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Kelly W. Patterson of NVCopBlock On Non Partisan Liberty For All

Beware of Local Gang Members in the Las Vegas Area

Beware of Local Gang Members in the Las Vegas Area

Recently, I did an interview for an internet radio show on Block Talk Radio. The show is entitled “Non Partisan Liberty for All” and is hosted by Dave Bourne. While it can be heard everywhere (except most of China and sometimes parts of San Francisco) via the internets, it is based locally here in Las Vegas.

The main reason I came on was to discuss the article I had just posted about the suspicious events surrounding the hit and run incident I was involved in back in March and the chances that it was an intentional act committed in retaliation for my opposition to and exposure of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Department”s corruption and other crimes, including the murder of Stanley Gibson by Jesus Arevalo and complete lack of accountability for abuses committed against other local residents. In the process, we discussed my own history and how I originally got involved in activism.

Among other things, I spoke about how I evolved from someone who believed in the basic philosophy of Anarchism, but didn’t think of it as a viable, real world possibility into someone that believes in and advocates for an Anarchist society. I also discussed my personal history with the Las Vegas Anarchist Cafe and Charles (RadGeek) Johnson, my initial meetings with Cop Block founders Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman and how the harassment of homeless people  and peaceful activists that I witnessed while working with Food Not Bombs Las Vegas helped to shape my anti-police brutality based activism and ultimately the founding of Nevada Cop Block.

Scott Crow will be in Vegas Monday, May 19th

Scott Crow Will be in Las Vegas Again Monday, May 19th from 6-8pm at Reclaimed Art Suppliez

Another reason I came on was to announce Scott Crow‘s upcoming talk on Monday, May 19th, from 6 to 8 PM at Reclaimed Art Suppliez, which is located in Downtown Las Vegas, within the Arts district. Scott Crow, author of “Black Flags and Windmills” and one of the founders of the Common Ground Collective, is an excellent speaker and Anarchist organizer. His talk, entitled “What Me Worry? The Rise of the Surveillance State & What We Can Do About It” promises to be excellent and very relevant to Las Vegas activists.

Although Dave has only been doing this show for about a month (as of mid-May 2014), it’s a good show and he’s a great host. I’m looking forward to doing future appearances with the show and very much encourage Cop Block fans and others interested in liberty and freedom to tune in. In fact, you never know when other awesome Cop Block contributors, such as MO/KC Cop Block‘s (and Women of Cop Block, too) Janel Florez might put in an appearance or when Deo from Greater Cleveland Cop Block might call in to talk about awesome videos the  crew out there in Ohio have made.

And before you go, don’t forget to head over to the NVCopBlock shop to get your Official Cop Block Press Pass and/or a Nevada Cop Block T-Shirt. In fact, in honor of the Cop Block Press Passes Facebook Page going over 1,000 “likes” a couple days ago, anything in the Nevada Cop Block shop is 10% off until May 22nd (2014) if you use coupon code “1kLikes” in the cart.

Listen to NVCopBlock.org’s Own Kelly W. Patterson on “Non Partisan Liberty For All”

Listen To Politics Internet Radio Stations with Non Partisan Liberty For all on BlogTalkRadio
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A Video Compilation of Las Vegas Police Brutality via Submission

Not once, in the entire 40 year history of the LVMPD, has a cop EVER been charged for killing someone, Even when that person was unarmed and or completely innocent.

Not once, in the entire 40 year history of the LVMPD, has a cop EVER been charged for killing someone, Even when that person was unarmed and or completely innocent.

The video at the bottom of this post, consisting of a compilation of various videos showing past instances of police brutality by members of the LVMPD, was submitted by Jason Nellis and uploaded to his YouTube channel in order to encourage Las Vegas residents to attend a January 21, 2014 Clark County Commission meeting, in which a vote will be held regarding Sheriff Doug Gillespie’s and Commissioner Tom Collins’ continued attempts to force through an increase in the county sales tax to hire even more cops. In the description for the video Jason writes:

“A video made especially to oppose the “More Cops Tax” being pushed at the County Commission, to be voted on by the Commission on Tuesday, January 21st, 2014. A compilation of clips, news headlines, and a personal account of police brutality and police shootings of innocent people. Please watch all the way through as, even if you still think more cops will keep us safer, you will see that this new tax won’t be all it’s cracked up to be.

