Tag Archives: Nevada Cop Block

LVMPD Delinquent in Fulfilling Public Records Request

The documentary “What Happened in Vegas” was set to open in Las Vegas at the Eclipse Theaters. Then “some (LVMPD) officers stopped by…”

Surprise! The good folks at the LVMPD have yet again, chosen to ignore their own rules. This time, it’s not related to “missing” video evidence that might show LVMPD employees murdering an innocent person, but to internal communications.

Specifically, all written correspondence, including emails, that discuss Ramsey Denison or his documentary, What Happened in Vegas.

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 request for this information from LVMPD was made by FOX5. Their rationale? To determine whether the managers of Eclipse Theater had been intimidated by LVMPD employees to renege on their agreement to screen the documentaries What Happened in Vegas and A Nightmare in Las Vegas, both of which pose questions about LVMPD employee handling of the October 1st incident.

As Adam Herbets, FOX5 reporter, wrote yesterday:

Nevada law states that government agencies must respond to requests for public records within five business days. The department still has not responded, despite multiple follow-up emails and the passage of two months and seven days (66 days) at the time of this story’s publication.

This attempt to stifle transparency by LVMPD employees is not atypical. You may recall Sheriff Joseph Lombardo refusing to answer and sternly telling local journalist Laura Loomer to, “Please stop asking your question” as she countered the version of events he was putting forth.

This stonewalling by Lombardo and his accomplices is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to prevent information detrimental to their claims from seeing the light of day. In the long run, however, such a misguided tactic will only fuel distrust between them and the community they purport to serve.

Lombardo and his colleagues are over two months delinquent in fulfilling the FOX5 public records request. Have they demonstrated that they deserve your trust and respect?


First Amendment Auditors Arrested for “Unauthorized Photography” in Lobby of Bedford Park, Illinois Post Office

First Amendment Auditors arrested for "unauthorized photography" inside public lobby of Bedford Park post office

On March 9th, two First Amendment Auditors were arrested for the “crime” of engaging in unauthorized photography within the lobby of a Bedford Park, Illinois post office.

Note: The videos included within this post were shared with Nevada Cop Block via an anonymous reader submission. 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 videos embedded below show what is known as a “First Amendment Audit.” That consists of going out and filming government buildings and other public property. Oftentimes, the police, security guards, government employees, and even members of the public don’t understand that the First Amendment protects a citizen’s right to take photos and/or record video of anything that is within view of a public place.

This, obviously, is very much an example of that and is commonly referred to as an “audit fail” among those who do them. In the first video, the two women walk into what appears to be a lobby of the Bedford Park (IL) post office and begin filming. Soon after, an employee starts questioning why they are taking photos and asking them to identify themselves (while ignoring a request for water in response to him asking if he can help them).

Not long after that, two people who appear to be some sort of managers arrive. They begin telling the first guy to call the postal inspector and the police to deal with this dangerous threat of someone recording video in a public place. One of the managers even states that they can videotape, but contends that they need to identify themselves because “you’re on postal property.”

Within the same conversation he later claims that they are trespassing. Then there’s a lot of photography going on for somewhere that you supposedly need authorization to take photos. Apparently, it’s okay because the photos are being taken by postal employees of other people, though. The “process for that” the manager had mentioned earlier (which apparently consists of identifying yourself to someone whom you have no legal obligation to do so) doesn’t seem to apply in this instance.

Once the police eventually arrive, the conversation revolves around the claim that they are “trespassing on public property.” The reason for that claim is largely based on the fact that the lobby they were in is connected to the employee entrance for the post office. In spite of that contention, there are no signs or any other indicators that the area they were in is a restricted area.

In addition, the entrances and lobbies of public buildings are specifically mentioned as locations in which the public may take photographs (unless it is specifically prohibited) in a memo issued by Homeland Security in 2010. Not only are there no barriers or locked doors to prevent someone from entering the area they were in, there are in fact (visible early within the first minute of the video) boxes and other items for sale within it.

Also, at no time, prior to the police arriving do any of the postal employees state that the area is restricted or designated as an employee only area. Their only stated point of contention is that it’s “postal property” and that the two First Amendment Auditors are taking photos of postal employees without identifying themselves, which is not illegal. So there’s no legitimate reason given why they should be unable to legally record from what by all indications is a publicly accessible space.

Initially, they were told by the police officers who responded that they were free to go (i.e. not being detained) and the postal manager stated numerous times that he just wanted them to leave (or be removed) from the property. However, as can be seen in the video embedded below, once they actually tried to leave, they were followed and then detained, placed in handcuffs, and confined within a police car.

Eventually, that detention evolved into an arrest on charges of “criminal trespass on real property.” Seemingly, that charge is based on a claim of them having engaged in “unauthorized photography,” according to the postal manager. They are currently scheduled for court on April 10th at the Cook County Injustice Center, which is located in Bridgeview, Il.

