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Security on Fremont St. Beat Man Then Obstruct, Assault, and Threaten Witness (Updates)

Insert Coin Security Fremont Street BeatingThis video, which was just posted on Stephen Stubbs’ YouTube channel, was received via the NVCopBlock.org post submission page. As is detailed in the video description (quoted below) on YouTube, this shows security guards employed by “Insert Coins,” a bar on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, unnecessarily beating a man on the sidewalk in front of the business.

**NOTE**

This is a developing story and there have been several updates and new developements, since it was originally posted. Those updates have been (and will continue to be) added at the bottom, below the video.

Although public sidewalks aren’t actually owned by the private businesses near them (there does seem to be some confusion about that throughout Las Vegas), the video doesn’t show what happened right before the security guards assault the man. So, without arguing about the validity of their initial actions (even though I’ve been told that the bouncers instigated the incident – see updates below the post), once the man is down he is clearly not a threat to three large bouncers, while already restrained on the ground. There’s no reason whatsoever to continue choking and hitting someone in that situation.

What’s even more telling is the fact that another security guard from the Vanguard Lounge, which is next door to Insert Coins, realizes someone is filming and does his best to obscure what is happening as they continue beating the man for almost a full minute on the video. Beyond that, we don’t actually know what happens to the man being attacked or for exactly how long. That’s because a different security guard from the Beauty Bar Griffin (see updates below for explanation of correction), another bar located on Fremont St, comes across the street, steals and then breaks the witness’ phone, and reportedly assaults him, as well.

Furthermore, the witness states that he waited for the police to show up in order to provide evidence of what happened. Instead of conducting an investigation and talking with a potential witness, the Metro officer that responded ordered him to “Get the f@!! out of here.” In theory, cops themselves are supposed to be impartial mediators that gather evidence and determine if there is sufficient cause to believe a crime may have been committed not someone that personally decides the guilt or innocence of those involved in a dispute. Turning away an independent witness with video evidence of exactly what transpired and who himself may have been assaulted by someone involved with the incident shows a clear bias and lack of any desire to act as such.

From the YouTube video description:

On the evening of February 12, 2015, A man (who appeared to be homeless and/or under the influence of drugs/alcohol) was dancing on the sidewalk in front of Insert Coins on Fremont Street.

Security guards were yelling at him to leave and the dancing man ignored them (continued dancing). When the Security guards taunted the dancing man to attack them, my client (who does not wish to come forward with his identity) took out his phone and started recording.

A security guard attacked the dancing man, beat him up and continued to choke and beat him even after he was lying motionless on the ground. A plain closed security guard tried to obstruct my client from videotaping the incident and even physically pushed him away.

A security guard from the Beauty Bar on Fremont then crossed the street, attacked my client, grabbed his phone and smashed it on the ground (destroying it).

My client waited for the police, tried to make a statement and told LVMPD that he had video. A LVMPD Officer ordered him to “Get the f@!! out of here. This doesn’t concern you”. My client left (fearing that he would be arrested) and contacted me.

 

**UPDATES AND CORRECTION**

There are several updates to this post since it was originally written:

Insert Coins Twitter Response

Don’t believe your lyin eyes

First, it has been determined that while the bouncer (who shows up at the very end of the video) responsible for breaking the witnesses phone and allegedly assaulting him did come from the direction of the Beauty Bar, he actually works for the Griffin, which is next door to the Beauty Bar and directly across the street from Insert Coins. That has been corrected within the original post.

