Tag Archives: Federal Civil Rights case

Update: NHP Dash Cam Audio Doesn’t Match Boulder City Police Version; Evidentiary Hearing Ordered Over Discrepancies

Nevada Police Sgt John Glenn Motion to Dismiss Dash Cam Audio

Boulder City Judge Victor Miller has scheduled an evidentiary hearing for Dec. 20th in relation to discrepancies with audio recordings that BCPD Sgt John Glenn provided in support of charges, including obstruction and resisting arrest, against John Hunt.

Earlier this week, Stephen Stubbs, a lawyer for John Hunt, presented in court even more proof of evidence tampering by Boulder City Police and/or prosecutors. Stubbs indicated that just prior to a Dec. 5th hearing on a motion he had filed to dismiss charges against Hunt, he had received a new dash cam video from the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The audio on that video did not match the audio on a dash cam video previously received from the Boulder City Police Department, even though the two videos had been recording simultaneously during Hunt’s arrest. In fact, the motion to dismiss had itself been based on allegations that the original audio from the BCPD’s version had been altered to justify filing retaliatory charges of resisting arrest against Hunt.

As has been detailed here previously (see related links below), Hunt is currently facing several charges related to a June 2016 incident in which he was arrested. At the time, members of the BCPD were conducting a “pedestrian sting operation” where they would step into a crosswalk, then ticket drivers who did not stop early enough.

Believing that their true motivation was to generate money for the city government by writing tickets, Hunt began walking back and forth into the crosswalk himself. According to Hunt, this was done as a protest of that monetary incentive and also to demonstrate his belief that they were purposely not giving motorists sufficient time to stop in order to issue citations.

Not long after, Hunt was arrested by Sgt. John Glenn and charged with “Failing to Yield as a Pedestrian” and “Resisting Arrest.” Initially, the charges were dismissed by the prosecutor after surveillance footage from a nearby business contradicted Glenn’s account of Hunt’s behavior. However, just one day after Hunt filed a civil rights lawsuit, the charges were refiled, along with an additional charge of “Obstructing an Officer.”

Hunt has maintained since shortly after he was arrested that things he remembered saying at the time weren’t included on the dash cam video. Subsequently, analyses conducted by two separate audio experts concluded that the video had been edited after the fact. (A PDF containing the full Forensic Audio Authentication reports can be found here.) Based on who had access to do so, that would have to have been done by either someone within the police department or the city attorney’s office.

Unlike that first video, the audio on the NHP video includes statements made by Hunt that support his own version of what happened that day. As a matter of fact, the audio that is not included on Sgt. Glenn’s version consists of two key exchanges that contradict his previous testimony and information he wrote within the arrest reports.

Via the Boulder City Review: 

During Tuesday’s hearing, Stubbs told Miller that there were two microphones together at the same place capturing the same event. One was Glenn’s and the other was this officer’s.

“There is a part of the video that should be the same, but it’s not,” he said.

In the subpoenaed NHP video that was provided to the Boulder City Review, there are two questions Hunt asks officers that are not present in the other dash-cam video when he is detained by Glenn.

In Glenn’s dash-cam video, the first time Hunt speaks to officers after being detained he says “No.”

According to the NHP video, after Hunt is handcuffed by officers he asks them if he is being detained. Then he said, “No,” and asks again if he is being detained.

After that he is told that he is not being detained but rather being arrested. He then asks officers what he is being arrested for and is told for obstructing a pedestrian in the roadway, obstructing traffic and resisting arrest. This portion is present in both Glenn’s dash-cam video and the NHP one.

The NHP one, however, includes the question, “How can I resist something that I’m not aware of?” that Hunt asks officers after being told why he is being arrested.

Glenn’s dash-cam video has no dialogue from Hunt during that time.

According to Stubbs, the Nevada Highway Patrol had located and downloaded this video with the full, unaltered audio all the way back in 2016. However, it wasn’t until Tuesday, just hours before the motion hearing, that they finally provided the video to Hunt’s defense team. (Almost as if they were trying to hide something.)

