Tag Archives: copwatching

Detained by Las Vegas Police for Openly Carrying a Sword While Walking (Video)

Las Vegas Police Detain Black Men Walking While Open Carrying Sword

Two black men were detained, handcuffed, questioned, and photographed by Las Vegas police officers because they were walking while (legally) carrying a sword.

On Saturday (11-14-17), while I was out on a bike ride, I noticed a Las Vegas police helicopter circling the Walmart parking lot just ahead of me. As I reached the area where it was, I looked over and saw three LVMPD police cars with their lights on at the outer edge of the Walmart parking lot.

Once I was inside that parking lot, I could see that they had two black men in cuffs outside of a Dotty’s Casino (a small local “casino” chain that realistically amounts to more of an oversized bar) within it located on Nellis and Boulder Hwy. across the street from the Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino. So I started filming them with a GoPro mounted to the handlebars of my bike.

(See Video embedded below)

At the end of the video, I asked those two men what they had been stopped for and they told me that it was because someone had called to report that they had a sword, something that is by itself not actually illegal (as long as it is openly carried it’s legal just like a firearm or any other non-prohibited weapon). They stated they had been taking the sword to a nearby pawn shop, so they could sell it.

Obviously, they were eventually released without any sort of charges, since they had committed no crime, although the cops made them pose for pictures, which generally means they intend to add them to the gang registry and means that they will be harassed and profiled at every opportunity in the future based on that designation. That’s a pretty common practice by Metro for minorities, bikers, and others that they consider to be the “usual suspects.”

Although this fortunately didn’t result in any sort of physical violence being used against the men, Metro’s “finest” felt the need to not only respond with three patrol officers, but also at one point to have their lieutenant come by. And of course, as was mentioned already it gave them an excuse to play with their new “rescue” helicopter that’s usually busy circling downtown. (Apparently, there’s a lot of stranded hikers down there.)

Beyond the question of whether this was a case of racial profiling (whether it be by the police themselves or the security guard who apparently called them), as the men who had been detained stated, there’s a very real chance that someone will end up getting killed anytime the police are called. Not only does Las Vegas have a history of police violence without any sort of consequences, but not too long ago just one state over, in Saratoga Springs, Utah, an innocent man was shot to death for the non-crime of using a samurai sword as part of a cosplay outfit.

The reality is you should never call the police unless you’re comfortable with the idea that the person you called them on might end up dead. The cops don’t murder someone every time they show up (yet), but if do, they will absolutely get away with it every time (and they know that they will, too).

Note: You can share posts with Nevada Cop Block via our reader submission page. So, if you have videos, personal stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. You can also send in links if you a story involving police misconduct or corruption involving someone within the courts. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

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The Manchester New Hampshire Police Department Condones Theft

This post and the accompanying videos were originally published by at the website of NH Regional CopBlock under the title “Manchester PD is Full of Thieves.” If you are in the New Hampshire area or just want to see what the folks out there are up to, you can connect with them via their Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter stream, or Google Plus profile. And, of course, you can also contact them at their website.

If you are already part of the CopBlock Network and have something you’d like to share, you can use the CopBlock.org submission page to send us content you created personally or that was created by your own local group. However, if you don’t have a local group in your area already, you can get tips on how to start a group within our resource section. In addition, if you want to get started Cop Blocking, you can find tips and advice for filming the police there also. Obviously, you should always make sure you know your rights and have a good camera (or five) on hand first.

Manchester PD is Full of Thieves

When visiting Manchester, NH to investigate a phone stolen by police, we ran into some undercover cops who refused to identify and threatened us with arrest, and had an officer refuse to take a complaint, JP Freeman sent Manchester PD a legal notice to quit all illegal and harassing activities. Because of this, Captain Tessier, Assistant Police Chief of Manchester PD, contacted NH Regional in order to have a meeting and take down the complaints that Lt. Useless (aka Lt. Mucci) refused to take.

With Capt. Tessier talking to JP and I both together and separately, the meeting took over an hour. The complaints were taken, however, a bigger issue emerged. Capt. Tessier, along with many other officers on the city force believes it is OK to take a person’s phone when they record a police interaction for evidence. This is a clear fourth amendment violation and we will be pressing the issue with the county attorney in order to make sure this mindset does not remain.

Below is the video introduction to the meeting, a video recording of most of it, and an audio recording of the last 30 minutes.

Embedded below you’ll see the receipts for the complaints we put on Lt. Mucci (Useless) and the four undercover cops. Officers Battistelli, Karoul, Horn and Joyal.

Manchester PD Civilian Complaint

Manchester Police Civilian Complaint

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“Behind the Scenes” at Cop Block

This post was originally published by at the website of NH Regional CopBlock under the title “The Reality of CopBlock.” If you are in the New Hampshire area or just want to see what the folks out there are up to, you can connect with them via their Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter stream, or Google Plus profile. And, of course, you can also contact them at their website.

If you are already part of the CopBlock Network and have something you’d like to share, you can use the CopBlock.org submission page to send us content you created personally or that was created by your own local group. However, if you don’t have a local group in your area already, you can get tips on how to start a group within our resource section. In addition, if you want to get started Cop Blocking, you can find tips and advice for filming the police there also. Obviously, you should always make sure you know your rights and have a good camera (or five) on hand first.