If you would like to  contact the court and let them know what a mighty fine job their employees did that day you can reach the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court at (708) 974-6500. The Bedford Park Post Office can also be reached at (708) 563-7800 and a review of their customer service can be left at their Yelp page.

One of the women in the videos, who goes by the pseudonym “It’s That Magic You Crave,“  frequently posts First Amendment Audits and other videos to her Youtube channel: “Pink Camera Magic.” You can support her by making donations to her via GoFundMe. During this particular audit, she was accompanied by “Chitown Sue,” who states on the video that this is only her fourth time doing an audit. (#BeginnersLuck)

Previous 1st Amendment Audit at Same Post Office (Sept. 2017)

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

“What Happened in Vegas” Police Brutality Documentary Screenings in Las Vegas Scheduled for March 12th and 19th

AMC Rainbow Promenade in Las Vegas will be holding a theater screening of "What Happened in Vegas" on March 19th

Within the next two weeks, “What Happened in Vegas” will screen twice in Las Vegas. On March 12th, Showing Up for Racial Justice Las Vegas (SURJ LV) will hold a free DVD screening and on March 19th a theater screening will take place at AMC theaters.

As has been noted here numerous times in the past, the documentary “What Happened in Vegas” by director Ramsey Denison exposes the corruption, racism, and violence prevalent throughout the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. It also puts on display the cover-ups and character assassination of their victims that the LVMPD employs to hide such behavior from the public.

In order to do so, it focuses primarily on the cases of Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, Stanley Gibson, and Tashii Farmer-Brown. All four of those men were killed by Las Vegas police officers under extremely questionable circumstances and reasoning. However, very few if any questions were asked at the time by local media or politicians.

Although each of those killings received pretty substantial local attention from the public, the lack of critical media coverage prevented much of that indignation from reaching many people outside of Las Vegas. This in turn also allowed the LVMPD to move quickly past them without any real accountability for the officers involved.

In highlighting these and other similar, but non-fatal, cases, “What Happened in Vegas” shows how and why Metro has been able to so easily cover-up and deflect blame from the department and its officers, in spite of such egregious violence. One of the more obvious reasons why the media and politicians are so willing to “play along” is that the city is extremely dependent on the casinos and tourism industry. As a result, there is tremendous pressure to ensure potential visitors aren’t concerned that Las Vegas is unsafe.

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 addition, after the Route 91 Festival mass shooting that took place October 1st on the Las Vegas Strip, “What Happened in Vegas” was updated to include issues with the LVMPD’s subsequent investigation of Stephen Paddock and the Mandalay Bay (MGM Resorts International). Director Ramsey Denison shows how the lack of information and falsehoods that have been exposed within what information has been released are really a microcosm of the way the LVMPD has conducted itself in all of those previous cases.

Also, the motivations behind the botched investigation of the Las Vegas mass shooting are essentially the same. On one hand, the police were covering up for and minimizing the liability of a casino (and their own incompetence). While on a more broad level, it was an effort to ensure potential tourists feel safe coming to Vegas. However, as the movie shows, the fact that Sheriff Lombardo and the LVMPD were dealing with national, rather than the local, media prevented them from so easily covering up the many inconsistencies within their narrative of what happened that day.

“What Happened in Vegas” is a very fast paced movie that covers a lot of ground. If you have the opportunity to see both of the screenings detailed below I would encourage you to do so. Also, if you live outside of Las Vegas and therefore can’t attend these screenings there are other options to see the movie that you can (and should) take advantage of.

At the official website, WhatHappenedInVegasTheMovie.com, you can order the DVD, stream the movie via video on demand (VOD), or set up a theater screening in your own city. There’s also an option for schools and community organizations to set up an educational screening.

Monday, March 12th Screening with “SURJ”

On March 12th, a free DVD screening of What Happened in Vegas will be hosted by members of Showing Up for Racial Justice, Las Vegas. This screening will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Las Vegas, which is located at 3616 East Lake Mead Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89115.

Via the description on their Facebook event page:

Join SURJ LV as we view and discuss the award-winning documentary, What Happened In Vegas by filmmaker Ramsey Denison. After the film Kelly W. Patterson from Nevada Cop Block (NVCopBlock.org), who appeared in the film, will be on hand to answer questions as we discuss what we’ve watched.

This is the film that the police don’t want you to see.

Mr. Denison has graciously given SURJ LV permission to show the film free of charge, but he encourages everyone to bring donations for NV Cop Block to further the work they are doing in the community.

As is stated in the invite, SURJ LV  has asked that I do a question and answer session as part of the discussion that they will be holding at the conclusion of the screening. I very much appreciate them setting up the screening and, based on my own personal experiences at events they have held, I fully expect that discussion to be a very valuable addition to the movie itself.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

Monday, March 19th AMC Theater Screening

Exactly one week later, on March 19th, What Happened in Vegas will premier in a Las Vegas theater for the first time outside of a film festival. (Last year it showed at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival, for which it was awarded “Best Documentary,” and at the Anthem Film Festival, where it won the grand prize award.)

