Tag Archives: las vegas police

Man Beaten by Las Vegas Police For Not Moving Fast Enough Awarded $31,500 Settlement (Update)

About a year and a half ago, Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs submitted a story to the CopBlock Network about a man who had been beaten by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

That man, Dominic Gennarino, could be seen on surveillance video (embedded below) from the Vanguard Lounge, a bar/nightclub located on what is known as Fremont East in Downtown Las Vegas, being assaulted by a group of Las Vegas police officers. One officer in particular, identified as Officer Kolkoski, visciously jabbed Gennarino’s body with his nightstick during the attack and had to be restrained by another policeman.

Prior to that the cops had been clearing people out of the club after a stabbing (which Gennarino wasn’t involved in) took place there. Apparently, Gennarino’s “crime that precipitated that beating was that he wasn’t moving fast enough as he exited the bar, even though the video pretty clearly shows that the large crowd had prevented him from walking any faster.

Of course, once the video was made public the false charges (Obstructing a Public Officer) against Gennarino used to justifying the beating were dropped. Also, in response to the beating and the negative publicity it generated, the LVMPD promised that they were going to implement “fundamental policy changes” in their use of force policies, as well as their procedure for investigating use of force incidents. Those “fundamental” changes that were promised have since gotten some not so glowing reviews by Las Vegas residents, though.

Officer Kolkoski knocks himself down in the process of beating Domonic Generino with his nightstick

Officer Kolkoski in his enthusiasm for beating Domonic Generino knocks himself down.

Not surprisingly, given the history Las Vegas area police departments with regards to accountability, Metro’s Internal Affairs also concluded during their investigation that “the actions taken by employees did not rise to the level of misconduct or was not a policy violation” and those cops caught on camera beating an innocent man for no good reason wouldn’t face any sort of meaningful repercussions for those actions, whatsoever.

Of course, you have to consider that Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson refused to prosecute a group of police officers from the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson after they beat a diabetic driver they suspected of being drunk. The reason he cited for that inaction was because they train Henderson police to kick people in the head at the academy. So, even misconduct and policy violations are fairly hard to come by out here in Vegas with such a low bar of acceptability for pretty much whatever cops want to do on any given day.

In the latest update to this particular story, Stephen Stubbs posted to his Facebook profile on April 14th (2016) that Gennarino had received a settlement of $31,500 to compensate him for the actions taken by those LVMPD “employees.”

In that post (embedded below), Stubbs states:

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department paid my client $31,500 today. He was beaten by police because he wasn’t moving fast enough, and then the police officer lied in the official report.

A special thank you to Jared Richards. We did this case together and Justice won the day.

Dominic Gennarino certainly deserves to be compensated for the assault and wrongful arrest perpetrated against him that day and probably by even more than the amount he received. (Apparently, he was satisfied with Metro’s first settlement offer.) However, as is always the case due to qualified immunity protections, this settlement will be payed by the taxpayers and not in any genuine way personally effect those officers who actually committed the crimes against Gennarino and then lied in official police reports in order to justify doing it.

Related Posts Submitted By or About Stephen Stubbs:

Those of you that have followed CopBlock.org over the past several years are probably already aware that Stephen Stubbs is a frequent contributor of submissions to the Cop Block Network. In addition, I have personally worked with Stephen on a somewhat regular basis through Nevada Cop Block.

Therefore, there is a pretty lengthy list of posts on Cop Block involving Stephen Stubbs, his clients, and/or people or groups he is associated with. Included below are links to those posts.

 

  1. Full Waco Twin Peaks Biker Shooting Videos; Witness Statement Made Public
  2. Know Your Rights Seminar At Las Vegas “Rally For Your Rights”
  3. Waco, TX; Twin Peaks Shootings Arrests – June 10th Call Flood
  4. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  5. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  6. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs Found Not Guilty in 5th Amendment Right to Counsel Case
  7. Game Over for Insert Coins’ and Their Abusive Bouncers
  8. Dance, Dance Revolution Protest at Insert Coins Las Vegas- Feb. 26, 2015
  9. Insert Coin(s) Las Vegas Bouncers Beat Man and Obstruct Witness Trying to Film
  10. Las Vegas Police Promise “Fundamental Policy Changes” after Dominic Gennarino Beating
  11. Las Vegas Police Beat a Man for “Not Moving Fast Enough”
  12. Las Vegas Police Agree That You Should Film Them
  13. Free Know Your Rights Seminar in Las Vegas
  14. Attorney Stephen Stubbs Arrested for Refusing to Leave His Client’s Side

 

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LVMPD Sued By Man Shown on Video Being Attacked by Police at Hard Rock Casino

Ian Tuuamalemalo, a man who was visiting Las Vegas from Southern California, has filed a police brutality lawsuit over an incident in which he was violently attacked by a group of officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Tuuamalemalo had been attending a reggae concert at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in January of 2014 when the assault occurred.

Although it was claimed in the police report that Tuuamalemalo was acting aggressively, he was actually walking away from the officers when he was grabbed from behind and then punched in the face by one of the (as yet unidentified) officers. The rest of the officers then jumped on him and he appears to have been knocked unconscious before being carried away. Charges against him were later dropped.

The beating of Tuuamalemalo is shown on a surveillance video (embedded below) from the casino. Cal Potter, a local civil rights attorney who is representing Tuuamalemalo, has described the altercation as “an organized riot on the part of the police.” In addition, Potter states that the LVMPD ruled that a “policy violation” had been committed, although no details of what exactly that violation was or by whom it was committed had been provided.

Via KLASTV – 8 News Now:

“They could have killed me,” he said.

The video shows him being tugged on his shirt, followed by what may be a punch. He is shown being taken to the ground by police, restrained and carried out. Tuuamalemalo appears to be passed out.

“I don’t like being helpless,” he said.

The incident occurred January 26, 2014. The 34-year-old man says he was visiting from California for a reggae show at the Hard Rock, when he had a run-in with Metro Police…

They claim this is excessive use of force by police. Since there is no audio, it is unclear how this started and what was said between police and Tuuamalemalo.

A Metro report describes him as aggressive and refers to his size. He says, at the time, he was nearly 380 pounds, and stands 6’1”.

He says he was walking away, when someone tugged his shirt.

“I just remembered I turned around. Right when I turned around, that’s when I seen the officer. He just had a, just a full swing, just takes one to my face,” he said.

“There is no excuse for that,” Potter added.

Potter says he’s concerned about the tactics used to restrain his client.

“In a perfect world, the United States Attorney’s Office would pick up this case, and prosecute it and indict the officers that were involved,” he said.

Tuuamalemalo was arrested for resisting a public officer and destroying property at the Hard Rock. The charges were later dropped.

He says he complained to Metro Police. He received letter (sic) in January 2015 – approximately a year after the incident – stating a policy violation was found to be sustained. It does not state, however, what that violation is and who may have been held accountable.

“There is a blue wall of silence that we are all aware that work in the police misconduct business and civil rights violations,” Potter said…

Potter says he believes the person who may have thrown a punch is a Metro Police sergeant, but 8 News NOW could not confirm that.

