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LVMPD Documentary “What Happened in Vegas” Premieres in Los Angeles on Friday (Dec. 1st) at Laemmle Music Hall

Documentary What Happened in Vegas Ramsey Denison Laemmle Los Angeles Premier

What Happened in Vegas” by Ramsey Denison, the documentary about police brutality and corruption at the LVMPD, premiers in Los Angeles at Laemmle Music Hall 9pm Friday Dec. 1st.

Los Angeles Premier

What Happened in Vegas,” the award winning documentary by Ramsey Denison, is set to open in Los Angeles tomorrow. The official West Coast theatrical premier of the documentary about corruption, coverups, and police brutality at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is being held at the Laemmle Theater in Beverly Hills (a “Secret Path to Oscar Qualifying” for independent films, short films, and documentaries) at 9pm on Friday, December 1st. (Purchase tickets here.)

As has been detailed numerous times here at NVCopBlock.org, 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.

In the run up to the official opening, What Happened in Vegas has already received positive reviews from the Los Angeles media. In a preview article in the LA Weekly (originally published at the Village Voice), Daphne Howland writes:

Denison’s documentary What Happened in Vegas is more than a revenge project. He unveils a pattern of police malfeasance, including cover-ups and lies, through disturbing stories of unjustified deaths.

It’s a damning takedown of the city’s powers that be — casinos cozy with a sheriff willing to protect their interests, and a constabulary infected with a Wild West mentality, armed with military weaponry and prone to lies. He argues that those powers even abet a law enforcement debacle surrounding the recent mass shooting at an outdoor music festival that left 58 concertgoers dead and nearly 500 injured.

Denison keeps up the pace — those television skills coming in handy — and unpacks a lot. But he also allows in some light. There are plenty of Las Vegas police officers who want things to change, and Denison gives them, and the victims’ families, a voice.

(As mentioned within the review, What Happened in Vegas also addresses several questions and issues about the investigation surrounding the shootings from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas by Stephen Paddock during the “Route 91 Festival” on Oct. 1st.)

Last week, What Happened in Vegas premiered in New York City at the Cinema Village Theater in East Manhattan on  Black Friday. Subsequent New York showtimes after the official theatrical premier can be found here. The New York opening represented the first showing of the movie within commercial theaters. Prior to that, What Happened in Vegas enjoyed a very successful run of screenings at film festivals throughout the country.

After premiering to rave reviews at Cinequest in San Jose in March, What Happened in Vegas won several awards in subsequent festivals. Among those awards was Best Documentary at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival and the Grand Prize award at the Anthem Film Festival, which is hosted by FreedomFest here in Las Vegas.

In addition, What Happened in Vegas is currently available for pre-order on iTunes.

Police Interference with Las Vegas Showings

Incidentally, outside of the two festival showings previously mentioned, 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.

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.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

“What Happened in Vegas” Filmmaker Intro

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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Police Brutality Documentary “What Happened in Vegas” Set to Premier in New York on Black Friday (Nov. 24th)

New York Premier What Happened in Vegas Cinema Village Theater

“What Happened in Vegas,” the documentary about corruption and police brutality within the LVMPD by Ramsey Denison, premiers in New York at Cinema Village on Friday, Nov. 24th.

New York Premier

What Happened in Vegas,” the award winning documentary by Ramsey Denison, is set to open in New York City this week. The first showing of the movie about police brutality within the city of Las Vegas takes place at the Cinema Village Theater in East Manhattan on (Black) Friday, Nov. 24th at 7:00pm. Subsequent showtimes after the official theatrical premier can be found here.

As has been detailed numerous times here at NVCopBlock.org, 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.

In the run up to the official opening, What Happened in Vegas has already begun receiving positive reviews by New York media. In a preview article entitled “A Filmmaker Reported Police Brutality in Las Vegas. So the Cops Arrested Him,” Daphne Howland of the Village Voice wrote:

Denison’s documentary What Happened in Vegas is more than a revenge project. He unveils a pattern of police malfeasance, including cover-ups and lies, through disturbing stories of unjustified deaths.

It’s a damning takedown of the city’s powers that be — casinos cozy with a sheriff willing to protect their interests, and a constabulary infected with a Wild West mentality, armed with military weaponry and prone to lies. He argues that those powers even abet a law enforcement debacle surrounding the recent mass shooting at an outdoor music festival that left 58 concertgoers dead and nearly 500 injured.

Denison keeps up the pace — those television skills coming in handy — and unpacks a lot. But he also allows in some light. There are plenty of Las Vegas police officers who want things to change, and Denison gives them, and the victims’ families, a voice.

(As mentioned within the review, What Happened in Vegas also addresses several questions and issues about the investigation surrounding the shootings from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas by Stephen Paddock during the “Route 91 Festival” on Oct. 1st.)

The New York opening represents the first showing of the movie within commercial theaters. Prior to that, What Happened in Vegas enjoyed a very successful run of screenings at film festivals throughout the country.