That screening will take place at the AMC Rainbow Promenade 10 theaters, which is located at 2321 N. Rainbow Promenade, Las Vegas, Nevada. One thing that should be noted is that the movie screening is being held independent of the AMC theater group (essentially, the theater is being rented for the screening) where it is being hosted. Therefore, tickets are not being sold through the theater box office and must be purchased online, via Tugg.com at this link.

“What Happened in Vegas” Filmmaker Intro

Police Interference with Las Vegas Showings

As previously mentioned, outside of the two festival showings, audiences within Las Vegas have yet to see What Happened in Vegas. The reason for that is very much not because of a lack of interest. In fact, three different commercial theater chains had at one time expressed interest in showing the movie here in town.

After the Eclipse Theater in Downtown Las Vegas expressed interest in showing What Happened in Vegas, “some (LVMPD) officers stopped by” and that interest suddenly disappeared.

However, in all those cases that initial interest waned due to the controversial nature of the film and potential fallout from it. It’s even been reported that they received visits from representatives of the LVMPD to help them make that decision. Sources I’ve been in contact with have also told me that Metro has issued a memo to all of their officers directing them not to discuss What Happened in Vegas publicly.

Once you see the movie, you will very much understand why Metro desperately doesn’t want it to be shown theatrically within the city of Las Vegas. It very clearly, convincingly, and dramatically lays out the criminal nature of Sheriff Lombardo and others at the top of the LVMPD and the real consequences of it for the residents and visitors of Las Vegas.

Body Cam Video of Tashii Farmer-Brown Murder by Officer Kenneth Lopera

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

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Update: LVMPD Officers Helped Fellow Vegas Cop Accused of Child Sex Abuse Intimidate Victim During Investigation

Officer Bret Theil LVMPD cop charged with dozens of counts related to the sexual abuse of a child

After he was informed that an investigation had been launched into the sexual abuse of a child against Officer Bret Theil some of his friends at the LVMPD helped him locate and attempt to threaten her.

Last month, I posted about Bret Theil, who was one of two LVMPD officers to be involved in an armed standoff with Metro’s own SWAT team during the same week. Unlike most regular citizens, Theil survived his encounter with SWAT completely unscathed, in spite of being armed, and was subsequently charged with over two dozen charges related to the sexual abuse of a child (purportedly a family member).

Those charges include six counts of first-degree kidnapping, five counts of lewdness with a child under 14, six counts of sexual assault with a minor under 14, four counts of sexual assault with a minor under 16, four counts of sexual assault, and two counts of child abuse, neglect or endangerment.

Soon after, Officer Theil’s case took on more of a national interest once it was revealed that he was present at the Mandalay Bay during the Route 91 Festival Shooting on October 1st. The fact that Theil was one of the Heroes that stood around in the hallway for over an hour doing nothing outside the hotel room of Stephen Paddock after he had already shot at a crowd of defenseless people fueled a lot of speculation.

Most of that speculation revolved around the idea that Theil had been “set up” to prevent him from (or warn against) revealing some nefarious details involving the Las Vegas Mass Shooting. As I posted earlier, I don’t personally believe that the charges (with a very real victim) were somehow fabricated for several reasons.

One of those reasons being that Theil is still alive after being involved in an armed standoff with the people that supposedly want to keep him quiet. Another being that charging somebody with several crimes that carry the possibility of life sentences is a pretty terrible way to prevent someone from spilling secrets. They simply don’t have much to lose by talking at that point.

The reality is that with the prevalence of sexual abuse and domestic violence among police officers, in general, and Las Vegas police, in particular, it’s not at all shocking that one (if not more) of those officers heroically hanging out in the hallway would face such charges.

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.

Court Documents Reveal Details of Abuse

Officer Theil appeared in court on February 14th for an arraignment hearing. Included within the court documents filed as part of that hearing were grand jury transcripts that included details of the allegations against him. Those details illustrate how Theil used his position as a police officer to abuse and intimidate his victim. That abuse began when she was just eight years old and continued until she was nineteen.

According to  

The victim testified that in one of the most recent attacks, Theil used police-issued handcuffs to secure her to a bunk bed ladder for about an hour as he scolded her.

Before forcing her to perform sex acts on him, according to the testimony, he often used his position of authority as intimidation. An officer with Metro since August 1998, Theil would remove his police uniform and degrade the victim, sometimes erupting into fits of rage, she said.

Because of his job, his respect among neighbors and the cache of weapons she knew he kept, she was afraid to tell anyone about the ongoing abuse, she said.

“I felt drained,” she testified. “I felt fearful of what would happen if I told anyone, and I didn’t know if they would believe me.”

The first of more than 50 forced sexual encounters, including 10 after she turned 18, occurred inside the bathroom of his friend’s home, she testified.

In another incident, Theil allegedly struck the girl in the mouth, causing her to bleed.

