Tag Archives: Fox 5 Las Vegas

Update: Las Vegas Cop Charged With Arson And Fraud Not Prosecuted Because Video Evidence “Somehow” Became Corrupted

Officer Jeffrey Harper LVMPD K-9 Fired Arson Evidence Destroyed

LVMPD K9 Officer Jeffrey Harper was not prosecuted on arson and insurance fraud charges after video evidence was “corrupted.” Instead, he was fired for burning a trailer in January 2016.

In April of 2016 I wrote about LVMPD K-9 Officer Jeffrey Lynn Harper, who was facing charges of arson and fraud after he was caught intentionally  burning a “four-wheeler” and a trailer used to haul it in an attempt to collect money from the insurance policies covering the vehicles.

In spite of Officer Harper’s claims that the fire was started by a flat tire he  got while driving on a highway just outside of Las Vegas, firefighters determined that gasoline had been poured on the trailer and rolls of paper had been used as a makeshift wick. Also, as they were fighting the fire Harper returned to the scene of the crime and made some incriminating comments.

One of those statements was, “I’ll bring it up. It’s the elephant in the room. Yeah, I’m upside-down on my trailer,” according to an arrest report. A reference to being behind on the payments for the trailer, which is a pretty good motive for burning it. Those statements were made to a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper and recorded on his dash-cam video.

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.

So, obviously, this should be a fairly cut and dry case for prosecutors. Except, that video never made it to court. At least not the part where he incriminates himself on camera. Somehow, that one portion of the video ended up getting “corrupted” and is now unviewable. By some luck of the draw however, everything up to and after that point is perfectly fine.

Just for good measure, lead investigator Denell Hoggard violated evidentiary rules by failing to turn in any of the video evidence, not even the portions that weren’t damaged. As a result, a mistrial was declared and prosecutors have stated that they have no intentions of refiling charges against Officer Harper.

Via Adam Herbets at Fox5Vegas.com:

The NHP trooper’s dash camera footage was given to CCFD and LVMPD. At that point, investigators learned that the segment of the video in which Harper arrives went “missing.”

“It wouldn’t play and (Trooper McElroy) didn’t know why,” investigator Michael Doughty testified.

As a result, the lead investigator on the case decided not to turn over the evidence because a portion of it was “corrupted.”

“I did not feel like it had any evidentiary value,” lead investigator Denell Hoggard testified.

“Okay, and why? Why is that?” asked defense attorney Andrew Leavitt.

Hoggard stumbled with her words.

“I don’t — have an answer for it really. I — I — uh — me not turning it over? It was an error. I did not do it intentionally,” she said.

“So if you had to do it over again?” Leavitt asked.

“Absolutely. I would totally turn it over,” Hoggard replied. “It wasn’t anything nefarious. It wasn’t anything calculated. It was just an error.”

“You indicated that you wanted to make sure that you dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s,” Leavitt asked.

“Yes,” Hoggard said. “It was an oversight, sir.”

“I can’t think of a piece of evidence in this whole case that would have more evidentiary value,” Leavitt later argued.

Prosecutors with the Attorney General’s office took the stand and said they were blinded by Hoggard and that they were told there was absolutely nothing on video.

Judge Douglas Herndon said he was “dumbfounded” by Hoggard’s ignorance.

“I just can’t fathom how that can happen to somebody trained to do these kinds of investigations,” Herndon said. “I’ve never had a case before, either as an attorney or a judge, that’s involved multiple agencies that seemed to have dropped the ball.”

“It was intentionally withheld, in my opinion, there’s just no excuse for it,” Leavitt argued. “It’s not a misrepresentation. It’s not a mistake. Somebody is flat out lying in this case.”

Officer Harper was fired earlier this month. So, he’ll have to go work for another department in a couple months. Conveniently, Hoggard retired right after “investigating” Harper’s case and now works in real estate. She’s facing no repercussions whatsoever.

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

Posts Related to the LVMPD

Las Vegas Mom of Autistic Man Paints Giant Message to Cops on Her Garage After Previous Assault

A woman living in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson has resorted to plastering her house with signs alerting the police to the fact that her son is autistic after he was previously assaulted by the police when a neighbor called them. As well as placing signs taped to the walls, Judy McKim also painted in large bold letters on her garage door “Autistic Man Lives Here; Cops No Excuse.”