After premiering to rave reviews at Cinequest in San Jose in March, What Happened in Vegas won several awards in subsequent festivals. Among those awards was Best Documentary at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival and the Grand Prize award at the Anthem Film Festival, which is hosted by FreedomFest here in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles Premier, Las Vegas Showings, and Beyond

Next month, What Happened in Vegas will make its West Coast theatrical premier when it opens in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Theater in Beverly Hills on December 1st. BTW, word on the streets is that playing at the Laemmle Theaters is a “Secret Path to Oscar Qualifying” for independent films, short films, and documentaries that normally haven’t received the attention that big-budget, studio films are afforded. So, Joe Lombardo and the rest of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in theory could really get their ivory tower shook up by a cameo with a guy named Oscar come February. (#JusSayin)

Speaking of the LVMPD and appearances they desperately don’t want to happen, outside of the two festival appearances previously mentioned, audiences within Las Vegas have yet to see What Happened in Vegas. The reason for that is not a lack of interest. In fact, two different commercial theater chains had at one time expressed interest in showing the movie here in town.

However, in both cases that interest waned due to the controversial nature of the film and potential fallout from it. It’s been reported that they even 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.

Regardless of that, plans are for the movie to show theatrically within the city of Las Vegas, one way or another, at some point after the New York and Los Angeles premiers. In the meantime, What Happened in Vegas is currently available for pre-order on iTunes.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

“What Happened in Vegas” Filmmaker Intro

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

Posts Related to What Happened in Vegas

Tashii Brown’s Mother Calls For Murder Charge Against Las Vegas Cop At “What Happened in Vegas” Screening

Tashii Farmer Brown Family Mother Trinita What Happened in Vegas ScreeningLast week, following a screening of “What Happened in Vegas,” Tashii Farmer-Brown‘s mother, Trenita Farmer, addressed the media in attendance. The statement, quoted below, represents the first time that Brown’s family had spoken publicly since he was murdered in May (2017) by Las Vegas Police at the Venetian on the Las Vegas Strip.

Over 200 people attended the July 20th screening at the Anthem Film Festival, which is part of Freedom Fest inside the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The screening was very well received (it was later awarded the film festival’s grand prize) and the majority of those people stayed for the press conference. In addition, a question and answer panel followed featuring director Ramsey Denison, producer Randy Wiles, and Neill Franklin of LEAP.

Las Vegas Metro LVMPD Police State ChalkDuring the screening, Trinita and other members of Brown’s family left the room after becoming emotional and were unable to watch the film. There were others in the audience, including family members of other people featured in it, that also began crying. The four cases that “What Happened in Vegas” focuses on, those of Brown, Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, and Stanley Gibson, are some of the most controversial killings by police in the history of Las Vegas.

Tashii Brown’s murder, which was caught on both Lopera’s body camera and casino surveillance footage, was so graphic and so obviously unnecessary that his story was added to the video just prior to this screening. In the months since, Lopera’s actions and the response of the LVMPD’s leadership has been questioned heavily, both locally and nationally.

As is typical for crimes committed by their officers, Metro immediately began attempting to blame the victim by smearing Brown’s character. Also, even though Officer Lopera eventually became the first Las Vegas area police officer to be charged with a crime as a result of killing someone while on duty, he was only charged with Involuntary Manslaughter.

Within her statement, Farmer addressed that low level charge and called for Clark County District Attorney Steve to charge Lopera with the appropriate one. While she didn’t specify it herself, it shouldn’t be hard to figure out that the crime Officer Kenneth Lopera committed that day was murder.

Here is the full text of Trinita Farmer’s statement. Below that is video of the press conference.

“I’d like to thank everybody for coming today. I’m happy that the police officer that killed my son has been charged, but it’s not enough. If it was a regular person, a citizen, they wouldn’t have been so lenient on them. Because it was an officer, he was given special treatment. I call on District Attorney Wolfson to re-examine the case and charge this officer appropriately.

Tashii was my heart. He was a good son, a good father. And he had a lot of dreams. They never gave him a chance. He didn’t deserve this. I thank you guys for coming.”

Statement by Tashii Brown’s Mother Trinita Farmer

Tashii Brown’s Mother and “What Happened in Vegas” Q&A Panel Discussion

On May 14th, Tashii Brown was beaten, tased at least seven times, and then choked to death by LVMPD Officer Kenneth Lopera. Brown had approached Lopera and another officer inside the Venetian Casino asking for help, stating he thought someone was chasing him. Instead of receiving that help, he was treated like a suspect by the officers, then chased into a parking area after he became afraid and tried to run away.

The choke hold that Ofc. Lopera used to kill Brown was not authorized by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, nor is use of a taser more than four times. Metro has also publicly admitted that Brown was not suspected of any crime at the time and in fact would not have been charged with a crime had he survived Lopera’s attack.