Obviously, we all know this isn’t a “perfect world,” where cops are actually held accountable for their actions. That is certainly not the case for Las Vegas area police departments, where cops are free to do pretty much anything they want without any realistic fear of repercussions. He’s quite right that they could have killed him (on video) and easily gotten away with it.

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Masturbating Janitor Case Exposes Cover-Up of Las Vegas School Cop’s Sex Crimes

CCSD Police Officer Masturbation Sgt Mitch Maciszak

In December, a complaint by a Las Vegas elementary school teacher led to the arrest of Michael Timothy Skelton, an overnight custodian, for masturbating on school property. However, within the course of researching that story Darcy Spears, a local news reporter, uncovered information that shows the school police officer in charge of investigating the allegations against the custodian has his own sordid history of sex related incidents and, unlike Skelton, the Clark County School District Police Department didn’t prosecute him and has actually covered up that criminal history.

In fact, Sgt. Maciszak was himself caught in the act of masturbating at a local middle school and has a history of sexually explicit transgressions dating back years. He was reported as having engaged in sex acts with a department employee both in his patrol car and within the same office that he was discovered going to town on himself while watching Asian porn on a department computer. For good measure, he was also accused of getting really drunk and using his cell phone to take photos up the skirts of women during a police department Christmas party.

The greatest moment contained on the videos below is within the second one, consisting of an interview between Darcy Spears and Sgt. Maciszak regarding the charges against Skelton. She’s doesn’t bring up Maciszak’s own history until after she’s already got him to discuss how seriously the CCSD police take cases involving masturbation on school property. She also gets him to say that the department’s ultimate goal for such cases is “always jail time.”

Up to that point, Maciszak is pretty relaxed and happy to discuss how inappropriate the janitor’s behavior was. That changes quite a bit shortly after, though, when Spears begins to discuss Maciszak’s own behavior. Suddenly, he doesn’t want to discuss it because it’s a “personnel issue.” Shortly after, Captain Ken Young, who was monitoring the interview, agreed that it’s a personnel issue and declared the interview over as Maciszak stands up and starts taking his microphone off.

So, it’s okay to discuss a school janitor’s dirty hands, even though it’s not just a personnel issue but also a criminal matter. However, the interview is over as soon as someone brings up the fact that the cop in charge of investigating that case has left some stains of his own on school property.

Via KTNV 13 Action News in Las Vegas: (emphasis added)

Darcy Spears: The ultimate goal in cases like this is what?

Sgt. Maciszak: Well, we always like — like to see some type of outcome to where some type of sentence is imposed.  Either jail time — always jail time.

Skelton cut a plea deal, putting him behind bars for two years.  Then, he’ll have to register as a sex offender.

Darcy Spears: Safe to say that CCSD Police takes this type of incident–masturbating on school property–very seriously?

Sgt. Maciszak: Absolutely.  We take all incidents seriously.  Any type of incident that could impact our children, our staff, our visitors of the school district, we want to make sure–like I said–they’re safe when they come to our property.

Though Maciszak says the Skelton case is unique, our research suggests that this might not be an isolated incident.

We asked Maciszak to flash back to when he was a detective stationed at Garside Middle School.

Darcy Spears: This was a case that our research tells us involved you personally, and an Internal Affairs investigation and masturbation at Garside and pornography.

Sgt. Maciszak: You’re speaking of a personnel issue and I’m not comfortable speaking with that.

It’s something the CCSD Police Department has kept secret… Until now.

Contact 13 obtained an audio recording from a 2012 School Police Internal Affairs investigation.

Internal Affairs Investigator Courtney Purcell of the Bureau of Professional Standards says, “A couple of years before that, while Det. Maciszak was working Adult Education at Garside, Art Sturdivant, who used to be one of our officers but now works for Henderson Police, walked into the police office at Garside and caught Maciszak masturbating while watching pornography on his work computer.

Officer Mike Thomas: That’s what Art Sturdivant told me, yes.

Darcy Spears spoke to Officer Sturdivant, who recounted what he saw that day.

He said he tried to use his key to get into the police office at Garside, but the chain lock on the inside blocked him from opening the door all the way.

He saw Maciszak jump back, bend over to cover himself and run into the back office.

Maciszak’s belt was lying on the desk and there was Asian pornography on the computer screen.

Officer Mike Thomas on the audio tape says, “The tech over at Garside had constantly–it was kind of like common knowledge — had constantly — that computer was always crashed.  It had so much pornography on it that they had to constantly go in there and fix the problem.

When we asked the District about the incident, they sent a written statement, which says, “Concerns were brought forward, which were investigated administratively. Appropriate action was taken.”

But in two cases, which both involved masturbating on school property, custodian Michael Skelton was arrested, charged and sent to prison. 

Because no one blew the whistle on Mitch Maciszak, his case wasn’t even investigated for years. 

That investigation started on the very day Maciszak was promoted to sergeant. 

The outcome, our sources say?  A letter of reprimand in a personnel file.

“As far as I know, this was a reprimand in the file and no criminal charges were filed?” Darcy Spears asked Sgt. Maciszak.  But before he could answer, CCSD Police Captain Ken Young, who was supervising the interview, said, “At this point, like I said, we talked about that, this is a personnel issue.  So at this point we would have to conclude the interview.”

Maciszak takes off his microphone, and leaves the room.

Contact 13 learned this was just the tip of the iceberg with Sgt. Maciszak.

Sgt Mitch Maciszak CCSD PoliceAs detailed in the video, Sgt. Maciszak was not held accountable for his inappropriate sexual activity while on duty at a school in any way criminally, even though they exactly matched the actions of Michael Skelton for which he was charged with felony crimes. Instead, Maciszak was given a meaningless reprimand and then actually promoted to sergeant, even as he was being investigated for the masturbation incident.

And it gets better.

The third video embedded below details even more of Sgt. Maciszak’s “personnel issues:”

But Contact 13 discovered the cop who headed up the investigation had a dark secret of his own.

“How would it look it if got out that he was involved in the same type of activity that he was investigating?” CCSD Police Officer Mike Thomas asked during a March, 2012 Internal Affairs investigation.  Contact 13 obtained the audio recording of that interview…

Darcy Spears: Is it fair for you, with a background like that, to be investigating a case like this? Do you see a possible conflict of interest?

Sgt. Mitch Maciszak: There is no conflict of interest.

Maciszak is no stranger to allegations of sex acts on the job.  What is strange for him is having to answer publicly for his actions…

Other officers were not comfortable speaking out about Maciszak’s behavior until sources say it became impossible to ignore.  They came to Officer Mike Thomas, who heads the police union’s grievance committee.

“Taken as a whole, I think there’s a pattern that did give me some concern,” Thomas told Internal Affairs.

Specifically, sex on the job at school police headquarters.  Investigators were told Maciszak was getting oral sex from another department employee in his assigned school district vehicle.

“And on at least one occasion, he allegedly took her into his work office and had sex with her,” the Internal Affairs investigator repeats during the interview with Thomas.

