Tag Archives: cover up

Henderson Police “Not Concerned About” Violent History of Newly Hired Deputy Police Chief Thedrick Andres

Newly hired Henderson NV Deputy Chief of Police Thedrick Andres shot Juan May during an off-duty incident while he was a sergeant at the Arlington Police Department in Texas

A photo taken earlier in the evening shows newly hired Henderson Deputy Police Chief Thedrick Andres and Juan May, the man Andres shot to death after a fight on a party bus.

In November, LaTesha Watson, formerly a deputy police chief with the Arlington (TX) Police Department was sworn in to replace Moers as the Henderson chief of police. Thedrick Andres, who served at the APD with Watson before retiring as a lieutenant, was subsequently hired to replace Long as Watson’s deputy police chief.

While there has been some unhappiness expressed over the department’s decision to pick candidates from out of state as replacements, Deputy Chief Andres’ work history would seem to be right on par with those working within Las Vegas area police departments. That history includes three incidents of violence, two of which involved the use of a firearm by Andres while he was off-duty, at the Arlington (TX) Police Department.

During what was described as a road rage incident, Andres pulled his gun on another driver after claiming that driver had threatened him with a hatchet. That “hatchet” that reportedly caused him to believe his life was in danger turned out to be a plastic ice scraper. Previously, while employed at the New Orleans Police Department, Andres was also accused of using excessive force in a citizen complaint.

Note: If you have videos, 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. 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.

Party Bus Shooting

The most troubling incident from Andres’ past was his fatal shooting of a Marine veteran named Juan May in June of 2014. That incident began with a birthday party, which took place on a “party bus.” Although May and other relatives of his who were among the twenty people on that bus didn’t know Andres or that he was (at the time) a sergeant with the Arlington Police Department, the group picture above implies there was possibly some mutual friendships between them.

Juan May was murdered by Henderson Deputy Chief Thedrick Andres while he was a Sgt. at the Arlington Police Department

Juan May

According to descriptions, at some point someone (presumably May) jokingly suggested that Andres should dance on a stripper pole that was on the bus. That apparently offended Andres and led him to begin directing derogatory remarks at May and his relatives. This later escalated into a physical fight once they left the bus after Andres approached May and reignited the argument.

There are some differences in the details of what happened next among eyewitness statements. However, there are several common denominators among them. Everyone agrees that Andres is the one who approached May and began the final argument and that he had been drinking on the party bus. They also agree that Andres also hit Juan’s cousin, Patrick May, who was attempting to break up the fight.

The other point of agreement is that shortly after, when Juan May was walking back to his car, Andres began running to his own car. Witnesses state that “someone” yelled that he had a gun in his vehicle. Andres, in fact, retrieved that gun and killed May with it, later claiming he had fired in self-defense.

Not surprisingly (since grand juries are primarily used for that purpose in cases involving police officers), he was eventually exonerated by a grand jury in spite of the retrieval of a weapon after a fight being pretty well established as an act of premeditation.

Police Chief Latesha Watson is Not Concerned

It shouldn’t be surprising that Chief Watson isn’t concerned about Andres’ past. Of course, she worked with him for years in Texas and obviously is the reason he was hired to be the second in command at the Henderson Police Department. In spite of the fact her statement that “if someone was found guilty of wrongdoing, then they wouldn’t have a job,” when applied to police officers is at best a technicality, it’s not something that should be unexpected.

The Henderson Police Department's newly hired Deputy Chief of Police, Thedrick Andres, and Chief of Police, LaTesha Watson

Thedrick Andres and LaTesha Watson

However, the lack of concern by the City of Henderson is something that should draw a few more raised eyebrows. After all, Watson and Andres were hired to replace two police executives who were forced to resign after sexual harassment claims were made against them and the Henderson City Council was caught covering that up by portraying it as a “mutual parting of ways.

In addition, Assistant City Manager Greg Blackburn, who previously resigned from a city government position in North Las Vegas after a sexual harassment scandal, is currently under investigation again for (you guessed it) sexual harassment in Henderson and Mayor Debra March has also just been sanctioned over ethics violations. (At this point, it takes a bit of searching to find someone in the Henderson city government that isn’t under some sort of investigation.)

When you consider all that, maybe you should look to hire someone who doesn’t already have a history that includes excessive force complaints and pulling guns on (or actually shooting) unarmed people while off-duty. Maybe that’s a good idea for the City of Henderson for PR reasons, if nothing else. You know, hire someone who is less likely to create yet another misconduct scandal.

Of course, Henderson is the city known for not prosecuting (and later promoting) a cop who was caught on video repeatedly kicking a man suffering from diabetic shock in the head, because “they train officers to do that in the police academy.”

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

Video: The Rotting Barrel of Bad Apples That is the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department “Leadership”

LVMPD Capt. Yesenia Yatomi Promotion After Perjury

Captain Yasenia Yatomi, just one member of the LVMPD’s “leadership,” who have managed to excel at corruption, dishonesty, and a general lack of ethics.

