Tag Archives: Homicide

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

Party Bus Shooting

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

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

Juan May

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

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

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

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

Police Chief Latesha Watson is Not Concerned

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

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

Thedrick Andres and LaTesha Watson

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

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

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

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

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Update: Details Revealed About Evidence, Previous Arrests of Las Vegas Ex-Cop Finally Charged in 1997 Rape and Murder

Previous Charges Arthur Lee Sewall Former LVMPD Officer Murder

At a preliminary hearing, court documents revealed LVMPD Officer Arthur Lee Sewall already had a criminal history before the 1997 rape and murder he was finally charged with in January.

Last week, I wrote about former Metro Police Officer Arthur Lee Sewall Jr., who was charged with murder and rape for the 1997 killing of a woman named Nadia Iverson. The original story was that a “lack of funding” prevented the testing of the Iverson’s rape kit and other DNA evidence from the crime scene. Presumably, that made it impossible to prosecute him at the time from a lack of evidence.

After receiving a grant from the New York District Attorney’s Office, the rape kit was finally sent for testing in 2016. Then, in February of 2017, Sewall’s DNA was positively matched to that rape kit. As a result, Officer Sewall was finally charged with rape and murder earlier this month (Jan. 10th).

A sample of Sewall’s DNA had actually been available since 1999, when he was sentenced to (just) probation for a separate arrest on multiple on duty sex crimes, and he was accused by prosecutors of Iverson’s murder the very same day her body was found. Once again though, since they couldn’t scrape together the cash to test that one rape kit, Sewall was able to avoid prosecution for twenty-plus years.

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.

When he was eventually arrested  last month Sewall essentially confessed to the murder of Iverson in a statement to Metro detectives. Although, in a quote published by Mike Shoro of the Las Vegas Review Journal it does sound like he is looking to claim it was an accident:

“During the interview, he admitted to engaging Iverson in sex for money,” Sewall’s arrest warrant said. “During their sexual encounter, Iverson was shot. Sewall couldn’t account for why his gun was out or pointed at Iverson. He knew she was shot in the head and he immediately fled the scene.”

A Previous History of Violence Against Women

However, like most cases of crimes and misconduct committed by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers, it has now come out after the fact that the real story is quite a bit different than what was originally reported. Not only did court documents reveal even more details about his arrest history that predated the murder, but it also raises serious questions about why he couldn’t have been prosecuted even without the DNA evidence.

Rape Murder Charges Las Vegas Police Officer Arthur Lee Sewall

Former LVMPD Officer Arthur Lee Sewall Jr.

Those documents, which were made public at a preliminary hearing last week, also show that Metro police officers had responded to a domestic violence call at Sewall’s house in 1995, two years prior to the murder. Although he (not surprisingly) was never charged with a crime as a result, a .357 revolver was confiscated from Sewall by those officers.

As I mentioned in the original post, Officer Sewall was also arrested earlier in 1997 in a video sting operation for forcing prostitutes to perform sex acts. He was on duty and used the threat of arrest in those sexual assaults. That arrest led to his resignation from the LVMPD.

In addition, although he was only sentenced to probation for those rapes, that sentence is what required him to submit a DNA sample in 1999. As was once again mentioned in the previous post, Sewall also was arrested while he was awaiting sentencing in 1999 for propositioning an undercover cop who was posing as a prostitute in San Diego.

Sufficient Evidence Twenty Years Ago?

Based on those court documents, that .357 revolver and those previous arrests would have represented a pretty significant piece of evidence in the 1997 case for which Sewall currently faces charges. In fact, had it been pursued that alone probably would have been more than enough to tie him to the murder and secure a conviction.

Las Vegas Police Officer Arthur Sewall Murder Rape Victim Nadia Iverson

An Undated Photo of Nadia Iverson.

Back then, before Clark County’s “Blue Card” law was overturned, all handguns had to be registered with Metro. As a result, Sewall’s was officially listed as an owner of such a weapon. Obviously, there was also a record of that from when he had it impounded during his domestic violence incident as well.

According to the current arrest warrant detectives at the time determined a bullet “consistent with a .357 revolver Sewall previously registered with Metro” was used to kill Iverson. In spite of that, Las Vegas police seemingly did not even attempt to match the bullet to the gun they knew Sewall had at the time.

Not only that, but when Sewall was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in San Diego while he was already awaiting sentencing for raping prostitutes, he had that same revolver in his possession. Meanwhile, neither the LVMPD or Clark County prosecutors mad any effort to acquire the gun they obviously suspected he had used to murder someone after it was confiscated by San Diego police.