The Reality of CopBlock

What you see online here and on CopBlock related sites doesn’t tell the whole story. Most of what we record, the vast majority, never gets published. Not because we’ve got something to hide. But because to a larger audience, it’s not interesting. Casual conversations with officers and passersby aren’t good material.

FILMPOLICEPart of copblocking is going out and looking for trouble. Not looking to get into trouble, but finding people having issues with police. The reality is, these things are hard to find. With the best police scanner and a lot of cruising around hotspots, we just can’t find it all. We went home an hour before the studios of FreeTalkLive were raided. We failed to be there. If we missed an event like that, how much else have we missed?

No tool in the world; scanners, Waze, Cell 411, police reports, etc., can get rid of the fact that at the end of the day, our searching is just guesswork. But that doesn’t mean nothing is happening when we don’t have something interesting to record. In Jaffrey, the police refuse to talk to us or sit anywhere near us for fear of incrimination. With presence alone we can stop them from trolling hotspots. People coming out of bars would otherwise be tailgated with bright lights in their mirrors until they “swerve a bit” only to be harassed about “how much they had to drink tonight.”

Sure, cops have a job to do. But like copblockers, the public doesn’t see, nor understand what they’re day to day is really like. Profiling innocents, writing victimless tickets for revenue, harassing and bullying the public into incrimination. This is normal for them, and it’s never something they’re willing to do on camera. As much as they try to justify what they do, cops do have a conscience. The job tears good people apart. And when they’re doing wrong, they know they’re doing wrong. That’s why they hide from cameras and the public, it’s why they’re attitudes flip like a switch when someone with a camera arrives.

Filming CopsThe violent YouTube videos you see of police beating up innocent people and shooting their dogs aren’t just examples of “bad apples.” It’s standard training out of control and caught on camera. That attitude, the us vs. them, combat mentality is what they’re trained for.

It doesn’t really matter what your perception of CopBlock is. A troll or someone who simply misunderstands isn’t bothersome or just isn’t worth the time. Words on the internet don’t hold a candle to the reality we see very clearly in the real world. We can’t capture it all, and can’t capture it often. But then again, we’re not here for your entertainment. We’re here to help innocents caught in the crossfire of bad policing; as often as we can.

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Filming the Police Is a Potent Tactic for Justice as Well as Community Building

If You See Something Film the Police FTP Nevada Cop Block

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

Within the post, Justin describes some experiences he and others within the Dallas area have had while out filming the police. Not only have they found it to be a good way to document any potential abuses by the police, but also an effective method interacting with and connecting to the people within their community. It can also act as a deterrent to those abuses, which is another valuable contribution to community.

There are few instances where I recall being personally thanked by complete strangers for my community activism. When it happened earlier in May, as an elderly woman riding along side me on a DART train in Dallas leaned over and smiled when she understood the reason I was holding a camera, I felt overwhelmed.

“You can do that?” she wondered. We were just two seats apart, but four others also boarded at the Akard Station after walking several blocks of the downtown streets. As copwatchers, we had camera equipment in hand ready to film any police encounters we saw. When the woman asked what the cameras were for, one of the more experienced members of the group spoke up and explained that we film the police. “We’ve got to make them accountable,” he said, pointing to his camera.

She wasn’t convinced. “Are you sure you can do that?” she repeated. That’s a sensible question, I thought, especially for those of us regularly bullied into submission by police officers and others in a position of authority. Filming police encounters creates an independent record of what happened. We’re fostering an environment where accountability from public officials is an everyday expectation rather than an occasional accommodation made by those wielding power.

Despite what is commonly believed, people with deeply held convictions engaging in conventional forms of political activism such as running for office are making less of an individual impact than they could with more direct forms of activism, such as recording and documenting police activity. Conventional politics is often more about intra-party squabbles and strategizing than attracting more supporters to our ideas and challenging objectionable practices. The time-consuming trappings of conventional political activism blunts people’s enthusiasm and exhausts their time on less productive political pursuits.

Direct forms of activism involve building cooperative relationships, utilizing the resources at hand, and peacefully circumventing the arbitrary controls of government and other institutions. Even in small numbers, our presence was felt. That night, we filmed two police encounters in full view. There were pedestrians who witnessed us, and the police were aware of our filming. In the future, that might make an officer think again before committing misconduct or encourage someone to document the public activity of government officials. With the proliferation of the internet, the scope of our activism can spread nationwide as people across the country can view our content — and not just those who already support our ideas.

People from across the political spectrum appreciate when corruption or misconduct is highlighted. We’re tapping into a sentiment most everyone already shares. We’re educating people as to why the essential character of arbitrary power is its inherent unaccountability. Those who would abuse it are the ones most attracted to it, which is all the more reason to limit the reach of the government’s grip.

In only a moment, the passenger we met on the bus had come to realize the potential that regular people have in standing up for justice. A smile passed over her face. She expressed how much she would like more people filming the police in her neighborhood. She thanked us and smiled in appreciation. Before we could exit at our stop, the man behind her said to keep it up and wished us good luck. It felt good to know I could help.

– Justin Oliver

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