Facebook event page for the “More Cops Tax” hearing: https://www.facebook.com/events/23882…

Community opposition page, with facts and figures: http://www.snwatchdog.org/images/more…
Southern Nevada Watchdogs: http://www.snwatchdog.org
Nevada Cop Block Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NVCopBlock.org
“More Cops Tax” related videos: http://jazoovian.wordpress.com/2014/0…
An article I recently wrote on Vegas cops: http://jazoovian.wordpress.com/2013/1…

Also, for one stranger’s backup to my story toward the end (I have found no videos, after lots of searching, unfortunately), here is a comment on a Las Vegas Sun story that made no mention of the events even though the reporter was supposedly there:

‘I was present downtown on friday night. I saw people being harassed VIOLENTLY by police without provocation. It honestly appeared as if a riot response was what they were attempting to incite from the peaceful but incredibly confused crowd. My friends & I were almost trampled by a horse as the officer astride it charged a man whom another officer told to put his bottle on the cruiser next to me. The city of Las Vegas is known THE WORLD over for being a city in which open container drinking is not only allowed but encouraged as a lynchpin of our economy. Now all of a sudden it’s a law thats ONLY enforced on locals. As I type this, I am standing next to 4 men with 3foot margaritas & a police officer. They are certainly not being treated as I was when I was simply moving down the sidewalk.'”

MoreCopsFlyerEveryone certainly should come to the “More Cops” tax hearing, but even if you don’t see this post until after the vote has already been held, this video is well worth watching to see just how corrupt, violent, and completely unaccountable for their actions Las Vegas area police are. Among the notable clips included within this video are the case of a group of innocent and non-violent tourists that were attacked by Metro cops after they (the tourists) actually broke up a fight during New Years on the Strip, a Henderson motorist; who was repeatedly kicked in the head after falling asleep while driving; as a result of low blood sugar from being diabetic, the murder of Gulf War vet Stanley Gibson; who was suffering PTSD induced panic attack and completely innocent; as well as unarmed; when he was shot by Ofc. Jesus Arevalo, the murder of another veteran; Erik Scott; outside a local Costco store; in which the store’s surveillance camera somehow happened to be malfunctioning that day, and a recent case where an unarmed; innocent man was shot while attempting to walk out of a store; because a Metro cop mistook him for a suspect they were looking for.

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments' Pathetic History of "Accountability"

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments’ Pathetic History of “Accountability”

A Community in Fear

Not too long ago I attended a meeting of the Clark County Commissioners concerning a vote over the process that would be adopted to address shootings by Las Vegas area police. Prior to the vote that eventually happened (after all the important stuff like giving a certificate to a group from a retirement home whose most lauded act was alerting neighbors if they forgot to close their garage door), members of the community were allowed to address the commissioners regarding the issue.

One speaker after another stepped to the microphone and it wasn’t long at all before a common theme began to develop. Statements such as, “I’m afraid of what will happen if I call the police,” “I would never call the police even if I was in real danger because I’m scared more of them,” and “I don’t trust them not to kill someone if I call them for help” were recited over and over again throughout the session. These fears were often accompanied by personal examples of negative experiences resulting from interactions with Las Vegas area police, including several from the families of people that actually had been killed by the police.

Legitimate Reasons to be Afraid

When the cops in Las Vegas kill people their ONLY "punishment" is paid leave.

When the cops in Las Vegas kill people their ONLY “punishment” is paid leave.

Obviously, every time the police respond to a call they don’t kill or otherwise abuse the people they encounter, even in Las Vegas. However, it happens often enough to instill the sort of fear and hatred toward them that was on public display during the commissioners’ meeting that day. The problem is that people within the community know that should something happen to them or one of their loved ones at the hands of a member of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department they have very little hope of that cop ever being held accountable for their actions. They don’t know that the cop responding wants to kill them, but they do know that if they do they will get away with it.

The bigger problem is that members of Las Vegas area police departments also know this. Jesus Arevalo told his then-wife that he wanted to shoot someone so that he could get free time off, based on the policy of placing cops on paid leave during investigations. Within a couple of months after that statement, Stanley Gibson, an unarmed, disabled Persian Gulf veteran suffering from a PTSD induced panic attack and in no way representing a threat to anyone was murdered by Jesus Arevalo. Those seven unnecessary shots fired from Ofc. Arevalo’s AR-15 were the ticket to what is fast approaching two full years of the paid vacation that he had indicated he was hoping for. No charges were ever brought against him for his actions, which even other police on the scene characterized as unexplainable in their official statement to the detectives subsequently going through the motions of an investigation. At worst, Arevalo might possibly be punished by being fired.