Based on this new evidence, Boulder City Municipal Court Judge Victor Miller scheduled an evidentiary hearing over the authenticity of the audio on dash cam footage provided by the Boulder City Police. After that hearing, which is scheduled for Dec. 20th, Judge Miller could rule to exclude the dash cam evidence or even dismiss the entire case, if he finds in favor of the defense’s claims that evidence has been tampered with.

Stubbs maintains that the charges should be dismissed outright on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. That misconduct has cast sufficient doubt upon the authenticity of the entirety of the evidence against Hunt. As a result, he will not be able to receive a fair trial in light of that uncertainty.

 

Original Video Concerning the Perjury Committed by Sgt. John Glenn

Surveillance Video of John Hunt Crossing Street

Sgt. Glenn’s Dashcam Video

Other Posts Related to Boulder City, Nevada:

  1. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  2. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  3. Former Boulder City Nevada Police Chief Charged Over Animal Cruelty Cover-Up
  4. Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  6. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  7. Boulder City Police Doctored Audio in Arrest Video Where They Were Already Caught Committing Perjury
  8. Update: Nevada Court to Rule on Evidence Tampering in Arrest for Obstruction of Police Revenue Generation
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Update: Nevada Court to Rule on Evidence Tampering in Arrest for Obstruction of Police Revenue Generation

Nevada Police Sgt John Glenn Motion to Dismiss Dash Cam Audio

A Boulder City judge will rule Dec. 5th on a motion to dismiss in the case of John Hunt, who was arrested by Sgt John Glenn in retaliation for interfering with their revenue generation scheme.

On December 5th, a judge in Boulder City, Nevada (located just outside of Las Vegas) will issue a ruling on a case involving a revenue-based enforcement exercise by local police, as well as allegations of a false arrest, perjury by a police supervisor, and the manufacturing of evidence that stem from an impromptu protest that day. Based on those improprieties, Judge Victor Miller has been asked to dismiss charges brought against John Hunt in a motion filed by Hunt’s attorney Stephen Stubbs.

In June of 2016, officers with the Boulder City Police Department were out early in the morning generating revenue for the city. Their scheme consisted of stepping into a crosswalk and then ticketing drivers who didn’t stop quick enough. One of the Boulder City residents that drove by that day was John Hunt, who has stated that he believes the police were intentionally stepping into traffic at a point where the cars did not have enough time to react and therefore would end up being ticketed and fined.

Hunt decided to protest what he deemed to be an unfair issuing of citations by going out and repeatedly walking into the cross walk himself. The intent was to show that the cars would stop if they were given the proper amount of time and thereby expose the true nature of Sgt. John Glenn and his cohorts. The Boulder City police have a bureaucracy to feed though, so obviously they weren’t happy about Hunt getting in the way of their morning fundraiser.

As I previously wrote here at NVCopBlock.org, Hunt was arrested and charged with “Failing to Yield as a Pedestrian” and “Resisting Arrest.” However, at his first hearing the charges were dismissed by the prosecutor even before it began. According to Stubbs, the reason for that quick dismissal was that Sgt. Glenn had lied on his police report in order to justify the arrest. Those lies (also known as perjury when included on a sworn police report) would have been exposed in court due to Hunt’s actions having been captured on a nearby business’ security cameras.

Not only did the surveillance video contradict Sgt. Glenn’s written arrest report, discrepancies soon surfaced involving the dash cam evidence that had been provided as part of the discovery process. As detailed in a follow up post I wrote here at Nevada Cop Block in October of 2016, Hunt questioned the authenticity of the audio included on the video that had been produced by the city. Subsequently, two different forensic audio experts testified that the audio had indeed been altered from that of the original video. (A PDF containing the full Forensic Audio Authentication Report can be found here.)

Citing the false testimony within the police report and the evidence tampering involving the dash cam footage, Stubbs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in May of this year on Hunt’s behalf. In retaliation for that lawsuit, the Boulder City prosecutor refiled the original charges, plus an additional charge of “Obstructing an Officer,” the next month. In fact, rather than even try to mask the true nature behind refiling the charges, they were actually submitted by the city just one day after the lawsuit was reported by local news.