Instead, Sewall was sentenced to probation and that revolver was later destroyed by the SDPD, eliminating any chance it could be tested for a ballistics match. Officer Sewall proceeded to violate that probation numerous times over the course of the next five years with relatively little consequences for those violations. Also, as can be evidenced by his Facebook profile, Sewall was living a pretty comfortable life during the twenty years Iverson’s rape and murder went unpunished.

Incompetence or an Intentional Lack of Effort?

As has already been pointed out in previous posts, the excuse that there was a lack of funds is a ridiculous excuse for not testing the thousands of rape kits that have sat untouched in evidence rooms from as long ago as the mid-eighties. Las Vegas area city governments and police departments have had no problem coming up with well over a billion dollars in total for new government buildings, publicly funded NFL stadiums, and faulty radio systems.

They even came up with $400,000 to pay off the police chief and deputy chief at the Henderson Police Department after they were forced to resign for sexual harassment. The idea that they couldn’t somehow come up with enough money to test that one rape kit that would positively identify the person they suspected in the case literally from day one should be considered an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

But even if you disregard the DNA evidence altogether, they shouldn’t have had a very difficult time charging and even convicting Sewall. Detectives investigating the crime scene had already determined she was killed by a gun matching one they knew for a fact he owned.

The fact he had it impounded by the San Diego police during his 1999 arrest obviously means he still had it in 1997 after the murder. They very easily could have gotten a warrant to have it tested right after the murder or while it was in the possession of the San Diego police.

Regardless of any other evidence (which I’m sure there was), matching the gun to crime would by itself be pretty damning. A prostitute being raped and then killed using a gun owned by someone with a history of sexual assault and violence against women (and in particular prostitutes) would be pretty hard to explain away.

Instead of presenting (or apparently even seeking) that evidence however, investigators just filed it away along with the rape kit that they don’t seem to have had any interest in ever having processed. At best, this would have to be classified as a huge case of incompetence by the Las Vegas police and prosecutors.

In fact, it’s almost like they intentionally tried to avoid prosecuting one of their own by making sure the evidence didn’t get found. Almost exactly like that.

Original Local News Report

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Grand Jury to Review Manslaughter Charge Against LVMPD Officer Kenneth Lopera in Tashii Farmer-Brown Murder

LVMPD Officer Kenneth Lopera Grand Jury Manslaughter

A Las Vegas grand jury will review the involuntary manslaughter charge against LVMPD Officer Kenneth Lopera, who used an unauthorized choke-hold to murder Tashii Brown in May 2017.

Lawyers for Las Vegas Police Officer Kenneth Lopera (he didn’t personally attend) were in court Thursday (Jan. 25) for a preliminary hearing. It was described in a story by the local Fox affiliate as a date-setting hearing.

In May of 2017,  Lopera used an illegal choke-hold to murder Tashii Farmer-Brown, who had approached Lopera and another officer at the Venetian Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip asking for help. (See description below) Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department statements have referred to it as a “unauthorized restraint technique” in order to try and make it sound less violent than it actually was.

During the hearing, it was announced that prosecutors will have a grand jury review Officer Lopera’s involuntary manslaughter charge. Lopera has also been charged with one count of “oppression under the color of law.” That too will be reviewed by the grand jury.

The LVPPA, the Las Vegas police union, is providing legal defense (and has set up a fundraiser that violates the GoFundMe rules, but GoFundMe has refused to take down) for Lopera. Steve Grammas, their president is quoted as saying that they “welcome the review.” But then he’s also on record stating that he thinks hiring a cop who has murdered three people to officially advise cops that shoot someone is a good idea because “he has a lot of experience with that.”

The Clark County District Attorney’s Office was given until March 26th to seek an indictment against Lopera by the judge. The grand jury can choose to endorse those previous charges or could revise them.

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.

Ploy by Police & Prosecutors to Drop the Charges?

Of course, that last part about “revising” the charges is something that likely will cause people who have followed this case to take notice. Grand jury hearings are usually just a formality within the process of filing charges. The old saying, “any good prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich” is often used to illustrate just how easy it is.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Officer Kenneth Lopera

LVMPD Officer Kenneth Lopera

However, as has been pointed out before here at NVCopBlock.org, prosecutors often use grand juries to justify not indicting police officers after they kill someone. District attorneys are in full control of the proceedings and decide what evidence is presented (or not). Essentially, they throw the case then use the fact the grand jury didn’t issue an indictment to claim they did everything they could but the case just wasn’t strong enough.

