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LVMPD Documentary “What Happened in Vegas” Premieres in Los Angeles on Friday (Dec. 1st) at Laemmle Music Hall

Documentary What Happened in Vegas Ramsey Denison Laemmle Los Angeles Premier

What Happened in Vegas” by Ramsey Denison, the documentary about police brutality and corruption at the LVMPD, premiers in Los Angeles at Laemmle Music Hall 9pm Friday Dec. 1st.

Los Angeles Premier

What Happened in Vegas,” the award winning documentary by Ramsey Denison, is set to open in Los Angeles tomorrow. The official West Coast theatrical premier of the documentary about corruption, coverups, and police brutality at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is being held at the Laemmle Theater in Beverly Hills (a “Secret Path to Oscar Qualifying” for independent films, short films, and documentaries) at 9pm on Friday, December 1st. (Purchase tickets here.)

As has been detailed numerous times here at NVCopBlock.org, What Happened in Vegas explores 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.

In the run up to the official opening, What Happened in Vegas has already received positive reviews from the Los Angeles media. In a preview article in the LA Weekly (originally published at the Village Voice), Daphne Howland writes:

Denison’s documentary What Happened in Vegas is more than a revenge project. He unveils a pattern of police malfeasance, including cover-ups and lies, through disturbing stories of unjustified deaths.

It’s a damning takedown of the city’s powers that be — casinos cozy with a sheriff willing to protect their interests, and a constabulary infected with a Wild West mentality, armed with military weaponry and prone to lies. He argues that those powers even abet a law enforcement debacle surrounding the recent mass shooting at an outdoor music festival that left 58 concertgoers dead and nearly 500 injured.

Denison keeps up the pace — those television skills coming in handy — and unpacks a lot. But he also allows in some light. There are plenty of Las Vegas police officers who want things to change, and Denison gives them, and the victims’ families, a voice.

(As mentioned within the review, What Happened in Vegas also addresses several questions and issues about the investigation surrounding the shootings from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas by Stephen Paddock during the “Route 91 Festival” on Oct. 1st.)

Last week, What Happened in Vegas premiered in New York City at the Cinema Village Theater in East Manhattan on  Black Friday. Subsequent New York showtimes after the official theatrical premier can be found here. The New York opening represented the first showing of the movie within commercial theaters. Prior to that, What Happened in Vegas enjoyed a very successful run of screenings at film festivals throughout the country.

After premiering to rave reviews at Cinequest in San Jose in March, What Happened in Vegas won several awards in subsequent festivals. Among those awards was Best Documentary at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival and the Grand Prize award at the Anthem Film Festival, which is hosted by FreedomFest here in Las Vegas.

In addition, What Happened in Vegas is currently available for pre-order on iTunes.

Police Interference with Las Vegas Showings

Incidentally, outside of the two festival showings previously mentioned, audiences within Las Vegas have yet to see What Happened in Vegas. The reason for that is very much not because of a lack of interest. In fact, three different commercial theater chains had at one time expressed interest in showing the movie here in town.

However, in all those cases that initial interest waned due to the controversial nature of the film and potential fallout from it. It’s even been reported that they received visits from representatives of the LVMPD to help them make that decision. Sources I’ve been in contact with have also told me that Metro has issued a memo to all of their officers directing them not to discuss What Happened in Vegas publicly.

Once you see the movie, you will very much understand why Metro desperately doesn’t want it to be shown theatrically within the city of Las Vegas. It very clearly, convincingly, and dramatically lays out the criminal nature of Sheriff Lombardo and others at the top of the LVMPD and the real consequences of it for the residents and visitors of Las Vegas.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

“What Happened in Vegas” Filmmaker Intro

Body Cam Video of Tashii Farmer-Brown Murder by Officer Kenneth Lopera

The LVMPD’s Shifting Timeline for the Oct. 1st Las Vegas Mass Shooting

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Police Brutality Documentary “What Happened in Vegas” Set to Premier in New York on Black Friday (Nov. 24th)

New York Premier What Happened in Vegas Cinema Village Theater

“What Happened in Vegas,” the documentary about corruption and police brutality within the LVMPD by Ramsey Denison, premiers in New York at Cinema Village on Friday, Nov. 24th.