Therefore, Lopera had no legal reason to detain him in the first place. At the time that he began illegally choking him, Brown was also already being held down by at least two hotel security guards and did not represent a threat to anyone. Officer Lopera also refused to relinquish that “rear naked” choke hold when other officers that arrived at the scene told him to.

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

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

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Mother of Tashii Farmer-Brown to Hold Press Conference After “What Happened in Vegas” Screening at Anthem Film Festival

What Happened in Vegas Documentary LVMPD Tashii Farmer Brown

Following a screening of “What Happened in Vegas” on July 20th, 2017 at the Anthem Film Festival, which is part of Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, the mother of Tashii Farmer-Brown will give her first press conference.

Trinita Farmer, whose son was killed on May 14th by a police officer in a parking lot outside the Las Vegas Venetian Hotel, has previously refused requests for interviews. Tashii is featured in the documentary, which includes moving footage from his funeral. The funeral was closed to the press.

What Happened in Vegas,” directed by Ramsey Denison, documents four murder cases in which all of the victims were killed by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officers: Tashii, a black man who was choked to death after asking a police officer for help; Trevon Cole, a small-time drug dealer; Erik Scott, a decorated ex-army officer and West Point graduate shot in a Costco parking lot; and Stanley Gibson, a disoriented combat army veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

Also attending the post-screening press conference will be family members of the other victims; director Ramsey Denison; Larry Burns, a 27-year veteran of the LVMPD and former candidate for sheriff; and Neill Franklin, executive director of LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership).

The film screening is open to members of the press and begins at 3:20pm PT.  The press conference will follow the film at approximately 4:50pm PT.  Both events will take place in the Versailles 3 room of the Paris Las Vegas Conference Center, July 20, 2017.

Members of the media who wish to request credentials to the film screening and/or to the press conference should contact Norann Dillon at [email protected] or 855-850-3733 x206.  Media are asked to check in at the main registration desk in the Exhibit Hall (Concord Ballroom).

For information on the Anthem Film Festival, contact Jo Ann Skousen at [email protected] or 407-620-9025.

The Anthem Libertarian Film Festival focuses on films about individuality, choice and accountability. It is part of FreedomFest, an annual event that brings together over 2,000 attendees and 250 speakers with sessions on public policy, history, science & technology, art & literature, health & wellness, investments and economics. FreedomFest has been called “the world’s largest gathering of free minds.”   This year’s conference runs July 19-22, 2017, at the Paris Las Vegas.

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

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

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“What Happened in Vegas” Anti-Police Brutality Documentary to Show at Anthem Film Festival (Freedom Fest) July 20th

What Happened In Vegas Ramsey Denison LVMPD Documentary Movie Police Brutality

On July 20th at 3:20pm, “What Happened in Vegas,” the documentary by director Ramsey Denison about police brutality, corruption, and cover-ups within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (AKA: “Metro“) will be screening during the Anthem Film Festival. The annual film festival, which takes place from July 19th to the 22nd, is part of Freedom Fest, which is also held annually here in Las Vegas.

The screening will be held at the Paris Hotel and Casino, which is located on the Las Vegas Strip. Passes for an entire day, as well as all access passes for the entire festival, can be purchased in advance at their online ticket link. (Freedom Fest tickets are also available at the same link.) In addition, tickets for individual screenings can be bought at the door for $10.

As has been previously reported here at Nevada Cop Block, What Happened in Vegas premiered at the Ciniquest Film Festival in March and received rave reviews from critics during multiple showings there. This will be the second screening held here in Las Vegas. Previously, in April, the movie showed at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival and won the award for best documentary.

What Happened in Vegas focuses on the murders of Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, and Stanley Gibson by Las Vegas police officers and the cover ups of those murders by the leadership of the LVMPD. All three of those shootings were extremely controversial and heavily debated at the time they took place within Las Vegas.

However, none of them received widespread coverage by the media outside of Las Vegas. That lack of publicity for police killings and the role the local media, politicians, and casinos play in that is a major focal point of the movie. In addition, several cases of police brutality, racial profiling, and false arrests by members of Metro are also highlighted.

(Full Disclosure: I am personally in the movie. Stanley Gibson was a personal friend of mine and I also contributed general knowledge about other cases that I have learned through involvement with Nevada Cop Block and police brutality activism within Las Vegas.)

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“What Happened in Vegas” Didn’t Stay in Las Vegas; Police Brutality Documentary Premiers at Cinequest

Last week on March 4th, “What Happened in Vegas” had its world premier to rave reviews at the Cinequest Film Festival, which is held annually in San Jose, CA. (This year there were also additional screenings held in Redwood City.) The documentary by Ramsey Denison is primarily focused on three very questionable shootings of Las Vegas residents by members of the LVMPD (AKA “Metro”) and the lack of any resulting consequences for the officers involved in those killings.

Within Las Vegas all three cases were very prominent incidents that received widespread local coverage and generated significant criticisms against the LVMPD and their handling of them. The inadequacies of the investigations into the questions surrounding those cases and outright cover-ups, as well as the reasons behind them also play a major role in the film.