They are also ostensibly the representatives of the victims during the grand jury proceedings, although they really work for the other side. Much more often than not, that carries over to when cops are accused of criminal behavior. The fact that grand juries are by law a secret hearing, with criminal penalties for anyone that discusses what transpired, ensures that no one (including even the jurors) can expose or even criticize their lackluster efforts.

The fact that Officer Lopera is only facing a manslaughter charge (involuntary at that) is itself a point of contention among locals. Most who have seen the body camera footage (embedded below) of Lopez repeatedly tazing, beating, and then choking Tashii Farmer-Brown to death feel it was a pretty clear cut case of murder.

If a grand jury somehow decides not to uphold even those charges, things are going to get hot early this year in Vegas.

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 Farmer-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.

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Murder Charges Filed Against Former Las Vegas Cop After 1997 Rape Kit is Finally Processed Twenty Years Later

Rape Kit 1997 Murder Charges Arthur Lee Sewall Former LVMPD Officer

Former LVMPD Officer Arthur Lee Sewall Jr. has been charged with murder after a rape kit from 1997 was finally processed in 2017.

Earlier this week, former Metro Police Officer Arthur Lee Sewall Jr. was charged with murder and rape for the 1997 killing of a woman named Nadia Iverson. Iverson’s body had been found by a construction crew at an unoccupied apartment in May of that year. He was finally arrested on January 11th in Reno, where he had been living recently.

Sewall was named by prosecutors as a suspect the very same day that her body was discovered. However, although they had acquired a sample of his DNA in 1999, a positive identification of Sewall wasn’t made until February of 2017. The reason for that is because, due to a lack of funding, the rape kit collected from Iverson was not sent for processing until March of 2016.

In the meantime, Sewall spent a large percentage of those twenty years on probation for sex crimes committed while on duty prior to Iverson’s murder. In February of ’97 Officer Sewall had been caught on video attempting to force a woman to perform oral sex on him. Instead of being fully prosecuted for that crime, he was allowed to resign from the department and given a plea deal for two charges of oppression under the color of law.

He was then sentenced to probation, even though he was arrested in San Diego for soliciting a prostitute while awaiting sentencing. During that time on probation, he was caught in possession of a knife and gun by probation officers, failed to submit required reports, and also did not comply with a sex offender counseling program he had been ordered to complete.

Finally in 2004, he was sentenced to almost two years in prison for repeated probation violations. Even after being released from prison, he still didn’t comply the restrictions he was subject to as a convicted felon. At the time he was arrested in Reno, he had not registered his address change after moving from California and had to be tracked down by detectives. According to media reports (video embedded below), he then confessed to the murder of Iverson.

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.

The failure of police departments and city governments to fund the testing of rape kits across the country has left huge backlogs and prevented the arrest and conviction of rapists. As a result, many of those perpetrators have been able to continue victimizing women and committing other violent crimes for years and even decades in some cases. Others have been falsely convicted only to be exonerated once the testing was finally conducted.

In Southern Nevada alone 6,473 rape kits went untested, including approximately 5,600 connected to investigations within the LVMPD. It wasn’t until they received a $2.7 million grant from the New York State District Attorney’s Office that those kits began to get tested within the past couple of years.

Over 4,000 of those rape kits are still in the process of being tested or have not been sent out for testing to this day. Meanwhile, in recent times Metro has spent almost $300 million on a new headquarters complex, $42 million dollars on a new radio system that never worked properly (of which allegations of favoritism and kickbacks have been made), and another $26 million dollars to pay for the radio system that replaced it.

The City of Las Vegas also spent $185 million to build a new City Hall. That and the LVMPD’s HQ were both initiated in 2008. So somehow they managed to find the funding for those optional (and heavily criticized) expenditures during the worst recession in 70 years, but not for the (relatively) tiny fraction of cost that would be involved in the testing of the rape kits.

And that doesn’t even take into account the annual cost of payouts to victims of the misconduct and violence perpetrated by Las Vegas area police officers. In several recent years that money alone would have paid for all of the rape kits to be processed. That’s especially relevant when discussing a crime that was committed by one of those officers and then went unsolved for twenty years because there was no money for the rape kit to be processed.

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Las Vegas Protest at Mandalay Bay to Demand Release of Video Related to Route 91 Mass Shooting

October 1st Shooting Protest Mandalay Bay

A protest has been scheduled for December 21st at the Mandalay Bay on the Las Vegas Strip regarding the lack of transparency about the October 1st shooting during the Route 91 Festival.