Second, the Owner of Insert Coins, Chris LaPorte, has issued several statements, via Facebook and Twitter, responding to the incident. They’re pretty bad in general and even embarrassingly so, in the case of the one on Twitter. In response to a tweet by SNWatchdogs (an awesome local group that, as the name implies, works to expose corruption) including a link to the video, using the Insert Coins account he states that people shouldn’t “believe what you see,” because apparently the “whole story” is somehow going to counteract what everyone can, in fact, pretty clearly see on the video. Regardless of what might have happened just prior, once someone is down on the ground and not fighting or resisting in any way beating and choking them isn’t justified:

@SNWatchdogs Get the whole story before believing what you see. @ChrisOfCoins – Owner Insert Coin(s) chris@insertcoinslv.com #Vegas #DTLV

The Facebook post is more along the lines of I support my guys, Stephen Stubbs is a dirty liar and I have video that shows they did nothing wrong while beating that guy that was lying on the ground defenseless, then interfering with a witness who was well within his rights to record what was happening, and it’s rude to point:

I would like to point out to those questioning my security staff’s professionalism at Insert Coin(s) that any allegation of wrong doing is inherently false and while a video is floating around the internet about a violent takedown by way of a Stephen Stubbs it can easily be proved misleading with surveillance camera footage currently being reviewed by Metro. I stand by my staff and ask those to think twice before pointing fingers at my team. Thank you. – Chris LaPorte via Facebook

Finally, Stephen Stubbs posted this statement as an update to Facebook after meeting with Chris LaPorte and viewing this magical video (which includes the clarification of the identity of the bouncer responsible for breaking the witness’ phone). Apparently, after watching the video and getting the “whole story,” he still believes what he saw:

On the evening of February 14, 2015, I met with Chris [owner of Insert Coin(s)] at his establishment. We went upstairs and he showed me the security footage. It was clear from the video that the Insert Coin(s) security guard instigated the physical contact on the public sidewalk. The security guard push the homeless man, pushed him again, and then shoved him violently to the ground.

The security guard had a tiny 1/8 inch scratch under his eye (I saw the picture) and he claims the tiny scratch is the result of the homeless man punching him (again, the security camera doesn’t show that punch).

Also, the security guard that assaulted the cameraman and destroyed his phone works for The Griffin on Fremont Street (he approached from in front of the Beauty Bar but is in no way connected to the Beauty Bar).

***MORE UPDATES***

Protest Staged

Last night (February 16, 2015), members of Nevada Cop Block and SNWatchdogs staged a public protest, which included chalking and making the video available for passersby to view, on Fremont Street in front of Insert Coin(s) and the Griffin to bring attention to this incident. Below are some pictures from the protest (click the thumbnails for full size):
Insert Coins ProtestInsert Coins Protest2Insert Coins Protest3Insert Coins Protest4Insert Coins Protest6Insert Coins Protest5

Bouncer Who Broke Phone Fired by the Griffin

Griffin Bouncer UpdateThe next day (February 17 2015), I received information that the Griffin had contacted Stephen Stubbs, who is representing the man whose phone was broken while he filmed the incident. They stated that they had fired the bouncer that broke the phone and that they also would be replacing the damaged phone (via Stephen Stubbs’ FaceBook page):

Update on the unfortunate February 12, 2015 incident in front of Insert Coins:

I just received a call from The Griffin Bar. The security staff member that left his station and destroyed the cell phone of the person taking the video has been fired for violating policy. The Griffin Bar made it clear that his actions do not represent what they stand for, and they took care of the situation. The Griffin Bar is also replacing the destroyed phone.

As far as I’m concerned, The Griffin Bar has done everything that they could do to make up for the situation. Their staff did not participate in the beating and I am glad that they stepped up to take care of things. I consider the matter against The Griffin Bar to be closed.

Please like and share to spread the word. I think they should get props for this. No bar can 100% control their employees and they acted swiftly.

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**UPDATE** LVMPD Promises “Fundamental Policy Changes” as a Result of Dominic Gennarino Beating

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn't walk fast enough.

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn’t walk fast enough.

**This is an update to a previous post which was entitled, “LVMPD Beat Man for ‘Not Moving Fast Enough.’” It was also cross posted on CopBlock.org under the title, “Las Vegas Police Beat Man for ‘Not Moving Fast Enough.’” (The original post has been included below for reference.)**

On June 4, 2014, Dominic Gennarino was beaten by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and arrested for “Obstructing a Public Officer”, specifically because the officers claimed that Mr. Gennarino was not moving fast enough.