Trevon Cole and Bryan Yant

The first case featured in the movie is that of Trevon Cole, who was caught on camera selling a very small amount of marijuana to an LVMPD detective. Cole very easily could have been arrested right then or at virtually any other time he stepped out of his house and there was no indication that Cole was or would become violent.

Instead, in order to create a dramatic confrontation intended to be used in a proposed reality show the LVMPD was hoping to create, they decided to conduct a full SWAT raid on his apartment. During that raid, Sgt. Bryan Yant, who had intentionally used falsified information from another person (that actually lived in Texas) with the same name as Cole to attain the search warrant, shot Cole in the head with an AR-15 in front of his pregnant girlfriend, while Trevon was on his knees in the bathroom.

Later, in an attempt to justify their actions, Metro police officers showed up at the house belonging to Cole’s in-laws, where his girlfriend, who was literally within days of having their baby, was staying. They then conducted an illegal search of Cole’s belongings hoping to find something that would incriminate him and provide justifications for the murder.

Not only was nobody held accountable in any way whatsoever for the falsified search warrant, the illegal search afterwards, or the murder itself, Bryan Yant, for whom this was his third deadly shooting, was recently hired by the Las Vegas Police Protective Association as the union representative that advises police officers when they are involved in shootings.

Erik Scott and Costco’s (Conveniently) Malfunctioning Camera

The second and most well known case featured in the movie is that of Erik Scott, who was shot by LVMPD Officers William Mosher, Joshua Stark, and Thomas Mendiola as he walked out of a Costco located in a suburb of Las Vegas known as Summerlin. The original reason that the police were called was because an employee at the Costco had noticed that Scott was wearing a holster under his shirt. Erik Scott was legally registered to carry the concealed weapon that he was armed with that day. However, Costco has a policy against firearms within their stores. After having a discussion about that with Scott, a Costco security guard, Shai Lierley, called Metro and reportedly exaggerated his behavior. (Erik had asserted his legal right to be armed, but had not acted in a threatening manner.)

After an evacuation order was given at the store, Lierley pointed Scott out to Mosher, Stark, and Mendiola. Those officers then proceeded to give contradictory, confusing, and aggressive orders to Scott. Shortly after, Mosher shot Scott and after he had already fallen to the ground Stark and Mendiola followed suit firing numerous rounds into his body as he lay already mortally wounded.

Like most large retail stores, that Costco location had security cameras throughout the inside and outside of the store. One of those was situated where it should have recorded the entire confrontation. By some amazing “coincidence” that one surveillance camera just happened to be malfunctioning that day and all the footage from that specific time was unrecoverable.

In the movie, Erik Scott’s father, Bill, also describes how the police soon realized that a report by the EMT in the ambulance that transported Erik to the hospital where he was pronounced dead had noted that there was a gun on his body still within the holster. the problem with that was that the police had at some point retrieved that gun and placed it at the scene of the shooting to corroborate their story that Scott had pulled his gun as a justification for it. The next day, even after they were denied permission to do so by Erik’s brother, who lived with him at the time, Metro officers conducted an illegal search on his apartment under the pretense of securing his property. Not long after, the narrative became that Scott had actually been carrying two guns at the time of the shooting.

As was the case with those involved in the Trevon Cole murder, Erik Scott’s killing was ruled justified. In fact, Mosher and Stark were given awards for bravery during the murder of Scott shortly afterwards. (Mendiola had been fired by that point for giving a gun to a felon.) Both of them are still employed with the LVMPD.

Stanley Gibson and Jesus Arevalo

The third case featured in the movie is that of Stanley Gibson, a Gulf War veteran who had cancer and PTSD, both of which were caused by his military service. Partially as a result of his medication being cut off by the Veteran’s Administration and partly because of the effects of the cancer on his memory, Gibson entered the wrong apartment complex after having just moved. Police were called after someone saw him attempting to open the door to the apartment he thought was his and soon after they had blocked his car in inside the parking lot.

In spite of the fact that Gibson’s car was completely blocked in by two unoccupied police cars (see embedded video below) and would not have been able to move, the police at the scene decided they could not simply wait him out. Instead, they concocted a plan to break out Gibson’s back window with a bean bag round and then shoot pepper spray into the car (which is against Metro’s policy) to force Gibson, who at the time was unresponsive, to come out of it. However, once the bean bag round was fired, Officer Jesus Arevalo fired seven times with his personal AR-15, later claiming that he thought the firing of the bean bag round was Gibson shooting at them.

While the investigation was still ongoing Arevalo’s soon to be ex-wife was recorded stating that, among other things, he had said before Gibson’s killing that he wanted to shoot someone so he could get paid time off, had referred to Gibson using a racial slur and expressing disdain for him, and had bragged about how fast he was able to fire off those seven rounds. Not surprisingly though, Stanley Gibson’s shooting, like every other police shooting in the entire history of the city of Las Vegas was ruled justified. Not only that but Arevalo was placed on disability as a result of stress from the shooting and given a monthly payment of $23,000 to $28,000 (plus cost of living increases) for the rest of his life.