“I’m in awe of how stupid this is,” said defense lawyer Stephen Stubbs. “It screams of retaliation.”

Included in the motion to dismiss are several new details regarding the inconsistencies on the dash cam video’s audio track and some less than convincing excuses for them by Sgt. Glenn and city attorney’s office and police department of Boulder City:

The alleged false evidence mentioned in Tuesday’s motion to dismiss includes dash-cam video of the June 8 incident that Glenn said did not match what he had seen in the system from that day.

It was given to the defense by the city on July 5 and is different than the dash-cam footage that Stubbs received in 2016.

Two forensic experts who analyzed the 2016 dash-cam video determined that the recording had been altered.

“Two separate audio forensic experts have confirmed that the video contains the wrong unit number … proving that, at a minimum the metadata was altered …. The defense does not know how much of the video was altered or if an authentic video even exists anymore,” Stubbs wrote in his motion.”

That newer dash cam video and questions surrounding the erroneous unit number, as well as what appears to be an alteration of the text overlay on the video after the fact to replace the incorrect unit number has cast even more doubt on the authenticity of the video evidence the city has provided.

During a deposition for the lawsuit on November 20th, Glenn testified about those questions:

In that deposition, Hunt’s other attorney, David T. Blake, showed Glenn the earlier dash-cam video of the event. The video, (from) June 8, 2016, said that it was from Unit 277. The text of those items was in red print.

“As far as I know, our text is not in red,” he told Blake when asked if he’d seen that type of text overlay before. “It’s in white … It looks similar to the format that we use, but I don’t recall ever seeing any in red.”

Blake also asked him about the unit number.

In the deposition, Glenn said that his unit number the day of the activity on June 8 was 277. He also said that he had been assigned to that unit number since the vehicle was brand-new, approximately two and a half years.

Later in the deposition and in an email provided to the defense, Glenn said that although his unit number was 277, the camera in his vehicle was actually from unit 281.

“My vehicle number is 277 …. And the camera in unit 277 failed,” he said in the deposition. “It had to be sent back. There was another vehicle that wasn’t being used, which was unit 281. The camera out of that vehicle was taken out of that vehicle, placed in my vehicle and the device name was not changed when it was changed over. So my vehicle was being broadcast as 281.”

In the email Glenn added that the unit identifier was “mistakenly not changed” until around Aug. 4, 2016.

So, between the original retaliatory nature of the charges (without even getting into the exploitative financial motive for the “safety exercise” Hunt had interrupted), the inconsistencies in Sgt. Glenn’s police reports, and the evidentiary issues, logic should dictate that Judge Miller will have an easy decision to do the right thing and grant the motion for dismissal.

Stephen Stubbs certainly seems to think so:

“By manufacturing false and fraudulent evidence, the city attorney’s office, the Boulder City Police Department, or both have tipped the scales of justice so far that the scales themselves have fallen into a bog of eternal stench,” said Stubbs about Tuesday’s motion…

“We filed this because the evidence is clear that the city attorney’s office, the Boulder City Police Department or both manufactured false evidence and gave it to defense as discovery,” Stubbs said. “They cheated …. Justice requires all these ridiculous charges be dropped.”

However, we are dealing with the government and their police enforcers, so logic might not be the standard by which things are decided. Nor is there any lack of precedence for cops to get away with or even be rewarded for committing blatant acts of perjury and evidence tampering. That’s especially the case in Las Vegas area police departments.

Original Video Concerning the Perjury Committed by Sgt. John Glenn

Surveillance Video of John Hunt Crossing Street

Sgt. Glenn’s Dashcam Video

Other Posts Related to Boulder City, Nevada:

  1. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  2. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  3. Former Boulder City Nevada Police Chief Charged Over Animal Cruelty Cover-Up
  4. Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  6. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  7. Boulder City Police Doctored Audio in Arrest Video Where They Were Already Caught Committing Perjury
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Update: Woman Beaten by LVMPD Officer For Littering Has Filed Civil Rights Lawsuit

In January, I posted about former LVMPD Officer Richard Scavone, who was caught on camera assaulting a woman. The immediate reason for his violent actions that day was that she had thrown a cup of coffee on the ground while he was in the process of profiling and harassing her. In reality, it was a case of “contempt of cop” in which the woman didn’t properly bow and scrape to his authoritah and possibly a bit of showing off to the corrections officer he was giving a ride along to at the time.

