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

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

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

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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Las Vegas Metro Police Brutality Inside Clark County Detention Center

Police Brutality at the CCDC

Police Brutality at the CCDC

This is a cross post from CopBlock.org: Bridger Kennedy shared the information below via CopBlock.org/Submit about the unwarranted treatment some employed in the Clark County Detention Center used against him. For incidents related to Nevada, you can also submit directly to Nevada Cop Block’s Submit Page.

Date of Incident: September 25th 2014
Individual Responsible: Seargent Newman and colleagues
Outfit: Clark County Detention Center, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Phone: (702) 671-3900

Hey, my name is Bridger Kennedy. I was just in jail for a DUI (my own prescription medication) that I had taken four-hours prior to driving and while I was in the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada I was beat up pretty bad in there by about six correction officers.

Prior to my intake picture my face was pushed up against the wall and my bare feet were stepped on with their boots, then after the picture was taken – both front and sideways being jerked around like a rag doll – fingernails gripped into the inner part of my biceps leaving bruises.

I was then put in this black restraint chair and my hands were handcuffed til the very last notch on the cuff. I was shoved to sit down, my balls kneed on by one of the officers, my ankles were cuffed as tight as possible too, and then put some type of thigh winch strap thing around both my legs – smashing my knees together.

clarkc-county-detention-center-las-vegas-metropolitan-police-department-copblockI was very mad at this point and was was left in the chair for two hours. I then was taken out and seated in the big intake room (left side guys, right side girls). I was seated in the last row 2nd or 3rd seat to the left, everything was going fine. About 30-minutes had passed by when I had seen people asking to register on the phone so that they could make calls to people outside of the jail on one of the two phones available to do so.

There was one man on the left phone registering and there wasn’t anyone on the right phone, so I asked this African American female correctional officer (CO) if I can please register? She rudely answered with a snotty ‘No’ and turned away from me, at that point I didn’t say anything. About one-minute later a female inmate asks her if she could register and the CO gladly says ‘Yes’ to her, so at this point I said that is messed up why can’t I register and she can? Then this Hispanic CO says “Stand up motherfucker get over here” so I stood up and by the time I was on my feet he was rushing me and grabbed my wrist then threw me to the side.

By this point two other officers were running up and helped him throw me face down onto the ground and kneeing me in the back of the head.

I just had surgery to get my portacath removed two days prior to being in the jail. I have been in remission from cancer for three years now I was diagnosed with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma when I was 17 (I will be 21 on December 28 of this year). I was face down yelling to them I had cancer and just had surgery.

The CO’s came over and piled their weight on top of my chest head arms legs back and feet while I can barely breathe I was yelling I have asthma as well since I was a little kid and now they are yelling to me to stop resisting when I wasn’t resisting whatsoever.

I couldn’t move and inch of any part of my body, at this point I am in excruciating pain and am being lifted up by my wrists and being taken back the the black restraint chair again. I was then once again strapped into the chair as tight as they possibly could after about 45-minutes in the chair. I just couldn’t bare the lack of circulation to my hands and feet. My upper thighs had lost the feeling in them by now, so I power through another hour and about 25-minutes of the chair each time having a spit mask on when I never spit or attempted to once.

They took me out and went and sat back down once again in the same chair I originally was in the first time I sat.

Editors Note: Bridger was encouraged to reach out to those involved with Nevada Cop Block, who have done an excellent job focusing the disinfecting light of transparency on the criminal LVMPD outfit.

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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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