Beaten and Arrested for Reporting Police Brutality

Several other non-fatal incidents are also featured in the movie, including an unarmed and innocent man who was shot at a local 7-11 after he was mistook for a murder suspect and a man who used a hidden GoPro camera to film himself being assaulted and falsely arrested by a “saturation team” after he refused to provide ID as a passenger at a traffic stop (which he legally was not required to do). The video in the latter case also captured audio and video of those officers stating as they searched his car that they “had to find something” to justify his arrest, after the fact.

The other incident featured within the movie is director Ramsey Denison’s own arrest by Las Vegas Police Officers Mark Belanger, Kyle Frett, and Jared Casper. While on vacation in Vegas, Ramsey saw those three officers both verbally and physically abusing a man they had already taken into custody and successfully handcuffed.

Not having seen that type of behavior from cops before and having a positive opinion of the police from working on “true-crime” shows as a film editor in Los Angeles, Denison made the rookie mistake of calling 911 and reporting the officers. The 911 operator responded by calling Belanger, Frett, and Casper to let them know someone had called to report misconduct by them. They then promptly came over and beat, then arrested, Denison.

Later, both the supervisor who had responded to Denison’s 911 complaint and the Internal Affairs “investigators” rubber stamped their approval of his treatment by the trio of Metro officers. Also not terribly surprisingly, he was later told that none of the cameras at the club where his assault took place were turned on that night, effectively precluding him from being able to file a lawsuit to attain some sort of justice. That, along with his experience in the jail and during court, prompted Denison to begin looking into the history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and eventually to make “What Happened in Vegas.

Shining a Light on the Darkness within the LVMPD

Ramsey contacted me a couple months after his arrest, which was also not long after I and several other members of Nevada Cop Block were arrested for the ridiculous charge of graffiti (and even more ridiculous “conspiracy” charges) for writing with chalk on public sidewalks during protests over the murder of Stanley Gibson, whom I was friends with in high school, and Metro’s many other victims, including Erik Scott and Trevon Cole.

After meeting with him and getting the feeling that he was genuine in his intentions, I agreed on doing an interview, much of which was included in the movie. Also, while I was limited on what I could discuss about our arrests for chalking, due to lawsuits we had filed (which are still active to this day) as a result, that is discussed in general terms within the film. In addition, several scenes shot of me chalking were included in the movie.

Due to the connections I had built working with Nevada Cop Block and during those demonstrations, I was able to point Denison toward several people within Las Vegas that I felt would potentially be helpful, including some who knew or were related to Erik Scott, Trevon Cole, and Stanley Gibson. I’m happy to say that Ramsey did a great job of seeking those people out, building trust with them, and presenting them in a convincing, professional, and impactful way within the movie.

He also did a great job of researching the background of those featured in the movie and portraying them as real people, as well as separating their true characters from the smear campaigns that the LVMPD uses to deflect blame from the department after they kill someone. What Happened in Vegas does a very equitable job of showing who Scott, Cole, and Gibson were and the impact their murders had on those they left behind.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the movie’s premier screenings at the Cinequest Film Festival last week and it turned out as good as I could have ever expected, if not better. Audiences, as well as critics, attending those screenings were very responsive and positive about the movie. I very much appreciate the work that Ramsey and his crew did both in making a great movie and shining a light on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department that I expect will not go unnoticed and that was much overdue.

Until Cops Stop Killing “Civilians,” Every Uniformed Police Officer in America is in Danger

Dallas Police Shootings Cops Killing Civilians

The following post consists of an editorial written by William Scott, the father of Erik Scott. In 2010, Erik Scott was murdered by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department outside of a Costco in Las Vegas. After he was killed, Costco helped the LVMPD cover it up by claiming the one camera (and only that one) that would have recorded his shooting was malfunctioning that day.

It was originally posted at EpicTimes.com.

After Dallas, How To Stop The Senseless Killing

Jul 15, 2016

OPINION – On the sixth anniversary of my son, Erik’s, execution-by-cop, America is in serious danger of exploding into chaos. The horrific murder of five Dallas police officers and the wounding of another seven last week triggered a profound sense of deja vu. Three years ago, I predicted this would happen, if cops continued to shoot and kill “civilians.”

From Chapter 10, pg. 181-182 of my novel, “The Permit”:

“…A spark like young Steeles murder-by-cop, at precisely the right time and place, will blow Vegas to smither-frickin-reens. ….[H]eres the issue that makes this a national security concern… If all these factors come together under the right circumstance–something as abominable as Steeles execution–all hell will break loose, and uncontrollable violence will spread across the country.  …Wed have a full-blown revolution on our hands. Whole cities would be torched, and wed incur thousands of casualties. The stock market would crater, people would be afraid to go to work…. Hell, son, America as we know it would ceasetobe!”

