Tag Archives: First Amendment

Interview With Nevada Cop Block Editor, Kelly W. Patterson, RE: “Second Saturday” Graffiti (Audio Clip)

SecondSaturdayFlyer 243x300 Interview With Nevada Cop Block Editor, Kelly W. Patterson, RE: Second Saturday Graffiti (Audio Clip)

Every Second Saturday of every month at 5pm. Meet us in front of the LMPD Headquarters Buildings on 400 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.

Below is the audio of an interview by Kelly W. Patterson, editor for NVCopBlock.org and member of the Sunset Activist Collective (SunsetActivistCollective.org) on the “Round Table Group” show, which is hosted by Jim Duensing and Sean Gruber regarding a citation the “Sunset 3″ received supposedly for graffiti while drawing on a sidewalk with (wait for it) sidewalk chalk, which really is nothing more nor less than an attempt by the LVMPD to keep us from exposing their crimes and in all likelihood will do nothing but backfire and create even more publicity.

On June 8th, while participating in Nevada Cop Block‘s monthly “Second Saturday” protest against police brutality at the headquarters of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, three members of the Sunset Activist Collective, Kelly, Ballentine, and J.R. Dazo, were accused of doing graffiti while writing tributes to past victims of Metro, including Stanley Gibson; Eric Scott; and Trevon Cole, and bringing attention to the total lack of accountability within Las Vegas area police departments (not one cop has EVER been charged for shooting an unarmed/innocent person in the history of the LVMPD), and in fact throughout the country.

In this interview, Kelly discusses the general lack of any repercussions for local cops that murder people (and animals), the incentive to kill that the policy of rewarding those cops involved in shootings with multi-year paid vacations (something that Jesus Arevalo mentioned as a motivation for wanting to find an opportunity to shoot someone shortly before he did exactly that to Stanley Gibson) while their friends “investigate” those shootings represents, and the details surrounding the Second Saturday incident itself.

The full video from the incident with Metro during Second Saturday is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAj5MKHlPiY

The full broadcast can be found within the archives of the Round Table Group show at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freedomizerradio/2013/06/10/the-round-table-group, which is part of the Freedomizer Radio Network – http://www.freedomizerradio.com/.

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Las Vegas Metro Police: Chalk Washes Off, But Injustice Never Will

Chalk the Police 011a Las Vegas Metro Police: Chalk Washes Off, But Injustice Never Will

Metro’s attempt to hide their crimes using ridiculous, heavy handed charges will only bring more attention to them.

In an obvious and ridiculous attempt to intimidate them into ending their efforts to bring attention to the history of abuses, corruption, and outright murders by Las Vegas area police and a total lack of accountability for such by those that oversee local police departments, three members of the Sunset Activist Collective were given citations for “graffiti” based on writing with washable sidewalk chalk. (See below for video of the incident.)

J.R. Dazo, Kelly W. Patterson, and Ballentine, who have since been dubbed the “Sunset 3” were participating in Nevada Cop Block‘s monthly anti-police brutality protest and vigil known as “Second Saturdays” in front of the LVMPD’s headquarters on June 8th. As has been the case for about nine months, this protest included writing out the crimes of the police, listing the names of their victims, and posting our demands for reconciliation with the citizens of Las Vegas.

Normally, outside of some dirty looks by the cops at the offices as they drive past and almost without exception supporting comments from passersby, no-one bothers the people participating in these protests. It is supported by and often attended by the family members of people who have fallen victim to police violence. However on this particular day, Sgt Michael Wallace approached them and claimed that writing with chalk that is marketed as and named for the very purpose it was being used for was illegal and constituted graffiti and that they had to stop.

After being told that they wouldn’t stop because it was in fact legal, Sgt Wallace responded that he’s an expert on graffiti because he works for the gang unit. While it’s rare and somewhat commendable of Sgt. Wallace to admit that the police are actually a gang, it’s pretty unlikely that street gangs are using children’s chalk for their graffiti these days. Sgt. Wallace’s next assertion was to insist “that’s what the courts are for,” which is also incorrect. The courts don’t exist so random cops can just disregard the actual law, declare something they don’t like illegal, and then issue fines for it. Part of a police officer’s job description is to know the laws and to apply them properly not to drum up bogus reasons to cite people when he disagrees with the messages they are conveying.

After asserting his expertise in the laws concerning graffiti (even though he couldn’t cite a specific law regarding chalk constituting graffiti), Mike Wallace then returned to his car to write citations. However, he stayed in his car for an inordinately long time (the unofficial estimate was 45 minutes) talking on the phone. During this time, Ballentine called into the non-emergency LVMPD phone line and asked a dispatcher if drawing with chalk was illegal, to which he was told, “I don’t think that is a crime.”

