Archive | Courtroom Support RSS feed for this section

“What Happened in Vegas” Documentary; LVMPD Racial Profiling, False Arrest Case Featured on Las Vegas’ Local ABC Station

As I reported yesterday, Silk Galloway will be in court at 1:30pm today (Wednesday, June 28th) for a motion hearing regarding his case within Municipal Court Department 2, room 5B. During that hearing, he will be asking that the ridiculous and false obstruction charge that he is facing be dropped.

Last night, “KTNV Channel 13 Action News,” Las Vegas’ local ABC affiliate, featured a story about his case. Within that coverage they also mentioned that Galloway’s assault and false arrest by a “Saturation Team” from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was included in an anti-police brutality documentary that will be opening in theaters in August.

In addition to the racial profiling of Galloway, “What Happened in Vegas,” by Ramsey Denison, focuses on the murders of Erik Scott, Trevon Cole, Stanley Gibson, and Tashii Brown, as well as other abuses and the cover up of those abuses by the LVMPD.

Via KTNV.com:

Galloway, who was a passenger in the car, has been charged with obstruction in the case that dates back to 2015.

His attorney, Stephen Stubbs, is asking those charges be dismissed.

That motion is set for a hearing on Wednesday afternoon.

It all started when Las Vegas police pulled over the car Galloway was in.

“The officer looks over at me and says, ‘do you have your Id?’ and I said yes. He said, ‘may I have it? and I said no you may not,” Galloway said in an interview for the documentary “What Happened in Vegas”.

Stephen Stubbs says his client was correct there.

“They demanded the ID and he said no. Rightfully. Silk was right on the law,” Stubbs said.

It was just after that point that Galloway started recording with a GoPro camera on his dash.

It eventually captured him being pulled from the car.

“I’m going to give you to the count of three or I’m going to pull you out,” an officer is heard saying in the video.

Stubbs points out the officer didn’t start counting like he said he would before pulling Galloway out, but says he was more disturbed by what followed.

“The police did not act right here, and my clients rights were violated,” Stubbs said.

When they didn’t find anything, the officers, apparently unaware the camera was recording, are overheard talking about the results.

“Do what you got to do, because we gotta find something,” an officer is heard saying on the GoPro video.

Officers eventually took Galloway to jail on obstruction charges.

“They treated him like an animal. They took him to jail. They arrested him and they cavity searched him,” Stubbs said.

Various groups within the community have called for courtroom support for Galloway during this hearing. In addition, there will be a short rally outside, beginning at noon, to show that support and bring attention to the issues involved in this case. Afterwards, people will be encouraged to attend the hearing as well, in order to show that the community stands with Silk Galloway and will not stand idly by during this miscarriage of justice.

People are welcome to bring signs or other relevant materials to the rally, although you won’t be able to bring them to the courtroom. There should be enough time in between to put them away.

Preview of “What Happened in Vegas”

Video Featuring Police Body Camera Footage and GoPro Video

Original GoPro Video

Related Posts Submitted By or About Stephen Stubbs:

Stephen-Stubbs-CopBlockThose of you that have followed CopBlock.org over the past several years are probably already aware that Stephen Stubbs has been a frequent subject of posts on  NVCopBlock.org. He often represents bikers and motorcycle organizations, whom are frequent targets of harassment from the police. In addition, I have personally worked with Stephen in the past on several occasions through Nevada Cop Block on issues or cases involving his clients or on know your rights seminars he has done within the Las Vegas area.

Therefore, there is a pretty lengthy (and growing) list of posts on the Nevada Cop Block site involving Stephen Stubbs, his clients, and/or people or groups he is associated with. Included below are links to those posts.

3 Comments

Update: Demonstration and Courtroom Support for Silk Galloway; LVMPD Racial Profiling, False Arrest Victim

“Do what you gotta do ’cause we gotta find something.”

That quote comes from the instructions that LVMPD Lt. Connell gave to one of the officers working as part of a “Saturation Team” just after they had pulled over Solomon “Silk” Galloway (Galloway commonly goes by his middle name), then assaulted and falsely arrested him in February of 2016.