Earlier this week, a local group called for a protest at the Mandalay Bay via Facebook. The group has stated that the protest will be aimed at putting pressure on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and MGM Resorts International, the parent company of the Mandalay Bay, to release information about the Las Vegas Route 91 Festival mass shooting that took place on October 1st.

The protest is scheduled for 1pm on January 21st in front of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. The Mandalay Bay is located on the Las Vegas Strip at 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. The group has stated that they intend to make this a ongoing regular protest until they are satisfied that their demands and concerns have been appropriately addressed.

Specifically, they intend to demand that surveillance footage from the Mandalay Bay be released publicly. As was reported here at NVCopBlock.org a couple days ago, LVMPD Sheriff Lombardo would like for everyone to just “forget that and move on.” However, the lack of transparency on even very basic aspects of the shooting, as well as previously exposed inconsistencies, have left many questions unanswered and created doubts about the official narrative(s). Those #KeyboardBandits he is so frustrated by want those questions and discrepancies answered before they just “move on.”

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.

Members of NVCopBlock will be there to report on the protest. Obviously, we will be also be monitoring and filming any interactions protesters have with the police and/or security to ensure their rights and safety are protected. I’ve also been told that several other independent news organizations will be in attendance.

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

 

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Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo (and the Mandalay Bay) Want People to Just “Forget That (Mass Shooting) and Move On”

Sheriff Joe Lombardo LVMPD Las Vegas Shooting

LVMPD Sheriff Joe Lombardo thinks it’s important that everyone just “move on and forget about” the October 1st shooting by Stephen Paddock at the Mandalay Bay on the Las Vegas Strip.

Over the MLK day weekend, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo stated:

“The frustrating thing for me as the head of the law enforcement is the keyboard bandits the guys who sit at their couches at their home and Monday morning quarterback everything you do and that are smarter than you. The pressure that we are put under to do the right thing and I believe we did the right thing and I am not hiding anything from anybody. You know what I know.

The reason why I say that it is just as important for you to be comfortable living here and have an understanding to prevent another event from taking place, for you to know what exactly happened. So, you know what exactly happened so far. I anticipate a press conference here in about a week to give you more information and to provide the media with more information associated with that event.

But there will not be a keystone or an important piece associated with Mr. Paddock and why he did what he did, so it’s important for us to forget that and move on and be resilient.”  – Via at the Baltimore Post Examiner

Overlooking the Freudian slip of Lombardo admitting that the “keyboard bandits” he’s so frustrated with are smarter than him, it is very much important that Las Vegas residents (and everyone else) know what exactly happened that day and why it happened the way it did. Unfortunately, if anything Lombardo and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have been doing the opposite of that important thing.

What few things they have released publicly have been incomplete on a basic, unnecessary level and in several major instances just plain inaccurate.  And in many cases these aren’t the kind of inaccuracies that have resulted from additional information being discovered during the course of an investigation. Nor are they things being withheld because public disclosure would compromise the investigation.

In fact, oftentimes these have been revisions or disclosures forced upon Lombardo and the LVMPD by those frustrating Keyboard Bandits and their inconvenient facts. Among other things, they were forced to admit that they lied about or withheld information on when Paddock checked in to the Mandalay Bay, the fact a Metro cop had fired his weapon inside the room where he had stayed, and the ever-shifting timeline of when the MGM security guard and Metro officers reached the 32nd floor and timing of the shooting in relation to that.

Some of the motives behind the dishonesty and lack of transparency for those particular inconsistencies are fairly easy to figure out. Mostly, it boils down to trying to reduce liability for the Mandalay Bay and Metro itself and eliminate criticism of their lack of a response. If Paddock checked in right before the shooting, then people are less likely to question why no-one saw him do anything suspicious that would point to his intentions in the days prior.

Similarly, if the shooting began at the same time as security guard Jesus Campos had been shot, then people are less likely to question why Mandalay Bay security didn’t respond immediately. If it ended shortly after, people are less likely to ask why the “heroic” Metro police officers stood around in the hallway for over an hour without going into the room where they knew someone had just fired hundreds of bullets into a crowd of unsuspecting people and presumably didn’t know whether he would start shooting again.

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.

Las Vegas casinos are notorious for the amount of video cameras they have in and around them and for the vigilance with which security monitors those cameras. Except for the inside of the hotel rooms and other private areas such as bathrooms, you can’t walk two feet inside one without it being recorded. At least some of the police had body cameras. And Paddock himself had cameras set up both in the hallway and inside his room.