At one point, he used a slick red plastic rope to tie her hands to the underside of a sit-up bench, she said.

Theil often would watch pornography on his cellphone or laptop while abusing her, according to the victim’s testimony, sometimes dragging her by the hair into submission.

“If I fought back with him,” she said, “I’m afraid he would probably knock me out.”

Other LVMPD Officers Helped Theil Locate Victim

Those grand jury transcripts also revealed that Officer Theil’s use of his position to intimidate and threaten his victim wasn’t just limited to the times he was actually committing those abuses. They also reveal he had a “little help from his friends” at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Once Theil was informed of the investigation into his crimes, he began an “urgent effort” to locate the victim before she could talk to the North Las Vegas police officers conducting that investigation. Among other things, he hired an attorney and a private investigator to search for her.

In addition, other officers within the LVMPD accessed a confidential law enforcement database in order to help Theil find her.

An intelligence database known as SCOPE, which contains personal and address information, was accessed to search for the victim from either Metro headquarters or a substation and an office at the College of Southern Nevada, according to testimony from Carey McCloud, a North Las Vegas detective.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Stacy Kollins asked, “Do you know whether law enforcement was involved in looking for her?”

McCloud replied, “Just his friends, from what I understand.” – (same source as above quotes)

The victim was eventually located by the private investigator and prior to her contact with NLV detectives Theil threatened her repeatedly in an attempt to intimidate her into not cooperating with their investigation. Fortunately, it didn’t work this time.

As disgusting as it is that other Metro officers would not only look the other way, but actively assist Theil in abusing his victim, it shouldn’t be surprising. Las Vegas area police have a long and widespread history of engaging in, covering up, and condoning abuse by their own. And the list of Bad Apples goes all the way to the top of the tree.

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Update: Sheriff Israel Ordered Broward County Deputies to Wait Outside; Delayed Medical Response

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel ordered deputies not to enter school during Parkland FL. mass shooting

Sources have now revealed that Sheriff Scott Israel ordered Broward County deputies not to enter the school during the Parkland shooting and delayed access for medical response.

Last week, I posted about the revelation that Deputy Scot Peterson, the school cop assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had stood around outside during the Parkland mass shooting. Rather than enter the school and attempt to help the children being murdered, Peterson hid behind a car in the parking lot.

In the days since then, that story has continued to grow and change and not in a positive way. As a matter of fact, just hours later leaks from the Coral Springs Police Department exposed that Peterson was not the only deputy who failed to enter the school and try to stop Nikolas Cruz. Three other (as yet unnamed) BCSO deputies also took cover outside as they listened to the sound of kids being killed.

In the latest revelation, it appears that those deputies were actually ordered not to enter the school. On February 27th, it was reported that sources “near the Broward County Sheriff’s Office” had indicated that the deputies were told not to enter the school without body cameras on. None of those deputies had body cams and therefore they did not go inside the building.

What sort of misguided reasoning was behind insisting they not enter the building without body cameras recording is not clear. Nor is the reason why they would have adhered to that even after it was determined that none of the cops present had a body cam. It is, however, very clear at this point that none of the four Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies so much as attempted to confront the shooter until after officers from the Coral Springs Police Department arrived.

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.

Sheriff Israel was already facing heavy criticism for Deputy Peterson’s lack of action. Shortly after it was made known that other deputies had also hid outside during the shooting, demands for his resignation began. This new information that those deputies were under orders not to enter the school could very well be the final straw.

Israel will have a hard time trying to convince anyone that the deputies’ behavior was “not my responsibility” That’s a pretty hard sell when that behavior was actually based upon orders issued by him. It’s no longer one cowardly officer shirking his responsibility, it’s a department policy at that point.

And it doesn’t just end at ordering the deputies themselves to wait. Another leaked story indicates that the Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies at the scene prevented EMS workers and other medical professionals from approaching the school in order to treat the injured. There is now speculation that some of those who were killed could have survived if they had received that medical treatment sooner.

It’s very much true that general procedure for the police is not to allow fire/medical personnel to enter until a scene has been cleared. However, even that doesn’t belie all of the criticism of Sheriff Israel. One still has to ask just how long medical treatment was delayed because those deputies (under the sheriff’s orders) failed to enter the school and clear it when they arrived.

For how long did the paramedics stand outside offering to risk their own lives in order to treat the children while Nikolas Cruz was already on his way to hangout inside a Walmart? And how many more children would have survived if those deputies had gone in and secured that school?


Sheriff Israel: Behavior of Deputies “Not My Responsibility”

In last week’s press conference, in which Sheriff Israel put on a show of being outraged by Deputy Peterson’s inaction, two things stood out as odd almost immediately. One was the way Israel went out of his way to declare that the security footage which exposed Peterson would likely “never be released to the public.” Another was that there were no recording of the radio communications available for that day.