The incident was caught on video. Below is the Youtube link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfs3YLE21p8 (It’s also embedded below at the bottom of this post.)

On August 5, 2014, LVMPD Internal Affairs conducted an investigation and concluded that “the investigation failed to produce sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegations”. Internal Affairs further concluded that “the actions taken by employees did not rise to the level of misconduct or was not a policy violation”.

On August 20, 2014, multiple media sources reported on the beating. As a direct result of the media coverage, LVMPD Sheriff Doug Gillespie ordered that Internal Affairs re-open the investigation.

On December 15, 2014, after Internal Affairs concluded their 2nd investigation, Attorney Stephen Stubbs and Dominic Gennarino met face-to-face with LVMPD Internal Affairs Officers and were informed of the following:

1)     Prior public statements by an LVMPD Officer that Mr. Gennarino was “super-intoxicated” were completely false. There is absolutely zero evidence that Mr. Gennarino was intoxicated in any way, and no allegation of intoxication was included in any of the official reports. Additionally, LVMPD Internal Affairs listened to a recorded interview with Mr. Gennarino from immediately after the incident and concluded that Mr. Gennarino spoke clearly with no signs of intoxication.

2)     There was a communication failure during the incident, and the officers should have communicated better.

3)     Officers acted on erroneous perceptions and “mistakes of fact”.

4)     Officers acted within then LVMPD policies and will not be disciplined. However, documentation of the incident is being placed in their personnel files.

 5)     LVMPD recognizes a “policy failure” and is not happy with this incident. Therefore, as a direct result of this case, LVMPD will implement “fundamental policy changes” in both its use-of-force policies and policies dealing with the investigation of use-of-force incidents.

For more information, contact Stephen Stubbs at (702) 759-3224

 

Original Post: LVMPD Beat Man for “Not Moving Fast Enough.”

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn't walk fast enough.

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn’t walk fast enough.

The video below was submitted via the “Submit Your Story” page. It involves an incident that happened shortly after a stabbing at the Vanguard Lounge, a bar/nightclub located on what is known as Fremont East in Downtown Las Vegas. While members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department are clearing people out of the area where the stabbing occurred, Officer Glowinski apparently wasn’t happy with the pace at which a man, named Dominic Gennarino (possibly spelled differently), was moving and decided to arrest him.

What happened next is that all of the other Metro police in the immediate vicinity dove on and began beating Gennarino. In particular, one of them, identified as Officer Kolkoski, begins jabbing his nightstick into Gennarino’s body (the descriptions indicate he is hitting him in the legs, but it’s not real clear exactly where he’s being hit on the video because of the number of cops involved) with such enthusiasm that he looses his balance. The fact Kolkoski knocked himself down and appears to almost injure himself by hitting his head against a nearby table doesn’t seem to diminish that enthusiasm very much, as he subsequently has to be pushed away by another (as of yet unidentified) officer, in order to prevent him from resuming his attack with the nightstick.

The opening seconds of the video showing the crowd in front of Generino, as well as the lack of resistance described in the police report.

The opening seconds of the video showing the crowd in front of Generino, as well as the lack of resistance described in the police report.

As is mentioned in the description that was included with the submission, the video raises several questions about the “official story,” which was filed by Ofc. Glowinski as part of the police report (excerpts from which are included in the submission description). The first and most obvious is whether Gennarino should have been arrested in the first place. The claim that he “pushed back into” Glowinski is a complete fabrication that is in no way supported by the video.

Also, the idea that he should have been moving faster or refused to do so is dubious from the start because there is a rather visible and large crowd in front of Gennarino, which would prevent him from doing so, even if he wanted to. While you can see what appears to be some verbal exchange between Ofc. Glowinski and Gennarino, arguing with cops isn’t an arrestable offense and even Glowinski admits in that police report that he “complied” with his orders to leave the area. So, at best (from Glowinski’s standpoint) Gennarino was not complying fast enough to satisfy him and at worst that was simply an excuse to justify beating and arresting an innocent person because a member of the LVMPD had a personal issue with that person.