Zachary McKim is 28 years old and was adopted by Judy at the age of two. However, he is severally autistic and as a result extremely limited in his ability to communicate, as well as lacking in the ability to follow orders from or even understand who the police are. During that previous incident in which Zachary was assaulted, Judy stated that one of the Henderson police officers began reaching for his gun.

Via “13 Action News,” the local ABC affiliate:

“I wanted to make sure that they knew everything. That he is still in diapers, doesn’t understand words, doesn’t understand what a gun is,” said mother Judy McKim.

McKim posted the signs after she said her severely autistic son, Zachary, was assaulted by police.

“He’s autistic, he doesn’t know what is happening. He doesn’t know what police is,” McKim said.

According to McKim, a friend called police after witnessing her 28-year-old Zachary in a “rage.” When police arrived to the home, McKim said they tried to restrain him.

“He is in a diaper, along with the pacifier, and the cops are kneeling on my son and one of them reaches for his gun because Zach was fighting for his life,” said McKim.

The Henderson Police Department is now reportedly investigating the incident, since the police report makes no mention of them even touching Zachary. That differs markedly from Judy McKim’s description of what happened that day.

Via Fox 5 News:

Zach is non-verbal with an IQ of 17,” McKim said. “A woman who has never seen an autistic rage called in domestic violence on my son and police officers came in very gung-ho,” McKim said.

“There were three police officers on my son’s bed with their knees on his chest,” McKim said.

McKim added that Zach wears a diaper and has a pacifier in his mouth most of the time.

“That scared me,” McKim said.

FOX5 got a hold of the police report. It says Zach was having “fits of rage” that lasted 20 minutes but that responding officers “never witnessed Zach hurt or hit anyone.” The report never mentioned police physically interacting with Zach.

Mom of Las Vegas Autistic Son Police AssaultIn addition to the previous assault by Henderson police upon her son, McKim says her actions were motivated by other recent incidents in which autistic people and other people with mental disabilities have been assaulted or even killed by police. One such example  was the shooting of Joey Weber an autistic man shot in Hays Kansas. In addition, a local example is the shooting of Abel Correa, who two Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers shot after claiming that he lunged at them with a screwdriver and hammer.

McKim says that she is embarrassed by having to make such personal information public, but that she “can’t imagine losing her son” and hopes that her actions will help other families with autistic children gain some measure of safety when dealing with law enforcement.

Although this might seem like an extreme measure to take, the increasingly aggressive manner in which police respond to calls along with their tendency to be poorly trained for and unable or unwilling to properly deal with mentally disabled people or those suffering from a mental illness, undoubtedly makes it a wise one.

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

LVMPD Officer Charged with Driving Drunk And Hit and Run After Causing Several Accidents on Freeway

Last week (July 16), yet another Las Vegas cop was arrested for DUI. In this particular instance Officer Antonio Munoz was also charged with hit and run after leaving the scene of multiple accidents he caused in the process.

According to the arrest report (see below), Officer Munoz essentially played vehicular pinball as he went down the freeway. As he smashed other cars out of his way on I-15, which passes through central Las Vegas, he left a trail of damage and injured people in his wake.

In spite of all that, his bail was only set to $100,000 when he made his initial appearance before a judge having been charged with three felony charges and facing a possibility of as many as 12 additional charges.

It’s, of course, incredibly more likely that he will receive the typical Policeman’s Discount and rather than being charged with those additional crimes, he’ll be given a plea bargain involving a medium to hard slap on the wrist and nothing close to what an average citizen would receive.

(I’ll definitely update this when – not if – that happens. Stay tuned.)

On Tuesday, FOX5 (Las Vegas) obtained a copy of the Nevada Highway Patrol report that details Munoz’s arrest:

The report states Munoz was driving his white GMC Yukon just after midnight Saturday and caused injury crashes along Interstate 15, near Charleston Boulevard.

One of the people Munoz is accused of crashing into is KC Wells. He said he was driving home from work with his wife when his vehicle was struck.

“I heard a lot of commotion coming on behind me and looked in my rearview mirror and saw a truck coming through, and it was just hitting cars and knocking them out of the way,” Wells said.