New York Premier

What Happened in Vegas,” the award winning documentary by Ramsey Denison, is set to open in New York City this week. The first showing of the movie about police brutality within the city of Las Vegas takes place at the Cinema Village Theater in East Manhattan on (Black) Friday, Nov. 24th at 7:00pm. Subsequent showtimes after the official theatrical premier can be found here.

As has been detailed numerous times here at NVCopBlock.org, What Happened in Vegas explores 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.

In the run up to the official opening, What Happened in Vegas has already begun receiving positive reviews by New York media. In a preview article entitled “A Filmmaker Reported Police Brutality in Las Vegas. So the Cops Arrested Him,” Daphne Howland of the Village Voice wrote:

Denison’s documentary What Happened in Vegas is more than a revenge project. He unveils a pattern of police malfeasance, including cover-ups and lies, through disturbing stories of unjustified deaths.

It’s a damning takedown of the city’s powers that be — casinos cozy with a sheriff willing to protect their interests, and a constabulary infected with a Wild West mentality, armed with military weaponry and prone to lies. He argues that those powers even abet a law enforcement debacle surrounding the recent mass shooting at an outdoor music festival that left 58 concertgoers dead and nearly 500 injured.

Denison keeps up the pace — those television skills coming in handy — and unpacks a lot. But he also allows in some light. There are plenty of Las Vegas police officers who want things to change, and Denison gives them, and the victims’ families, a voice.

(As mentioned within the review, What Happened in Vegas also addresses several questions and issues about the investigation surrounding the shootings from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas by Stephen Paddock during the “Route 91 Festival” on Oct. 1st.)

The New York opening represents the first showing of the movie within commercial theaters. Prior to that, What Happened in Vegas enjoyed a very successful run of screenings at film festivals throughout the country.

After premiering to rave reviews at Cinequest in San Jose in March, What Happened in Vegas won several awards in subsequent festivals. Among those awards was Best Documentary at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival and the Grand Prize award at the Anthem Film Festival, which is hosted by FreedomFest here in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles Premier, Las Vegas Showings, and Beyond

Next month, What Happened in Vegas will make its West Coast theatrical premier when it opens in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Theater in Beverly Hills on December 1st. BTW, word on the streets is that playing at the Laemmle Theaters is a “Secret Path to Oscar Qualifying” for independent films, short films, and documentaries that normally haven’t received the attention that big-budget, studio films are afforded. So, Joe Lombardo and the rest of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in theory could really get their ivory tower shook up by a cameo with a guy named Oscar come February. (#JusSayin)

Speaking of the LVMPD and appearances they desperately don’t want to happen, outside of the two festival appearances previously mentioned, audiences within Las Vegas have yet to see What Happened in Vegas. The reason for that is not a lack of interest. In fact, two different commercial theater chains had at one time expressed interest in showing the movie here in town.

However, in both cases that interest waned due to the controversial nature of the film and potential fallout from it. It’s been reported that they even received visits from representatives of the LVMPD to help them make that decision. Sources I’ve been in contact with have also told me that Metro has issued a memo to all of their officers directing them not to discuss What Happened in Vegas publicly.

Regardless of that, plans are for the movie to show theatrically within the city of Las Vegas, one way or another, at some point after the New York and Los Angeles premiers. In the meantime, What Happened in Vegas is currently available for pre-order on iTunes.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

“What Happened in Vegas” Filmmaker Intro

Body Cam Video of Tashii Farmer-Brown Murder by Officer Kenneth Lopera

The LVMPD’s Shifting Timeline for the Oct. 1st Las Vegas Mass Shooting

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Tashii Brown’s Mother Calls For Murder Charge Against Las Vegas Cop At “What Happened in Vegas” Screening

Tashii Farmer Brown Family Mother Trinita What Happened in Vegas ScreeningLast week, following a screening of “What Happened in Vegas,” Tashii Farmer-Brown‘s mother, Trenita Farmer, addressed the media in attendance. The statement, quoted below, represents the first time that Brown’s family had spoken publicly since he was murdered in May (2017) by Las Vegas Police at the Venetian on the Las Vegas Strip.