Realizing that they didn’t have any actual crime to charge him with, they quickly came to the conclusion that they had to “find something” to retroactively justify that arrest. Unbeknownst to them, the entire illegal search, including those instructions to just “find something,” was being recorded by a GoPro camera inside the car.

Prior to that, Galloway and a co-worker had been pulled over under the pretense they had been speeding. However, as reported here previously, the body camera footage released later (embedded below) actually shows the speedometer in the police vehicle that pulled them over, proving that they weren’t speeding at the time. Instead, it appears to simply be a case of racial profiling which they then unnecessarily escalated into the eventual false arrest.

Racial profiling is pretty much what saturation teams were created to do, so that kinda goes without saying. When Galloway refused to cooperate with their unlawful orders to present ID, even though he as the passenger of the vehicle was under no obligation to do so, they decided they would arrest him and “find something” later. Unfortunately, they were never actually able to “find something.” There were no drugs or anything else illegal on him or within the car.

Instead, they decided to charge Galloway with “obstruction,” which is otherwise known as “contempt of cop.” Over a year later, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Clark County County District Attorney Steve Wolfson continue to push forward with this ridiculous charge. Tomorrow, Wednesday June 28th, Galloway will be in court at 1:30pm for a motion hearing regarding his case within Municipal Court Department 2, room 5B.

Various groups within the community have called for courtroom support for Galloway during this hearing. In addition, there will be a short rally outside, beginning at noon, to show that support and bring attention to the issues involved in this case. Afterwards, people will be encouraged to attend the hearing as well, in order to show that the community stands with Silk Galloway and will not stand idly by during this miscarriage of justice. People are welcome to bring signs or other relevant materials to the rally, although you won’t be able to bring them to the courtroom. There should be enough time in between to put them away.

Among the many issues already discussed previously, some members of the community have questioned whether the judge in the case, Susan Roger, has a conflict of interest since her husband, David Roger, works as the lawyer for the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (LVPPA). As a result, they are asking for her to recuse herself from this case. While that won’t happen (because she would then have to recuse herself from any case involving the police) it serves as a good reminder of David Roger’s own conflicts of interest.

For those not aware, David Roger was the District Attorney during the “investigations” of the murders of Erik Scott and Trevon Cole by Las Vegas police officers. He resigned shortly after the murder of Stanley Gibson by Officer Jesus Arevalo while that “investigation” was still underway to accept a position as the LVPPA’s lawyer. So, he went from the head of the department that absolutely refused to file any charges against police officers when they kill someone on duty to the guy who officially defends them for the police union.

Video Featuring Police Body Camera Footage and GoPro Video

Original GoPro Video

Related Posts Submitted By or About Stephen Stubbs:

Stephen-Stubbs-CopBlockThose of you that have followed CopBlock.org over the past several years are probably already aware that Stephen Stubbs has been a frequent subject of posts on  NVCopBlock.org. He often represents bikers and motorcycle organizations, whom are frequent targets of harassment from the police. In addition, I have personally worked with Stephen in the past on several occasions through Nevada Cop Block on issues or cases involving his clients or on know your rights seminars he has done within the Las Vegas area.

Therefore, there is a pretty lengthy (and growing) list of posts on the Nevada Cop Block site involving Stephen Stubbs, his clients, and/or people or groups he is associated with. Included below are links to those posts.

Leave a comment

The LVMPD Gang Task Force is Corrupt and it Extends All the Way to the Top

LVMPD Gang Task Force Corruption Stephen Stubbs

Las Vegas lawyer Stephen Stubbs discusses corruption within the LVMPD Gang Task Force, why it goes all the way to the top, and their retaliation attempts.

The video above was made by Stephen Stubbs, a Las Vegas attorney. Stubbs has been featured many times on Nevada Cop Block (see the first “Related Posts” section below) both for issues involving clients he is representing, as well as several times when he himself has been the target of the LVMPD or other Las Vegas area police departments.