The first mystery was likely solved by the revelation that not just one, but four armed deputies would have been seen heroically defending the parking lot on that video as defenseless children were shot. The reason for the “malfunctioning” radio connection may be because Sheriff Israel didn’t want people hearing that he had ordered them to do so.

Broward County Sheriff’s Office Press Conference

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Florida School Cop Who Heroically Stood Around Outside During Parkland Shooting Has Resigned

School resource officer Scot Peterson stood outside while Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students

While Nikolas Cruz was inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting students Broward County School Resource Officer Deputy Scot Peterson stood around outside doing nothing.

Updated: This post has now been updated (see below) to include additional information that indicates at least three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies (four total, including Peterson) hid outside rather than enter the school and attempt to stop the shooting. 

As school shooter Nikolas Cruz was walking around the inside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting children, a school resource officer was idly standing by right outside the door of the school. Instead of rushing in to confront the killer or at least attempting to helping the students get away safely, Deputy Scot Peterson just stood around outside doing nothing.

According to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, security footage during the shooting captured Deputy Peterson, whose job ostensibly consists of protecting the school he is assigned to, approaching the door of Building 12, where the shooting took place. In spite of being “armed, in uniform, and clearly” knowing that there was someone inside the school shooting defenseless people, Peterson stopped short of entering the building.

Instead, he took cover outside and waited for around four minutes while the shooting, which resulted in 17 deaths and 15 others being injured, continued unabated. Additionally, after other police officers reached the school Cruz was able to walk off campus by mingling with students as they evacuated. He remained free for over an hour after the attack, spending much of that time walking around a nearby Walmart.

Conspicuously Absent

Even prior to the video exposing his cowardly act, his lack of presence as well as statements from students that they had seen him at the front of the school during the shooting had already led to questions about where he was and why he hadn’t confronted Cruz.

Via the Sun Sentinel:

“What I saw was a deputy arrive … take up a position and he never went in,” the sheriff said at a news conference. “There are no words. I mean these families lost their children. We lost coaches,” Israel said…

“I’m in shock and I’m outraged to no end that he could have made a difference in all this,” (Broward Schools Superintendent Robert) Runcie said Thursday. “It’s really disturbing that we had a law enforcement individual there specifically for this reason, and he did not engage. He did not do his job. It’s one of the most unbelievable things I’ve ever heard.”

Stoneman Douglas student Brandon Huff, 18, a senior, said he had seen Peterson standing outside the building and talking on his radio during the shooting.

Huff said he first learned of the shooting in a text message from his girlfriend, who said she was hiding in a corner and shots rang out.

“Two coaches went in and were shielding kids and throwing themselves in front of bullets and he did nothing.”

As a result of these revelations, a formal investigation was launched and Peterson was suspended without pay by Sheriff Israel. However, after being told of the suspension Deputy Peterson resigned. Later that same day, he filed for retirement. By avoiding being fired, which would have been the likely result of that investigation Peterson will be able to retain his pension and benefits.

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.

During the February 22nd press conference in which his suspension and subsequent retirement was announced, Sheriff Israel stated that the department would not be releasing the video. Potentially, that means that the public might never see the actual footage of Peterson shirking his duties in favor of self-preservation.

Additional Suspensions

In addition, it was announced that two other deputies have also been suspended. Those deputies are currently being investigated for their improper responses to previous warning from people that knew Nikolas Cruz. On top of 23 incidents that police responded to at Cruz’ house since 2008, several reports were made to authorities regarding his violent tendencies.

Parkland School Resource Officer of the Year Scot Peterson

Deputy Peterson was Parkland School Resource Officer of the Year  in 2014

That included specific threats he had made to attack a school. Deputies Edward Eason and Guntis Treijs failed to follow up on those reports. In at least one case, no report was compiled to document the concerns. Similarly, the FBI never investigated Cruz after receiving at least two reports about his behavior. One of those tips, received in September specifically referenced a YouTube comment in which Cruz threatened a school shooting.

Of course, like a good percentage of the cops featured on NVCopBlock.org, Deputy Peterson is a “decorated veteran” having received an award as Parkland School Resource Officer of the Year in 2014 and was also nominated for “Parkland Deputy of the Year” in 2017.

Update: At Least Four Broward County Deputies Hid Outside, Rather Than Entering the School During the Shooting

The New York Post is now reporting that at least three other cops hid behind their cars outside of the school, instead of entering the building where Nikolas Cruz was actively engaged in shooting unarmed and defenseless students. Citing CNN sources within the Coral Springs Police Department, the Post states that CSPD officers were shocked to find those deputies taking cover behind their cars outside the school when they arrived.

Reportedly, this has created “bad blood” between the two police departments:

Coral Springs City Manager Mike Goodrum confronted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel over the incident during a vigil the following day, saying injured kids could have been dying inside the building while the deputies held back, sources tell CNN.