Officer Kolkoski knocks himself down in the process of beating Domonic Generino with his nightstick

Officer Kolkoski knocks himself down in the process of beating Domonic Generino with his nightstick

Secondly, in the video Ofc. Kolkoski has his nightstick out and is swinging it immediately. Prior to that, there is no visible sign of Gennarino jerking or pulling away, as claimed. The idea that he could determine that such a tactic was necessary with a half dozen other cops (none of whom are using nightsticks or any other weapon) already on him that quickly is another incredibly dubious aspect to this incident. Further, the fact another officer has to stop assisting in the arrest to restrain Kolkoski and prevent him from continuing his assault on Gennarino (about 0:30) casts doubt (to put it mildly) on that idea. That’s even more so the case, since after he is prevented from continuing his attack, he simply stands back and watches as the other cops arrest Gennarino. Also, in spite of what is stated in the report, the entire video only lasts 1:30 and the portion with the arrest takes less than one minute. So, the claim that they had to struggle for several minutes after he was on the ground is, at the very best, an exaggeration by Golkowski.

Another officer prevents Ofc. Kolkoski from resuming his assault on Generino.

Another officer prevents Ofc. Kolkoski from resuming his assault on Generino.

Of course, you can watch the video and judge for yourself (that’s one of the reasons Cop Block encourages people to record their encounters with people wearing badges) whether this was justified or yet another case of the LVMPD’s unnecessarily heavy-handed tactics that have become so common place in the Las Vegas area, especially downtown. One thing you can be sure about is that, regardless of what you or anybody else outside of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department thinks (including the department’s Use of Force Board that is supposed to prevent this type of thing, but that the sheriff is under no obligation to actually listen to, so it doesn’t), this incident will be “investigated” by other people working for Metro and then declared justified. The history of Las Vegas area police departments pretty much guarantees that. The fact that the cops working for those departments know that pretty much guarantees that these types of incidents will not only continue, but will become more numerous, unless people in Las Vegas put enough pressure on them that they have no choice but to reign their enforcers in.

The original video, which has been embedded below is available on the youtube channel of Las Vegas attorney Stephen Stubbs, who currently does monthly (every last Thursday) free “Know Your Rights” seminars within the Las Vegas area. He also was himself featured recently in a post on Cop Block and NVCopBlock.org after an incident in which he personally was arrested for refusing to leave the side of a client that had requested him as an attorney while being detained by members of the LVMPD.

The text in quotes below was included in the original submission and is included as it was received, without any editing.

Date of Incident:
6/4/14
Location of Incident: The Vanguard Lounge – Downtown Las Vegas
Department Involved: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Known Department Employees Involved: Officer Kevin Kolkoski (P#10002), Officer Robert Glowinski, Officer Jacob Werner (P#13017)

“This poor man wasn’t moving fast enough as police tried to clear out a crime scene for investigation. So, LVMPD grabbed him and LVMPD Officer Kolkoski (P#10002) began immediately to beat him with a night stick.

In LVMPD Officer Glowinski’s own words:

“I again instructed [him] to walk towards the rear of the lounge. [He] complied, but began walking slowly.”…”Despite most people complying, [he] would not. As we reached the DJ Booth I instructed [him] one more time to move more quickly”

(Watch the video carefully to see if Officer Glowinski tells the truth in his next statement)

Officer Glowinski continues:

“[He] stopped, and leaned back and threw his back into me. I took hold of [his] right arm in an attempt to take control of him. [He] pulled away. I grabbed his right arm and Officer Werner (P#13017) grabbed his left arm. In an attempt to place [him] under arrest we instructed [him] to go to the ground. [He] refused by pulling and jerking. Additional officers attempted to assist in taking control of [him] but it was unsuccessful. [He] only began to comply after Officer Kolkoski (P#10002) used a baton to deliver focus strikes to [his] legs. After [he] went to the ground it still took me and several officers several minutes to place [him] in custody.”