Over 200 people attended the July 20th screening at the Anthem Film Festival, which is part of Freedom Fest inside the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The screening was very well received (it was later awarded the film festival’s grand prize) and the majority of those people stayed for the press conference. In addition, a question and answer panel followed featuring director Ramsey Denison, producer Randy Wiles, and Neill Franklin of LEAP.

Las Vegas Metro LVMPD Police State ChalkDuring the screening, Trinita and other members of Brown’s family left the room after becoming emotional and were unable to watch the film. There were others in the audience, including family members of other people featured in it, that also began crying. The four cases that “What Happened in Vegas” focuses on, those of Brown, Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, and Stanley Gibson, are some of the most controversial killings by police in the history of Las Vegas.

Tashii Brown’s murder, which was caught on both Lopera’s body camera and casino surveillance footage, was so graphic and so obviously unnecessary that his story was added to the video just prior to this screening. In the months since, Lopera’s actions and the response of the LVMPD’s leadership has been questioned heavily, both locally and nationally.

As is typical for crimes committed by their officers, Metro immediately began attempting to blame the victim by smearing Brown’s character. Also, even though Officer Lopera eventually became the first Las Vegas area police officer to be charged with a crime as a result of killing someone while on duty, he was only charged with Involuntary Manslaughter.

Within her statement, Farmer addressed that low level charge and called for Clark County District Attorney Steve to charge Lopera with the appropriate one. While she didn’t specify it herself, it shouldn’t be hard to figure out that the crime Officer Kenneth Lopera committed that day was murder.

Here is the full text of Trinita Farmer’s statement. Below that is video of the press conference.

“I’d like to thank everybody for coming today. I’m happy that the police officer that killed my son has been charged, but it’s not enough. If it was a regular person, a citizen, they wouldn’t have been so lenient on them. Because it was an officer, he was given special treatment. I call on District Attorney Wolfson to re-examine the case and charge this officer appropriately.

Tashii was my heart. He was a good son, a good father. And he had a lot of dreams. They never gave him a chance. He didn’t deserve this. I thank you guys for coming.”

Statement by Tashii Brown’s Mother Trinita Farmer

Tashii Brown’s Mother and “What Happened in Vegas” Q&A Panel Discussion

On May 14th, Tashii Brown was beaten, tased at least seven times, and then choked to death by LVMPD Officer Kenneth Lopera. Brown had approached Lopera and another officer inside the Venetian Casino asking for help, stating he thought someone was chasing him. Instead of receiving that help, he was treated like a suspect by the officers, then chased into a parking area after he became afraid and tried to run away.

The choke hold that Ofc. Lopera used to kill Brown was not authorized by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, nor is use of a taser more than four times. Metro has also publicly admitted that Brown was not suspected of any crime at the time and in fact would not have been charged with a crime had he survived Lopera’s attack.

Therefore, Lopera had no legal reason to detain him in the first place. At the time that he began illegally choking him, Brown was also already being held down by at least two hotel security guards and did not represent a threat to anyone. Officer Lopera also refused to relinquish that “rear naked” choke hold when other officers that arrived at the scene told him to.

Body Cam Video of Tashii Farmer-Brown Murder by Officer Kenneth Lopera

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

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Paradise California Cop Sentenced to Just 180 Days for Murdering Driver Will Only Serve Half That

A California cop who has already gotten a huge Policeman’s Discount by only being charged with manslaughter for what was clearly a murder (see the dash camera video embedded below) will be released after serving just half of the already ridiculous 180 day sentence he received. That means that Paradise Police Officer Patrick Feaster will serve just 90 days once “good behavior” is factored into his case.

Via KRCRtv.com, the local ABC affiliate:

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea confirmed Monday that Feaster is entitled to earn “half-time” credit, meaning Feaster could be released from custody after serving 90 days of his 180-day jail term.

Should the former officer break jail rules or incur some sort of discipline, some of that time could be taken away as part of a disciplinary process, Honea said.