A Long History of Corruption and Violence

The Biggest Gang in Las Vegas

The Biggest Gang in Las Vegas

Throughout their history, the LVMPD has consistently rated among the highest statistically nationwide (even when compared against cities with much higher populations) in times they have shot at people while on duty and in the level of fatalities resulting from those shootings. Stanley Gibson was just one of the latest names in the laundry list of the victims of Las Vegas police that includes Erik Scott (whose murderers were later given an award for bravery while gunning down someone from behind and then unloading their guns on him as he lay already dying on the ground), Trevon Cole, Orlando Barlow, Tanner ChamberlainDeshira Selimaj, and Henry Rowe, among the 150+ shootings just since 1990.

Yet not one singular time in the close to forty year history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a Las Vegas area police officer ever been charged for shooting someone, regardless of whether the person shot was unarmed or even completely innocent of having committed any actual crime. One rather telling fact is that the reason the old Las Vegas city police was originally merged with the Clark County Sheriff department to create “Metro” was in response to an uproar after a very questionable shooting that was ruled justifiable. Yet, no matter how questionable the many shootings by Metro have been, the justifications have continued unabated.

An Absolute Refusal to Hold ANYONE Accountable

Finally someone within the Las Vegas police system has made some sort of stand for justice.

Finally someone within the Las Vegas police system has made some sort of stand for justice, but will it actually matter?

A recent incident has shined a very public spotlight on the reasons why it is so impossible to hold anyone  within the LVMPD accountable for their actions. In one of the most questionable shootings ever Officer Jacquar Roston claimed to have confused a hat Lawrence Gordon was wearing for a gun and shot him in the leg as he sat in a car. As would be expected of anybody with even half a brain, Metro’s internal Use of Force Review Board didn’t really accept that excuse and recommended that Roston be fired  as a result.

The fact that this recommendation was hailed as an “unprecedented” act by the board tells you a lot about the past history of the Las Vegas police in relation to officer involved shootings. The fact that Sheriff Gillespie promptly disregarded that recommendation in favor of a one week unpaid suspension (after Roston had already spent 8 months on paid vacation during the investigation) tells you a lot about the prospects for any sort of accountability for them in the near future.

However, in one glimmer of hope for some sort of prospect for justice, seven members of the board did actually have the integrity to stand up and resign in disgust after Gillespie’s disgraceful action. One former member of the board, Glenn Rinehimer, stated that previously the board had been “stacked” with retired police officers from other parts of the country designated as civilians. According to Rinehimer, they didn’t seem in any hurry to actually investigate whether shootings were justified. “The retired police just didn’t seem interested,” Rinehimer said. “They didn’t ask a lot of questions. They voted quickly for it to be justified.”

Robert Martinez, a co-chair of the board who also resigned, had previously expressed hope that this sort of rubber stamping had ended once former police employees and their family members were banned from being appointed as civilians on the board last year. He believed that Metro truly desired a fair and transparent process. That is until Gillespie essentially exonerated Roston despite the board’s unanimous recommendation. “I was thoroughly fooled,” Martinez said. “I thought it was going to change and it isn’t.” Within his resignation letter Martinez characterized the process as a flawed one that undermined the Use of Force Review Board.

Sheriff Gillespie announcing that the final week of Roston's 8 month vacation will be unpaid.

Sheriff Gillespie announcing that the final week of Roston’s 8 month vacation will be unpaid.

Former Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody, who submitted for retirement in response to this case, agreed that Gillespie was undermining the credibility of the board even as Metro faces increasing scrutiny over questionable shootings and other scandals that are becoming hard to even keep up with lately. Las Vegas police officers will not have the public’s trust until the department has a credible process for reviewing its own shootings, Moody stated. And that process must be stable, impartial, unbiased and free from political interference. “Anything short of that is going to fuel further suspicion and mistrust and is just begging for the imposition of externally imposed oversight,” he said. “Nobody wants that. We can be better than that.”