Shortly after this extended wait, Detective Matchko of the gang unit arrived and Mike Wallace informed us that his supervisor was on the way, even though he had refused to call a supervisor when requested earlier, because he “is THE supervisor.” Once that supervisor, Lt. John Liberty, arrived he basically confirmed what had already been assumed regarding the lengthy delay, which was that Mike Wallace had been unable to figure what to write up as a charge on the citations. In all likelihood, the dispatcher had told him the same thing she told Ballentine earlier. Lt. Liberty stated that he had needed to call both a district attorney and a judge to get advice on whether they should issue citations for drawing on a sidewalk with sidewalk chalk.

In spite of being informed of previous court cases in which it had already been found that chalking is a form of free speech protected under the First Amendment, Lt. liberty and Mike Wallace insisted that it was a citable offense under anti-graffiti laws. Their main justification was that the city has to pay to a have a cleaning crew come down and wash the chalk. However, the truth is it would take no more than a bucket of water to remove the chalk and, outside of the fact that the cops would like to avoid having attention drawn to their crimes, there’s no real reason that the city would need to pay to make sure the chalk is gone a couple days earlier than it would be removed naturally by the a combination of the nearby sprinklers and the wind.

Essentially, it amounts to a form of censorship since the reason the citations were issued wasn’t because of the legality of writing on a sidewalk with sidewalk chalk, but rather for what was being written. In addition, it is nothing more than a continuation of the cover ups on behalf of Las Vegas area cops that murder members of our community at an increasingly regular frequency.

Statement of Solidarity and Unity from the Sunset Activist Collective

Earlier this week the Sunset Activist Collective released a statement urging the community to show their support for the three members that were cited and vowing not to be dissuaded from bringing attention to the LVMPD’s crimes, regardless of the outcome:

Chalk the Police 049a 254x300 Las Vegas Metro Police: Chalk Washes Off, But Injustice Never Will

Chalk: Now Illegal in Las Vegas

On July 18, three members of the Sunset Activist Collective will go before a Judge to answer the ridiculous charges that drawing on a sidewalk with chalk constitutes graffiti. That’s right! According to the LVMPD, sidewalk chalk is now illegal.

JR Dazo, Kelly W. Patterson, and Ballentine were cited during the “Second Saturday” anti-police brutality protest, organized by Nevada Cop Block (NVCopBlock.org), on June 8th for doing exactly that. As a result, they could all face fines of between $400 and $1,000, 100 hours of community service, and the suspension of their drivers licenses for two years.

This however is not the issue. The issue is the preservation of free speech for everyone, the ability of children to use sidewalk chalk, and the very idea of seeking justice for the victims of pig police in a peaceful way.

The obvious reality is that these bogus charges are truly based on the fact that Metro wants to dissuade us from bringing attention to the fact that its department has become one of the most prolific across the entire country in regards to police brutality and outright murder. They rank among the top in every category related to police violence. yet they continue to employ a stubborn unwillingness to hold any of the murders in their midst accountable for their crimes.

Regardless of what underhanded and over-reaching legal tactics they employ to try and keep us quiet, we intend to continue exposing the LVMPD for the violent criminal gang that it is. In fact, we feel that if anything this is just an indicator that we have been successful in our efforts to seek justice for Eric Scott, Stanley Gibson, Emmanuel Dozier, Trevon Cole, Tanner Chamberlain, and all the other victims of the Las Vegas Metropolitan police Department. We neither be bullied nor threatened into silence. In all likelihood, regardless of the actual outcome this will serve as an even bigger opportunity to bring attention to Metro’s crimes and Sheriff Gillespie’s unwillingness to hold anyone accountable for them.

In regards to the actual merits of these charges, it’s already been ruled in a case in Berkeley (by the 9th Circuit, which also has jurisdiction in Las Vegas) that “no reasonable person could conclude that chalk would damage a sidewalk” and by a federal judge in Orlando that chalking constitutes free speech protected under the First Amendment. So we have no only common sense, but case history on our side.

Please join us and help preserve the ability to seek justice in a peaceful, public manner against those within the Las Vegas are police, who have made injustice a part of their job description.

The Video (With Bonus Footage)

Embedded below is the entire encounter with Mike Wallace with the exception of the first couple of minutes when he initially approached and the times when he was at his car on the phone trying to figure out some justification to write tickets for drawing with chalk so that he wouldn’t have to come back and tell us we were right. In addition, there are two segments at the end, which repeat some of the full video and in which the audio is somewhat better.