Yet there’s no video of the guard, Jesus Campos, being shot or the police in the hallway that day, no video of Paddock bringing his arsenal of weapons and ammunition from his car in the garage through the check-in area and to the room, no video of him smashing those giant reinforced windows out prior to the shooting. There’s also no video of him barricading the door to the stairwell, setting up cameras in the hallway, or disabling the farm alarms just prior to firing on the crowd.

Lombardo was in a big hurry almost before the sound of gunfire had faded away to assure everyone that only one person was responsible for this shooting. He also was in a rush to make sure everyone knew that that one person was dead and there was no terrorist connection. Even before there was time enough to confirm whether that was true, it was important for them to assure tourists didn’t get scared off by the idea of another incident like this happening in the future.

The problem is that the inconsistencies, altered timelines, and exposed lies that those efforts to keep information from the public have spawned has done nothing but fuel those same fears and mistrust toward the official story. Sheriff Lombardo and the MGM corporation (along with the rest of Las Vegas’ casino industry) would like for everyone to just “forget that and move on.”

It’s important that we don’t until we get some real answers.

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

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

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

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

“What Happened in Vegas” Filmmaker Intro

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

LVMPD Capt. Yesenia Yatomi Promotion After Perjury

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

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

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

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

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

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

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

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

The LVMPD’s “Dirtbag Dream Team”

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

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

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

“What Happened in Vegas” Filmmaker Intro

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Kirstin Blaise Lobato Freed After 15 Years in Prison for Las Vegas Murder Prosecutors Knew She Couldn’t Have Committed

Wrongful Murder Conviction Overturned Kirstin Blaise Lobato

In spite of evidence of her innocence, the Clark County DA’s Office did everything they could to prevent Kirstin Blaise Lobato from being freed after over 15 years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit.

After spending her entire adult life in prison for a murder she didn’t commit, a Las Vegas woman has finally been released. Kristin Blaise Lobato spent over 15 years behind bars in spite of evidence that she was over 150 miles away at the time the killing took place. However, she was finally able to walk out of the Clark County Detention Center a free woman for the first time since she was 18 years old on January 3rd.

Meanwhile, even after a judge had declared her innocent and ordered her release, prosecutors with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office refused to acknowledge the improprieties carried out during her trial(s). In fact, they even briefly had plans to force her to spend another year in the county jail for having been caught having sex with another inmate during the time that she was wrongfully imprisoned.

Fortunately, Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez also dismissed that case, instead ruling that the time she had already spent in prison for a crime she didn’t commit was sufficient punishment for that as well and giving her credit for time served. Judge Gonzalez then ordered that Lobato be released from custody immediately.

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.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson and Chief Deputy District Attorney Sandra DiGiacomo have attempted to justify their efforts to keep an innocent woman in prison by contending that the fact she was found guilty at trial by two juries means she is. However, the case against Lobato was very much flawed from the start and those verdicts were more a product of what was kept from the juries than the strength of the evidence actually presented to them.

Kirstin Blaise Lobato Released From Prison

There was virtually no physical evidence tying Lobato to the murder of Duran Bailey, a homeless man who was found beaten to death and castrated in a Downtown Las Vegas dumpster in 2001. The only real justification for her to even be a suspect was a story that she told to several people that she had fended off a rape attempt by cutting her attacker’s penis with a knife.

She had told that story weeks prior to the murder, though, and had identified the location where that incident happened as a different area of town. In spite of that, police investigators characterized her description of stabbing a man attempting to sexually assault her in the groin during an interrogation as a confession of Bailey’s murder.

More importantly, Lobato was positively verified to have been at her parents’ house in Panaca, Nevada, nearly 200 miles from Las Vegas on July 8, when Bailey was murdered. Based on that and other inconsistencies in the physical evidence, experts brought in by her defense attorneys testified that it would have been impossible for her to have carried out the murder.

However, that testimony was suppressed by Judge Valorie Vega during the original trial. Meanwhile, the prosecution was allowed to present a expert witnesses that made the ridiculous claim that flies in Las Vegas act completely different than flies anywhere else in the world do.

In addition, the district attorney’s office actively fought to prevent additional DNA testing on the physical evidence recovered at the scene, even after the Innocence Project offered to pay any costs involved. All previous DNA testing had excluded Lobato and, due to the violent method of Bailey’s death, it’s unlikely the person who murdered him could have done so without leaving their own DNA behind (such evidence from an unknown source was in fact found).

Of course, if Lobato was guilty those tests would more than likely definitively prove she was present at the crime scene. So realistically the district attorneys should have had their own incentive to cooperate with the DNA tests.