“We’re going to do everything in accordance with the law,” the sheriff said.

Feaster was sentenced Friday in Butte County Superior Court in Oroville to 180 days in jail and three years of probation following his felony conviction of involuntary manslaughter in October.

A jury found Feaster guilty of involuntary manslaughter stemming from the shooting of 26-year-old Andrew Thomas in the early morning hours of Nov. 26, 2015, in Paradise. Feaster shot Thomas in the neck as approached an overturned vehicle that Thomas had been trying to climb out of.

As has been written about several times here on the CopBlock Network by Ademo, in November Feaster was caught on video shooting a DUI suspect in the neck after he was involved in a rollover accident. Initially, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced that he would not be filing any charges against Feaster, based on the obviously false claim that it was an accidental discharge. However, Officer Feaster was eventually fired and then charged with involuntary manslaughter once the man he shot, Andrew Thomas, died.

Prior to the trial, it was also revealed that Feaster had failed to even tell the other officers on the scene that he shot Thomas. Audio that was released after the original video includes them telling Thomas he hadn’t been shot, then asking him if he had been shot at the bar he was spotted leaving prior to the accident after he told them that it was Feaster who had shot him. At least eleven minutes passed before Officer Feaster finally decided to tell the other cops that he had shot Thomas (see the video with audio added embedded below).

Meanwhile, once the DA finally and reluctantly charged Feaster with manslaughter, the favorable treatment continued without interruption. Feaster was released on his own recognizance without any bail requirement. That continued even after he and his brother were arrested on a drunk and disorderly charge while he was awaiting trial and still on bail.

During the trial in which Feaster was only facing a maximum sentence of five years anyway, most of the focus was on how much the man who had cold-bloodedly committed murder had suffered as a result. During the sentencing trial after his conviction, the defense attorneys and Feaster’s family spoke about how his life had been ruined and he had lost his career as a police officer. They maintained that that was punishment enough, in spite of the fact that Officer Feaster had literally taken someone’s life and the only “justification” offered for that action was “the way Thomas tried to get out of the car” somehow being a threat to him, even though it clearly wasn’t based on the video.

Of course, it shouldn’t be shocking that a district attorney who had to be forced kicking and screaming to file any charges (and filed the least serious ones they could get away with) had no problem helping the Good Cops at the Paradise Police Department protect one of their Few Bad Apples.

Video of Shooting:

Full Video with Body Camera Audio Added:

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Seeking Justice for William Lee Honea in Choctaw County, Oklahoma

The following post was submitted by Richard Houston, via the CopBlock.org Submissions page. In addition, along with his submission Richard states:

I need help gaining access to the video footage they claim to have reviewed and used to justify the homicide…I am telling you as an eyewitness, there is no footage to be viewed. I also have an autopsy that contradicts every statement or report made…I really need help please…I have what it takes to prove they wrongfully killed William Lee Honea on Dec. 4, 2014…I really need help…I have lost my whole life because of their retaliation. It’s all or nothing.

Date of Incident: Dec 5, 2014
Officers Involved: Sheriff Terry Park, Under Sheriff Larry Hendrix, City Police Steve Babcock
Department Involved: Choctaw County Police Department
Department Phone No: (580) 326-2130

Hugo Ok – 90 days have now passed and still no sign of the dashcam footage Officially requested by watchdog reporter

Screenshot_2015-06-18-00-09-44-1William Lee Honea was shot to death by Choctaw County Police in Grant Oklahoma on Dec. 4, 2014.

The District Attorney has made the statement of fact that he has viewed the OHP dashcam footage, and based on what he says he saw, claims the shooting was justified. But has failed to provide that dashcam footage “as agreed” for 90 days now. The question is Why?

William Lee Honea was accused of shooting at officers after a 15 min pursuit, (which was an official statement made to KXII by the O.S.B.I personally), to justify the shooting the day this all took place.

☆Forensic evidence proved that Honea never in fact discharged a firearm at all…

According to the autopsy, there was no sign of gun powder residue or soot not associated with the officer’s bullets entering Honea’s body.