In the video embedded below, Ramsey Denison, the director of “What Happened in Vegas,” and Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs, who also appears in the documentary, discuss several of the high ranking members of the LVMPD. As is pointed out in the video, those “leaders” have quite a stellar history of corruption and outright criminality.

Specifically, Stubbs discusses in detail his involvement with Captain Yasenia Yatomi, which has transpired over the last several years. In fact, it was Yatomi’s unethical and illegal actions that led to Stubbs’ first appearance at NVCopBlock.org. Yatomi, who was a sergeant at the time, unlawfully arrested Stubbs when he refused to allow her to deprive one of his clients of their Constitutional right to counsel.

She then followed that up by falsifying a police report to justify that arrest. Of course, since police reports are sworn statements, that constituted an act of perjury. However, rather than being prosecuted, fired, or in any way whatsoever punished for that (felony) crime, Yatomi was instead promoted.

Note: If you have videos, 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. 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.

In fact, as her current rank indicates, she has actually been promoted not just once, but twice since then. As a matter of fact, as part of her promotion to Lieutenant, Yatomi was placed in charge of the Internal Affairs Bureau. Without even a hint of irony, the LVMPD put someone who was actively being investigated for a criminal offense in command of the department that investigates misconduct by police officers.

Some of the other highlights include Undersheriff Kevin Mcmahill, the current no.2 in command at Metro who was forced to resign earlier in his career after he sexually harassed a suspect. Also among the notable members of the LVMPD’s upper echelon is Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank, who has a history of domestic violence.

As they say, the fish rots from the head down. So it should be no surprise that the LVMPD is a barrel of Bad Apples from top to bottom.

The LVMPD’s “Dirtbag Dream Team”

What Happened in Vegas,” the award winning documentary by Ramsey Denison, is currently available on DVD as well as via Video On Demand (VOD). In addition to the issues and questions surrounding the Route 91 Festival shooting, the movie also exposes some of the many instances of corruption and police brutality within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

As has been detailed numerous times here at NVCopBlock.org, What Happened in Vegas primarily details the extremely controversial killings of Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, Stanley Gibson, and Tashii Farmer-Brown by Las Vegas police and the cover ups that followed. Several other instances of violent, racist, and/or outright criminal acts by members of the LVMPD are also featured to illustrate the overall systemic corruption within the department.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

“What Happened in Vegas” Filmmaker Intro

Posts Related to What Happened in Vegas

Dover New Hampshire Police Keep Felony DUI by Influential Business Executive Out of News

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. Within the post, the submitter maintains that the executive of a power plant located in Ossippee, NH severally injured a member of his family while driving drunk. Furthermore, the person submitting this post states that, due to influence from his position and the accompanying wealth, as well as family connections within the Dover Police Department, the accident and subsequent trial has not been covered at all by the media.

June 2016

This is a news tip about a white New Hampshire power plant manager charged with felony DUI that never made it on the news because it was covered up. Robert Lussier has undergone over seven months of a felony DUI trial and not so much as his arrest has been reported by the news. This is a cover up at its finest. Roberts sentencing will be in February, you should give him the air time he deserves.

On the evening of June 24th, Lussier, of Dover, NH, was working at the Pine Tree Power Plant in Ossippee NH. The plant is owned by:

ENGIE North America
1990 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 1900
Houston, Texas 77056-3831
Tel: 713.636.0000
[email protected]

Robert left the power plant and went straight to a local Ossippee bar with one of his employees and began drinking heavily. Robert, after drinking himself into a stupor, climbed in his vehicle and began driving home to Dover.

As Robert got on route 16, he hit the side of a pickup truck head on and bounced off He then drove straight head on into an old man driving his vehicle. Robert severed this mans legs and has forever altered this mans life. Yet it was never reported on the news. Robert’s vehicle was also totaled.

This is where is gets interesting. All you have to do is follow the trail of the cover up. The first police officer on scene was the son of one of Robert’s employees. This felony DUI crash, in which Robert was 100% at fault and removed a family member’s legs, was never reported by any news outlet. Robert’s blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit.

We’ve since found out that Robert’s father is also a retired state policeman who leveraged his time in uniform to make sure this accident stayed off the news. It worked. Robert successfully avoided his license suspension hearing because the associated officer was pressured not to show in court. After removing my family member’s legs and having a BAC three times the legal limit, Robert is still driving the roads of NH.

Sigh, must be nice to be a rich, white executive with a state police father.

Roberts sentencing is coming up in February. It’s not too late for you in the news industry to cover this story with the attention it deserves. I’d suggest digging into why this arrest is not on any police log, the Ossippee police love publishing photos and detailing the criminal actions of those who are not rich, white executives with state trooper fathers.