In this video, he discusses corruption within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Gang Task Force and shows how it isn’t just the proverbial “Few Bad Apples” involved, but rather how it extends all the way up to the top of the leadership of the Task Force and Metro itself.

He discusses the case where he first was the subject of a CopBlock post, in which he was illegally arrested by (now) Lt. Yesenia Yatomi after he refused an unconstitutional order to leave while they questioned one of his clients. He also discusses other instances in which he has personally been targeted by the LVMPD, including one where they tried to ruin his reputation and possibly even put him in a position to be harmed physically by starting a rumor that he was a confidential informant.

Personally, I think the corruption is far from limited to the Gang Task Force or even the LVMPD. Las Vegas area police are incredibly corrupt from top to bottom. And just in case you need a refresher on that corruption I’ve included a section below that links to every post on CopBlock.org that involves the LVMPD and/or other Las Vegas area police departments.

While I didn’t go through and do an official, scientific count (because I have to sleep sometime), I have very little doubt that the 150+ posts included in the two “Related Posts” sections below represent the largest number (by far) of posts involving any single metropolitan area in the country on Cop Block. So, if you have a few free days or a holiday weekend coming up, scroll through there sometime and see just how many times Las Vegas area police have been caught red handed in their corruption and abuse.

From the Video Description on Youtube

See how the following LVMPD cops are dirty:

  1. Detective Joe Gagliardi
  2. Detective John Woosnam
  3. Now Lieutenant Yesenia Yatomi
  4. Officer Chris Hall
  5. Deputy Chief James Owens
  6. Former LVMPD Sheriff Doug Gillespie

Original Arrest Video

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

Related Posts Submitted By or About Stephen Stubbs:

Stephen-Stubbs-CopBlockThose of you that have followed CopBlock.org over the past several years are probably already aware that Stephen Stubbs is a frequent contributor of submissions to Nevada Cop Block. He often represents bikers and motorcycle organizations, whom are frequent targets of harassment from the police. In addition, I have personally worked with Stephen on a somewhat regular basis through Nevada Cop Block on issues or cases within the Las Vegas area.

Therefore, there is a pretty lengthy (and growing) list of posts on Cop Block involving Stephen Stubbs, his clients, and/or people or groups he is associated with. Included below are links to those posts.

  1. Head of LVMPD Internal Affairs Ordered to Answer Perjury/Withholding Evidence Charges in Court
  2. Head of LVMPD Internal Affairs Accused of Perjury; Judge Recused Self Due to “Negative Opinion” of Her
  3. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  4. Las Vegas Metro Police Illegally Search; Sexually Assault Innocent Man to Justify Bullshit Arrest
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  6. Man Beaten by Las Vegas Police For Not Moving Fast Enough Awarded $31,500 Settlement
  7. Full Waco Twin Peaks Biker Shooting Videos; Witness Statement Made Public
  8. Know Your Rights Seminar At Las Vegas “Rally For Your Rights”
  9. Waco, TX; Twin Peaks Shootings Arrests – June 10th Call Flood
  10. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  11. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  12. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs Found Not Guilty in 5th Amendment Right to Counsel Case
  13. Game Over for Insert Coins’ and Their Abusive Bouncers
  14. Dance, Dance Revolution Protest at Insert Coins Las Vegas- Feb. 26, 2015
  15. Insert Coin(s) Las Vegas Bouncers Beat Man and Obstruct Witness Trying to Film
  16. Las Vegas Police Promise “Fundamental Policy Changes” after Dominic Gennarino Beating
  17. Las Vegas Police Beat a Man for “Not Moving Fast Enough”
  18. Las Vegas Police Agree That You Should Film Them
  19. Free Know Your Rights Seminar in Las Vegas
  20. Attorney Stephen Stubbs Arrested for Refusing to Leave His Client’s Side

