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LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover-Up of Illegal Data Searches

JohnBonaventuraLVConstable 300x265 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura

With the amount of corruption that takes place on a regular basis within Las Vegas area governments, it can be hard to stand out. However, (soon to be former) Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura and his deputy constables have actually managed to distinguish themselves among the roll call of corrupt officials in Clark County politics and even among the notoriously unaccountable members of Las Vegas law enforcement.

Bonaventura‘s latest scandal involves his cover up of the improper and illegal use of the Lexis Nexis “Accurint” database service to look up personal information on porn actresses by Deputy Chief Dean Lauer. Currently, Lauer serves as Bonaventura’s second in command within the troubled Constables office, which is scheduled to be eliminated in January after a rather extensive string of scandals.

The Accurint service, for which taxpayers are charged $800 a month for the required subscription fees, is intended to be used by law enforcement employees in order to conduct research on personal information during the course of an investigation. Instead, apparently Deputy Chief Lauer used it to conduct research on his favorite porn stars, including Traci Lords, Porche Lynne, Kayla Kleevage, Lisa Sparxxx and Gianna Michaels among the 16 current and former porn actresses accessed via his password and log-in info. A subsequent investigation was unable to find any legitimate law enforcement purpose for those searches.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, this incriminating information was presented to Constable Bonaventura by an internal affairs investigator:

Capt. Hadi Sadjadi, the office’s internal affairs investigator, presented the information at the meeting with Bonaventura, Lauer and other senior officers. On a recording of the meeting obtained by the Review-Journal, Bonaventura wasn’t interested in knowing anything at all about the unauthorized searches done between March and December 2012.

“I need you to pull out all that stuff you got on Dean for running the Accurint stuff because, you know, I believe in my heart that he didn’t do it because he’s addicted to porno or something like that,” Bonaventura is heard saying. “I know somebody mentioned it was 3 in the morning or whatever. … I don’t know. I don’t even want to know. I don’t want to f—-ing know. Whatever you got, I want you to bring it in here and put it in the pile.”

It soon went beyond a simple lack of interest in investigating a clearly improper use of department resources into an active cover up when Bonaventura ordered Capt Sadjadi to shred all of his evidence and reports relating to the unauthorized Accurint searches:

BonaventuraShred 300x200 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

Instead of investigating the improper use of the police records database, Bonaventura ordered the evidence shredded.

On the recording, Sadjadi is heard responding to Bonaventura’s opening comment by asking that chairs in the office be rearranged so staffers could face each other and have a “friendly debate.”

“We’re not having a debate, Hadi,” Bonaventura responded. “We’re not having a debate. …”

“But what I want you guys to do is I’m going to leave the room,” Bonaventura said. “There’s all this stuff here. There’s a shredder right there. Take your own crap and put it in the f—-ing shredder, OK? And when I come back, I want every­body to shake hands and that’s it.”

Bonaventura’s orders were followed and his men shredded the records, current and former employees familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

Apparently, Bonaventura’s motive for sweeping this incident under the rug was, at least in some part, based on a desire to avoid yet another scandal for the Las Vegas Constable’s office, which at that point had already been abolished in a vote (which Bonaventura was attempting to contest at the time) by County Commissioners, as a result of a seemingly endless string of embarrassing and public scandals.

Bonaventura expressed concern for the future of his job, and for those of his staff.

“I don’t want no more of this infighting b—-s—-,” Bonaventura said. “We got too much at stake here. All of our jobs are on the line. Don’t you guys realize every one of our jobs are on the line?”

Bonaventura’s orders were followed and his men shredded the records, current and former employees familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

In the year since the shredding, Lauer has remained on the job. He is one of about two dozen sworn law enforcement officers in the Constable’s Office, which handles evictions and serves court papers.

This cover up shows the typical bias against accountability for law enforcement employees that is so prevalent throughout police departments across the nation and especially in Las Vegas. Further, it is a somewhat rare public glimpse into the aggressive nature with which police departments in the Las Vegas area don’t just look the other way, but actively work to ensure that their officers are never held accountable for their actions.

The improper use of the Accurint database by Lauer is, in and of itself, an illegal act that numerous cops across the country have been disciplined for committing (although usually not criminally, because laws obviously don’t apply to them). It has also become a huge potential invasion of the right to privacy with the ever increasing trend toward the collection of personal information by police and governmental agencies spurred by and justified with the September 11th terrorist attacks.