Some other interesting things to investigate:

Discovery had shined a light upon the fact that Robert is an avid gun enthusiast and we’ve found out he has an extensive arsenal of weapons. Robert cannot be trusted to drive his vehicle home at the end of a work day without a blood alcohol content of three times the legal limit, let alone to own an arsenal of guns. However, he’s still in possession of this firearm arsenal.

Robert has a NH license to carry permit. If he were not the son of a state policeman, this would have been revoked immediately. So not only is this irresponsible human being still behind the wheel of a vehicle after removing a my family members legs, he carries conceal firearms too.

The discovery process has produced yet another interesting paper trail you could investigate regarding his resident New Hampshire concealed carry permit. Investigate when he received his NH resident concealed carry permit and when he moved to Dover, NH.

Prior to moving to Dover, Robert lived his entire life in Massachusetts. By following the paper trail, you’ll notice that the Ossippee police chief gave Robert a NH resident concealed carry permit six months to a year before he actually moved to New Hampshire. Robert was given a NH resident concealed carry permit by the Ossippee police while he was still a Massachusetts resident, the paper trail will show this. That is completely illegal.

In the discovery process, we also found out that Robert has had some interesting run-ins with the law in Massachusetts, but his state police daddy covered things up yet again. Two years ago, Robert had a dog and that dog apparently bit someone. So Robert did what any responsible pet owner would do, he took the dog outside and shot it in the head; then buried it in a shallow grave. The Boston, Massachusetts police were not amused about Robert’s execution of the dog and he was under investigation after lying about the whereabouts of the dog. Once again, Robert’s state police daddy stepped in and the cover up began.

As you can see, Robert is troubled. However, he always manages to stay off of the news because of his father’s state police connection. I hope you can change this and give this story the attention it deserves. My family member is missing leg’s while Robert’s life has been unaffected.

Please help me and my family.

Open Letter from Army Veteran to the Buffalo PD: Why Did You Murder My Dog?

The following Post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Matthew Albert, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

The open letter from Sgt. Gary Aljoe, whose dog “Sarge” was murdered by members of the Buffalo Police Department Narcotics Task Force was originally posted at ArtVoice.com under the title “You Raided the Wrong House and Killed My Dog!

The execution of Sarge during a raid on Aljoe’s house by Detectives O’Brien and Adams was also discussed in a previous submission by Mathew Albert to the CopBlock Network, which I posted earlier this month.

Date of Incident: December 20, 2016
Department Involved: Buffalo Police Department
Officer Involved: Narcotics Detective Sean O’Brien and and Det. Shawn Adams
Department Phone No.: (716) 851-4575
Department Address: 74 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

An open letter from my client, Sgt. Gary Aljoe, a 37 year veteran, to the cops who killed his 8 year old German Shepherd, Sarge, on December 20, 2016, just before Christmas. Sarge was cowering in a corner of a room on a bunk as a search warrant was executed by the most prolific dog killing squad this country has to offer, the Buffalo Police Narcotics Department.

Sgt. Aljoe built schools and clinics in war torn third world nations while in the Army, and provided security at Ground Zero for fellow Americans after 9-11-01, breathing in all sorts of toxins for four months, toxins that still effect his breathing today.

Sergeant Aljoe knew what he was fighting for. He fought for freedom, justice, and the betterment of mankind. His best question to the killer cops: “What is it that are you fighting for?”

Share to all media outlets, anywhere, and everywhere.

– Matthew Albert

You Raided the Wrong House and Killed My Dog!

An open letter from US Army Sgt. Gary Aljoe to Detective Shawn Adams and Lieutenant Sean O’Brien of the Buffalo Police

Dear Detective Adams and Lieutenant O’Brien,

I am writing to you in regards to the events that occurred on December 20, 2016. As you are aware, you were the team of officers that obtained a search warrant from Buffalo City Court Judge Thomas Amodeo for the house at 85 Ullman Street, executed the warrant, and also executed my dog, Sarge, in the process, without finding anything more than allegedly some residue; found in my son’s room.

Since that time, and going through Christmas and New Years without Sarge, my best friend, I have had nothing to do but think and reflect. With that in mind, I am hoping that, as fellow men in uniform, you will provide me with explanations to certain questions I have.

While you may have not given my dog or I a second thought, after you walked out of the house, these questions have been eating away at me.

As a veteran of 37 years who served his county to try and defend your freedoms, I am hoping you will provide me the courtesy of answering these. For I know that my son is not a drug dealer, and my dog is not a dangerous dog, and offered no threat to you or any officers’ safety.