According to reports made by the shooting officers to the O.S.B.I, and by the O.S.B.I personally to KXII the pursuit of Honea started at 2:45pm (after a phone call was recieved of Honea being wanted out of Texas), which ended after an alleged 15 min pursuit…

☆Forensic evidence has proved that to be false, as well.

According to the autopsy, Honea died at the Hugo Hospital at 1426 hours (2:26pm). A man cant be pronounced dead at 2:26pm in a chase that didn’t start until 2:45 and ended 15 minutes later.

dwc banner-http://www.copblock.org/support/copblock-network/So when confronted about the circumstances, the answer was an OHP dashcam footage shows “Honea” stepping out with a rifle, and based on what “was allegedly viewed” it was ruled a justified homicide.

On July 9, 2015, a copy of the OHP dashcam footage was officially requested by the Oklahoma Watchdog. And as of now 90 days have passed and still no sign of the OHP dashcam footage…(hmmmm)

So we are starting to wonder if this failure to provide the OHP footage is a political move in the upcoming election next year or sign of guilt

Investigative reporters really want to know, how our officers and elected sheriff managed to shoot Honea six times in the posterior section of the body, (I.E. – THE BACK) with one of those six shots being in the “back of the head.”

It is said that the OHP dashcam footage will prove the shooting to be justified, but almost 90 days have passed and no footage has been provided as of yet.

– Richard Houston
Choctaw County “Truth is Justice”

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North Las Vegas Anti-Police Brutality Protest – Wed. June 24th – 7pm (Update)

ChalkThePoliceState-29a

This actually applies to every Las Vegas area police dept.  Not one single time.

As was noted in a previous post, it was just announced by Clark County D.A. Steve Wolfson that yet another Las Vegas area cop won’t be facing any sort of accountability for killing an unarmed person under highly questionable circumstances. Of course, that and the shoddy “investigation” that preceded the announcement aren’t that unusual here in Vegas, where not one single cop has ever stood trial for shooting someone. However, the reason is a new twist. Wolfson actually stated that the reason this murder couldn’t be considered criminal was that the only (living) witness is the shooter, North Las Vegas Police Officer Raymond Lopez.

In March of last year, Lopez saw a homeless man near an abandoned house. He approached that man and less than a minute later David Robinson was dead with three gunshots to the head and another in his shoulder. Although, Robinson was unarmed and a knife he did have was found still in his pocket, Lopez used the excuse that he thought he saw something glimmering in Robinson’s hand to justify the shooting.

Obviously, in a city where a cop can say he thought a hat was a gun to justify shooting someone and not be punished in any way, let alone charged with a crime, that was enough for the police “investigators.” An outside research group was brought in to access that investigation and they stated that the interviews conducted were incomplete and that Lopez should be re-interviewed. However, he was allowed to resign and refused any further interviews.

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The idea that there isn’t other evidence beyond eyewitness accounts is ridiculous and the history of incomplete and uninspired “investigations” by Las Vegas area police and the Clark County District Attorney’s office, has created an atmosphere where cops know they can get away with murder and ensures there is no deterrent from them doing so. It’s not a coincidence that Las Vegas ranked no. 3 in the entire nation for police shootings.

Homeless people in particular are frequently bullied by and seen as targets for harassment and violence by the police. In fact, back in the 90’s the LVMPD’s Ofc. Greg Pease killed 3 homeless men in almost identical circumstances to Lopez’ case. In spite of three separate incredibly questionable incidents, he was never held accountable in any way whatsoever.

It’s these sort of sham investigations that let cops know they can do whatever they want, up to and including killing you, and get away with it every time. At some point people need to tell them we won’t just accept that anymore.

Wednesday, June 24th at 7pm – Nevada Cop Block will be holding a protest against the continued police brutality by the North Las Vegas Police and other Las Vegas area police departments and the absolute lack of accountability for those abuses. The protest will be held at the North Las Vegas Police Department Headquarters, which is located at 2332 North Las Vegas Blvd, North Las Vegas, NV 89030. You can get directions via the embedded map below. If you are on Facebook, you can RSVP at the event page located here.