In fact, according to “Police Chief Magazine”:

Historically, officers have accessed police databases for myriad improper purposes, ranging from running the vehicle registration of an attractive motorist to seeking names and information in connection with a private investigation business.

Questions should be asked about why there aren’t better safeguards preventing unauthorized use of such a system. That is especially true in light of the growing number of reports of sexual misconduct among police officers, including those working in Las Vegas. Furthermore, the potential for the compromising of legitimate investigations and Las Vegas’ own rather long history of that type of corruption should make this type of cover-up a serious matter, worthy of its own investigation.

JohnBonaventuraLVConstable1 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

This shiny badge couldn’t be more tarnished.

The Las Vegas Constable’s Office: Corruption Defined

Of course, nobody in Las Vegas will be terribly surprised when hearing about corruption by local politicians, particularly when they are related to law enforcement. The completely nonexistent and shameful historic lack of accountability, including the recent rewarding of Jesus Arevalo, who was “fired” for murdering Stanley Gibson, with $30,000 a year in disability payments (because he is stressed out over being called a murderer after he murdered someone), has been covered pretty extensively, both here at nvcopblock.org and in the local corporate  media.

However, even in a city where cover ups, intimidation of, and retaliation against critics of the police are commonplace, Bonaventura’s Constables office has managed to outshine all of them. One of the many scandals involved a failed bid to sell a reality TV show based on their daily routines. The video, which Bonaventura proudly posted on his personal web page, was not as well received by state and county politicians, who oversee the Constables. Among other things, it featured deputies employed by the Constable’s Office cursing, pulling over and arresting motorists (technically they are allowed to do so, but it isn’t actually part of their job), and acting unprofessional, in general.

In an even worse example of the type of misconduct that has come to signify Las Vegas area police departments, Deputy Luis Rendon is being investigated for sexual harassment and animal cruelty. Rendon is accused of stalking and making unwanted sexual advances toward an 18 year old woman over the course of two months. When those attempts were rebuffed, he responded by shooting her dog. Deputy Rendon was hired in spite of several previous incidents in his background, which has been an ongoing point of criticism, along with questions about whether they are being trained properly, during Bonaventura’s term.

Of course, Constable Bonaventura has his own laundry list of incidents and controversies since taking office in 2010. This includes allegations of sexual harassment against a female deputy, demanding that deputies lie to County Commissioners about the reality TV video and then retaliating against them when they refused (which resulted in a $415,000 taxpayer funded settlement), turf wars over jurisdiction involving constables from nearby cities (in the process, he deputized two lawyers in order to avoid paying their fees after the County refused the bill), demanding kickbacks from deputies’ pay, and was himself arrested for DUI while driving home from his office. (District Attorney Steve Wolfson displayed his own well earned reputation of never holding public officials accountable by announcing he wouldn’t prosecute the case.)

Not surprisingly after all of that, Clark County Commissioners voted in March of 2013 to simply eliminate the Las Vegas Constable’s office, effective January 2015, once Bonaventura’s current term runs out. Bonaventura attempted an unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn the vote and then tried to run for a seat on the County Commission (which failed miserably during the primaries and resulted in a fraud investigation involving donations from none other than Dean Lauer, who’s illegal searches he covered-up). Even the pending dissolution of the LV Constable’s office hasn’t actually ended the constant stream of scandals, which for some reason have begun to revolve around secretly taped meetings between Boneventura and other elected officials.

Besides the one involving Bonaventura’s orders to destroy evidence of the illegal data searches, there are actually two other recorded conversations that have surfaced recently that are at best embarrassing and possibly criminal. In one, which resulted in a raid by the LVMPD on the Las Vegas Constable’s offices, Bonaventura can be heard in a phone conversation with Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins (who has his own extensive history of improprieties) in which Collins insults other commissioners and accuses several of them of being puppets controlled by Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak. In another, Bonaventura himself can be heard badmouthing Sisolak and discussing his desire to spend all of the money ($3.9 million) budgeted to the Constable’s office prior to it’s closing in retaliation for the vote.

The Las Vegas Constables office has a long and sordid history of corruption that predates even Bonaventura’s antics. It’s not likely that the constables will be missed and the fact that they could simply be voted out of existence during a time when Las Vegas leads the nation in foreclosures raises questions about whether they were needed in the first place or if it was just yet another unnecessary waste of money. However, the biggest potential drawback to the abolition of the Las Vegas Constable’s office is the fact that the LVMPD will be taking over their duties.