  1. How was a warrant obtained for my residence where neither the name, age, nor ethnicity was known of the supposed target?
  2. How often do you raid houses without knowing the target of the raid?
  3. My attorney, Matt Albert, informed me that both of you have shot numerous dogs in your career. Why is that the case, and do you think that the small amount of narcotics obtained on these search warrants where dogs are killed justify the killings of man’s best friend?
  4. Do they justify the intrusion of liberty and the right of people to be secure in their homes?
  5. After doing my research, I have estimated that thousands of dogs have been killed by Buffalo Police Narcotics throughout the years. Why have you not sought or received training in non-lethal methods of handling dogs, such as fire extinguishers and/or Tasers when confronting animals during search warrant cases?
  6. Why is it that the Niagara Falls Police Department, which rarely kills dogs, can implement such procedures successfully and not kill dogs, while the Buffalo Police Department doesn’t and continues to kill dogs during raids?
  7. Why is it that a single Buffalo Police Officer from your Narcotics team, Detective Joseph Cook, killed more dogs in a three-year period then the entire New York City Police Department?
  8. Do you not think this is astonishing, and that something is critically wrong with the way your Department handles raids the dogs of the people who live in these homes?
  9. Why did you remove Sarge’s immediately after killing him, depriving me of the opportunity to bury him?
  10. Did you remove him because a necropsy report would contradict your “Use of Force” report where you may have indicated the dog was shot at close range, as if he was charging you, when in reality the dog was shot at a safe distance?
  11.  When you busted into my house in the early morning, and as I was fully compliant with your instructions and my dog was cowering in dread and presented no threat to your safety, why didn’t you ask me to secure Sarge, as I was a mere few feet from him when he was killed, and I could have saved his life?

I am asking these questions not just for myself, or Sarge, who was my best friend, but for every resident of this city who believes the freedom of quiet enjoyment in one’s own home is one we should all enjoy as vital as Americans.

Freedom is what I fought for in my 37 years of military service.

My final question to you is this: By shooting dogs, kicking in doors, locking up so many people, ruining people’s lives over what is in reality for most users is illness and yet still seeing drugs running more rampant than ever in the community, what is it you are fighting for…?  and when is it time to admit that this fight is being fought incorrectly…  that changes in this battle need to be made?

New York SWAT Team Executes War Vet’s Dog Just Days Before Christmas

The following Post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Matt Albert, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Date of Incident: December 21, 2016
Department Involved: Buffalo Police Department
Officer Involved: Narcotics Detective Sean O’Brien
Department Phone No.: (716) 851-4575

A Bloody Christmas – This Is How Police Treat Our Veterans

After serving 37 years in the military, one would think that Gary Aljoe was entitled to spend a quiet Christmas with his family and his beloved best friend, an 8-year-old-male German Shepherd, whom Aljoe had owned since he was a pup. The dog had been given to him as a present by Aljoe’s son, and was appropriately named Sarge. For Gary himself had achieved the esteemed rank of Sergeant First Class, and one would think that this country would give back the so called freedoms Aljoe had fought for by allowing him the comforts and enjoyments of his own family and home this holiday season. If one thought that however,…one would be wrong.

In the early morning hours on December 21, 2016, the Buffalo Police Narcotics Unit stormed Aljoe’s Ullman Street residence by way of a flash bang, taking the brave sergeant and his animal by surprise. Sarge, usually a very friendly and social German Shepherd, cowered in the corner at the sudden attack. Aljoe initially thought that he was being invaded and was set to call the police. It turned out that his instincts were half right.

And again, if one thought that the Police would show mercy on what they perceived to be an enemy combatant cowering in the corner, one would also be mistaken. A Buffalo police officer, name unknown at this point, blew up Sarge while Gary laid helpless on the floor, with a jackbooted cop standing over him, holding him down.

The mirage of freedom that Aljoe had fought for 37 years was shattered by way of gunshots from agents of his own government to his best friends’ head. This wasn’t friendly fire… this was the purposeful execution of a companion animal.

Aljoe has seen a lot over the course of his 37-year tour of duty. He had built schools and clinics in war torn nations such as Panama, and while others ran from midtown Manhattan in the wake of 9-11-01, Aljoe came to the scene to provide security for the four months immediately after the tragedy. However, nothing he saw prepared him to witness the savage slaughter of his best friend, by so called men, who should be wearing prison uniforms as opposed to police.

Aljoe has replayed these events in his head every single day, unable to fathom the brutality of the Buffalo Police Force. He is scheduled to begin extensive counseling at the VA. Meanwhile, the officers found the situation to be far more comical, laughing about the matter as they quickly bagged up Sarge to try and keep any testing being done on the body; testing which would prove the unjustifiable nature of the attack on a dog that was laying down helpless on the floor.

As previous Artvoice reports have established, this is nothing new to the Buffalo Police Department. For they have done this thousands of times over the years, and have the art of killing canines down to a science, with the help of the Buffalo Animal Control and the SPCA. Yes, the SPCA. If one were to think that the SPCA, the one agency in society whose creed is to protect animals above man, would be outraged about this barbaric practice, one would again be mistaken.

In fact, the SPCA has assisted Buffalo Police in the destruction of evidence time and time again, and helped cover up these brutal crimes for all these years. They have an incinerator designed specifically to make the dogs’ remains, and any hopes of justice… go up in smoke. After Buffalo Animal control bags up the bodies, they then take the lost souls to the SPCA for incineration.