Regardless of that, Judge Vega ruled against allowing the testing. Shortly after, Vega chose not to run for reelection following an (unrelated) official reprimand against her by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline. In what’s probably not a coincidence, almost exactly three years after Judge Vega left the bench Kristin Blaise Lobato walked out of the front door of the Clark County Detention Center.

Background on the Case and False Convictions

Not Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson and his underlings at the DA’s office have gone to great lengths to keep someone who was obviously innocent in prison. Not too long ago, I reported on the case of Demarlo Berry, who was falsely convicted of murder based on testimony from a witness that was coached and paid off by detectives from the LVMPD.

Not only were the prosecutors in the case complicit in manufacturing evidence against Berry, they also delayed his release for four years after that witness recanted his testimony and the real murderer had confessed. Then, once they finally realized that they couldn’t prevent his release, they portrayed it as if they were responsible for freeing him.

In another case, Fred Steese was issued a pardon last month in order to clear his record of a murder he was falsely convicted of and spent twenty-one years in prison for after he was beaten and coerced into confessing. Prosecutors also hid evidence that definitively proved he was in another state at the time and photo lineup results that pointed to his innocence.

Instead of releasing him after he was declared “actually innocent” by a judge, they threatened to refile the charges and drag out the process coercing Steese into accepting a plea deal for second degree murder to ensure he wouldn’t have to stay in prison for years while fighting those new charges.

Numerous other convictions in Clark County have been overturned recently, including several death penalty cases, due to racial discrimination by prosecutors during jury selection. Obviously, for Wolfson and his prosecutors the important issue isn’t guilt or innocence, but rather simply whether they can get a conviction, even if it they know it’s a false conviction.

Related Posts on Nevada Cop Block

“It Was Murder – He’s a Monster” Joe Rogan Experience Discussion of Police Brutality and Daniel Shaver Shooting

Police Brutality Daniel Shaver Murder Discussion Joe Rogan Experience

Host Joe Rogan, comedian Duncan Trussell, and psychologist/author Christopher Ryan discuss police brutality and the murder of Daniel Shaver by Mesa, Arizona Police Officer Philip Braillsford during the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.

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.

Embedded below is an excerpt from Joe Rogan’s podcast the “Joe Rogan Experience” during which there was a discussion of police brutality. Specifically, the discussion centers around the body camera video  (also embedded below) showing the 2016 murder of Daniel Shaver by Mesa Police Officer Philip Braillsford in Arizona. As pretty much everyone on the planet knows at this point, earlier this month a jury somehow managed to watch that video (contrary to what Rogan says in the video, they did watch it) and then decide Braillsford was not guilty of that murder.

Rogan is joined by two guests, Duncan Trussell, a comedian who hosts his own podcast, entitled the “Duncan Trussell Family Hour,” and Christopher Ryan, a psychologist, writer, and who (of course) also hosts his own podcast, entitled “Tangentially Speaking.” Not surprisingly and as is probably obvious by the title of this post, the common consensus is that Daniel Shaver was murdered that day.

Beyond that basic conclusion, there are some good points made about the situation itself and Braillsford. One thing brought up by Rogan, which actually hasn’t been discussed much, is that Arizona is an open carry state. In fact, Arizona is one of only thirteen states that recognizes “constitutional carrygun rights, meaning that you don’t need any license whatsoever to carry a gun, even when it is concealed.

To a large extent, that invalidates the very reason that the police were there in the first place, since it was based on someone reporting that they saw Shaver with a rifle. The fact that the witness claims he was pointing it out the window would be the only thing worthy of any investigation and, as noted, the demeanor of Shaver and the woman with him quite obviously wasn’t that of someone preparing to go on a killing spree.

Just what a monster Braillsford is and the fact that police departments attract psychopaths is another point brought up. As I and others have mentioned many times, the authoritarian nature of the police and their ability to inflict violence on others, often with little to no consequences for their abuses, attracts the type of people who have a desire to do so.

Then, of course, the other thing becoming incredibly obvious is that people are fed up with these type of crimes by the police being condoned and/or covered up and that discontent is likely heading toward a serious backlash.

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Yes, All Cops ARE Bastards; How and Why Modern Policing Discourages Moral Responsibility

ACAB All Cops Are Bastards Police Violence Corruption

The “Thin Blue Line,” that even “Good Cops” abide by almost without exception, not only protects “Bad Apples,” but also enables and even incentivizes police corruption and violence.

Note: This post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via reader submission. It was originally posted at JohnLaurits.com, entitled, “All Cops Are Bad: How Modern Policing Negates Moral Responsibility” and has been posted as it was originally published by Laurits. (Some links to relevant content on NVCopBlock have been added within the original text.)