Wells was able to avoid a direct hit but the back of his vehicle sustained damage. His wife called 911, and he pursued the Yukon.

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An NHP trooper observed Munoz driving erratically, speeding and running a red light. According to the report, during the traffic stop Munoz told the trooper he had cancer and denied drinking alcohol.

The trooper smelled alcohol in the Yukon and noted that it had extensive damage. One of the hit-and-run victims arrived and identified Munoz as the driver involved.

The arrest report shows Munoz failed several field sobriety tests. His blood-alcohol level was .12.

BTW, in case you missed it, his excuse for driving into a bunch of people on the highway and then having to be chased down by one of those people he hit was that he has cancer.

No mention was made of whether the Internal Affairs Bureau, which is headed by a lieutenant that is facing perjury charges, is currently “investigating” Officer Munoz.

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

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

“Decorated” Las Vegas Cop Charged With Arson And Fraud After Burning His Own Vehicles

Las Vegas Police Officer Jeffrey Harper Fraud Arson

Officer Jeffrey Lynn Harper, a “decorated officer” with the LVMPD, was charged with arson and fraud after he was caught intentionally burning his trailer in an effort to collect insurance money

Earlier this week, Officer Jeffrey Lynn Harper of Las Vegas was charged with several crimes related to burning a “four-wheeler” and trailer in an attempt to collect money from the insurance policies covering the vehicles.

Officer Harper, who is described as a “decorated veteran” of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, had left the trailer, with the ATV inside, on a state highway outside of Pahrump, which is just outside of Las Vegas.

His lawyer maintains that he didn’t set the fire, but had gotten a flat on the trailer and went into Pahrump to get it repaired. According to the lawyer, he came back to find firefighters extinguishing the trailer.

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.

However, investigators with the Clark County Fire Department determined that the LVMPD K-9 officer had actually set the fire himself.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

A decorated veteran Metro officer is facing several felonies after authorities said he set fire to a trailer and four-wheeler in order to collect insurance money, according to the Nevada attorney general’s office.

Jeffrey Lynn Harper, 38, was charged with one count of theft, one count of burning of property with intent to defraud an insurer, one count of attempted theft, two counts of insurance fraud, and one count of third-degree arson.

Fire officials determined that Harper set fire to his $45,000 2014 Keystone Fuzion “toy hauler” in January while his $6,000 2015 Razor 90 four-wheeler was inside, according to prosecutors.

“My office is committed to safeguarding the integrity of the insurance system and protecting Nevada’s consumers from increased premiums,” Attorney General Adam Laxalt said in a news release. “This attempt to defraud an insurance company is particularly troubling because it was allegedly committed by a person tasked with enforcing laws and protecting the public.”

That is pretty troubling, even though we all know the part about the police “protecting and serving” is generally a farce anyway. Not particularly surprising or even all that unique, but troubling nonetheless.

Posts Related to the LVMPD

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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Official Report: Nevada Prison Guards Blamed For Fatal Shooting of Inmates (Update)

Last year, I posted 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.

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 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 (see the first video embedded below).

As I also posted about last year, 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. The resulting report (see the second video embedded below) stated that “Nevada’s Department of Corrections (NDOC) is improperly relying on live ammunition instead of proper staffing” and recommended they stop doing that. Not surprisingly, 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.

Yesterday, as a result of the aforementioned lawsuits, internal reports relating to the “investigation” of the shooting were released as part of the discovery process. While these disciplinary reports, which the Nevada Attorney General’s Office fought to keep secret, don’t address the claims of the fight being instigated by them, they do pretty clearly place the blame for the shootings on the guards involved.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

The Employee Misconduct Adjudication Reports specified six allegations against Correctional Officer Jeff Castro for neglect of duty, insubordination, unauthorized use of force, false statements and unbecoming conduct that brought the Corrections Department “negative media attention.”

Correctional Officer Isaiah Smith was written up for three allegations of neglect of duty and false statements for failing to report repeated, prior security breaches “which led to an inmate’s death.”

Carolos Perez, 28, died Nov. 12, 2014, from multiple gunshot wounds. Another inmate, Andrew Arevalo, now 25, was wounded. Both men were handcuffed behind their backs when they were shot in a shower hallway in a segregation unit known as “the hole.” High Desert is about 40 miles northwest of Las Vegas, just south of Indian Springs.