Erik Scott LVMPD Murder

Erik Scott, shot and killed by police in 2010

We’re not there yet, but we’re close. The wild beasts born of cops killing, then lying and covering up their crimes, are on the loose and may not be tamed anytime soon.I do NOT condone the targeting and killing of police officers! But I damn sure understand why it’s happening. As our nation mourns the five officers killed in Dallas, let’s not lose sight of the fact that cops are killing an average of 3.3 people per day, every day of the year–and getting away with it 99 percent of the time.

The Slain Dallas Police Officers Were Casualties Of Their Job

Since 1 May 2013, police officers have killed at least 3,702 people. As of July 10th, they’d killed 610 so far in 2016–and the total climbs every year (killedbypolice.net). Think about that: Those sworn to protect and serve Americans­–the citizens who pay for cops’ salaries and benefits–have killed more of us in 3.5 years than Al Qaeda terrorists murdered on 9/11.

Yes, the majority of police officers truly are good people, professionals dedicated to protecting and serving, and they’re rightly being hailed as heroes today. But good lawmen are being targeted and killed, because they’ve looked the other way, tolerating ruthless killer-cops in their midst. All in the name of a mindless, Mafia-like code of Blue Silence and illogical union-fueled solidarity that infects every police department and law enforcement agency in the United States.

The blood of five police officers killed and seven wounded in Dallas, as well as that of many more who died over the past decade, is on the hands and souls of heartless killer-cops like Las Vegas Metro PD’s William Mosher–who murdered my son in cold blood–Bryan Yant, Jesus Arevalo, Derek Colling, etc. And the cops who panicked and killed Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castille in Minnesota last week must bear some responsibility for the tragic deaths of those five officers in Dallas. Whether cops, politicians and media pundits admit it or not, the murders of Sterling and Castille by badged executioners triggered Micah Johnson’s deranged killing spree in Dallas.

Until cops stop killing “civilians,” every uniformed police officer in America is in danger.

It’s time to stop the hand-wringing, kumbaya calls for “calm” and “standing together,” and politicians mouthing pablum promises to DO SOMETHING, even if it’s ridiculously ineffective and unconstitutional. It’s time to implement real solutions, such as:

* True third-party investigations of every cop-caused fatality, based on the National Transportation Safety Board model (see “Law Enforcement is Fifty Years Behind Aviation“).

* A protocol similar to the Aviation Safety and Reporting System whereby good cops can anonymously report the misdeeds of their colleagues.

* Federal statutes requiring all law enforcement officers wear body cameras and carry (and pay for) personal liability insurance. Penalties for noncompliance include immediate dismissal. If a bodycam “fails” during a fatal encounter, or its video mysteriously disappears, the officer would be considered guilty of manslaughter, at the least, and subject to criminal charges.

* Zero tolerance for preemptively killing citizens “suspected” of being a threat, solely in the name of “officer safety.” Further, cops involved in cover-ups of an officer-involved shooting or other serious misdeed automatically would be dismissed, banned from the law enforcement field and subject to racketeering charges.

* Mandatory annual recertification of every law enforcement agent in the nation, to include psychological re-screening and several hours of education about the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. As part of this yearly process, officers having multiple use-of-force complaints and/or a shooting on their records would be subject to dismissal in the name of public safety. Badged loose cannons will be purged.

* A federally funded crash program to develop, test and field nonlethal means of subduing “suspects”. The program should focus on electromagnetic and/or electrostatic technologies that accurately deliver a nonlethal, disabling effect at some distance. I saw a prototype of a similar system in a Huntsville, AL, lab 11 years ago. If a nonlethal weapon like that had been in Officer Bill Mosher’s hands on 10 July 2010, instead of a .45-caliber Glock 21 semiautomatic, my son would be alive today.

* Repeal of “Qualified Immunity” statutes that protect cops from prosecution. Although QI sounds reasonable, these well-intentioned laws have been severely perverted to the detriment of countless citizens who have been denied justice, after a cop kills. QI is literally a get-out-of-jail-free card foisted on American citizens by unprincipled police unions and politicians who failed to foresee its obscene unintended consequences.

These must be the absolute top priorities for politicos to tackle…IF they’re serious about ending the senseless killing of both citizens and police officers. God help us, if elected officials and law enforcement leaders decide to hunker down, ride out the current crisis, and kick the issue of dangerous killer-cops down the road…again.  by William B. Scott

William B. Scott is the Author of “The Permit”, a Checkmate Justice novel.

Witnesses Dispute Official Story in Latest Shooting by LVMPD

Overnight Monday (technically Tuesday morning), Las Vegas police registered their 12th officer involved shooting, guaranteeing that the LVMPD will average at least one shooting per month for 2015. The as yet unnamed person killed on Monday had fled from an attempted stop by a marked patrol car around 2:00 AM after the plates on the vehicle came back as belonging to a different vehicle.