There are several ways you can support the writing and other work of John Laurits and I would encourage you to do so. That includes paypal donations, monthly Patreon contributions, as well as donations of Bitcoin  using the following wallet address: 1Nr5EvC3Ye6nZDJJP2ikD7X9SpxdAmeeZV.

If you see (or write) any blog posts, news stories, social media posts, or videos that you feel are relevant to NVCopBlock, send them to us. Also, please share any personal videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you have by sending them to us.

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.

All Cops Are Bad: How Modern Policing Negates Moral Responsibility

Anyone following the news is probably aware that body-cam footage of Daniel Shaver’s murder was released earlier in December right after the officer who murdered him walked away with no conviction. A day after the video’s release, Oklahoma prosecutors chose not to file any charges after a deaf man walking with his cane was killed when police fired a taser and five bullets into his chest, pelvis, and arms after he failed to hear them shouting at him. Also during the same week, an 11-year-old black girl was held at gunpoint, hand-cuffed, and stuffed into the back of a police cruiser by officers who were searching for a middle-age, white, female suspect in Michigan. Meanwhile, an unarmed person was being shot to death in San Francisco by a rookie cop on his 4th day. As this post is written, US police have killed 1,132 human beings in 2017 so far and yet — in spite of this ongoing state-sponsored terror — questioning the integrity or usefulness of police institutions is still somehow seen as a pretty extremist thing to do.

There are a lot of very good reasons, however, that no one has ever written a song called Fuck Tha Fire Department

History & Origins of the Police:
A Tale of Two Law Enforcement Paradigms

Daniel Shaver Murder Philip Brailsford

Daniel Shaver and the cop who got away with murdering him

The police — or, more specifically, the policing institutions that exist today — are younger than most people imagine. The type of policing that exists today first emerged in France during the 1700s and the earliest use of “police officer” only appears in the USA in 1794, while the first known use of “police station” is from 1817. Just 200 years ago. The concept of policing has existed for a long time, of course — but these cops are something else…

Traditional Concepts of Policing:
Watchmen & Community Self-Policing

Long before the police institutions of today were established, policing was mostly a grassroots enterprise. In pre-industrial Europe, the law was usually enforced by volunteer watchmen who formed local groups known as the night watch or simply the watch. With the exception of large cities ( which is where empires, such as Rome, liked to keep their armies ), most towns and communities did not expect government authorities to deal with everyday criminal activity — so people did it themselves. While a lack of official oversight meant watch-groups could be prone to corruption, the fact that similar groups appear all over world-history shows that self-policing at the local level is a viable model that can spring up spontaneously in human society.

Private Security & Mercenary Forces

In cities with greater levels of crime, the watch might be assisted by inspectors or constables employed by the city’s authorities to protect commerce and help with more serious crimes. Merchants and traders who had a lot of valuable goods typically hired private security guards to protect their wares. Even with the watch and a city official on duty, businesses did not expect the government to take responsibility for guarding their interests — it was, after all, their business.

The Modern Police Department:
A Government Takeover of Policing

acab history police riot gear militarization ftp

1850 Historical Poster No Police Aberystwyth Boys Community PatrolsThen, the police changed in a big way. As the feudal power-structures of Europe broke down beneath a wave of revolutions in the 18th century, governments took a more active role in law enforcement and the first centralized policing organization was created in France by King Louis XIV. The duties of the new police were bluntly described as a mechanism of class-control over workers and peasants:

“ensuring the peace and quiet of the public and of private individuals, purging the city of what may cause disturbances, procuring abundance, and having each and everyone live according to their station and their duties

While France’s Gendarmes were seen as a symbol of oppression in other parts of Europe, the French policing model spread during the early 1800s as Napoleon Bonaparte conquered much of the continent. By the mid-1800s, modern policing institutions — publicly-funded, centralized police organized in a military hierarchy and under the control of the state — had been transplanted everywhere from Tsarist Russia to England and the United States.

Power, Paramilitary,
& Political Policing

plantation police slave patrols history of US copsPolicing became the exclusive right of governments as other law enforcement groups were absorbed into new and “official” institutions. The new police were not just tasked with serving the public, however — they also protected the political power of their new employers. It was a revolutionary era and the new police were shaped by rulers facing a particularly mutinous  population. The use of police as the vanguard of state-power was a major development and it was adapted to repress popular movements all over the world. Early police organizations in the US, for example, pretty much handed blue uniforms to former slave-patrols and anti-union mercenaries who had historically protected the interests of plantation-bosses in the South and industrial capitalists in the North.