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Las Vegas Cop Shot Unarmed Man; Won’t Be Charged Since He Was Only Witness

North Las Vegas Police ShootingJust over a year ago, in March of 2014, Officer Raymond Lopez of the North Las Vegas Police Department saw a homeless man near an abandoned home. Thinking he was either squatting in or scavenging from the vacant house, Lopez approached David Robinson and about a minute later shot him three times in the head and once in the shoulder, killing him.

Although a knife was later (conveniently) found in Robinson’s back pocket, it obviously wasn’t in his hand, nor was he armed in any other way. In addition, no claim of physical resistance by Robinson was ever made, even by Lopez. His only claim to justify the shooting was that he saw “the glint of a blade.” This is fairly reminiscent of the claim by Jacquar Roston, of the LVMPD, that he shot an unarmed man because a shiny spot on his hat looked like a gun.

In what is a rather unsurprising outcome for murders involving Las Vegas area police, given their track record of having never charged a single cop in the entire 100+ year history of the city for shooting someone, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson has just announced that Lopez’s action that day “cannot be deemed criminal.” And although even Wolfson can’t work up the nerve to claim this shooting was justified, he falls back on an excuse that there is a lack of evidence, based on the fact that the only (surviving) witness was Officer Lopez, in order to keep that perfect record intact.

CBN-network-bannerNot only did Lopez make sure he left no witnesses, but as is typically the case, he got a little help from his friends. The Force Science Institute, an independent research group brought in to analyze the case, stated that police “investigators” had asked Lopez incomplete questions. Going through the motions of doing an interview (or purposely steering interviewees away from important details that don’t fit the established narrative) is a known tactic police use to avoid scrutiny when cops are involved in a questionable shooting. It’s not anything that Las Vegas area police investigators haven’t already resorted to in previous officer involved shootings, either. FSI recommended that Lopez be re-interviewed in order to attain more comprehensive answers as to what happened that day. Instead, Lopez refused to submit to any further interviews and then quit in January as a result of the bad publicity from the case.

Per the Las Vegas Review Journal:

District Attorney Steve Wolfson

District Attorney Wolfson

Due to the lack of evidence, the district attorney’s office couldn’t disprove Lopez’s version of events, and were “unable to prove that the actions of Officer Lopez were in fact unjustified,” the report said.

“Based on the limited information we had in this case, it was important to determine if the officer’s explanation of events could be validated,” District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in the news release. “Making sure that we provide a thorough and accurate analysis in every officer involved shooting is our priority.”

As everyone knows, not every murder has a witness, not every crime has a “smoking gun” that by itself proves guilt or innocence. That’s generally determined by having the person(s) and crime scene involved investigated thoroughly for whatever evidence there is available and having them face tough and impartial questioning about any inconsistencies that might be uncovered in the process. However, in the case of police officers they find themselves being questioned by friendly co-workers, given time to get their story together, and not having any of those inconsistencies questioned. Much like with the beginnings of the aftermath of the Walter Scott shooting, any story that is presented by an officer to justify the shooting is readily accepted. Unless, of course, some video suddenly surfaces to contradict that and there’s no opportunity for the police to make that video disappear, like in the case of Erik (no relation to Walter) Scott.

N. Las Vegas Police ShootingIf anyone else was involved in shooting someone, they would be questioned about why they felt the need to point a gun at someone who wasn’t physically resisting in the first place and why they felt a need to fire that gun when the person’s only weapon was tucked away in their pocket and they could easily unload their gun (that was already out and aimed at the person) long before the person could ever pull the knife out and prepare to use it, even if they decided to do so. Perhaps that person would have good answers for those questions, but it’s kinda important to ask those questions when, “making sure that we provide a thorough and accurate analysis in every officer involved shooting is our priority,” as Wolfson would have people believe.

Most people would be arrested if they were involved in a deadly shooting and they certainly wouldn’t be allowed to just quit their job and walk away from the investigation with no further questions asked.

However, this is the typical M.O. of police departments nationwide when “investigating” their own and it’s a particular specialty of Las Vegas area police and the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. This type of toothless investigation is something Las Vegas residents have come to expect from both those entities. And this isn’t the first time that a local cop has been allowed to kill homeless people with no questions asked. In fact, pretty much the exact same scenario played out just about exactly 20 years ago.