Outside of the slight increase in power and influence that it will give Metro, current Las Vegas Sheriff Doug Gillespie is already using it as an excuse to push for more funding and an increase in personnel within the department. In terms of potential effects on the residents of Las Vegas, having more “opportunities” to come into contact with members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department can be by itself a dangerous proposition. Constable Bonaventura’s corruption and lack of control over his employees are wasteful and embarrassing, but an encounter with Las Vegas police can be deadly and they have absolutely no reason to believe that they won’t get away with it, based on Metro’s history of accountability or more accurately, the lack thereof.

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John Bonaventura, the Most Corrupt Man in Las Vegas!!!

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Somebody Saw Unpopular Opinions, Somebody Said Something

BigBrother 203x300 Somebody Saw Unpopular Opinions, Somebody Said SomethingThis post was submitted by Sean Gruber a resident of Pahrump, NV, which is just outside of Las Vegas, and someone with a history of activism, as well as a member of local, independent media, via internet radio shows he has co-hosted. It details a visit he received from detectives with the LVMPD shortly after he made some statements on Facebook, essentially stating that he felt the actions of the Las Vegas police played a role in the murders of two cops on June 8th. He also expressed the belief that these murders would be used as premise for intensifying the already heavy handed tactics of local police and asserted  the fact that he had the right to defend himself, if they chose to target him.

He was, of course, visited a couple days later by employees of Metro working through the Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, AKA the “Nevada Fusion Center.” During that visit, he was informed that someone had reported his statements online and that was the reason for their investigation. With all of the invocations of  “see something, say something” (which apparently extends to people “walking down the street wearing cammies and boots“) in the wake of the shootings, this isn’t particularly shocking. However, the crazy thing about the First Amendment is that it actually applies to statements that are really unpopular in cities where people are worked up into a frenzy by really emotionally charged events.

To whom it may concern:

Because of my statements last Sunday and Monday – on the killings of two “Metro Officers”- I was targeted for harassment/intimidation by the LVMPD. (Actually it was some sort of “joint task force against domestic terrorism.” But Metro and the usual suspects were central in the bad medicine.) They came looking for me and they were armed and they didn’t care about my constitutionally protected right to free speech. ..Though, when challenged with my Lawyer- they immediately admitted that I “wasn’t charged with a crime.” (God -speed to anyone who if found in the same position- isn’t well enough educated to know to “lawyer up.”)

Now, we all know cops can, and do, in fact lie- in fact the “Supreme Court” has up-held their right to do so. But according to the Detective that my Attorney and I spoke to, the reason for “contact” was because I was reported for something I said on Face Book. (Again the METRO Detective said, to paraphrase “you got close, but that was all protected under the first amendment and you had a right to say it.”)

This wasn’t done by a Statist. (At least the odds are vastly against it.) This wasn’t done by a politician or a cop. This was done to me, by a fellow “patriot”… I could have very easily lost my freedom or my life for simply saying something that was unpopular. The people that would have done it would have been the “police” but the folks that would have started the snow-ball rolling would have been someone you all know and might even consider your friend. Think about this for a minute, please- because I’ve spent the better part of every hour- for a week- contemplating it…

I don’t work for the “state” so I don’t engage in witch hunts, but I’ve got some ideas about how could have done this, do you?

Further, to some of my former FB friends, to paraphrase the late-great Kurt Cobain, “I wish I was like you, easily amused”…

Why did I “flip my lid?” And defend the >philosophical< reason that Metro cops ‘deserve to die?’ (I never said I was going to kill a cop- I reference Metro’s own detective on this. Not that I consider him a credible source.) (I’ve only said I would defend myself- if aggressed against.) Here’s an idea- because I’ve been involved in this war since I was fifteen and I KNEW that LVMPD would use these killings as a reason to escalate their war on American’s rights?