Other Related Posts About the LVMPD/Las Vegas Area Police

  1. Las Vegas Cops Demand ID, Attempt to Intimidate, Then Issue Threat When Refused
  2. LVMPD Public Police Fatality Review for Thomas McEniry to be Held Monday September 19th
  3. Las Vegas Mom of Autistic Man Paints Giant Message to Cops on Her Garage After Previous Assault
  4. Wife of Henderson Police Lieutenant Arrested For Forgery, Stealing From Las Vegas College, and Drug Charges
  5. Las Vegas Judge Continues Bizarre, Out of Control Behavior; Throws Family of Murder Victims Out of Court; Threatens to Arrest Reporter
  6. Family of Abel Correa Files Federal Lawsuit Against Las Vegas Police Over 2015 Fatal Shooting
  7. Las Vegas School Cop Accused of Assaulting Student and Staff Looked “a Little Bit Crazy-Like” While Swinging Baton
  8. R.I.P. Sean Gruber – Yet Another Victim of the LVMPD
  9. Photos Show Abuse of Dog by Las Vegas Corrections Officer Brian Emil
  10. Contempt Charge Against Defense Attorney Who was Handcuffed in Court by Las Vegas Judge Dismissed
  11. LVMPD Police Arrive 90 Minutes After Home Invasion 911 Call; Cite Homeowner Instead of Attackers
  12. Handcuffed Woman Brutalized By Vegas Cop Receives $200K Settlement
  13. LVMPD Officer Charged with Driving Drunk And Hit and Run After Causing Several Accidents on Freeway
  14. Until Cops Stop Killing “Civilians,” Every Uniformed Police Officer in America is in Danger
  15. Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Who Sent Dick Pics to Dispatcher Denied Reinstatement
  16. Nevada Cop Filmed Kicking Man In Diabetic Shock In Head Five Times Promoted
  17. Four Days in a Las Vegas Jail for Protesting Government Murder by Drones
  18. Las Vegas Judge Who Handcuffed Defense Attorney During Trial Taught Lesson by Voters
  19. Head of Las Vegas School Police Internal Affairs Under Investigation for Misconduct, Suppressing Evidence
  20. Las Vegas Corrections Officer Arrested on “Prostitution Related Crime” Once Again (Update)
  21. Las Vegas Police Jailed Paraplegic for Two Weeks; Accused of Robbery Where Suspect Ran Away
  22. Las Vegas School Cop Charged With Assaulting Student and Staff Member With Baton Enters Plea
  23. Update: Shooting Nevada Inmates With Birdshot Banned by New NDOC Director (For Now)
  24. An Open Letter to Las Vegas Judge Who Handcuffed A Defense Attorney in Court
  25. Las Vegas Protesters “De-Arrest” Innocent Bicyclist After LVMPD Harassment on May Day
  26. Las Vegas Judge Has Defense Attorney Handcuffed During Trial to “Teach Her a Lesson”
  27. “Decorated” Las Vegas Cop Charged With Arson And Fraud After Burning His Own Vehicles
  28. Nevada Prison Guard Charged With Manslaughter in Fatal Shooting of Inmates
  29. Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal
  30. Former Boulder City Nevada Police Chief Charged Over Animal Cruelty Cover-Up
  31. Official Report: Nevada Prison Guards Blamed For Fatal Shooting of Inmates
  32. Within Scope Of Their Duties: Las Vegas School Police Got Teens Drunk, Covered It Up After Deadly DUI
  33. Update: Woman Beaten by LVMPD Officer For Littering Has Filed Civil Rights Lawsuit
  34. LVMPD Sued By Man Shown on Video Being Attacked by Police at Hard Rock Casino
  35. Update: Details Released in Latest Incident Involving James Burt, LVMPD’s Serial Woman Abuser
  36. Talking to People Being Extorted/Harassed by Police No Longer Arrestable Offense in Las Vegas
  37. Masturbating Janitor Case Exposes Cover-Up of Las Vegas School Cop’s Sex Crimes