The shooting death of Carlos Perez by a NV Prison Guard Has Raised many Questions

The shooting death of Carlos Perez by a NV Prison Guard Has Raised many Questions

Another correctional officer who arrived after the shooting stopped said there were “vast amounts of blood everywhere on the tier.” Another officer, identified only as Senior Correctional Officer Mumpower, evaluated the inmates who were both handcuffed and lying on the ground, according to an incident report.

Mumpower determined Perez needed immediate medical attention. He placed Perez “on his left side as he heard him gurgling on his own blood and this would allow for it to drain out,” the report said.

Prison medical staff took Perez to a trauma room and administered CPR and other treatment for about 45 minutes before he was declared deceased, the report said.

Prison officials acknowledged Perez’s death when it happened but didn’t provide details. That he was shot by staff didn’t become known until four months later when the Clark County coroner reported the cause of death and ruled it a homicide.

Two civil lawsuits, one filed by Perez’s family, the other by Arevalo, are pending.

The latest documents were contained as exhibits in a motion by the attorney general’s office seeking dismissal or summary judgment of the case filed by Las Vegas attorney Cal Potter on behalf of Victor Perez.

Besides the officers, the lawsuits name the state, former Corrections Department Director Greg Cox, the warden and other administrators as defendants. A state board in March approved hiring private lawyers to represent the three correctional officers for up to $45,000 each.

Cox resigned in the fall at the insistence of Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Castro, Smith and the trainee who fired the four shotgun blasts, Reynaldo-John Ramos, were put on leave immediately after the incident. Ramos, who was on probation, was terminated. Castro and Smith resigned May 1, 2015.

Andrew Arevalo was also shot and seriously injured by a guard's shotgun, but survived.

Andrew Arevalo was also shot and seriously injured by a guard’s shotgun, but survived.

The attorney general’s office sought to keep the internal reports secret, arguing they are personnel records not subject to disclosure.

But U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon, in an April 4 order, denied the state’s motion.

“Those reports concern the state’s investigation of the events that give rise to this litigation,” Gordon wrote. “The public has an interest in seeing that the state properly and thoroughly investigates allegations of serious wrongdoing.”

At the time of the shooting, both Perez and Arevalo were in a segregation unit known as “the hole,” where regulations require that inmates be moved one at a time and “all escorts of retrained inmates are hands on.”

Castro, according to the documents, admitted he often failed to comply with the regulation, telling an investigator, “Pitch and catch, that’s the norm at HDSP.” The description refers to allowing inmates to walk unescorted from one correctional officer to another.

The report said Castro failed to directly escort Arevalo from the shower to his cell, and also allowed Perez out of the shower without a hands-on escort while Arevalo was in the hallway. The two inmates got into a fight, and Castro failed to intervene, instead leaving the area to find a pair of gloves.

“The use of the shotgun would not have been required had … Castro followed policy and had he not had two inmates out of the cells at the same time,” the report said, adding that had he broken up the fight “the other officer would not have used the shotgun to quell the fight.”

Smith was also cited for failing to intervene in the fight. The report said Smith had witnessed Castro moving multiple inmates out of the cells at the same time but failed to report the security breaches.

The Review Journal also reports that “The attorney general’s office has been investigating the case for a year for potential criminal charges.” I wouldn’t suggest holding your breath on that, though.

Update: Details Released in Latest Incident Involving James Burt, LVMPD’s Serial Woman Abuser

In January, I posted about the arrest of James Burt, an officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, who was arrested for beating, choking, and kidnapping his girlfriend. Officer Burt had, of course, previously been allowed by the Good Cops at the LVMPD to walk away without any sort of meaningful repercussions after being arrested for beating his now ex-wife in a very similar, if not identical, attack four years prior. (For some reason the community service that he was ordered to do as his only “punishment” that time didn’t teach him a lesson.)

In February, details in his latest abusive tirade were made public, including the fact that he threatened to kill her as he was choking her and dragging her through the house. The other details do nothing but make Officer Burt sound even more psychotic than your average violent maniac. Apparently, it escalated from a text message argument, to a long list of “discussion topics” and finally to an uncomfortable attempt to avoid talking to the crazy guy in the other room before the violence started in earnest.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

A Metropolitan Police Department officer told his live-in girlfriend, “You’re going to die,” as he dragged her by the neck across their living room floor and slammed her onto a couch, she testified in court Friday.