Now the woman he attacked and then arrested on trumped up charges to justify that arrest has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against him. In that lawsuit, Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz names the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Officer Scavone, and former Corrections Officer Travis Buechler who was with Scavone at the time of the incident. Cal Potter, a Las Vegas civil rights lawyer, is representing Vizcarrondo-Ortiz in the lawsuit.

Via the Associated Press:

A California woman who authorities say was illegally beaten by a police officer wearing a body camera has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking damages from Las Vegas police, the former patrol officer and his partner at the time.

Officials have called the case one of the first to use body-camera video against an officer wearing the device.

Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz of Los Angeles said in her lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas that she suffered permanent face, neck and back injuries during her January 2015 arrest on littering and loitering for prostitution charges. The charges were later dropped.

Ortiz’s lawyer, Cal Potter, called her beating and arrest unjustified “street justice” for offending the arresting officer, Richard Thomas Scavone, by throwing a cup of coffee on the ground and refusing to put her hands behind her back to be handcuffed.
“He videotaped his own misconduct,” Potter said of Scavone. “It’s our belief that there was no basis for the stop or the arrest…”
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Las Vegas Cop Faces Federal Civil Rights Charges Over Beating of Woman For Littering

Former Officer Richard Scavone of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was indicted by a federal grand jury on civil rights charges. Those charges related to excessive force during an arrest of a woman that he had originally begun harassing based on his belief that she was a prostitute.

He also faces charges based on his falsification of the arrest report to justify assaulting her by claiming she was combative and that he was defending himself when he beat her. Although the footage hasn’t been released yet, Scavone was wearing a body cam at the time. The video from that camera did not match his report, which led to an investigation. that investigation initially led to local misdemeanor battery charges, as well as his firing from the LVMPD. The federal charges are both felonies.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

According to the indictment, Scavone, while acting under color of law, handcuffed the woman on Jan. 6, 2015, and assaulted her several times.

He grabbed the woman around her neck and threw her to the ground, struck her in the forehead with an open palm, slammed her face into the hood of his patrol car two times and slammed her into the door of his car, the indictment alleges.

The actions resulted in “bodily injury” to the woman, the indictment alleges.

Scavone also falsified a use-of-force report about his confrontation with the woman, according to the indictment.

Authorities last year said Scavone was wearing a body camera during the scuffle, but police have not made the recording public.

Scavone had stopped a woman about 5 a.m. near Tropicana Avenue and Interstate 15, where he said she was loitering and trying to solicit work as a prostitute, according to authorities.

His supervisors concluded his use of force was “excessive” and “unreasonable,” Undersheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters after the district attorney’s office filed criminal charges in March.

The woman was charged with littering and loitering, but those charges were dismissed, McMahill said.

Scavone was put on paid administrative leave when the allegations against him first surfaced, but was terminated from the department on Sept. 10, police said.

The federal case was investigated by the Las Vegas FBI and is being prosecuted jointly by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., and the Nevada U.S. attorney’s office.

Apparently, Officer Scavone was angry that she didn’t immediately comply with his order to leave a public street that she had every right to be on and also had thrown a cup of coffee over her shoulder. This also isn’t the first time his actions have been questioned. Several years earlier, another person came forward (video embedded below) claiming to have been beaten by Scavone. At that time, there was no video of the incident so Scavone’s police report was automatically accepted as the official version of events and the assault was ruled justified.

In addition, back in 2010 Scavone was involved in the shooting of a burglary suspect. That time he was given the typical paid vacation and, as was the trend at the time, given an award for bravery after “investigators” declared the shooting justified, as is the longstanding tradition for Las Vegas area police departments.

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