  38. LVMPD Officer James Burt Charged With Domestic Battery And Kidnapping (Again)
  39. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  40. Las Vegas Cop Faces Federal Civil Rights Charges Over Beating of Woman For Littering
  41. Henderson NV Police Allowed K9 to Bite One Year Old After Detaining Wrong Man
  42. Off Duty Las Vegas Cops “Accidentally” Shoot at Relative 27 Times
  43. LVMPD Corrections Officer Robert Moore Arrested on “Prostitution Related Crime”
  44. LVMPD Claims Thomas McEniry Pointed a Gun at Officers; Their Own Video Shows Otherwise
  45. Former Las Vegas County Commissioner Tom Collins Arrested for DUI
  46. Witnesses Dispute Official Story in Latest Shooting by LVMPD
  47. Lawsuit: Henderson, NV Police Unlawfully Jailed Woman For Six Months
  48. Las Vegas Police Facing Lawsuit Over Arrests of Medical Marijuana Patients
  49. Not Playing Around: How Police Support Culture Hurts Our Children
  50. Nevada Prison Guards Will Continue Murdering Inmates With Shotguns
  51. Will Lamar Odom Survive Long Enough to go to Prison for Harming No-One But Himself?
  52. Las Vegas School Police Officer Causes Drunken Car Accident Assaults/Pulls Gun on Victims
  53. Jesus Arevalo, the LVMPD Cop Who Murdered Stanley Gibson, Ends Up in Jail (For 10 Days)
  54. TSA Agent Claims You Need Their Permission to Record Airport Screening Pat Down
  55. “Shoot Cops” Las Vegas Company Uses Shock Value to Promote Filming the Police
  56. Las Vegas Police Make It Very Clear They Don’t Understand the First Amendment at Chalk Protest
  57. Maybe Las Vegas Needs a Riot (Via Submission)
  58. Oppose the Return of the More Cops Tax to Las Vegas: Tuesday Sept. 1st
  59. Henderson, NV Police Dismissed Traffic Tickets for “Interest of Justice Family/Friends of HPD”
  60. Las Vegas Marshals Block Handicap Space; Make It Very Clear They Don’t Care About Disabled
  61. An Open Letter to Cops, Their Families, and the Average Statist
  62. Las Vegas Metro Police Release Body Cam Footage Of Fatal Shooting Of Mentally Disabled Man
  63. DUI Checkpoint: How To Assert Your Rights Without Saying a Word
  64. Las Vegas Lawsuit Aims to Curb Courts’ Revenue Generation Focus
  65. Nevada Medical Marijuana Patient Freed by Jury Nullification
  66. “Chalk the Police State” with Nevada Cop Block on July 18th
  67. N. Las Vegas Police Chief Admitted Covering Up for Mayor in Child Porn Investigation
  68. Las Vegas Detective Gets Off With Probation for Attacking Prostitute After Price Dispute
  69. Copwatching in Las Vegas: Officer McFidgety
  70. LVMPD Giving $50k of Taxpayer Money to Man in “Distraction Grenade” Case
  71. NV Court Upholds Firing of NLV Cop for Covering Up Brother’s Robbery
  72. North Las Vegas Anti-Police Brutality Protest – Wed. June 24th – 7pm (Update)
  73. Las Vegas Cop Shot Unarmed Man; Won’t Be Charged Since He Was Only Witness
  74. Reliance on Traffic Ticket Revenue Has Left Nevada Supreme Court Broke
  75. Nevada Lawsuits Claim Prison Guards Instigated a Fight, then Shot Inmates
  76. Las Vegas Metro Cop Joins the Growing List of Police Pedophiles/Rapists
  77. In Nevada, the Most Distinctive Cause of Death is the Police
  78. Cops Harass and Arrest Sick People at Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Event
  79. Bill Scott Testimony in Support of NV Bodycam Bill: “My Son Erik Might Be Alive Today…”
  80. Putting Revenue Generation Above Public Safety at Las Vegas’ “Money Hungry” Municipal Courts
  81. Las Vegas, NV Police (and Security/BLM) Brutality Video Compilation #2
