for easily washable drawings) and refusal to provide ID, as well as for passive resistance to those arrests.

Groups and individuals throughout the country, including here in Las Vegas, participated in the first “Chalk the Police Day,” which was largely free of additional incidents and/or arrests. Although this event predated the formation of Cop Block’s local affiliate, several people currently involved in NVCopBlock.org participated in last years’ action, which was held at the headquarters for the UNLV campus police. As with other areas, we were never directly threatened or confronted, although there was a rather large, unnecessary, wasteful and downright silly amount of surveillance conducted during the event.

This year, we’ll be relocating to the newly opened and very expensive headquarters building of LVMPD. Partly this is just based on the simple fact that if you intend to “Chalk the Police” you should go where they hang out. A more important reason is because Metro has been holding press conferences every few weeks all year to announce their latest tally of how far they are over budget, which is no part due to their lavish spending in the past on things such as a giant, shiny new headquarters building.


We’ll have chalk available and suggested “slogans” and “catchphrases” to use, but you will be very free to freelance with your own ideas and artistic desires. In addition to the budget issues, we’re going to emphasize the many instances of police abuse, up to and including beatings and murders of innocent people in the Las Vegas area, as well as the complete lack of accountability that has encouraged such actions by local police. We’ll also bring attention to more national issues involving police crackdowns on chalking by activists, such as recent incidents in the Los Angeles and Oakland areas in which people doing nothing more than drawing with chalk have been arrested, beaten, and even fired at with rubber bullets.

As an added incentive this year, the national Cop Block affiliate will be giving away prizes (free CB merchandise and high quality chalk) within various categories (see below).

The time is still somewhat flexible and may change depending on interested individuals’ availability. If so, this meetup will be updated ASAP. Also unlike most groups we will be doing this on Sunday, Sept. 30, rather than the “official” date of Monday, Oct. 1st to accommodate those who work during the week.

For more complete info (including prizes and categories) check the full announcement on CopBlock.org some of which is included below:

“Attention all chalkers, organizers, and lovers of artful dissent! It’s that time of year again to open up the buckets of chalk and find the nearest location of state repression (aka police stations, courthouses, jails) or other public property such as sidewalks, parks or public plazas at the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police Day.

Over the past year, many chalkers have been detained, harassed arrested, and jailed by authorities across this country. From the Chalking 8 in Manchester to the Chalk Walk Police Riots in LA, chalking continues to be seen as a threat to status quo and despite the temporary nature of chalk, police and local authorities continue to crack down on our right to free expression.

Do you need extra motivation to chalk? This year there is a fun contest with prizes in each of the categories

Categories:

Best Mural/Chalk Art Design – For the chalk artists who love to draw and can create great murals.

Best Chalk Saying/Slogan – Can’t draw but have a way with words? This category is for you!

Best Location – Chalk the jails? Chalk the steps of city hall? Is there any interesting public property to chalk in your area? We’ll be giving a prize for best location.

Prizes: The best entry in each category will get $66 worth of items from Cop Block’s store. Also, the winner of the Best Mural/Chalk Art Design will receive a Box of Eternity Art High Quality Sidewalk Chalk (you pick up to 35 of your favorite colors!)

Judges: There will be a three “judge” panel with one person each from the East (Kate Ager), Midwest (Melissa Hill), and West Coast (Allan Eaton) that will review the photographs of the chalk and rank them.

You can arrest the chalker but you can’t stop the chalk!”

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After Henderson Police Beat Man in Diabetic Shock, NV Residents Pay for It (via submission)

I recently received a link to this story via the submission page along with the statement “this was a big story, surprised you don’t have it on your site.”

A member of the Henderson police Department was caught on video kicking a man in the head while he is held by three other cops. It was later determined that this man was suffering from diabetic shock instead of driving drunk as cops originally suspected.

While that surprise isn’t unfounded, the simple reason that this hasn’t been posted on NvCopBlock.org previously is that it predates the launch of this site. However, I very much agree that it should be included and am taking this opportunity to rectify that discrepancy by posting the submission along with a few updates.

This story, along with it’s eventual “resolution,” is actually very indicative of the lack of accountability within police departments in the Las Vegas area:

“A Nevada city will pay a diabetic man $158,500 (it actually totals close to $300k once the state settlements are factored in) after police beat him while he was in diabetic shock, thinking he was a drunken driver…

The incident was caught by the dash cam of a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper present during the incident, which began as a chase in the early morning hours of Oct. 29, 2010. Police suspected the man was driving drunk…

The video showed that once the car was pulled over, police officers swarmed the driver and began kicking him.

‘Stop resisting motherfucker. Stop resisting motherfucker,’ an officer yelled as the man lay on the ground.