Thomas added, “I think if you have impulses that you can’t keep in check and you bring them into the workplace, then I think that’s an issue.”

The other issue Internal Affairs investigated is something Officer Thomas witnessed first hand on December 18, 2010 at the Police Officer’s Association Christmas party, which was attended by about 125 department employees and their guests.

IA investigator: And that you saw Det. Maciszak, who you felt was obviously intoxicated, taking his camera phone, sticking it up women’s skirts and taking pictures up their skirts?

Mike Thomas: Yes.

Multiple people who were at the party tell Contact 13 they saw it too.

Officer Thomas told investigators, “To say he was out of control was an understatement.”

The behavior described is a clear violation of the School Police code of conduct.  Sanctions are supposed to get stricter with each additional offense.

According to an internal memo Contact 13 obtained, the complaints against Maciszak were “fully investigated and the appropriate administrative action” was taken.

We don’t know what that action was, but we do know Maciszak was promoted to sergeant during the investigation and even acts as a department spokesman, including in the case of custodian Michael Skelton.

When we asked him about Skelton, he said, “This employee chose, consciously, to do the wrong thing and make the wrong decision.  Therefore, he has to face the consequences that have been dealt to him.”

So, after a school janitor “chose, consciously, to do the wrong thing and make the wrong decision,” he had to “face the consequences” of a felony record, prison time, and being forced to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life. Meanwhile, the cop investigating Skelton has a history of sexual crimes longer and even worse than him. However, instead of having to face the consequences of his actions, Sgt. Maciszak’s conscious and chosen wrong decisions are treated as a personnel issue and swept under the rug without any meaningful consequences, whatsoever. In fact, according to the CCSD Police Department, the “appropriate administrative action” was for him to be promoted and made a spokesperson for the department, not to be criminally charged or even fired.

This is hardly the first recent case of a CCSD cop getting arrested or of sex crimes being committed by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Nor is it even a rare example of Las Vegas police covering up for their fellow employees or other government officials. It’s hardly shocking that people living in Las Vegas have such little trust of the police or faith in police “investigators” with that type of sterling history for accountability among area police departments.

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Lawyer Says Portsmouth Police Shooting Video Has 15 Second Gap

On Wednesday, the lawyer representing the family of William Chapman II, an unarmed man who was shot by Portsmouth police Officer Stephen D. Rankin in April, claimed that the video recorded by Rankin’s taser contains a 15 second gap. Coincidentally, those “missing” 15 seconds just happen to be during the time that Chapman was killed.

Via the Virginia Pilot:

“The video was operational up until just before the shooting, and then it was not operational for about 15 seconds,” [Attorney Jon] Babineau said, recounting what he was told.

He said the video was initially recorded while Rankin was holding the weapon. When it cuts back on, the Taser is apparently on the ground of the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Stephen D. Rankin

Stephen D. Rankin

While Babineau (and his source) state that they don’t believe it was intentionally erased, but was rather just a malfunction of the camera, the numerous instances of “lost” footage, as well as the timing of that unfortunate malfunction raises obvious questions. It’s rather amazing that so many police cameras seem to have power source issues during the time that those police officers are beating or shooting someone.

Similarly, even private businesses seemed to be susceptible to “malfunctions” at the most inopportune of times. One of the best examples was when the one camera that would have shown Erik Scott being murdered by Las Vegas Police from the LVMPD at a Costco in Summerlin somehow malfunctioned and failed to record during that time.

A more recent example would be when the Chicago Burger King near where Laquan McDonald was murdered by Officer Jason Van Dyke somehow ended up not saving 80 minutes of footage that night. Of course, by shear coincidence those 80 minutes just happened to be during the time McDonald was being shot. Also, by some random coincidence, that footage deleted itself right after a Chicago Police officer came into the Burger King to review their surveillance video.

Obviously, this and all the footage that the cops constantly refuse to release until years later when a court forces them to, if at all, should serve as a reminder to always film the police. Even when they have dashcams, bodycams, and/or tasercams, we can’t count on that equipment not to malfunction, inadvertently erase the video, or simply disappear.

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Happy Birthday to Us! Nevada Cop Block Just Turned Three Years Old

Nevada Cop Block Birthday Cake

The original version of this photo (and the cake in it) is courtesy of Greater Cleveland Cop Block.

June 4th is what I would consider to be the three year anniversary of the founding of Nevada Cop Block, back in 2012. Technically, NVCopBlock.org launched a few weeks earlier on May 25th, when I posted a “Help Wanted” request asking if anybody was interested in getting involved with the website. There were a few other posts within the next few days, but that consisted of police-related reposts from my personal blog, EYEAM4ANARCHY, which I just dumped on the page as filler until I got some actual content ready to post. There had also been some offline actions in the real world, mostly in response to events CopBlock.org had organized and fairly sporadically.

The Motorhome Diaries in Las Vegas

The Motorhome Diaries in Las Vegas circa 2009

However, it was on June 4, 2012 that Pete Eyre formally welcomed us into the Cop Block family (or “Cop Block Network” as we like to call it now) and we were “officially” a local Cop Block affiliate. Prior to that, I had already met Pete and Ademo Freeman during their Las Vegas stop with the Motor Home Diaries (along with Jason Talley) in 2009 and later when they were doing an extended version of that known as Liberty on Tour in 2010 (when I was involved in one of Cop Block’s first call floods), as well as when I went to Porcfest in 2011.

I considered them friends and had a lot of respect for the things they were doing, so I generally did what I could from afar to support whatever projects they were involved in. As a result, I was tangentially involved with Cop Block from somewhat early on, although I hadn’t officially written anything for the site. (I did post a fairly boring video to YouTube using the name “Las Vegas Cop Block,” which was intended more to recruit other people than to impress anyone.) Basically, I had been trying to create a Las Vegas based Cop Block affiliate and doing some filming around town for some time, but that lack of interest from others had kept me from formally announcing one.

Then on December 12, 2011, a friend of mine from high school, Stanley Gibson, was murdered by Jesus Arevalo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as he sat in his car, unarmed and in no way posing a threat to anyone. That, along with the typical cover-up that soon followed, complete with the smearing of Stanley by those within the LVMPD, was the proverbial final straw and I decided that I would start a Nevada Cop Block affiliate even if I had to do it all by myself. Fortunately, that turned out to not be the case and the formation of a local Cop Block chapter actually attracted others. While, even to this day, I do the vast majority of the writing for this site, NVCopBlock has a fairly good sized group of members and associated groups within Las Vegas that support and contribute to the actions we do around town. In fact, within the past year Reno Cop Block has even joined the ranks of Cop Block affiliates.

banner-square storeOver the past three years, Nevada Cop Block has been one of the most active affiliates partly because Las Vegas area police keep right on killing people and refusing to hold any of their officers accountable, no matter how outrageous the circumstances. We’ve held protests and vigils for the many victims of those murders, including Stanley Gibson, Erik Scott, Trevon Cole, D’Andre Berghardt Jr., Michael Nida, Danielle Willard, Mike Brown, Oscar Grant, Freddie Gray, Antonio Zambrano-Montes and many others, including a dog named Bubba. Most of those have involved using chalk to write messages and tributes on the sidewalks around the places where the protests were held, something that we originally adapted from the national Cop Block, but that soon become “our thing.