If you compare the video to the official sworn statement, you will see that Officer Glowinski does not tell the truth. The victim did not “lean back and [throw] his back into [Glowinski]”, the victim did not resist (no pulling and jerking and the victims legs are completely limp after he lays on the ground), and Officer Kolkoski immediately began to beat the victim with a baton (victim had no time to comply). It did not take “several minutes to place him in custody (The entire encounter lasted a little over a minute).

The one positive part of this encounter was the officer that physically stopped Officer Kolkoski from continuing the beating.”

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Free Radical Movie Night Screening – “30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle” Fri. Oct. 24th

Oct. 24th Radical Movie Night “30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle

Oct. 24th Radical Movie Night

September’s debut of the Las Vegas Radical Movie Night went well enough that we will now be doing two showings per month. So, on every second and fourth Friday of the month the Sunset Activist Collective (along with Nevada Cop Block and Food Not Bombs Las Vegas) will host a free screening of either a documentary or a movie with significant social value.

The location where Radical Movie Nights will take place is The Sci Fi Center, which many locals already know from its longstanding tradition for showing independent movies and cult classics that are often not available in a large screen setting. (Disclaimer: the Sci Fi Center is not actually involved in the Radical Movie Nights, outside of permitting us to use it as a venue for showing movies.)

In order to coincide with the national Day of Action Against Police Brutality, which is held annually on Oct. 22nd (for more info see: http://www.october22.org/) October’s screenings will involve movies that relate to police abuses. On October 24th we will be showing “30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle” a documentary about the demonstrations during the World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle in 1999 and the police response to those demonstrations. (RSVP on Facebook here)

This film was one of the first to show large scale demonstrations from the perspective of those within the demonstrations. It also was in many cases the first time the average viewer saw uncensored and candid depictions of police tactics toward protesters and the way in which they often incited or even staged incidents within the protests in order to justify arresting and in many cases assaulting even peaceful protesters.

30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle

The level of organization, number of people participating, and type of tactics involved were all beyond what had been seen during any modern protests in the United States. For many years afterwards the “Battle of Seattle,” as it is often referred, was used as a sort of template for demonstrations both by protesters and the police.

About the Movie via Bullfrog Films (http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/30fr.html):

“30 Frames A Second: The WTO in Seattle, is a compelling first-person account of the events that unfolded during the week the World Trade Organization came to Seattle in November of 1999. It’s told from the perspective of 15-year veteran network news cameraman Rustin Thompson, who covered the WTO as an independent journalist. It is the story of how Thompson’s objective point-of-view evolved into a subjective account of what became an unscheduled, unruly outbreak of democracy.

Thompson, who had press credentials for the event, takes the viewer into the fray of tear gas, pepper spray, and police abuse; behind the lines and inside the convention center and press rooms; and along the marches, sit-ins, and demonstrations. His dynamic, up-close footage captures the passion, the confusion, the anger, and the courage of everyone involved, from protesters to police to delegates to bureaucrats.

Radical Movie Nights: Every 2nd and 4th Friday

With Thompson narrating, the film asks viewers to emotionally engage their own conflicting feelings about the demonstrations and behind-closed-doors meetings. “I was intrigued by taking a singular, personal approach to the events,” says Thompson, as he recounts how the protests affected him as a journalist and a common citizen. The result is an impressionistic journal of a decisive week that exploded into a massive expression of freedom: of speech, of assembly, and the press.”

Awards:

ALA Video Round Table’s 2001 Notable Video for Adults

Chris Award, Columbus International Film Festival

Best Documentary, Portland Festival of World Cinema

Gold Jury Prize, Chicago Underground Film Festival

Best Documentary, Seattle Underground Film Festival

Most Inspirational Short Film, Reel to Real International Film Festival

Taos Talking Picture Festival

Northwest Film and Video Festival

Further Information:

Watch the Trailer: http://youtu.be/K2vOnKyxYik

Check out the director’s website: http://www.whitenoiseproductions.com/

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