And the next day, Coral Springs Police Chief Tony Pustizzi wrote in an internal memo:

“I understand that another agency has given the impression that it had provided the majority of the rescue efforts, and that the tremendous work of the Coral Springs Police and Fire Departments has not been recognized.”

“Please know that this issue will be addressed, and the truth will come out in time,” he added.

The Coral Springs officers’ experiences will be included in a new report coming out next week, according to the news site.

This probably clears up why Sheriff Israel wants to make sure that security footage is never released publicly.

Broward County Sheriff’s Office Press Conference

Flavor Flav Warned Us About Cops Like Peterson

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Update: Las Vegas SWAT Team Commander Charged With Defrauding Elderly Couple of Over $700,000

LVMPD SWAT Team Commander Lt Tom Melton is facing charges relating to defrauding an elderly couple

LVMPD SWAT Team Commander Lt Tom Melton, along with three other people, is facing charges relating to the defrauding of an elderly Las Vegas couple.

In August of last year, I reported on Lt. Tom Melton, the commander of one of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department‘s SWAT teams. At that time, it had just been announced publicly that Melton was under investigation in relation to the financial exploitation of an elderly couple.

As part of that exploitation Lt. Melton persuaded a court to name him as legal guardian and trustee for a couple named Jerome and Beverly Flaherty. On February 14, Melton was was indicted on charges of defrauding an 87 year old widow, who suffered from dementia.

According to the charging documents, he also deceived a court into believing that Beverly Flaherty was still alive after she had died in order to gain control over several of her accounts and then name himself as the beneficiary. One of the couple’s accounts Melton stole from in this manner was the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust.

All told, Lt. Melton was able to steal over $700,000 from Beverly Flaherty and her husband Jerome, both of whom are dead now. In addition, he’s accused of stealing a Ford Explorer. The fraud reportedly took place between December 2010 and May 2017.

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.

Lt. Tom Melton a SWAT team commander at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been charged with defrauding an elderly couple

LVMPD SWAT Commander Lt. Tom Melton

In order to facilitate that fraud, Melton hired April Parks, the corrupt and abusive owner of a private for-profit professional guardianship service. Parks, an attorney named Noel Palmer Simpson, and her office manager; Mark Simmons, were also indicted along with Melton for defrauding the Flahertys.

The three of them were already facing over 200 felony charges related to taking advantage of the guardianship system to exploit and defraud the people placed under their supervision. A fifth person, Gary Neal Taylor, who was not indicted in Melton’s case, is also facing seven felony charges for similar crimes he committed in conjunction with Parks, Simpson, and Simmons.

The individual charges include (Melton uses his middle name):

  • Lt. James Thomas Melton: Two counts Exploitation of an Older Person (category B), one count Theft (category B), one count Theft (category C), seven counts Offering False Instrument for Filing or Record (category C), one count Grand Larceny Auto (category C), two counts Perjury (category D)
  • April Parks: One count Exploitation of an Older Person (category B), six counts Offering False Instrument for Filing or Record (category C), one count Perjury (category D)
  • Mark Simmons: One count Exploitation of an Older Person (category B), two counts Offering False Instrument for Filing or Record (category C)
  • Noel Palmer Simpson: One count Exploitation of an Older Person (category B), one count Theft (category C), eight counts Offering False Instrument for Filing or Record (category C), one count Perjury (category D)

Local Media Coverage

Parks, Simmons, Simpson, and Taylor are all scheduled to begin trial on their previous charges in May of this year. It’s not clear yet exactly when Lt. Melton will be facing trial. However, since the charges are felonies he will no longer be collecting his $300,000+ yearly salary, like he had been while on paid vacation since the formal investigation began last July.

I will update you once again whenever Lt. Melton receives the inevitable plea deal that will allow him to be sentenced to probation.

Original Investigation Report

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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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First Amendment Audit: Cop Blocker Nasty Nathanial Assaulted By Morro Bay Chief of Police Gregory Allen

First Amendment Auditor Nasty Nathanial Thomas was assaulted and unlawfully detained by Morro Bay Police Officers, including Police Chief Gregory Allen

First Amendment Auditor Nasty Nathanial Thomas was assaulted and unlawfully detained by Morro Bay (CA) Chief of Police Gregory Allen and Officer Greg Gruich.

The video and description included within this post were shared with Nevada Cop Block by “Nasty” Nathanial Thomas, via reader submission. You can (and should) visit Nathanial’s YouTube channel (click here) to see other videos he has posted. In addition you can see other posts involving Nathanial that have previously been published at NVCopBlock.org by clicking here, here, and here.

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.

This video shows what is known as a “First Amendment Audit.” As Thomas explains in more detail within his description, that consists of going out and filming government buildings and other public property. Oftentimes, the police, security guards, government employees, and even members of the public don’t understand that the First Amendment protects a citizen’s right to take photos and/or record video of anything that is within view of a public place.