And much like what happened in Manchester earlier, in August of 2013 five of our own members (myself included) were arrested on ridiculous graffiti and “conspiracy to commit” graffiti charges. Fortunately, the charges themselves, as well as the monstrously inflated clean up cost of $1550 to wash chalk off a sidewalk, that was used to justify those charges, made it glaringly obvious that our arrests were nothing but an attempt to intimidate us and retaliate against us for the attention we were bringing to Metro’s lack of accountability and affinity for murder. The charges were soon dropped amid a pretty large uproar and the actual effect of those arrests was to bring even more attention to the many, many problems within the LVMPD and other Las Vegas area police departments and their wasteful budgets.

All in all, I think it’s fair to say that NVCopBlock has had a good amount of success and positive influence within Las Vegas and even outside of Nevada, during various trips around the country. Although there were many other groups involved the attention that we helped bring to Metro’s crimes and wasteful spending no doubt played some part in former Sheriff Doug Gillespi deciding not to run for re-election and the subsequent defeat of his attempt to raise the sales tax in Clark County (which is largely comprised of Las Vegas and the surrounding area), in order to fund even more cops to harass, beat, and kill people, without any fear of consequences.

There are several ways you can support Nevada Cop Block in our efforts to hold police accountable.

There are several ways you can support Nevada Cop Block.

We’ve had a lot of small victories in these three years and a few big ones. We’ve also made a lot of great connections within the community both local and national. On a personal level, I’m now officially an editor for CopBlock.org and over the past few months the members of the “Cop Block Network” that Ademo has assembled have begun taking the national Cop Block site to a new level that looks to only be headed forward. As a result, I’m actually getting ready to put that “Help Wanted” sign back out there, so I can hopefully find someone to take over some of the day to day activity on NVCopBlock.org.

However, we still very much have our work cut out for us here. The LVMPD has still yet to ever, in the entire 40+ year history of their existence, hold a single police officer accountable for shooting someone, regardless of how suspicious the circumstances are and even when the person being shot was unarmed and completely innocent. That’s not a track record to be proud of, nor is it being a very good “partner with the community.” The police in and around Las Vegas like to talk about how much they are changing, but the results just don’t bear that out. Nevada Cop Block won’t be going away anytime soon. As long as the LVMPD keeps going out of their way to sweep their crimes under the rug, we’ll be there to pull that curtain back.

Liberty BannerHere are some selected highlights from the first three years of NVCopBlock:

(Click the Headline to Go To the Original Post)

June 4, 2012: Pete Eyre Welcomes Nevada Cop Block

Pete Nevada Cop Block ShirtThe debut of Cop Block in Nevada:

The LVMPD, along with other Las Vegas area police departments, has a long and sordid history of beating, killing, and otherwise abusing local residents. Beyond the complete lack of accountability for these actions, the aftermath is often economically costly for the community that they terrorize.

 

Las Vegas: Beware of Gang Activity in Your Neighborhood!

This gang has been very active in downtown Las Vegas recently.

This gang has been very active in downtown Las Vegas recently.

NVCopBlock.org’s first original post:

Most gang members have identifying characteristics unique to their specific clique or gang. Many gang members are proud of their gang and freely admit their membership. Their personal belongings frequently boast the gang’s logo and the member’s gang name. Gangs generally share common characteristics such as the wearing of distinct clothing. However, some individuals on the fringe of gang involvement are reluctant to identify themselves as gang members.

They are usually armed, often unpredictable, travel in overwhelming numbers, and are not above attacking or even killing innocent people that are unlucky enough to be confronted by them. So, interacting with them individually can be very dangerous. If possible, make sure others are present and ALWAYS carry a camera to document any improprieties and ensure a neutral “witness.”

 

 

Sheriff Claims Open Carry is Illegal in Reno

Reno_Open_Carry_ShirtWe don’t actually limit ourselves to Las Vegas:

We bantered back-n-forth a bit and then, when we were about to leave, he said ” If I really wanted to be an ass, I could cite you for open carrying in Reno, because the Reno city ordinance overrides the state law about open carrying in the state of Nevada.” He then went on to tell us we should look it up and probably not open carry anymore and kept saying ”he was pretty sure it overrides the state ordinance.”

When he said that it came off VERY threatening and I wanted to start an argument right then and there, but that probably wouldn’t of been the best idea…

After Henderson Police Beat Man in Diabetic Shock, NV Residents Pay for It

Henderson Police BrutalityA prime example of the lack of accountability in Las Vegas-area police departments:

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

Not surprisingly, that assessment was met with outrage by the community…

Official Cop Block Press Passes

CopBlockPressPassesWhether they like it or not Cop Block is part of the press:

Over the years, Cop Block has expanded from a small “DIY” style project into a fully functioning independent media outlet with a prominent national online presence and over two-hundred (and counting) satellite organizations located in cities throughout the United States and even beyond those imaginary borders. The establishment of official Cop Block press passes represents the next step in that evolution in which we serve notice to the world that we won’t be marginalized or overlooked, but are asserting ourselves as a legitimate member of the media.

Plus, they look really cool! (BTW, we now have Nevada Cop Block T-shirts, also.)

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

Chalk Washes Off, Injustice Never WillThis was the beginning of the path that eventually led to five of our members being arrested for writing with chalk:

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

J.R. Dazo, Kelly W. Patterson, and Ballentine, who have since been dubbed the “Sunset 3” were participating in Nevada Cop Block‘s monthly anti-police brutality protest and vigil known as “Second Saturdays” in front of the LVMPD’s headquarters…

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation

Las Vegas Metro Lack of AccountabilityAt the end of this post I tried to warn the LVMPD that it was even in their best interest to hold cops accountable for their crimes. Ironically enough, they arrested me and four other members of NVCopBlock later that day:

Throughout their history, the LVMPD has consistently rated among the highest statistically nationwide (even when compared against cities with much higher populations) in times they have shot at people while on duty and in the level of fatalities resulting from those shootings. Stanley Gibson was just one of the latest names in the laundry list of the victims of Las Vegas police that includes Erik Scott (whose murderers were later given an award for bravery while gunning down someone from behind and then unloading their guns on him as he lay already dying on the ground), Trevon Cole, Orlando Barlow, Tanner Chamberlain, Deshira Selimaj, and Henry Rowe, among the 150+ shootings just since 1990.

Yet not one singular time in the close to forty year history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a Las Vegas area police officer ever been charged for shooting someone, regardless of whether the person shot was unarmed or even completely innocent of having committed any actual crime.