The striking thing about this video is the level to which Sgt. Mike Wallace is flustered and at times downright confused and yet determined to follow through on writing citations for something, regardless of the actual legality of this protest.

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“25 Feet of Injustice” by Ballentine of the Sunset Activist Collective

A Statement Regarding the “Chalk Back” Action of Jan. 19, 2013, Hosted by Nevada Cop Block:

ChalkBack 025a 25 Feet of Injustice by Ballentine of the Sunset Activist Collective

So Much Injustice, So Little Pavement.

At the end of today when I got home my hands were black with dirt, my knees were bruised and I have a pretty nice blister going on one of my toes. I did four hours of dancing and then went over to fight for justice for the people who have been murdered by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. When I say “murdered” I mean just that. I mean that Stanley Gibson, Trevon Cole, Erik Scott and a dozen or so others were actually murdered by the police.

Many of the actions we do against the police are chalking actions because it has the effect of making a powerful statement to people walking by and it lets the police know that we are watching them and won’t stand for this. We know that our corrupt government backs the police 100% of the time and that if a cop kills someone, they’ll get a desk job whereas if I did it I’d face a trial for my life or liberty.

We do not accept this and so once again, we joined others downtown at the Clark County Government Center and the police head quarters up the street to express ourselves and our frustrations on the side walk. I usually know at least some of the people who do this with us. This time I was pleased to find only two people who I’d met before which is good because it means that new people are interested.

One of these people was Rondha Gibson, the widow of Stanley Gibson, she walked around and read the things we wrote and I could see she was very much still grieving a year now since her husband was taken away from her needlessly.

The issue of police brutality is near and dear to the Sunset Activist Collective. Our final point on the eight principles reads that even if a person doesn’t belong to the 1% they can still protect the 1% or long to be among them. That’s what the police do. They make capitalism possible. This idea that the police are here to protect people is bullshit. The police are the internal armed wing of the government, sent to do it and the corporation’s (like Zappos) bidding. We also recognize and oppose a pattern of violence against the poor and against minority groups on the part of the government and the police. For these reasons we stand against the police.

Sunset was instrumental in helping craft the demands against the police department and local government. Sometime ago, the father of victim Erik Scott noticed our demands and helped spread them around. Through these protests we met Rondha and Rondha now knows the Father of Erik Scott. We will bring justice to the people who live here.

The way my hands and knees got scraped up was I spent quite awhile on them scrawling the demands of Sunset and NVCopBlock.org on the sidewalk and then I listed some of the more well known abuses of the police in Vegas, five to be specific: The recent murders of a dog named “Bubba”, Stanley Gibson, Erik Scott, and Trevon Cole, as well as Emmauel Dozier, who didn’t get shot or die but actually shot four pigs who he thought were breaking into his home during an unannounced drug raid. He has been charged with trying to kill these cops. No drugs were found.

I left out quite a few stories of abuse, sexual assault, other murders, and stories of abuse from the North Las Vegas cops or the pigs in Henderson. When I’d finished writing I noticed that these five injustices with our ten demands took up about 25 feet of sidewalk. When you can fill a sidewalk with that much shame and terror then its time for things to stop.

Government has not listened. The public protects the police by enabling them, telling them “thank you” and giving them little things to eat. I say stop. I say adopt the policy of “I don’t speak pig.” You don’t have to tell a cop anything except your name, age and place of residency. You don’t have to show them anything other than your ID. Tonight as we were traveling from the government center to the police Head Quarters a pig pulled up alongside us, got out and said “how’s it going?”

I said nothing. I refuse to let this person into my life or to greet him. He then asked “do you mind if I ask where you are going?” or something like that. Kelly looked at this pig and said “Actually I do mind if you ask, its none of your business.” Then we started walking away. We could hear the cop still trying to talk to people. He reminded me of a nerd that used to linger around everyone when we were hanging out, he’d try and start a conversation with you and you’d just ignore him. It must feel awful to have people give you the cold shoulder. That is how that cop was treated and that makes me happy. That we made this person uncomfortable. I’m proud of Kelly for the correct response. I’m proud of everyone who when asked “who is in charge?” didn’t say anything or said “no one.”

Anyone who talks to the cops legitimizes them. I’m not here to be friendly. I’m here because someone they know murdered someone. I don’t want to hang out and shoot the shit, I’m upset and rightfully so. And anyone who has a problem with me using the word “pig” to describe a police officer, they probably read my web posts and the sunset website. I make sure to call them that so they will read it and have a terrible rest of the day. It’s the least I can do.

As we all were getting packed up we talked about doing this monthly until the revolution comes. We discussed setting up a planning meeting to bring more people down for these. If you’re interested let me know.

-Ballentine, the Sunset Activist Collective

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