Rinehimer went even further in his assessment of the problems with a system that is in practice designed to ensure no cop is ever held accountable. Rinehimer said the sheriff’s decision to overturn the Use of Force Review Board’s recommendation doesn’t set a good precedent, especially for officers who find themselves in similar situations in the future. “At the end of the day, the officer might be sitting there smiling, knowing the sheriff might not fire him anyway,” Rinehimer said. “It’s a farce.”

A Lack of Accountability that is Not Good for Anyone, Even the Police Themselves

The inevitable backlash

The inevitable backlash

There’s an obvious incentive for members of the community to demand accountability for the heavily armed band patrolling through the streets that they live and work. If those individuals are permitted to act as an occupying force with the impunity to do as they please to those within that community, those among their ranks that have an unscrupulous tendency will take advantage of that to commit criminal and violent acts.

However, there are reasons why even those within the local police departments should want to see accountability for those “bad apples” that we are always being told are just exceptions to the rules. Fear eventually gives rise to hostility and working within the bounds of a hostile environment makes someone’s job just that much harder to do. People within communities don’t feel real obligated to help with the investigation of crimes when the person doing the investigation is perceived as being as bad or worse than the people being investigated.

Having to deal with indifference or even active retaliation in the process only serves to make the job of the police more difficult and frustrating, which in turn makes them more bitter and cynical and leads to even more abuses. At some point, that downward spiral needs to be put to an end and the only way to do that is to create real accountability, rather than a hollow, toothless sham that does nothing but draw attention to the lack of it.  And as Sheriff Gillespie recently found out, people are a lot less accepting of having their taxes increased in order to supplement the LVMPD’s budget during an almost daily barrage of news about yet another police scandal.

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Lawsuit: Henderson Nevada Police Break Into And Illegally Occupy Family’s Private Home

**Update** In February 2015, a Federal judge threw out the Third Amendment violation claim of the lawsuit. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon stated that police officers could not be considered soldiers and therefore only a Fourth Amendment violation claim was appropriate (rather than both, as claimed by the Mitchells in their lawsuit). The other claims within the lawsuit are still pending.

The following post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via the NVCopBlock.org submissions page.

Submitter Ernie Menard writes, “I just read on Marc Randazza’s blog that Henderson cops wanted to use a person’s house as a location from which to surveil an adjacent property. The homeowner refused entry so the police forcibly entered and arrested the homeowner.”

Posted July 4, 2013

A federal lawsuit filed against the Henderson, NV police department raises Third Amendment issues! How exciting!

In the case, Anthony Mitchell and his family sued the City of Henderson and its Police Chief Jutta Chambers, Officers Garret Poiner, Ronald Feola, Ramona Walls, Angela Walker, and Christopher Worley, and City of North Las Vegas and its Police Chief Joseph Chronister, in Federal Court. The allegations stem from a domestic violence investigation, in which Mitchell alleges the Henderson police wanted him to let them use his house to gain a “tactical advantage” over the subject of their investigation.

At 10:45 a.m., Defendant OFFICER CHRISTOPHER WORLEY (HPD) contacted Plaintiff ANTHONY MITCHELL via his telephone. WORLEY told Plaintiff that police needed to occupy his home in order to gain a “tactical advantage” against the occupant of the neighboring house. ANTHONY MITCHELL told the officer that he did not want to become involved and that he did not want police to enter his residence. Although WORLEY continued to insist that Plaintiff should leave his residence, Plaintiff clearly explained that he did not intend to leave his home or to allow police to occupy his home. WORLEY then ended the phone call. (Complaint at Para 18)

Then, it gets really hinkey.

“Defendant Officer David Cawthorn outlined the defendants’ plan in his official report: ‘It was determined to move to 367 Evening Side and attempt to contact Mitchell. If Mitchell answered the door he would be asked to leave. If he refused to leave he would be arrested for Obstructing a Police Officer. If Mitchell refused to answer the door, force entry would be made and Mitchell would be arrested.’” (Complaint at Para. 19)

So what happened next? Allegedly the cops came to the house, beat on the door, and when Mitchell did not open up, they bashed the door down with a battering ram. They aimed their guns at him, screamed at him, shot him with “pepperball” rounds, searched the house, moved his furniture, and set up a lookout point in the house, and restrained him.

Continue reading…

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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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