Luckily, Aljoe contacted me in time for intervention and we will be ushering Sarge to Cornell for an independent Necropsy to be done. Private citizens are realizing more and more that they need to rely on other private citizens for hopes of obtaining traditionally American values, such as freedom and justice, and not law enforcement and quasi law enforcement agencies such as the SPCA.

To underscore that point, Erie County SPCA Chief Veterinarian Helene Chevalier actually has a forensic certification and can perform the analysis needed to determine how Sarge was shot; what position he was in when the officer fired. However… the SPCA has planted themselves firmly on the side of the cops on this one, forcing the difficult task of transporting Sarge across the state for any hopes of justice.

The SPCA, through email correspondence from Assistant Director Beth Shapiro, indicated they intend to handle this matter by working “with the Buffalo Police,” and “offering training.” Evidently, they overlook the fact that the Police have denied all efforts for training over the past 10 years… indicating that the choice to kill dogs is simply just that… a choice.

Perhaps Buffalo Police were in a particularly giddy mood that morning so close to Christmas, as a Federal Appeals Court in Michigan had just handed down quite the gift to law enforcement, in the form of a decision that has left dog lovers across the country howling in anger. The appeals court ruled that police can shoot and kill dogs upon entry into an individuals’ home if the dogs barks or moves. While paralyzed and mute dogs may still be safe, the rest of us are not.

The grand bounty that the Buffalo Police claimed for the stripping of this proud veteran’s pride and the loss of this beautiful German Shepherd’s life? A bag of cocaine residue, which police try and attribute to Aljoe’s son, who lives at the residence. It’s funny how all these so called drug dealers don’t actually have drugs in their houses…but rather, empty bags of residue. If one didn’t know any better, one could surmise that these bags are planted by police to try and justify their lawless invasions, canine kills, and mass arrests of the poor and downtrodden. If one didn’t know any better, one could easily come to the conclusion that there is no justice…there is just us.

– Matt Albert

Cop’s Lies Sent 14 Year Old to Prison for 9 Years, Even Though Real Killer Confessed Weeks After Sentencing

Davontae Sanford James Tolbert Detroit
On Tuesday, a Detroit man who had been in prison since the age of fourteen, due to false testimony by a Detroit police deputy, had his conviction overturned.

Davontae Sanford had received a sentence of 37 to 90 years in prison after being advised by the attorney that originally represented him to plead guilty to four counts of second degree murder for a quadruple homicide in 2007.

Just two weeks after Sanford was sentenced for the murders, the real killer confessed to those murders, along with eight others. In spite of that confession, Sanford remained in prison until his current age of 23. Vincent Smothers, a professional hitman, also signed an affidavit detailing his confession and stating that Sanford was in no way involved in the crime.

Now that his innocence has finally been established, the (unnamed) lawyer who advised him to plead guilty has been suspended from practicing law.

Also, Detroit Police Deputy Chief James Tolbert, whose false testimony was largely responsible for Sanford being charged in the case, was fired. Prior to that, he had been hired as the police chief in Flint, Michigan.

Via USA Today:

Davontae SanfordThe announcement of Sanford’s release comes after Michigan State Police launched an investigation into the killings last year and submitted their findings to (Prosecutor Kym) Worthy’s office last month.

That report included a recorded interview with Detroit Police Deputy Chief James Tolbert in which the cop contradicted testimony that Sanford had drawn a detailed diagram of the crime scene, including location of the victims’ bodies, when the boy was questioned by police in 2007, according to the prosecutor’s office.

“This called into question Tolbert’s credibility in the case,” the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

Tolbert, who went to serve as the Flint, Mich., police department chief in 2013, was fired from that position earlier this year.

Sanford — who was assisted in his legal battle by Dykema Gossett, the Michigan Innocence Clinic, the Northwestern Center for the Wrongful Convictions of Youth, and Michigan’s State Appellate Defender’s Office — could be released from prison as early as Wednesday.

James TolbertIncidentally, Tolbert was a subject of controversy almost immediately after he was hired as the police chief in Flint in 2013. At the time, he was being sued by a Detroit detective who claimed he had blocked his efforts to investigate the killing of a stripper.

The stripper, Tamara Greene, was supposedly murdered to help cover up a scandal involving a party at former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s home. The lawsuit claimed that Tolbert and other Detroit police officials prevented Odell Godbold from doing a full investigation of the murder in order to protect Kilpatrick.

Las Vegas School Cop Charged With Assaulting Student and Staff Member With Baton Enters Plea

In May, Officer James Lescinsky became the latest in a growing number of Las Vegas school cops to be implicated in a violent crime and/or official misconduct. Lescinsky, while employed by the Clark County School District Police in North Las Vegas, is accused of assaulting both a student and a school staff member with his police baton in May of 2015. He’s also accused of slamming the student into a wall and onto the floor. Additionally, he has been charged with falsifying his report and lying to cover up his actions.