It didn’t even take them forty eight hours…

*sigh*

Did anyone else see the article about “domestic terrorism” on “MSN News” yesterday? I did. The gist of this whole deal is that we with un-popular opinions (I.E. the one’s the founders of this country had) are all “terrorists.” I don’t want to be killed. Hell, until last Tuesday morning maybe it had been a while since I realized how much I still enjoyed life, but I won’t/ I just can’t(!) back down- at this, the moment of truth- even if death it’s self is the consequence. And goodness knows there are people that I love dearly that might prefer it if I did, and who were right there with me when this shit happened- far more so than any of my supposed philosophical allies were…

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every police operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst; the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!” –Aleksandre Soltzhenitsyn-

To Adam Sanacore, to the Chairmen of the State LP, Brett Pujonis, if you couldn’t understand- why I, “flipped my lid” over that LVMPD bereavement Badge Icon, you both put on your FaceBook wall (again I ask you to remember that “local police officers” are the most common violators of Americans Constitutional Rights) I submit to you this; to me that was the equivalent of putting a swastika on your FaceBook account because you were afraid- some Nazi might interpret you as anti- Nazi, or maybe you’d lose an election you were already going to lose- by an even higher margin…

BigBrother2 300x225 Somebody Saw Unpopular Opinions, Somebody Said Something

Already at a neighborhood near you.

I guess the other head trip- (you know besides my friends putting up Swastika’s (MetroBadge’s) on their Fb Walls) put on me this week- I would be very remiss- if I failed to bring up- was this; ‘if I say something and someone misinterprets it and uses it as an explanation/excuse for their violent/ murderous/behavior’ “I’m liable.” Metro… Jesus. God! Help! Us! All!

I was thinking about just shutting up. But I can’t. I just can’t. Maybe I watched ‘Braveheart’ the ‘Outlaw Josey Wales’ ‘The Patriot’ too many times… please remember, everyone I WON’T ever Initiate the use of force…

To those of you that stuck with me… Well- you know who you were. All bests, and if this ever happens to you, I’ll be right there with you! Love and Respect (and I don’t feel even slightly gay for saying so- I love you, because I do!!!) D-M-Sis-Bro-JD-AM-JS-DB-PB-. “NEVER BEGINS it, NO! Never, BUT once engaged, NEVER surrender, Showing the Fangs of RAGE!”

P.s. please just leave me be -LVMPD.

Sean Discusses the Visit on the Non-Partisan Liberty For All Radio Show:

New Politics Internet Radio with Non Partisan Liberty For all on BlogTalkRadio

 

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Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

LVMPDUseOfForce 150x150 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

It is sort of hard not to improve on Metro’s non-existent record of accountability.

The LVMPD Wants You to Know How Great They're Doing:
With great fanfare, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department recently announced on their official FaceBook page that they have done an amazing job of reforming their "use of force" policy:

"LVMPD Praised for Use-of-Force Reforms.
See the video: http://youtu.be/ISClT3e_d7c Today, the US Department of Justice released its final assessment of LVMPD's efforts to reduce the number of incidents involving the use of deadly force. 90% of the suggested reforms have been implemented, and efforts are underway to achieve the remaining few. Sheriff Doug Gillespie expressed his thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of this difficult process, which has become a model of reform for other police departments around the country. You will find a copy of the complete report at www.lvmpd.com."

LVMPDUseOfForce2 300x80 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

Incentivizing Murder

Of course, it could easily be pointed out that it’s really not terribly hard to improve upon a use of force policy that has resulted in exactly zero cases in which a Las Vegas area police officer has been held accountable, in any way whatsoever, for killing an unarmed person, even when that person was completely innocent of any crime, in the 40-year history of the LVMPD.

In fact, the two most recent examples of that use of force policy consist of a case in which Officer Jacquar Roston, who couldn’t distinguish between a hat and a gun, was allowed to remain on the force, despite the recommendation of the Use of Force Board that he be fired, and the case in which Officer Jesus Arevalo, who had mentioned to his wife that he was looking to kill someone while on duty so that he could get some free time off, did just that a few months later by murdering Stanley Gibson, an unarmed, disabled Gulf War veteran suffering from a PTSD induced panic attack while confined and rendered harmless inside his vehicle, which had been blocked in and immobilized by two police cars.

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

The former resulted in a large portion of the members of that Use of Force Board resigning in disgust over the “hollow, toothless sham” that Sheriff Gillespie’s disregard for their recommendation had exposed the “flawed process” as. In an even worse injustice, the latter case resulted in Jesus Arevalo being given a $30,000 a year lifetime payday (after he did in fact receive the paid vacation he had stated he was hoping to “earn” by shooting someone for just under two years) that I’m sure exceeded even his own wildest dreams as a reward for his actions that even Metro acknowledged were not justified when they “fired” him after stalling long enough to make sure he got all his paperwork in to file for disability based on the stress he was feeling from people saying that he shouldn’t have murdered a completely innocent, unarmed person, who had already been rendered unable to cause harm to anyone.