LVMPD Employees Kidnap/Cage Kelly Patterson & Brian Ballentine for Victimless Action

Arrested for drawing with Chalk

Arrested for drawing with Chalk

And this would be the post about us getting arrested for telling the LVMPD they should hold murderers accountable (although two of us were arrested initially, eventually charges were filed against five members of Nevada Cop Block):

Kelly Patterson & Brian Ballentine were kidnapped last night by employees of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) and are now caged at the Clark County Detention Center…

To be clear – Patterson and Ballentine caused no victim. This is a free speech issue. The pair had been outside the headquarters of the LVMPD to participate in the monthly chalking done on the sidewalk to bring attention to the double-standards afforded to some predatory individuals who wear LVMPD badges (for example – in the history of the LVMPD not one employee has been found by internal investigations to have been in the wrong when involved in a shooting).

No “More Cops” for the LVMPD. They Aren’t Needed and They Aren’t Wanted.

Metro displaying just how shorthanded they are on Fremont Street. (Notice the massive, unruly crowd being held back behind them.)Soon after being released we joined with other local groups to fight the “More Cops Tax,” which, as the name implies, was a proposal to raise the sales tax, in order to hire even more cops, in spite of all the wasteful ways they spend the money they already get. It was eventually defeated.

 

A Video Compilation of Las Vegas Police Brutality

Not once, in the entire 40 year history of the LVMPD, has a cop EVER been charged for killing someone, Even when that person was unarmed and or completely innocent.The LVMPD Gone Wild (which is actually kinda their default state):

The video at the bottom of this post, consisting of a compilation of various videos showing past instances of police brutality by members of the LVMPD, was submitted by Jason Nellis and uploaded to his YouTube channel in order to encourage Las Vegas residents to attend a January 21, 2014 Clark County Commission meeting, in which a vote will be held regarding Sheriff Doug Gillespie’s and Commissioner Tom Collins’ continued attempts to force through an increase in the county sales tax to hire even more cops.

Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

Las Vegas Metro RetaliationA Week of Oddly-Timed “Coincidences”

Two months ago, on March 5th, I was struck by a hit and run driver while walking in downtown Las Vegas. Anybody that’s familiar with Las Vegas traffic knows that in itself isn’t exactly an unusual event. However, a string of incredibly oddly timed and interconnected events surrounding my own incident, including another local activist being hit by a car the previous day, have made many within the local activist community wonder if there wasn’t more to it than just a random car “accident.” In fact, some have even classified it as an assassination attempt by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Personally, I’m putting this out there because I feel that it’s important that people know about it and that there be a public record of it.

LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover-Up of Illegal Data Searches

John Bonaventura, the Most Corrupt Man in Las Vegas

John Bonaventura, the Most Corrupt Man in Las Vegas

Yeah, the corruption runs deep in Las Vegas:

With the amount of corruption that takes place on a regular basis within Las Vegas area governments, it can be hard to stand out. However, (soon to be former) Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura and his deputy constables have actually managed to distinguish themselves among the roll call of corrupt officials in Clark County politics and even among the notoriously unaccountable members of Las Vegas law enforcement.

Bonaventura‘s latest scandal involves his cover up of the improper and illegal use of the Lexis Nexis “Accurint” database service to look up personal information on porn actresses by Deputy Chief Dean Lauer.

LVMPD Beat a Man for “Not Moving Fast Enough”

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn't walk fast enough.

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn’t walk fast enough.

This was later ruled within their policy. (It’s OK though, because they promised not to do it anymore):

Officer Glowinski apparently wasn’t happy with the pace at which a man, named Dominic Generino (possibly spelled differently), was moving and decided to arrest him.

What happened next is that all of the other Metro police in the immediate vicinity dove on and began beating Generino. In particular, one of them, identified as Officer Kolkoski, begins jabbing his nightstick into Generino’s body (the descriptions indicate he is hitting him in the legs, but it’s not real clear exactly where he’s being hit on the video because of the number of cops involved) with such enthusiasm that he looses his balance. The fact Kolkoski knocked himself down and appears to almost injure himself by hitting his head against a nearby table doesn’t seem to diminish that enthusiasm very much, as he subsequently has to be pushed away by another (as of yet unidentified) officer, in order to prevent him from resuming his attack with the nightstick.

Convictions of Sister Megan Rice, and the “Y-12 Three” Overturned

Sister Meghan RiceThe “pacifist terrorists,” who shut down the country’s nuclear weapons storage site were freed:

On May 8th, an appeals court overturned the convictions of Sister Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli, members of the “Transform Now Plowshares” movement, on sabotage crimes relating to their acts of civil disobedience against nuclear war and in favor of peace. They also ordered that they be re-sentenced for a lesser crime of “injuring government property,” which was upheld. (They were in fact released with time served.)

Las Vegas Metro Cop Joins the Growing List of Police Pedophiles/Rapists

Patrick Taylor Facing Child Porn Charges

Patrick Taylor Facing Child Porn Charges

It’s getting to the point where it’s hard to even keep up with:

On Wednesday (May 27, 2015), Patrick Taylor turned himself in on charges involving child pornography, stemming from a March 19th raid on his house after investigations by the LVMPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Internal Affairs Bureau. According to Metro, he is being charged with a single count of possession of child pornography and two counts of distribution of child pornography. In spite of the seriousness of those charges, he has been released without bail after his initial court appearance at the Regional Injustice Center in Las Vegas, which took place Wednesday morning. The only conditions being that he promise not to contact his victim or to access the internet or social media.

Anybody that has been paying attention in recent times undoubtedly has noticed that one of the many crimes on the rise within the ranks of police officers are sex crimes. It’s getting rare when even a week goes by that CopBlock.org isn’t posting a story about a cop being caught using their position to rape or in some other way sexually exploit someone. In fact, this isn’t even the only time in recent history that a Las Vegas cop has been caught.

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Las Vegas Metro Cop Joins the Growing List of Police Pedophiles/Rapists

Patrick Taylor Facing Child Porn Charges

Patrick Taylor Facing Child Porn Charges

On Wednesday (May 27, 2015), Patrick Taylor turned himself in on charges involving child pornography, stemming from a March 19th raid on his house after investigations by the LVMPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Internal Affairs Bureau. According to Metro, he is being charged with a single count of possession of child pornography and two counts of distribution of child pornography. In spite of the seriousness of those charges, he has been released without bail after his initial court appearance at the Regional Injustice Center in Las Vegas, which took place Wednesday morning. The only conditions being that he promise not to contact his victim or to access the internet or social media.

Anybody that has been paying attention in recent times undoubtedly has noticed that one of the many crimes on the rise within the ranks of police officers are sex crimes. It’s getting rare when even a week goes by that CopBlock.org isn’t posting a story about a cop being caught using their position to rape or in some other way sexually exploit someone. In fact, this isn’t even the only time in recent history that a Las Vegas cop has been caught, as the LVRJ’s article about this case points out.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Taylor isn’t the first Metro officer to face child porn allegations in recent months. Metro officer James Henry, 37, pleaded guilty in December to one count of possessing a visual presentation depicting sexual conduct of a child. He was sentenced to four years on probation in April. Henry was originally charged with 10 counts of child pornography possession. Prosecutors said several images were found on an online storage account that belonged to him.

The 12-year department veteran was arrested in October after an investigation into child pornography on his Google cloud account. Henry worked as a patrol officer in Metro’s Convention Center Area Command, which includes the Strip.