On May 26, Officer Lescinsky made his initial court appearance and pled not guilty to five federal charges. In addition to the assault charges and the charge of falsifying an incident report, he’s also charged with tampering with a witness by asking them to lie and support his story.

Neither the student nor the staff member, both of whom are female, have been identified publicly.

Via the Las Vegas Sun:

A Las Vegas-area school police officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges alleging he attacked a student and a school staff member and tried to cover it up.

 James Lescinsky, 45, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen, who let him remain free ahead of a July 26 trial, but ordered him to surrender personal weapons and return his police equipment to the Clark County School District.
Lescinsky has been suspended from his district and police duties, a district spokeswoman said…

An indictment alleges that Lescinsky struck and injured the female staff member with a police baton, and unlawfully assaulted the student by hitting her with the baton and slamming her into a hallway wall and floor.

Lescinsky is accused of lying when he said the student was combative and that the student and staff member were wrestling; of falsifying incident reports; and of trying to persuade a witness to provide a false account of the incident.

Convictions on the five charges could get Lescinsky decades in prison.

Slap On The WristI wouldn’t hold your breath based on the theory that he could get “decades in prison,” though. I can almost guarantee you he’ll get the typical Policeman’s Discount. He isn’t likely to spend even a day in jail once they give him a plea deal for some dramatically lesser charge involving a very hard slap on the wrist and some probation time.

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

Update: Shooting Nevada Inmates With Birdshot Banned by New NDOC Director (For Now)

As I’ve reported here on CopBlock.org in several posts over the past year, the use of shotguns loaded with birdshot has come under scrutiny recently in Nevada prisons after a high-profile case in which an inmate was killed after a fight with another inmate. The family of that inmate, as well the family of the other inmate, who was also shot but survived, and others have made claims that the fight was instigated by guards intentionally in order to allow for the shooting.

Although the Nevada Department of Corrections continues to deny that, they have filed manslaughter charges against one of the guards involved. In addition, the former director of the NV Department of Corrections, Greg Cox, was forced to resign by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval.

In April, James Dzurenda was appointed to take over as the director of the NDOC. Prior to this, he worked in the corrections department in New York and was the DOC commissioner in Connecticut. During that time, he drafted the use-of-force policy for New York State.

In a recent interview with a local NPR affiliate in Nevada, Dzurenda has indicated that one of his first moves as the state DOC director will be to suspend the use of shotguns loaded with birdshot within Nevada Prisons. Previously, the NDOC had indicated that they would not accept the recommendations of experts who had stated shotguns should not be used by prison guards included in a report prompted by the most recent shooting and other similar incidents. However, although he states that he thinks that he feels it’s unnecessary, he seems reluctant to actually stop their use permanently, instead specifying that it is a temporary ban.

The interview also touches on Nevada’s “unique” prison culture and use of guns within those prisons. Dzurenda also indicates that he wants to focus more on rehabilitation and “reintegration” of prisoners being released back into society. plus, he wants more money (surprise!) and he thinks you can help him get it.

Via KNPR.org in Las Vegas:

Throughout history, however, Nevada has developed a unique prison culture. Huffington Post recently published an in-depth story about the use of guns inside Nevada’s prisons following the High Desert State Prison incident, and the sub-headline says it all: “Guards inside prisons shouldn’t have guns. That’s pretty much an accepted fact. Except in Nevada – and the results are mayhem and death.”

When interviewing writer Dana Liebelson, she told KNPR that Nevada’s use of guns inside its prisons “is highly unusual.” Skolnik said he agreed with her – to an extent.

“When I left, Nevada had the lowest rate of correction officer to inmates in the United States,” Skolnik said. “I don’t anticipate it’s gotten any better. If anything, it’s probably gotten worse.”

Is Dzurenda possibly wondering what he’s gotten himself into? Maybe. But he’s not shying away from tough questions about the state of the Nevada’s prisons. In fact, Dzurenda’s interview with KNPR was a first – former director Cox and interim director McDaniel never responded to multiple requests for interviews for the past few years.

One of his first orders of business, he said, is stopping the use of birdshot (the pellet-style ammunition that killed Carlos Perez in 2014) at least temporarily.

“To me, I don’t think it’s necessary,” Dzurenda said. “I’m not saying it’s going to be eliminated, but I’m going to temporarily take it offline because I think there are better things out in the world today we can use to control inmate populations.”

These things include non-lethal rounds of ammunition such as bean bags, rubber or plastic.

Dzurenda is more concerned, however, with programming inside correctional facilities – and considers an inmate’s first day at prison what should be the first day of reintegration efforts.

“If you take a snapshot today, and you don’t arrest anyone ever again, there’s 13,500 inmates in the system right now and 88 percent of those have less than 20-year sentences,” Dzurenda explained. “That means 12,000 of those offenders are released into our community pretty soon – that’s if you arrest no one.