  82. “The Vegas Biker” Confronts Las Vegas Metro Police Officer Over Bad Driving
  83. Las Vegas Police Review of D’Andre Berghardt Jr. Murder Scheduled for Today
  84. Las Vegas Cops Shot My Son Nine Times; Seven Times in his Back
  85. Cops Get Owned at Las Vegas DUI Checkpoint
  86. Las Vegas Metro Police Brutality Inside Clark County Detention Center
  87. The $11.8B Militarization of Nevada’s Police Departments
  88. Police Violence and Gentrification in Las Vegas
  89. Nevada Cop Block Members File Lawsuit vs Las Vegas Police Over Chalk Arrests
  90. Monthly First Friday Outreach & Downtown CopWatch in Las Vegas
  91. Interview with Erik Scott’s Father Inspires Death Threats
  92. Another Case of Las Vegas Police Just Doing their Job
  93. Bill Scott, Father of Erik Who Was Killed by LVMPD, Interviewed by Bill Buppert of ZeroGov.com
  94. Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of illegal Data Searches
  95. Somebody Saw Unpopular Opinions, Somebody Said Something
  96. LVMPD Use of Force Policy Reforms a Grand Success
  97. How Would You Handle the Armed Men in Nevada?
  98. Armed Federal Agents Taser Bundy Ranch Protesters
  99. More Cops Does Not Mean More Justice For Las Vegas
  100. Las Vegas Law Enforcers Breaking The Law!
  101. Disturbing Video Shows Court Officer Sexually Assaulting & Arresting Mother While Judge Does Nothing
  102. Kelly W. Patterson of NVCopBlock On Non Partisan Liberty For All
  103. Did the LVMPD Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block Members?
  104. No “More Cops” for the LVMPD; They Aren’t Needed and They Aren’t Wanted
  105. An Open Letter to LVMPD Sheriff Doug Gillespie From Stanley Gibson’s Widow
  106. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation
  107. LVMPD Lies About Jaywalking Because They Don’t Like Being Recorded
  108. Five on Vegas Use of Force Board Resign per LVMPD Whitewash of Shootings
  109. Cops Steal House of Law-Abiding Citizens
  110. Interview With Nevada Cop Block Editor, Kelly W. Patterson, RE: “Second Saturday” Graffiti Arrest
  111. Chalk the Police State – July 18th Support the “Sunset 3”
  112. Man Wearing LVMPD Badge Said to Have Purposely Run Over Dog
  113. Henderson, NV Cops Break Into Illegally Occupy Home
  114. LVMPD Employees Kidnap/Cage Kelly Patterson & Ballentine for Victimless Action
  115. Las Vegas Metro Police: Chalk Washes Off, But Injustice Never Will
  116. Clark County, Nevada Bailiff Has Woman Arrested For Reporting He Groped Her in Family Court
  117. Will There Ever Be Justice for Stanley Gibson?
  118. Twenty-Five Feet of Injustice in Las Vegas
  119. Las Vegas Police Budget Cuts: Minorities And Poor People Finally Benefit From the Recession
  120. After Henderson Police Beat Man in Diabetic Shock, Nevada Residents Pay for It
  121. Las Vegas DUI Checkpoint Refusal
  122. Las Vegas: Beware of Gang Activity in Your Neighborhood!
  123. Justice for Stanley Gibson or Just an End-Around Coroner’s Inquest Reforms?
  124. Las Vegas Copblock’d – Illegal Parking by Police Officer
  125. Erik Scott’s Murder: What Happens in the LVMPD, Stays in the LVMPD
  126. Las Vegas Cop Edward Little Teaches Us How To Kill Your Lover’s Husband And Get Away With It
  127. Obey, Submit, Comply: A Rape Model Created by Law Enforcement
  128. What You Should Be Able to Say to a Cop… But Don’t Dare To
  129. NV Highway Patrol Cop Blocked on Vegas Strip
  130. NLV Cop Faked “Saved by the Badge” Shooting to be Called a Hero
  131. Trevon Cole Murdered by Las Vegas Police Officer Bryan Yant During Drug Raid
3 Comments