Michael Kitchen LVMPD Detective Who Assaulted Prostitute

Michael Kitchen LVMPD Detective Who Assaulted Prostitute

In addition, there is the case of the woman, who was sexually assaulted by a Las Vegas court marshal (see video below) and then arrested for reporting it to a judge (that ignored her complaints), a detective, who assaulted the hooker he was visiting (while on duty and driving his police vehicle) after she increased the price on him, and that’s just within Las Vegas in recent times. As you can also see by the quoted LVRJ article above, Taylor’s child porn predecessor, James Henry, only received probabtion for his crimes and exploitation against children. Yet another example of the lack of accountability that these cops have come to expect from the “Justice System” and, no doubt, one of the explanations for this influx of criminals in general within the police departments nationwide.

Sexually assaulted by a Las Vegas Court Martial; then arrested for reporting it:

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Cops Harass and Arrest Sick People at Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Event

Last weekend (May 16-17, 2015), the LVMPD, who constantly complain about how understaffed they are, managed to find enough people on their payroll to stake out, threaten, and harass or even arrest a group of sick people, because they didn’t jump through some of the proper hoops relating to the medication that they are actually legally allowed to possess and use.

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Putting Revenue Generation Above Public Safety at Las Vegas’ “Money Hungry” Municipal Courts

The Las Vegas Review Journal is the latest media outlet to point out the already painfully obvious tendency toward revenue generation that law enforcement has degenerated into.  Citing current and ex-employees, as well as lawyers and people that have been defendants within the court, the LVRJ states in a recent article:

“It’s a question of priorities.

 

Should Las Vegas’ law enforcement officers arrest criminals, or feed city coffers…?

 

They contend the court’s “money hungry” approach to misdemeanor warrants prioritizes revenue collection above public safety and pressures marshals to take a credit card payment in lieu of locking up violent offenders.

 

Staffers say this collect-at-all-costs mentality tends to place a heightened emphasis on traffic ticket revenue — a practice that disproportionately harms poor, often minority defendants more likely to wind up in jail for failure to pay a speeding or fix-it ticket — all while leaving much more serious offenders on the street.

 

They blame those practices on a pair of top city managers, administrators they say have created a culture of “coercion” to better fund Las Vegas’ courts….

 

Law enforcement authorities…also have been accused of plundering vulnerable residents — most recently, in Las Vegas’ case, as part of a class action lawsuit that claims the now-disbanded Las Vegas constable’s office engaged in the ‘illegal shakedown’ of newcomers to the area.”

This is a photo I took of the Brinks truck that they drive up to the front door of the Regional Injustice Center in Las Vegas every morning.The reference to the “illegal shakedown” by the constable’s office (which was actually dissolved due to the constant scandals and corruption within it) refers to their practice of charging new residents a $100 fee as “compensation” when they issue tickets for having not changed their license plates, even if they later prove that they were within the 30-day window allotted to do so (a law which itself was modified to shorten the time allowed and quadruple associated fines, based purely on a desire to increase tax revenue). This led to constables (who personally received $65 of that fee) spending most of their time driving around apartment complexes searching for cars bearing out of state license plates.

(The photo to the left is one I took of the armored truck that they drive up to the front door of the Regional Injustice Center in Las Vegas every morning to haul away all the cash they take in.)

The Review Journal article also goes on to explain how the focus on collecting revenue creates an unofficial quota system and leads to favoritism toward those that pad the Las Vegas Municipal Court’s budget within the Las Vegas Marshal’s office:

“Former Las Vegas Marshal Richard Kilgore said a lot of the work of some of his former colleagues amounts to nothing short of ‘extortion.’

 

Kilgore said the court rewards those who bring in the most money, offering additional training and even promotions to marshals who negotiate court-ordered bail amounts with scofflaws in the field.

 

Those who don’t, he said, find themselves out in the cold.

 

‘Officers like myself would get denied training, get stuck in court more,’ Kil­gore added. ‘That’s where I thought (marshals) were supposed to be. I’ve always thought that we’re not there to generate revenue, we’re there to enforce court orders and uphold the decorum of the court.’”

These cash centric policies of the Las Vegas courts create a predatory nature among law enforcement and effect sentencing policies. Plus, the real danger is that actual criminals, who pose a true threat to local residents, are being allowed to run free, as long as they have a credit or debit card to swipe and some dollars in the bank:

“But the court does handle its share of DUI and domestic violence cases.

 

Lately, when a defendant in one of those cases skips a court date or violates a court order, records show marshals have been willing to let them off with a fine — even if the offender is violent and even if it is not that offender’s first brush with the law….

 

State and city audit records show the Las Vegas Municipal Court has implemented several ‘revenue enhancement’ tweaks in recent years, including at least one bail and fine schedule revision in 2003 and a 2012 change that ‘provides defendants options for settling their case in exchange for higher fines and a major bump in the court’s administrative assessment revenue.

 

The court’s fiscal 2012 revenue report notes a similar policy change requiring defendants to pay program fees before fines — a practice that could see defendants spend months or years paying the court hundreds or thousands of dollars in late fees before even starting to pay down an initial past-due fine….

 

City employees who spoke with the newspaper recall instances in which marshals collected as much as $1,500 on a $187 speeding ticket, or were called out to cuff a defendant facing multiple DUI charges, only to see those infractions washed away with one swipe of a credit card. Still others said marshals had been directed to collect hundreds of dollars in fines over a ticket for suspended vehicle registration.

 

They said the system is designed to ensure that defendants who owe the court money continue to owe the court, and that those same defendants never land in jail.

 

‘There are thousands of violent criminal warrants in the system to be worked,’ said one employee, who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation. ‘Instead, they’re putting more emphasis on traffic warrants or just letting these people go.'”

These type of tactics by Las Vegas revenue collectors can’t help but beg for a comparison to the NYPD’s famous unofficial strike, in which they vowed to only harass or arrest people “when necessary.” That didn’t quite work out how they had expected though, when everyone pointed (happily) to the enormous drop in “crime” and pretty much nobody missed them one bit. The biggest lesson learned during that exercise in cutting off your nose to spite your face was when reporters asked people in New York why they were less than brokenhearted over their absence. A good percentage of them explained, that while cops were constantly stopping them for minor, money based infractions or with thinly veiled excuses to harass people they didn’t like the looks of, when they called them for an actual violent crime or legitimate threat, they were often nowhere to be found.

And of course, no story about police or politicians in Las Vegas would be complete without a healthy dose of corruption and inappropriate behavior being involved:

“Three city staff members blamed marshal’s office management for most problems associated with that department’s renewed emphasis on revenue collection, particularly marshal’s office chief Lt. Manning.

 

They said the 20-year marshal’s office veteran has been named in no fewer than three formal workplace conduct and sexual harassment complaints, two of which are still pending.

 

The city wouldn’t say whether Manning has ever been investigated or disciplined in connection with those allegations. Manning’s wife, Cheryl, has served as the city’s chief internal affairs officer since 2007, a post officials say does not include investigative authority over Municipal Court marshals.