“No matter how we feel about an offender, they are going back into the community. If we don’t funnel resources to do better for them, we’re just going to re-victimize our communities.”

As Skolnik noted, however, getting the money and resources together to have proper programming for inmates is no walk in the park. So how could Dzurenda do what his predecessors could not?

Constituents. Dzurenda may not be a political candidate – but getting the constituents to care about the people being put back into their communities might be able to get the ears of their represented politicians.

You can listen to the entire interview here on KNPR’s site.

Nevada Prison Guard Charged With Manslaughter in Fatal Shooting of Inmates (Update)

I’ve posted several times over the past year about the shooting of two prison inmates at the High Desert State Prison, which is located at Indian Springs, Nevada, just north of Las Vegas. Lawsuits by the families of those inmates, Carlos Perez and Andrew Arevalo, claimed that a fight was instigated between the two prisoners by correctional officers in order to justify the shooting.

As I’ve stated previously regarding the incident:

Both prisoners were handcuffed behind their back at the time of the fight and the lawsuits maintain that neither prisoner represented a threat to the guards sufficient enough to justify them being shot. Carlos Perez died from his injuries, while Andrew Arevalo was gravely wounded but survived. Although it was later overturned, Arevalo was also “internally convicted” of murder charges by the warden relating to Perez’ death.

As I’ve also reported, this and other incidents of shootings by Nevada prison guards led to a review of the use of force within state prisons and the use of shotguns in such incidents. A report produced at the conclusion of that review criticized prison guards’ use of shotguns by concluding “Nevada’s Department of Corrections (NDOC) is improperly relying on live ammunition instead of proper staffing.” Instead of accepting the advice to stop murdering inmates with shotguns, the NDOC responded to that report by saying they “hope to reduce the use of live rounds,” but won’t be doing so anytime soon and agreeing that they should hire more guards.

Two weeks ago in my last update, I discussed the releasing of internal disciplinary reports from the original “investigation” of the shooting, which were released as part of the discovery process in the lawsuits brought by the parents of the inmates shot at High Desert State Prison. Although they didn’t address the claims of the fight being instigated by the guards, they did pretty clearly place the blame for the shootings on those guards.

Latest: Guard Trainee Indicted

Earlier this week, former High Desert State Prison Correctional Officer Trainee Raynaldo J. Ramos was charged with two crimes in relation to the shooting of Perez and Arevalo. However, several questions remain regarding the nature of the charges, as well as the lack of any other indictments.

In light of the conclusions included within the disciplinary reports, the inmates’ families and others believe that Correctional Officers Jeff Castro and Isaiah Smith, both of whom were also present during the shooting, should have been charged, as well.

emailbannerVia Fox5 Las Vegas:

Ramos was charged with one count of the performance of an act in reckless disregard of persons or property resulting in death, and one count of involuntary manslaughter for his role in the death of inmate Carlos Perez.

According to the criminal complaint, while serving as a correctional officer trainee at High Desert State Prison, Ramos shot Perez in the chest, head, and neck while Perez and another inmate were involved in a brawl. Perez died as a result of the shooting.

Perez’s brother,  Victor Perez, believes those involved should be held accountable for his death.

“They can say all they want that it was an accident. I believe my brother was executed,” he said.

Charges were not filed against two other guards who resigned in May 2015, according to the Associated Press.

Perez’s lawyer, C.J. Potter from Potter Law Offices, said the two guards were present at the time of the shooting.

“There’s two other corrections officers there. The Department of Corrections said they failed to intervene, they allowed the two to be in that situation to fight,” Potter said.

” We do feel that the other guards are at least partially responsible because they’re supposed to be training this guard to do things the right way and they didn’t,” Victor Perez said.

Several other things including the length of time between when the issues were outlined in the internal reports, the fact that he was only charged for the fatal shooting and not the injuries to Arevalo, the changing stories that have been publicly released about the incident, and the previous attempt to charge Arevalo with murder for the death of Perez have all been pointed to as evidence of a cover-up by the prison administration.

In addition, the fact that the trainee was the only one charged and the low level nature of the charges (often referred to as a “Policeman’s Discount”) that were filed against him has been characterized as a scapegoating tactic to draw blame away from the other two guards involved and the NDOC itself.

Via ABC 13 Action News:

It’s taken nearly a year and a half, plus allegations of a cover up, for the state to charge a corrections officer in a deadly prison shooting.

Contact 13 explains why some say this is only half a cup of justice.

In November 2014, two handcuffed inmates in a secured unit called “The Hole” got into a fight at High Desert State Prison. A guard fires multiple rounds to break it up. Inmate Andrew Arevalo is seriously wounded. Inmate Carlos Perez is killed.

“Carlos’ mother, Mrs. Perez, was very concerned that there would never be that sense of justice in the case,” said Perez family attorney Cal Potter.