Obviously, this video is very much an example of that (commonly referred to as an “audit fail” among those who do them). As can be seen on the video, during this audit Thomas was approached by Morro Bay Chief Of Police Gregory Allen, who was accompanied by Officer Greg Gruich. They then proceeded to demand ID from him, stating that filming inside the lobby was a misdemeanor crime based on an city ordinance which they claimed not to know the code for.

After Thomas declined to identify himself, based on it being an unlawful detention for exercising a legal right, he was assaulted, thrown to the ground, and placed under arrest. That arrest was later classified as a detention and no charges were filed as a result, although Thomas states that he was held within a police car for over an hour while in handcuffs. It’s also worth mentioning that Chief Allen and Officer Gruich addressed Thomas as “Nate” numerous times throughout the video. That obviously implies that they in fact did know who he was already.

Note: In Nevada, the police are limited by law [NRS 171.123(4)] from detaining a person for longer than one hour total without establishing probable cause to make an arrest. In addition, that maximum time is not an open window to detain people for a full hour. The actual time someone can be detained is predicated on the reasonable amount of time it should take to investigate the crime the person being detained is (reasonably) suspected of. (This is a state law specific to Nevada, it may not apply if you live in a different state.)

Department Contact Information:

Morro Bay Police Department
850 Morro Bay Blvd
Morro Bay, CA 93442
(805) 772-6225

Police Officials Involved In Incident
Chief Gregory Allen – Phone: (805) 772-6284
Officer Greg Gruich

App & Social Media Links
Morro Bay Police Department on Facebook
Morro Bay Police Department on Twitter
Morro Bay PD App

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office
1035 Palm Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
(805) 781-5800

District Attorney
Dan Dow
Contact Form

Social Media Links
San Luis Obispo County Facebook Page
San Luis Obispo County Twitter Account
San Luis Obispo County Youtube Channel
San Luis Obispo County on Flickr
San Luis Obispo County LinkedIn Account

Assaulted While Legally Filming in Public

On February 6, 2018 I was physically assaulted by the Morro Bay Chief Of Police Gregory Allen, and uniformed Officer Greg Gruich, while conducting a First Amendment Audit outside of the city’s police station.

Morro Bay Chief of Police Gregory Allen

Morro Bay (CA.) Police Chief Gregory Allen

First Amendment Audits are a form of activism. It is where individuals, such as myself, test the responses of public officials by openly filming government facilities from public view. Police stations are often an ideal location for a First Amendment Audit.

As an auditor I have filmed everything from police stations to correctional facilities to courthouses to military installations to even NASA. If it can be seen in public then it can be filmed.

Now here is the challenge that First Amendment Auditors have. A number of people are under the impression that you need permission to film government buildings or public officials. I can’t even count the number of times that I have heard things like “your not allowed to film a Federal facility” or “your not allowed to take pictures here.” This is where as an auditor you are given the opportunity to educate people.

What it all comes down to is that there can be no expectation to privacy when in a public place. This does not exclude public officials, such as police officers.

Now I expect a private security guard making minimum wage for standing outside the entrance of a Walmart to be ignorant of the law. However, I do expect someone, such as Chief Allen, whom before coming to Morro Bay was a 34 year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, to understand the basic laws concerning public photography.

Video Of Assault

But whether or not Chief Allen was ignorant of the law, or simply chose to ignorant it, he felt it necessary to physically assault me. With assistance of Officer Gruich, Chief Allen threw me to ground where my head hit the concrete.

First Amendment Auditor Nasty Nathanial Thomas

“Nasty” Nathanial

My hands were then twisted behind my back in a very aggressive and painful manor. I was then handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a hot police car while Chief Allen and his goons tried so desperately to figure out some way to charge me with a crime.

After about an hour I was released without any charges. Why was I not charged with anything? The answer is actually very simple. Because there was NO CRIME! At least not on my end.

As for Chief Allen and Officer Gruich, I can think of a handful of crimes they committed last February 6, such as assault, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, and so on…….. Will the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office file criminal charges against Chief Allen and Officer Gruich? I think you probably know the answer to that.

Regardless of how this incident plays out, in the end Chief Allen and Officer Gruich need to be held accountable for their actions. Thank you for reading.

Nasty Nathanial Thomas

Local Media Coverage of the Incident


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Was Las Vegas Cop Who Guarded Stephen Paddock’s Door at the Mandalay Bay on October 1st “Set Up” on Sex Charges?

One of the officers assigned to guard Stephen Paddock's door after they (finally) entered his room was Officer Bret Theil

    Bret Theil, one of the LVMPD officers that (eventually) entered Stephen Paddock’s room, was arrested for sexual abuse of a child, leading to speculation of ulterior motives for those charges.

Yesterday, I did a post about LVMPD Officer Bret Theil, the latest in a long and fast growing line of Las Vegas cops facing charges related to violence against women and/or sex crimes. He was indicted on Wednesday on over two dozen counts related to the sexual abuse of a child. That child is reportedly a family member and a according to several sources that abuse began when the victim was only seven years old.