Although Metro says the original officer chose not to pursue them at that time, the same car was soon spotted by another patrol in a nearby neighborhood. The car (which has been identified as a stolen car by media sources) had been abandoned, but left in drive. So, although it was unoccupied it was moving down the road toward an intersection. The second officer blocked the vehicle with his own patrol car to stop it. At that point, the suspect was seen being escorted by a security guard  off the property of a nearby apartment complex.

According to Metro (the video of their spokesperson’s official statement is embedded below), the suspect refused to follow orders, kept his hands behind his back, tried to run again, was not affected when tased, and eventually reached for a gun he presumably was concealing in his back waistband area. That resulted in the three officers at the scene firing at and killing the suspect. Reportedly, a gun was later found at the scene where the shooting took place.

However, since the shooting I have received audio of witness interviews recorded at the location of the shooting, which contradict the “official” story by the LVMPD. One of the inconsistencies include witnesses’ contention that the man was not actually armed at the time of the shooting. According to these witnesses, the police originally claimed that they found the gun they say he was armed with inside a nearby garbage can. (The original report was that a gun was found “in the area,” which is potentially consistent with that claim.) If that were true, the man who was killed obviously could not have been pulling a gun out from behind his waist.

It’s also stated that there is a video of the shooting. The existence of such a video has not been mentioned (or ruled out) by the police at this point, although some LVMPD officers are wearing bodycams currently. So, there is a possibility that that is actually the case. However, the person providing the audio appears to claim to have a copy of that video or, at the very least to have seen it, although that video was not provided and they would not have access to bodycam footage, which means it would have to be from another source.

That audio, which also has been embedded below, was received from a source whose identity I do know, but who has requested to remain anonymous. That is due to previous violent encounters they have had with the police, including those employed by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, in retaliation for filming them. That person also stated that they live in the area of the shooting. (In one bit of a disclaimer, I will say that the person who submitted this audio does not in fact “run Cop Block” or even in any direct way contribute to this site, contrary to what he states at the beginning of the video. I point that out simply for the sake of clarification.)

Included with the link to the audio was this description:

“This message is for Kelly Patterson. RE: officer involved shooting 11/24/15 2am at Cambridge and Katie. The media has brushed this under the rug. What LAZY journalism.

After speaking to the numerous witnesses at the park, it was unanimous that the police didn’t have to kill the guy. The Story that you are reporting is no where near the story I was given by the numerous witnesses. Why did they deploy a taser if he had a gun? Not one single witness said he had a gun.

In fact, several people said they found a gun in a trash can nearby. This was another Metro murder and the LVRJ and all the other Las Vegas media sweeping another murder by Metro under the rug. Again.

Video footage was taken and it shows the officers running back from Maryland, seeing the man beyond the fence of the apt complex and ordering him to get down on the ground. The man shouting “I didn’t do anything” a couple times, a taser deployed and two more orders to get down before the cops opened fire. He then falls to the ground and dies.

Any journalist could have gotten the same testimony and video I attained. This is completely lazy journalism and another murder of an unarmed man in Las Vegas that the media refuses to accurately report on. Nobody at that park wanted to appear on camera. (neither do I BTW. I have enough problems with Metro. Keep me out of it) I recorded this conversation with the homeless people at the park who witnessed the murder.

Here is the audio…”

Metro has yet to release any follow up reports on the incident. Typically, they release the names of officers involved in shootings two days later, although the Thanksgiving holiday may delay that. This is also when they typically release updates to the original reports. It’s not at all unusual for their official story to change significantly from their initial narrative.

In fact, the LVMPD has a history of claiming suspects they shot were armed in some manor or actually using a weapon against them to justify their use of deadly force and then later admitting that was not the case. A few examples of this type of behavior are:

So, while the witness statements and possible existence of a video have yet to be corroborated, based on the history of the LVMPD and their penchant for evolving stories, I wouldn’t rule out another revision within the near future in this case, as well.

Maybe Las Vegas Needs a Riot (Via Submission)

This post was submitted by Ballentine of the Sunset Activist Collective, via the CopBlock.org Submissions page. Ballentine was also a member of the “Sunset Four,” a group of Las Vegas activists who were arrested in August of 2013 for protesting against police brutality and other crimes by the police.

After multiple attempts, law enforcement in Southern Nevada succeeded in forcing the Clark County Commission to pass a sales tax measure to fund the hiring of more police officers. The vote itself was a forgone conclusion, which many people who spoke at the hearing eluded to. Only Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani voted against passage and for the wrong reasons, that she was against sales taxes not the police. I fault her as well for not standing up to the police.

Prior to the hearing several people involved in organizing against this tax proposal were followed on twitter by law enforcement with the Southern Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force. Opponents to the new tax included people across a broad spectrum of beliefs and all were ignored. Former Sheriff Bill Young, who now heads security at Station Casinos, even invoked the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) to pressure commissioners to pass this bill. The Latin American Chamber of Congress echoed this false belief stating that “we are one incident away from disaster on the strip.” (Kinda like the incident where LVMPD officers choked and beat two innocent people that had just broken up a fight during News Years. – Editor)

Another great place on the internet to show your CopBlock love.