 

Las Vegas employees suspect City Hall is aware of some, if not all of the questions surrounding Manning’s workplace conduct, but chooses to ignore them because he generates “a lot of money” for Las Vegas in fines and fees.

 

Staffers contend that one way Manning manages to boost those returns is by manipulating warrants ‘ordered’ and ‘issued’ by the court.

 

A warrant ordered by one of Las Vegas’ 20 Municipal or Justice Court judges can still be voluntarily tidied up through a defendant’s court appearance before a set date.

 

Marshals can’t make an arrest or collect a fine on such a document until it is put into issued status — a designation that’s not supposed to be approved by anyone but a judge.

 

Multiple city employees said marshals have been instructed to seek out defendants with an ordered warrant and, if found, call the court clerk to have the warrant switched to issued status, effectively pre-empting a judge’s order on the matter and dangling the specter of jail time in front of defendants being served with a warrant.

 

Staffers likened the practice to coercion — the equivalent of treating Las Vegas’ most vulnerable residents like an ATM.

 

‘It’s pay or go to jail…’ one employee said.”

So the next time you see eight LVMPD cops arresting one elderly homeless woman on Fremont St., remember they’re keeping you safe and they need to raise your taxes, so they can hire more cops to keep you even more safe from the dangers of having too much money in your pocket.

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Police Fatality Review of D’Andre Berghardt Jr. Murder Scheduled for Today

dandre-berghardt-murder-videoAt 9:00 AM this morning (March 2, 2015), the Clark County District Attorney’s office will be conducting a “Police Fatality Public Fact Finding Review” for the murder of D’andre Berghardt Jr., who was shot to death by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents on February 14, 2014 after he asked passersby near Red Rock Canyon (just outside Las Vegas) for water and some of them called to report that he may need assistance. Those BLM agents, along with a Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper,  subsequently showed up and instead of offering assistance (or simply leaving him alone if he refused assistance), began to antagonize, pepper spray, taze, and beat Berghardt.

Not surprisingly, Berghardt attempted to get away from the people that were assaulting him and tried unsuccessfully to get into several nearby cars. Unfortunately, when he did finally find a vehicle that he could get into, it ended up being NHP Trooper Lucas Schwarzrock’s SUV. That prompted the two (unnamed) BLM agents to shoot and kill Berghardt, presumably because they were afraid that he would use the rifle that was locked up (according to the BLM’s own official statement) inside the trooper’s passenger seat.

Although a video (which is embedded below), taken by two people that witnessed the incident from their car while stopped on the road, surfaced within a few days of the shooting, there actually should be another video that would show a much better view of what happened that day. Unlike the LVMPD and other Las Vegas area police, Nevada Highway Patrol vehicles have dash cams. That video has never been released, nor has any explanation ever been offered for it not being released. It’ll be interesting to see if that will be included in the presentation or, at the very least, if some sort of excuse for it’s lack of availability will be given.

In spite of it’s Orwellian name, the “Police Fatality Public Fact Finding Review” is, in reality, designed to do anything but provide facts to the public. It was created after the LVMPD and Police Protective Association were unable to have reforms to the old Coroner’s Inquest overturned via lawsuits. The much maligned original Coroner’s Inquest had functioned as a rubber stamp process of automatically justifying police shootings for about 40 years. In spite of the proposed reforms standing up to those legal challenges and being declared constitutional by the Nevada Supreme Court, the entire process was scrapped in favor of this newer version that is even worse and less transparent than the Coroner’s Inquests had ever been.D'andre Berghardt Jr

Basically, the new method of rubber stamping police shootings consists of the District Attorney declaring (every single time) that the killing was justified, then having someone present to the public the police version of events without any cross examination, witness testimony, presentation of evidence, or impartial representation. It essentially is designed in order to facilitate an official, institutionalized coverup, with very little opportunity for the public to question the official story they are being fed. You couldn’t ask for a much better opportunity to hide the truth and bury facts while advancing the official narrative. Nor could you more effectively sow mistrust and hostility within the communities that are effected by these killings, which historically have never resulted in any sort of accountability, regardless of how questionable they have been and whether the victims of the LVMPD’s trigger happy cops were completely innocent and/or unarmed.

Details for Police Fatality Review of D’Andre Berghardt Jr. Murder:

Via www.clarkcountynv.gov

The Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review into the February 2014 death of D’Andre Berghardt Jr. will be held Monday, March 2, at 9 a.m. in the Clark County Government Center Commission Chambers at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway in downtown Las Vegas. The review will be aired live on Clark County Television (CCTV) and streamed over the County Internet site at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov.

According to reports, Berghardt was shot and killed during a confrontation with law enforcement officers on state Route 159 near the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

The review of this incident will be presided over by Hearing Officer Chip Siegel. Mark Bailus will serve as ombudsman for the review. Both are longtime criminal defense attorneys in the community. Presiding officers and ombudsmen are selected by the county manager from lists approved by the County Commission. The ombudsman represents the public and the deceased’s family in this fact-finding review.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Staudaher will represent the District Attorney’s Office in this proceeding.

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**UPDATE** LVMPD Promises “Fundamental Policy Changes” as a Result of Dominic Gennarino Beating

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn't walk fast enough.

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn’t walk fast enough.

**This is an update to a previous post which was entitled, “LVMPD Beat Man for ‘Not Moving Fast Enough.’” It was also cross posted on CopBlock.org under the title, “Las Vegas Police Beat Man for ‘Not Moving Fast Enough.’” (The original post has been included below for reference.)**

On June 4, 2014, Dominic Gennarino was beaten by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and arrested for “Obstructing a Public Officer”, specifically because the officers claimed that Mr. Gennarino was not moving fast enough.

The incident was caught on video. Below is the Youtube link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfs3YLE21p8 (It’s also embedded below at the bottom of this post.)

On August 5, 2014, LVMPD Internal Affairs conducted an investigation and concluded that “the investigation failed to produce sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegations”. Internal Affairs further concluded that “the actions taken by employees did not rise to the level of misconduct or was not a policy violation”.

On August 20, 2014, multiple media sources reported on the beating. As a direct result of the media coverage, LVMPD Sheriff Doug Gillespie ordered that Internal Affairs re-open the investigation.

On December 15, 2014, after Internal Affairs concluded their 2nd investigation, Attorney Stephen Stubbs and Dominic Gennarino met face-to-face with LVMPD Internal Affairs Officers and were informed of the following:

1)     Prior public statements by an LVMPD Officer that Mr. Gennarino was “super-intoxicated” were completely false. There is absolutely zero evidence that Mr. Gennarino was intoxicated in any way, and no allegation of intoxication was included in any of the official reports. Additionally, LVMPD Internal Affairs listened to a recorded interview with Mr. Gennarino from immediately after the incident and concluded that Mr. Gennarino spoke clearly with no signs of intoxication.

2)     There was a communication failure during the incident, and the officers should have communicated better.

3)     Officers acted on erroneous perceptions and “mistakes of fact”.