Theil was arrested after an armed standoff with a Las Vegas SWAT team that began Wednesday night and didn’t end until early Thursday morning. As I reported yesterday, this was the second Metro cop that was involved in a “barricade situation” within the past week. There have also been over a half dozen Las Vegas area police officers involved in some sort of crime against women just since the beginning of this year.

Since that story was posted though, some additional information about Officer Theil has surfaced. The nature of that new information has led to a lot of speculation and theories about those charges being some sort of retaliation or method of “keeping him quiet” by Las Vegas police and the MGM corporation.

Did He See/Do Something He Shouldn’t Have?

It turns out that Theil was also one of the officers involved in (eventually) entering Stephen Paddock’s hotel room at the Mandalay Bay on October 1st during the Route 91 Festival Shooting. Based on the LVMPD’s Force Investigation Team (who are usually assigned to investigate when Metro police officers kill someone) report, Theil and another officer named Burns were assigned to guard the door to the suite Paddock had been staying at.

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.

LVMPD report shows Officer Bret Theil was assigned to guard Stephen Paddock's room at the Mandalay Bay.

LVMPD report naming Theil as one of the officers that guarded Stephen Paddock’s door. (Click for full size)

So the theory goes that Theil saw or was somehow involved in something shady that happened during the October 1st shootings. Variations of the theory are that he was set up with the sexual assault charges either to keep him quiet about whatever he potentially saw or to retaliate for some unspecified thing he did since then. The basics are that Sheriff Lombardo and the MGM ownership want to destroy his credibility and/or scare him into not talking.

Personally, I think there are some real holes in that theory, though. The first would be that if you want to keep someone from talking one of the worst strategies for that would be to set them up to face multiple life sentences in prison. They pretty much have nothing to lose at that point.

So why wouldn’t they go ahead and tell everything they knew to anyone that would listen? Of course, the other side of this coin is that the nature of the charges would ruin his so no-one would listen. The truth is though that someone will always be willing to listen if you are telling them something they want to hear. Plus, if you’re trying to pull attention away from something that’s a terrible strategy, even if most people won’t believe it.

Also, if you were trying to get rid of someone and you’re in the middle of an armed standoff with them, just killing them is easily the best way to do that. If a big part of your argument against Metro’s handling of the Mandalay Bay investigation is that they control investigations and cover-up facts (which is actually very true), then it follows that he would be very dead right now if they were trying to keep him quiet.

And, by extension, nobody who would want to question it would be given access to evidence that would enable them to raise those questions. The fact that they didn’t just shoot him like they do with most people that get involved in armed standoffs, but aren’t cops, tends to counter that argument that they were “out to get him.” Instead, Theil will live to get his beneficial plea deal and serve the probation he is likely to be sentenced to.

The other much more pragmatic reason why I don’t believe Officer Thiel was set up is the fact that it wasn’t a case of child porn being found on his computer or in his possession. (The fact that police claim to have found child porn on Paddock’s computer and that his brother is facing child porn charges in California is something that has factored into the theories.) Something like that could conceivably be planted on his computer.

However, these allegations are that he preyed on an actual known person and that person was a very young child. I believe those two factors make it very unlikely (not at all impossible, though) that he was just set up with false charges. I personally think the reality is that there are so many rapists, pedophiles, and domestic batterers within the LVMPD and such a total lack of any sort of accountability (as well as within other departments nationwide) that the odds say at least one of them that was in that hallway (standing around for 75 minutes before they finally went in the room) was bound to be one.

What Happened in Vegas?

As has been detailed numerous times here at NVCopBlock.org, the movie What Happened in Vegas explores 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.

A portion of that documentary is also devoted to the shootings that happened at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas on October 1st. Among other things, it explores the reasons why Sheriff Joe Lombardo and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have been so willing to cover up and even lie about what happened.

It also ties those irregularities within the Mandalay Bay shooting investigation to the similar motives for the cover-ups of the murders of Cole, Scott, Gibson, and Farmer-Brown. As pointed out in the movie by director Ramsey Denison, by and large it’s a matter of liability and pressure from the casinos to assure tourists they should feel safe and continue coming to Las Vegas, since that is the single major industry within the city.

Of course, there’s also a fair amount of incompetence and corruption among the police themselves that has to be factored into that. That holds true with the investigation around the Mandalay Bay Shooting as well. They were already holding press conferences before the investigation had hardly even begun painting themselves as heroes and assuring everyone that there was only one shooter and that he was dead.

After that, they didn’t want to talk about the fact their officers stood around in a hallway outside the room of a man who had already fired on a defenseless crowd (and a security guard in that same hallway) or anything else that contradicted those narratives.

What Happened in Vegas” is currently available on DVD or Video on Demand (VOD) if you want to learn more about just how corrupt (and violent) the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is and what their role has been in the cover-up surrounding the October 1st shooting you can order it at WhatHappenedInVegasTheMovie.com by clicking here.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

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