The 41-year-old James “Jimmy” Burt, a 10-year veteran of the force, faces four felony charges: one count of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of domestic battery by strangulation and one count of coercion with force or threat of force.

Kelly Ryan testified during a preliminary hearing that she arrived home at 7:45 p.m. Jan. 11, in the midst of a text message quarrel with Burt, who confronted her the moment she stepped through the door.

He held a pad of paper that contained two pages of “topics” in their relationship he wanted to discuss.

She walked into the kitchen, where she started to clean dishes and tried to stay quiet.

“You’re shutting me out,” she said he told her. “We need to talk about this.”

Suddenly, he approached her at the sink, stood face-to-face and yelled, “Get the f–k out,” Ryan said as she described the start of a two-hour struggle in their southwest valley home.

She grabbed her cell phone and car keys and walked to her car. He had thrown her shoes across the garage. As she slipped into the driver’s seat, he yanked the door open, pulled the garage door opener from the visor and hurled it against a wall.

The 6-foot, 230-pound Burt pulled his 5-foot-1-inch, 125-pound girlfriend out of her car, wrapped his right arm around her neck and left arm around her body, dragged her inside and said, “I wasn’t going anywhere,” she testified through tears.

He wrapped his hand over her mouth. She said she had trouble breathing.

“Be quiet,” she said he told her. “Be quiet. Shh. People are going to hear you. Stop crying. Stop crying.”

She heard a crack and thought he had broken her jaw. She escaped his grasp, tried to run back to the garage, and “he threw me on the other couch,” she said.

He put his hand over her mouth again, and yanked her body off the floor, with an arm still around her neck. She said her vision began to blur.

“At this time, he said — I don’t have the exact words — ‘You’re going to die right here’ or, ‘We’re going together right now,'” she testified. “And he’s covering my mouth, and I’m thinking I’m going to die.”

Then the inevitable abusers’ phony laments began (obviously not for the first time):

Eventually, she said, Burt started to calm down and pleaded with her, “telling me he needs help.”

She convinced him to let her go, and she made her way to a hospital, where she was questioned by police.

There had been other attacks, too, she said, that she did not report to authorities “out of embarrassment… and I thought he wouldn’t do it again.”

Whether the healthy dose of community service Burt is likely to receive for this violent, abusive episode before he is reinstated to the Las Vegas police will deter him from beating the next person he temporarily hides his true nature from remains to be seen. However, since the spouses and family of police officers are as much as four times as likely to be abused by them vs. the general population, this isn’t the last time “…and I thought he wouldn’t do it again” will be uttered in reference to Officer James Burt.

Original Report on LVMPD Officer James Burt’s Arrest for Domestic Abuse:

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

LVMPD Officer James Burt Charged With Domestic Battery And Kidnapping (Again)

Late Monday, Officer James Burt, a 10 year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, was arrested for domestic battery and kidnapping. According to the arrest report, he attempted to strangle his girlfriend during the assault, breaking her jaw in the process.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Burt and his girlfriend of about four months were arguing as she was leaving their house, the arrest report said. After throwing her against the garage door, Burt then “began dragging (her) back into the house,” then threw her on the couch, got on top of her and covered her mouth, the report said, possibly breaking her jaw.

The report said Burt then grabbed her by the neck and lifted her off the ground “several times.” An hour later, when he let her leave, she made her way to Southern Highlands Hospital because of her jaw. Burt was later arrested at a friend’s house.

Not at all surprisingly, since domestic violence doesn’t tend to be a one-time event and police tend to be 2 to 4 times as likely to be abusive toward their wives and children, this isn’t Ofc. Burt’s first arrest for beating a woman. Four years earlier, he was arrested for beating his then wife in an incident that is pretty close to identical to the most recent case.

Via the same LVRJ article:

The 2011 charges were filed after an in-home argument, according to the arrest report. Burt’s wife was on the couch when Burt pushed and hit her, then held down her face and jaw before punching her in the stomach, the report said.