ChalkThePoliceState-29aBetween 1994 and 1996, LVMPD Officer Greg Pease killed three homeless men under incredibly questionable circumstances. In each case, Pease reported he was investigating a potential burglary, claimed he acted in self defense after being attacked with a knife, and also just like Lopez the only other witness ended up dead. There is also one more similarity between the two. In each case, Pease’s actions were ruled justified, even though in the third instance he had the name of the man who “ambushed” him written on a notepad in his car prior to the incident.

It took getting caught using a LVMPD fuel card to fill his personal vehicle up for Pease to finally get forced into resigning. So, perhaps in that respect they’ve progressed a slight bit by forcing Lopez out after his first unjustifiable killing. Police departments in Las Vegas have a long and, at this point, unbroken record of looking the other way when their officers act inappropriately, up to and including those that murder.  This case won’t and shouldn’t give anyone much hope that this policy will change anytime soon.

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After Henderson Police Beat Man in Diabetic Shock, NV Residents Pay for It (via submission)

I recently received a link to this story via the submission page along with the statement “this was a big story, surprised you don’t have it on your site.”

A member of the Henderson police Department was caught on video kicking a man in the head while he is held by three other cops. It was later determined that this man was suffering from diabetic shock instead of driving drunk as cops originally suspected.

While that surprise isn’t unfounded, the simple reason that this hasn’t been posted on NvCopBlock.org previously is that it predates the launch of this site. However, I very much agree that it should be included and am taking this opportunity to rectify that discrepancy by posting the submission along with a few updates.

This story, along with it’s eventual “resolution,” is actually very indicative of the lack of accountability within police departments in the Las Vegas area:

“A Nevada city will pay a diabetic man $158,500 (it actually totals close to $300k once the state settlements are factored in) after police beat him while he was in diabetic shock, thinking he was a drunken driver…

The incident was caught by the dash cam of a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper present during the incident, which began as a chase in the early morning hours of Oct. 29, 2010. Police suspected the man was driving drunk…

The video showed that once the car was pulled over, police officers swarmed the driver and began kicking him.

‘Stop resisting motherfucker. Stop resisting motherfucker,’ an officer yelled as the man lay on the ground.

However, the man was not drunk – he was suffering a diabetic episode. Insulin shock can mimic the symptoms of intoxication…

An officer seen in the video kicking the diabetic motorist is Sgt. Brett Seekatz, who has been with the Henderson Police Department since August 2002, ABC 13 reported. Officials wouldn’t specify how or if Seekatz was disciplined over the incident, saying the information is a personnel matter and will not be released. He remains a member of the Henderson Police Department.”

Once the video surfaced, the people in the community were understandably outraged by the obviously unnecessary nature of the beating inflicted on a visibly restrained man. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson saw it differently, though. In his initial review of the case, he came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be “in the community’s best interest” to punish Sgt. Seekatz (who has a history of complaints being filed against him predating this case) or any of the other officers because two years had passed since the incident happened.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson

Not surprisingly, that assessment was met with outrage by the community prompting Wolfson to take yet another look at the case and try to come up with a better sounding rationalization for not punishing Seekatz. Unfortunately, he didn’t do a very good job in that effort. Once again, Wolfson chose not to hold anyone accountable for their actions that day, essentially stating that Henderson police are trained to kick people in the head while making arrests and therefore they couldn’t be punished for doing so.

Not exactly the sort of thing that makes you feel real confident that you won’t become yet another victim of the police departments in and around Las Vegas, but honestly not something that is a shock to anyone that has dealt with them before. Knowing that you won’t get punished for abusing and even killing someone, tends to embolden those in positions of authority over others to abuse that authority. Including it in their training, tends to make those abuses inevitable.

And if you’re a taxpaying resident of Clark County, NV., that $6,514,918 that the LVMPD alone has payed out to its victims since 2009 , including almost $2 million already in 2012 (amounts via the Clark County Criminal Cops site), is coming straight out of your paycheck.

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