However, the man was not drunk – he was suffering a diabetic episode. Insulin shock can mimic the symptoms of intoxication…

An officer seen in the video kicking the diabetic motorist is Sgt. Brett Seekatz, who has been with the Henderson Police Department since August 2002, ABC 13 reported. Officials wouldn’t specify how or if Seekatz was disciplined over the incident, saying the information is a personnel matter and will not be released. He remains a member of the Henderson Police Department.”

Once the video surfaced, the people in the community were understandably outraged by the obviously unnecessary nature of the beating inflicted on a visibly restrained man. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson saw it differently, though. In his initial review of the case, he came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be “in the community’s best interest” to punish Sgt. Seekatz (who has a history of complaints being filed against him predating this case) or any of the other officers because two years had passed since the incident happened.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson

Not surprisingly, that assessment was met with outrage by the community prompting Wolfson to take yet another look at the case and try to come up with a better sounding rationalization for not punishing Seekatz. Unfortunately, he didn’t do a very good job in that effort. Once again, Wolfson chose not to hold anyone accountable for their actions that day, essentially stating that Henderson police are trained to kick people in the head while making arrests and therefore they couldn’t be punished for doing so.

Not exactly the sort of thing that makes you feel real confident that you won’t become yet another victim of the police departments in and around Las Vegas, but honestly not something that is a shock to anyone that has dealt with them before. Knowing that you won’t get punished for abusing and even killing someone, tends to embolden those in positions of authority over others to abuse that authority. Including it in their training, tends to make those abuses inevitable.

And if you’re a taxpaying resident of Clark County, NV., that $6,514,918 that the LVMPD alone has payed out to its victims since 2009 , including almost $2 million already in 2012 (amounts via the Clark County Criminal Cops site), is coming straight out of your paycheck.

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Las Vegas: Beware of Gang Activity in Your Neighborhood!

Nevada Cop Block Warning Gang Activity LVMPD Las Vegas

Be on the lookout for these signs of gang membership in your neighborhood. – If you see something, film something.

A gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over territory in the community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent or other forms of illegal behavior. Usually, gangs have gained the most control in poorer, urban communities.

Gangs are involved in all areas of street-crime activities like extortion, drug trafficking (both in and outside the prison system), and theft. Gang activity also involves the victimization of individuals by robbery and kidnapping. Street gangs take over territory or “turf” in a particular city and are often involved in “providing protection“, a thin cover for extortion, as the “protection” is usually from the gang itself.

Most gang members have identifying characteristics unique to their specific clique or gang. Many gang members are proud of their gang and freely admit their membership. Their personal belongings frequently boast the gang’s logo and the member’s gang name. Gangs generally share common characteristics such as the wearing of distinct clothing. However, some individuals on the fringe of gang involvement are reluctant to identify themselves as gang members.

They are usually armed, often unpredictable, travel in overwhelming numbers, and are not above attacking or even killing innocent people that are unlucky enough to be confronted by them. So, interacting with them individually can be very dangerous. If possible, make sure others are present and ALWAYS carry a camera to document any improprieties and ensure a neutral “witness.”

(This list of gang “identifiers” was compiled from a combination of factors listed in Wikipedia and on the LAPD website. Minus the links, of course.)

Nevada Cop Block Gang Activity LVMPD Flyer

Be on the lookout for these known gang members. They have a history of violence and usually armed. – If you see something, film something.

If you see any of the criminals pictured above, document their activities (preferably by video) and contact Nevada Cop Block immediately, if not sooner. A huge h/t to Dizz (another awesome member of the Las Vegas A-Cafe community) for creating the “warning” poster. Feel free to download the full size version and post it throughout your neighborhood so your friends don’t fall prey to this menace.

Oh yeah, join us!

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Help Wanted! Contribute To Nevada Cop Block

Click this Image to find out how you can contribute to NVCopBlock.org

There are many ways you can join Nevada Cop Block and help contribute to our mission to ensure accountability for police crimes and violence. Among many other things, you can submit your own personal story or video involving the police, share a link to a story or video you’ve come across somewhere else on the internet, or invite us to an event you or someone you know is hosting that is related to issues involving the police and/or the judicial system.

You can also become involved on a more direct level in several ways. If you are a writer and are interested in police issues, I’d be happy to talk to you about posting on the site. If you would like to be involved in going out and doing copwatching and filming the police, we’d be happy to discuss joining you and posting any news worthy video that results. Similarly, if you are doing some sort of event and you’d like to have someone from our group involved, we’d be happy to discuss that with you. We’re particularly interested in events that encourage people to film the police and that help familiarize people with their rights.

We’re located in Las Vegas and as a result we have better access to and awareness of stories in Southern Nevada. We don’t, however, limit ourselves to Las Vegas or even Nevada. Whether you live in Nevada or not, I’d be happy to have you contribute in any manner mentioned above and possibly in many other ways that you may want to suggest.

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