On Monday, the Nevada Attorney General filed a criminal complaint against former Correctional Officer Trainee Raynaldo J. Ramos.

Ramos is charged with “reckless disregard of persons or property resulting in death” and “involuntary manslaughter” for his role in the death of Perez, who was shot in the chest, neck and head.

“Why did it take this long for these distilled charges to come down?” Potter asked.

The charges come just one week after an internal prison report went public — blaming two other corrections officers for failing to follow safety procedures, failing to break up the fight and bringing “negative media attention” on the Department of Corrections. There is no mention in the report of Trainee Ramos.

Potter said, “It’s almost like a half a cup of justice at this point.”

And for only half of the victims. Arevalo was injured by the same gun in the same incident, but no one is being held criminally responsible for shooting him.

“This gives NDOC, this gives the AG’s office almost a scapegoat in COT Ramos,” said Arevalo’s attorney, Alexis Plunkett. “They’ve charged him with low-level felonies and they’ve charged the lowest person on the totem pole.

They’ve charged the trainee. And they’re attempting to remove the blame from all the higher-ups and from anyone else. It’s a trickle-down. And at the very bottom of the totem pole is the person that they’re making take the fall for this.”

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Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal (Update)

As I posted about late last week, a former police chief in Boulder City, Nevada was charged with “failure to perform a duty” after he refused to pursue a case against the local animal shelter supervisor, who was accused of unnecessarily killing animals.

Former Chief Bill Conger had been presented with evidence that Mary Jo Frazier unnecessarily euthanized dozens and possibly even hundreds of healthy animals over the course of years, including many that were pets. Part of the evidence that detectives had presented included statements from animal control employees that Frazier had killed the animals for fun.

As I also posted about in January, Conger was initially forced to resign after it was became public that he had ordered those detectives to suspend the investigation, even though they had recommended that over thirty felony charges should be filed against Frazier.

Those detectives testified that Conger had stated that they instead would use the evidence as a “poker chip” to pressure Frazier, who is now facing charges herself, into retiring. The detectives also stated that the reason Conger gave for choosing not to pursue charges was because he had known about the animals being killed for some time and wanted to keep that from being revealed publicly.

On Tuesday, Conger entered a guilty plea on the failure to perform a duty charge. As part of the deal, his sentence will consist of paying a $1,000 fine.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Former NV Police Chief Bill CongerFormer Boulder City Police Chief Bill Conger pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge tied to the city’s animal shelter scandal.

As part of the agreement, he paid a $1,000 fine.

Conger declined to talk with reporters after the hearing in Boulder Township Justice Court.

The Clark County district attorney’s office charged Conger with the misdemeanor crime of “failure to perform a duty” in connection with dropping an animal cruelty case against former Animal Control Supervisor Mary Jo Frazier.

The complaint says Conger directed his officers not to submit a request to the district attorney’s office for the prosecution of Frazier on “substantiated felony animal cruelty charges.”

Gus Flangas, an attorney for Conger, spoke to reporters outside the courthouse after the plea.

“It’s just an unfortunate set of circumstances that this all happened,” he said. “Mr. Conger felt it would be in everybody’s best interest to just make this plea and get this behind him.”

He declined to answer questions.

In April 2015, a criminal investigation found Frazier, as the city’s animal control supervisor, had unnecessarily killed dozens of animals housed in the shelter for years. City staff who worked with Frazier raised concerns with a police detective, who investigated the case and found many instances were Frazier euthanized animals before waiting for the shelter’s five-day hold period to end. City staff told police that Frazier killed animals for fun.

Despite the detective’s findings, Conger let Frazier quietly retire and dropped the case.
The city reopened the case in December 2015, following a public outcry after the Review-Journal reported about the quashed case.

Conger resigned after his staff reported to the city’s human resources department that he lied about employees coming to him about Frazier. Frazier’s attorney has said she is adamant about her innocence.

Testimony in Frazier’s case reveals Conger preferred to see Frazier retire without facing charges.

City police Detective David Olson and Sgt. Aaron Johnson both testified Conger told them the criminal case against Frazier would be used as a “poker chip.”

“We’re going to use this as a poker chip, kid, because I know about some of this stuff prior and it’s going to look bad if it gets out,” Olson said Conger told him. “So we’re going to let her bow out gracefully and retire and we’re not going to submit charges and we’re not going to arrest her.”

Conger told the Review-Journal in December that he felt felony charges had been an overreach and that Frazier retiring made the whole thing moot.

“People get in trouble and resign all the time,” Conger said then.

Former Police Chief Tom Finn, Conger’s predecessor, was present on Tuesday. Finn had obtained public records about the

Frazier case after Conger shut it down and played a role in getting it out in the open.

He said the guilty plea is a black eye for Conger.

“How many times have you seen a head of a police department charged for not doing their job?” Finn said.