Detroit1stWin 150x150 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

“We Finally Won 1!”

A “Slightly” Different Take on Metro’s Use of Force Policy

It’s kinda like when the Detroit Lions improved on their winless season in 2008 by winning two games the next year. They certainly got better, but it wasn’t really anything to get that excited about. Similarly, I recently (subsequent to that celebratory announcement mentioned above) received an account of just how much the LVMPD’s use of force policies have actually changed:

"I was at the bus stop on Flamingo just west of Maryland parkway. A car blew through a red light. A cop followed with lights and sirens on. Within 35 seconds, five more cop cars descended on the pulled over and stopped car. Then six cops, guns drawn, one with a fucking shotgun, removed one driver and one passenger, threw them on the hot ground, and cuffed them. Then stand them up. Guns get put away, except for the shotgun. That stayed out and semi pointed the entire time.

Five minutes later, they release the driver, and keep the passenger for TRAFFIC warrants!!!!! They then proceeded to stand around laughing and joking for 20 more minutes...Disgusting. Literally for running a red light, two guys almost died just now. I don't have anymore details than that because I was told to stay back and put away my phone."

Overlooking the fact that the cops have no legal ability to overrule a citizen's First Amendment right to record anything or anyone within a public space, the rather obvious question is if that level of force really is necessary for a non accident traffic infraction, in which not only did the driver comply by pulling over, but the cops obviously didn't even consider it much of an offense, based on the fact that they actually allowed him to leave without even issuing a citation, when they clearly could have done so.

PoliceGang2 300x168 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

“We got a report of some overdue library books, sir.”

Having a swarm of heavily armed and easily provoked people unnecessarily confront drivers that haven't shown any signs of resisting during a relatively minor violation certainly does seem like a good way of preventing any more blatant use of force incidents. And BTW, Metro is so short of personnel that they are no longer able to respond to the vast majority of traffic accidents until we give them more tax money.

Not surprisingly, people in Las Vegas (especially those in certain neighborhoods) aren't exactly shocked by this type of heavy-handed behavior from cops. And, outside of bragging to their "fans" on FaceBook, the LVMPD doesn't seem terribly concerned about changing that perception in any sort of real way:

"It's sad and maybe a statement about how desensitized I am these days to the guns being drawn, but what bothered me the most was them standing around laughing and joking about it afterwards. It seems to me that they are too far removed from the actual reality they are supposed to be "protecting" and have created this pseudo reality in their own collective self.

So is the public as a whole, so blinded by what they are brought up to believe that they really don't see it? Or, are they just willing to "accept" it as part of what happens, as long as it doesn't happen to them?I have never necessarily been pro-cop, for sure. But, I think I have been among those willing to turn a blind eye to the excessive and overtly hostile tactics they use, until recently. I'm not 100% sure when I changed my outlook, and started really seeing things around me, but I really don't like what I am seeing."

But then, a little friendly propaganda (which the local Fox affiliate can usually be counted on for) never hurts:

"Oh goody. Just saw a commercial on channel 5. They are reporting on Metro and the crime that is on the rise...Hmmm. I bet it is not a report about abuse at the hands of Metro."

PoliceGang1 300x249 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

Beware! Signs that you might have encountered a violent street gang.

However, that does tend to get wiped out by the rather well known and all too common cases of retaliation by employees of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the complicity that local representatives of the "justice" system often play in those acts:

"My friend Chris and I got followed into a parking lot, got out of the car and then got stopped when on foot, walking out of Pizza Hut. For "checking out" the unmarked car the asshole with an ego was driving.

We both ended up being arrested for "warrants". Even though I had proof mine were already recalled.I spent from Friday at 6:30 pm to Sunday at 5am in CCDC "waiting" for them to verify I didn't actually have active warrants. Funny thing is that I still had to go to court to stand in front of a judge, who issued me yet another fine, for "court costs" on something I never should have had to go court for in the first place. When I told him I will not pay the fine, he told me I had 30 days to comply or have
another warrant issued."

Personally, I just can't understand why Metro or any of the other Las Vegas area police departments would have any sort of PR problem within the local communities they "protect and serve." It certainly does seem like the two guys in that car, and I'm sure plenty of others in the neighborhood that day, got served.

MilitarizationPolice1 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

“Come on guys, let’s get that cat out of the tree!”

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