4)     Officers acted within then LVMPD policies and will not be disciplined. However, documentation of the incident is being placed in their personnel files.

 5)     LVMPD recognizes a “policy failure” and is not happy with this incident. Therefore, as a direct result of this case, LVMPD will implement “fundamental policy changes” in both its use-of-force policies and policies dealing with the investigation of use-of-force incidents.

For more information, contact Stephen Stubbs at (702) 759-3224

 

Original Post: LVMPD Beat Man for “Not Moving Fast Enough.”

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn't walk fast enough.

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn’t walk fast enough.

The video below was submitted via the “Submit Your Story” page. It involves an incident that happened shortly after a stabbing at the Vanguard Lounge, a bar/nightclub located on what is known as Fremont East in Downtown Las Vegas. While members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department are clearing people out of the area where the stabbing occurred, Officer Glowinski apparently wasn’t happy with the pace at which a man, named Dominic Gennarino (possibly spelled differently), was moving and decided to arrest him.

What happened next is that all of the other Metro police in the immediate vicinity dove on and began beating Gennarino. In particular, one of them, identified as Officer Kolkoski, begins jabbing his nightstick into Gennarino’s body (the descriptions indicate he is hitting him in the legs, but it’s not real clear exactly where he’s being hit on the video because of the number of cops involved) with such enthusiasm that he looses his balance. The fact Kolkoski knocked himself down and appears to almost injure himself by hitting his head against a nearby table doesn’t seem to diminish that enthusiasm very much, as he subsequently has to be pushed away by another (as of yet unidentified) officer, in order to prevent him from resuming his attack with the nightstick.

The opening seconds of the video showing the crowd in front of Generino, as well as the lack of resistance described in the police report.

The opening seconds of the video showing the crowd in front of Generino, as well as the lack of resistance described in the police report.

As is mentioned in the description that was included with the submission, the video raises several questions about the “official story,” which was filed by Ofc. Glowinski as part of the police report (excerpts from which are included in the submission description). The first and most obvious is whether Gennarino should have been arrested in the first place. The claim that he “pushed back into” Glowinski is a complete fabrication that is in no way supported by the video.

Also, the idea that he should have been moving faster or refused to do so is dubious from the start because there is a rather visible and large crowd in front of Gennarino, which would prevent him from doing so, even if he wanted to. While you can see what appears to be some verbal exchange between Ofc. Glowinski and Gennarino, arguing with cops isn’t an arrestable offense and even Glowinski admits in that police report that he “complied” with his orders to leave the area. So, at best (from Glowinski’s standpoint) Gennarino was not complying fast enough to satisfy him and at worst that was simply an excuse to justify beating and arresting an innocent person because a member of the LVMPD had a personal issue with that person.

Officer Kolkoski knocks himself down in the process of beating Domonic Generino with his nightstick

Officer Kolkoski knocks himself down in the process of beating Domonic Generino with his nightstick

Secondly, in the video Ofc. Kolkoski has his nightstick out and is swinging it immediately. Prior to that, there is no visible sign of Gennarino jerking or pulling away, as claimed. The idea that he could determine that such a tactic was necessary with a half dozen other cops (none of whom are using nightsticks or any other weapon) already on him that quickly is another incredibly dubious aspect to this incident. Further, the fact another officer has to stop assisting in the arrest to restrain Kolkoski and prevent him from continuing his assault on Gennarino (about 0:30) casts doubt (to put it mildly) on that idea. That’s even more so the case, since after he is prevented from continuing his attack, he simply stands back and watches as the other cops arrest Gennarino. Also, in spite of what is stated in the report, the entire video only lasts 1:30 and the portion with the arrest takes less than one minute. So, the claim that they had to struggle for several minutes after he was on the ground is, at the very best, an exaggeration by Golkowski.

Another officer prevents Ofc. Kolkoski from resuming his assault on Generino.

Another officer prevents Ofc. Kolkoski from resuming his assault on Generino.

Of course, you can watch the video and judge for yourself (that’s one of the reasons Cop Block encourages people to record their encounters with people wearing badges) whether this was justified or yet another case of the LVMPD’s unnecessarily heavy-handed tactics that have become so common place in the Las Vegas area, especially downtown. One thing you can be sure about is that, regardless of what you or anybody else outside of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department thinks (including the department’s Use of Force Board that is supposed to prevent this type of thing, but that the sheriff is under no obligation to actually listen to, so it doesn’t), this incident will be “investigated” by other people working for Metro and then declared justified. The history of Las Vegas area police departments pretty much guarantees that. The fact that the cops working for those departments know that pretty much guarantees that these types of incidents will not only continue, but will become more numerous, unless people in Las Vegas put enough pressure on them that they have no choice but to reign their enforcers in.

The original video, which has been embedded below is available on the youtube channel of Las Vegas attorney Stephen Stubbs, who currently does monthly (every last Thursday) free “Know Your Rights” seminars within the Las Vegas area. He also was himself featured recently in a post on Cop Block and NVCopBlock.org after an incident in which he personally was arrested for refusing to leave the side of a client that had requested him as an attorney while being detained by members of the LVMPD.

The text in quotes below was included in the original submission and is included as it was received, without any editing.

Date of Incident:
6/4/14
Location of Incident: The Vanguard Lounge – Downtown Las Vegas
Department Involved: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Known Department Employees Involved: Officer Kevin Kolkoski (P#10002), Officer Robert Glowinski, Officer Jacob Werner (P#13017)

“This poor man wasn’t moving fast enough as police tried to clear out a crime scene for investigation. So, LVMPD grabbed him and LVMPD Officer Kolkoski (P#10002) began immediately to beat him with a night stick.

In LVMPD Officer Glowinski’s own words:

“I again instructed [him] to walk towards the rear of the lounge. [He] complied, but began walking slowly.”…”Despite most people complying, [he] would not. As we reached the DJ Booth I instructed [him] one more time to move more quickly”

(Watch the video carefully to see if Officer Glowinski tells the truth in his next statement)

Officer Glowinski continues:

“[He] stopped, and leaned back and threw his back into me. I took hold of [his] right arm in an attempt to take control of him. [He] pulled away. I grabbed his right arm and Officer Werner (P#13017) grabbed his left arm. In an attempt to place [him] under arrest we instructed [him] to go to the ground. [He] refused by pulling and jerking. Additional officers attempted to assist in taking control of [him] but it was unsuccessful. [He] only began to comply after Officer Kolkoski (P#10002) used a baton to deliver focus strikes to [his] legs. After [he] went to the ground it still took me and several officers several minutes to place [him] in custody.”

If you compare the video to the official sworn statement, you will see that Officer Glowinski does not tell the truth. The victim did not “lean back and [throw] his back into [Glowinski]”, the victim did not resist (no pulling and jerking and the victims legs are completely limp after he lays on the ground), and Officer Kolkoski immediately began to beat the victim with a baton (victim had no time to comply). It did not take “several minutes to place him in custody (The entire encounter lasted a little over a minute).

The one positive part of this encounter was the officer that physically stopped Officer Kolkoski from continuing the beating.”

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