Burt then grabbed his wife of less than two years and “escorted her to their truck.”

“(His wife) stated at this point she was afraid of James and fearful of what he might do to her if she did not cooperate with him,” the report said. Burt was arrested after police managed to pull his truck over.

At that time he faced charges of two counts of domestic battery, coercion with force and kidnapping. However equally unsurprisingly, given the LVMPD’s track record of holding it’s own accountable, quickly disappeared. After a slap on the wrist involving a temporary (one month) firing and community service, Burt was back out there protecting the citizens of Las Vegas from violent people.

Metro’s spokesperson, Officer Jesse Roybal, was quick to point out that, while Officer Burt has been suspended without pay based on the charges being a felony, if he gets a Policeman’s Discount once again for these current charges, he’ll be welcomed back on the force with open arms. “You can be charged of (sic) something and not be convicted of it, and then we can bring you back on as regular duty,” Roybal added. It’s great that they will potentially have the opportunity to do get him back out there pointing a gun at people. I sense a threepeat in Officer Burt’s future.

Another less than shocking bit of history is that Burt was also involved in a shooting back in 2009 that like every other police shooting in the history of the City of Las Vegas was ruled justifiable.

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Nevada Lawsuits Claim Prison Guards Instigated a Fight, then Shot Inmates

The shooting death of Carlos Perez by a NV Prison Guard Has Raised many Questions

The shooting death of Carlos Perez by a NV Prison Guard Has Raised many Questions

A lawsuit filed in April by the family of a man killed when a corrections officer opened fire on two prisoners as they fought in a hallway leading from the showers claims that fight was intentionally orchestrated by guards in order to justify murdering the inmates. A second lawsuit filed by the other prisoner, who survived the shooting, but was gravely injured, adds allegations of a coverup by prison officials.

At the time of the fight, both inmates had their hands cuffed behind their back and seemingly could have easily been controlled by the three guards present, without the need for the use of a firearm. Instead, they were shot four times in the head and upper body with a shotgun. Both lawsuits maintain that the inmates did not represent a threat to the guards sufficient to justify being repeatedly shot.

The incident, which took place on November 12, 2014 at High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs NV, has prompted numerous questions about past shootings at the prison and the quality of training and hiring practices for prison guards within the Nevada Department of Corrections. Nevada prisons have also faced ongoing and long term criticism for the lack of medical care for inmates, including not properly treating gunshot wounds inflicted by guards. Nevada prisons throughout (and prisons nationwide) have an extensive and documented history of abuse and mistreatment of inmates by guards.

Andrew Arevalo was also shot and seriously injured by a guard's shotgun, but survived.

Andrew Arevalo was also shot and seriously injured by a guard’s shotgun, but survived.

The two inmates, Carlos Perez and Andrew Arevalo, were restricted to solitary confinement when the incident took place. Simply the fact that they were in the hallway together in the first place, represents a severe violation of policy. Per NDOC rules, inmates on solitary confinement are not supposed to be taken to or from the different areas of the prison at the same time, specifically in order to prevent such fights from happening.

In addition, Perez, who was killed by the (as yet unnamed) guard’s shotgun blasts was being held in protective custody (for undisclosed reasons) and therefore likely would have been a target of other prisoners. That has added to speculation that the two were intentionally allowed to cross paths with the expectation that an altercation would take place between them. Cal Potter, the lawyer for the Perez family, characterized the fight as a “gladiator-like” scenario created by those guards.

Subsequent to the fight, Arevalo was internally convicted of assault and murder charges by the warden of the prison, although the murder charge was overturned once it became public as part of the lawsuit. Arevalo’s attorney, Alexis Plunkett, maintains that those charges were part of a cover-up by prison officials. She states that the guards present at the time actually placed the shotgun in Arevalo’s hands, in order to make it look like he had shot Perez and then been shot by the guard. Plunkett says that the guards were expecting both inmates to die from their wounds and that their version of events would be the only one available.

Questions have also arisen about why it wasn’t disclosed until months afterwards that a firearm was involved in the death of Perez. In fact, his own family was not told that he had been shot and only discovered it when they looked at his body in the morgue. It wasn’t until March of 2015, over four months later, that the cause of death for Carlos Perez was finally made public.

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