Nevada Medical Marijuana Patient Freed by Jury Nullification

After nearly three years of legal limbo, Steven Ficano, a 65 year old medical marijuana patient, was finally set free by an act of jury nullification last month. On May 29, Ficano was found not guilty of two felony counts for possessing too much marijuana. He faced over ten years in prison if he had been convicted.

The case against Ficano, a long time local business man with no criminal history and a registered medical marijuana patient, revolved around the amount of marijuana in his possession at one time and prosecutors’ contention that this indicated he was selling it.

National Jury Rights Day is September 5th. Don't forget to fully inform the potential jurors in your community.

National Jury Rights Day is September 5th.

At the time of his arrest, Ficano was in possession of 68 plants and 24 pounds of finished marijuana. Nevada medical marijuana laws limit patients to 12 plants and 2.6 ounces of finished marijuana, but Ficano had a waiver from a doctor stating that he could possess more than that limit. Those limits are also based on a three month growth period and Ficano stated that he only harvested the plants in his possession once a year.

Defense attorneys maintained that the aspect of the rules regarding how much could be possessed were ambiguous, hadn’t been explained properly to Ficano, and that the lack of proper dispensaries are what led him to feel the need to store large quantities of cannabis. They also presented three of his neighbors, including a former policeman, as witnesses that testified they did not believe Ficano would ever sell marijuana.

Prosecutors attempted to use the large amount of marijuana in his possession, and the discovery of a digital scale, more than $51,000 in cash, and 26 guns, as well as the lack of “a single pot baked-good located in his home,” during the raid, as proof he was intending to sell it. However, the guns were antique lever-action rifles, collectible pistol sets, and historic muskets.

banner420

In addition, the money was Ficano’s life savings that he had removed from the bank during the recession, some of the marijuana had developed mold from having been stored so long, and most of the plants were either male plants or ones that had not matured enough to produce buds. Pretty much none of that was indicative of a drug sales operation.

Within an hour, jurors, some of whom cried along with Ficano after the verdict was read, voted to acquit him of all charges. Later, several jurors stated that their decision was based on sympathy for Ficano’s medical conditions, which included arthritis, scoliosis, and pain from a recent car accident, and not the “letter of the law.”

Via the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) website (by way of Southern Nevada Watchdogs):

Outside the courtroom, jurors said they focused on the doctor’s waiver, and said they didn’t think the document clearly defined how much pot Ficano could have at his home.

The waiver allowed him to possess 29 plants and 2 to 4 pounds of finished marijuana per three-month growing cycle. But Ficano said he only harvested marijuana once a year and assumed that he would be allowed to have up to 84 plants and 16 pounds of finished medicine.

Another juror, Donna Florence, said that after reaching the verdict she thought of her mother, who died of cancer about two years ago.

“If I could have gotten something for her that would have spared her that pain, I would have done anything,” she said. “And I think this guy was just in similar pain and trying to help himself.”

Click Here For Information On Your Rights as a Juror

Click Here For Information On Your Rights as a Juror

So it’s pretty clear, even if they didn’t actually realize that they were doing it, that the jurors used jury nullification (AKA their conscience) to protect a good person from a very bad law. Although this is still a rarity and the courts actively work to hide this right from jurors, it’s great that people are becoming aware of this important option for those that sit on juries. This is especially important in cases like this where senseless and counterproductive prohibitions are used as a weapon against people who are clearly not a threat to society or the communities in which they live.

The War on (Some) Drugs is a source of more theft, violence, and other abuses (on both sides of the law) than any drug it purports to fight with very little success at actually preventing drug use along the way. People serving on a jury can and should separate true criminals from someone simply seeking relief from a chronic illness or medical condition. Especially, when that relief comes from something that has consistently been proven to be not just harmless, but actually beneficial in many ways. Fortunately, this jury had enough compassion and moral strength to do the right thing this time.

“Jury Rights Day” 2014 in Las Vegas, courtesy of Southern Nevada Watchdogs:

54 Comments

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.

6 Comments