( For more on the historical links between slavery, anti-union security, and law enforcement, read “Private Property Is the Police-State” )

The Problem of Modern Policing:
The Negation of Moral Responsibility

This was a fundamental shift — police were no longer organized as a response to the needs of communities but as an instrument of state-authority. With government officials deciding the scope and extent of policing practices, watchmen became employees of the government and ordinary citizens no longer had any control over the police. A watchmen’s authority could be challenged if they pissed off too many peasants because it was the peasants who organized the patrol to begin with — the authority of the state, however, is trickier to challenge.

FTP Don't Trust Cops Sesame Street Big Bird

Today, the police are a military hierarchy organized in a chain of command of captains, sergeants, etc — patrols do whatever their superior officers’ say, those officers do whatever their superiors say, and so on into the bureaucratic abyss. To be part of the police, officers must obey orders, just as the members in any military must. Since failing to obey orders is a pretty quick and reliable way to leave a police force, cops who disobey orders are pretty rare ( and only employed as officers very briefly ).

Because of this, cops lack what philosophers call moral agency.

Moral Agency & Diffusion of Responsibility

Good Cops Ignoring the Violence Corruption of Bad ApplesMoral agency is the ability to know whether an action is right or wrong. For example, if a bear kills a person, there is no moral issue because that’s just how bears operate but, if a person kills a person, they need to hire a lawyer because people typically have more options than bears do, which means they can be held responsible for their actions. Murder is not just killing — murder is having a choice not to kill and killing anyway. Without moral agency, there is no murder. In fact, the whole idea of “justice” assumes that moral agency exists, which is why most legal systems do not prosecute kids or folks with certain mental illnesses — if someone lacks the ability to do the right thing, it is pointless to punish them for not doing it.

Modern policing deprives cops of moral agency at a structural level. With a militaristic chain of command as the institutional core, moral responsibility for the actions of individual officers is transferred to the abstract spook of governmental authority. The result is that nobody can be held responsible and the officer becomes an inanimate tool in the spooky hand of an unseen and unaccountable bureaucracy — the police officer becomes no more than a vessel for policies, totally devoid of agency and free of its consequences.

And without agency, there can be no accountability. There can be no justice.

Why All Cops Are Bad
( Yes, Every Last One)

ACAB All Cats Are Beautiful All Cops Are BastardsIf you are stopped by a cop, then A.C.A.B. means ‘All Cats Are Beautiful’ — but, in any other situation, A.C.A.B. stands for All Cops Are Bad or All Coppers Are Bastards, depending on how edgy you wanna be. There is extreme social pressure from all sides to support the boys in blue ( as the Ninja Turtles call them) and criticism of the police is supposed to be followed by reassurances that “most cops are good” or that “it’s just a few bad apples.” But all of that sidesteps the actual problem, which is a structural problem. The fact that 3.3% of all injuries treated in US emergency rooms are inflicted by police is not because some cops are unpleasant people — it is because the institutions are structured to shield officers from being held responsible for their actions as individuals.

All cops are bad because no cop has moral agency. They might be a good parent or a good friend or even a good saxophonist — but they are not a good cop. Without agency, moral responsibility is negated and the result is that nobody is responsible for executing Daniel Shaver on his knees as he pleaded for his life. Nobody is responsible for Philando Castille being shot to death in front of his partner and her child and nobody is responsible for firing the bullets that extinguished the life of a 12 year-old black child named Tamir Rice as he played in the park.

Fuck the Police” Is a Moral Statement

Cops Beating People with Batons Police BrutalityAs the first paragraph of this post was written, 1,132 human beings had been slaughtered by US police so far in 2017 — as its last paragraphs are written, that number has grown to 1,142.  And it will grow more by the time most of you read this. (Note: It’s now up to 1,147, as of the time this was cross-posted on Dec. 20th. – Less than one day later.) Instances of particularly despicable police violence, such as the execution of Daniel Shaver, sometimes force their way onto the newsreel — but the vast majority who are killed by police simply slip into the oblivion beneath the headlines. There are not enough hours each day to report on that much suffering.

And none of this is going to change, either — not until more of us have had enough. Not until our courage to speak out against the police is greater than the social and political pressure to deny that the problem exists. Not until more of us are more offended by cops shooting kids than by someone saying “fuck the police.” Fuck the institution of policing. Fuck the structural mechanisms that rob police of their humanity as much as they rob our mothers of their children. And even if your brother-in-law or [insert family-member or relative here] is a really nice person — when they wear that badge — fuck them, too.

In solidarity,
John Laurits

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