Another great place on the internet to show your CopBlock love.

The truth is that, according to the US Government, you are eight times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than in the War on Terror. People in Nevada have good reason to fear the police. Local law enforcement serves corporations, not the public, and this was clear by the corporate representation that was present at today’s hearing. Wynn resorts, the AFL-CIO, Caesars Entertainment and NV Energy to name just a few. Even Mcmullin’s Pub came in to support this robbery.

Las Vegas police stand guard outside the Harrah's hotel-casino in Las Vegas on Feb. 21, 2006. As officer Norman Jahn recalls, police arrested the suspected gunman without firing a shot.Law enforcement likes to pretend they are outgunned at major events, but the reality is that businesses are already forced to pay for police officer security when their events have more than 100 people in attendance. The justification for this tax was fear. From Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick suggesting the tiny hamlet of Mesquite has a gang problem, to union reps claiming that the situation on the Strip is “out of control” fear was used to sell this.

For all his sweet talking of law enforcement, we need to remember that Former Sheriff Gillespie had a secret meeting to dig up dirt on Chairman Steve Sisolak that they could use to blackmail him into complying with this vote after the last time it failed. I have to wonder what they discovered about him.

William Mosher LVMPD Erik ScottI’m also irked that even more of my money will go to pay for the murder of unarmed people of color, which the commission in opting not to address the issue of the police never being put on trial has given approval to a culture where black lives don’t matter. Commissioner Lawrence Weekly went so far as to admit “there are probably people in jail who don’t belong there, that belong in the hospital.” By acknowledging such an issue, but then approving the money to increase the likelihood that this will continue, he is in league with the police state.

It’s concerning that people still think elections will do anything meaningful. “Go vote” law enforcement will tell you, but for who exactly? Not one person sitting on that commission had the right idea and they should be ashamed of their actions.

After I spoke several people came to me and thanked me for my comments. As a retired teacher I know that local government holds these hearings during the day to make it so working people can’t comment. As a victim of police brutality, I am saddened that the body count of Nevada law enforcement will continue to climb. If local government is so cowardly and likes to use fear as a tactic then I say maybe we should speak their language. Maybe Las Vegas needs a riot.

Derek Colling LVMPDMaybe people should boycott Clark County businesses. I don’t know about you, but having a police state doesn’t make me feel safer it makes me want to stay away from that city. If I’m given the choice of a vacation without police harassment or with lots of it, I’m picking without.

I urge anyone who owns a business to deny free services or any service for law enforcement. Stop coddling these overpaid murderers. We need to stand up to them and not allow law enforcement to threaten attacks or reduction in services that the figures show they have ample money and manpower to address. I really have to wonder where the hypocrisy stops, I feel we are heading toward a confrontation based on corporate supported racist police forces and that any “incident” that occurs will be the direct result of ignoring the issue of out of control law enforcement.

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Bill Scott Testimony in Support of NV Bodycam Bill: “My Son Erik Might Be Alive Today…” (Video)

“My eldest son, Erik Scott, might be alive today if Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers had been required to wear body cameras in the summer of 2010, when Erik was shot to death.”

– William B. Scott

On March 31, 2015, the Nevada State Assembly’s Government Affairs Committee held a hearing on Nevada State Assembly Bill AB403, which would require all Nevada police to wear body cameras. Testimony was given by various witnesses, both for and against, the proposed bill. Among those speaking in support of mandating bodycams was Bill Scott, whose son Erik Scott was gunned down by three members of the LVMPD outside a Summerlin, NV Costco, back in 2010.

Body CameraOne of the most contentious issues relating to that day has always been the lack of a video showing what exactly happened. Further, the incredibly dubious claim that the one camera which would have provided that video was malfunctioning at the time, has done nothing but create questions and inspire doubt. Although that controversy itself, along with the already mounting examples of body worn or dash mounted cameras similarly “malfunctioning” or simply being shut off by cops, shows why bodycams and dashcams aren’t the end all-solution to police abuses, they certainly could go a long way toward curtailing them, as Bill rightly states in his testimony. This would be especially true, if they were accompanied with real consequences for police officers that tamper with or turn off those cameras.

As has been demonstrated many times, knowing they are on camera and that there will be evidence of their crimes has often worked very effectively as a deterrent to police abuses. Even when cops aren’t wise enough to stay on good behavior because they know they are being filmed, cameras have often yielded the proof necessary to hold them accountable for their actions. Access and control of that evidence is still a huge issue that necessitates that we should still carry our own cameras and film the police every time we or someone else is stopped by the police, however having another camera recording all the time is obviously a step in the right direction.

Interestingly, the almost singular excuse used to oppose bodycams by those speaking against them (which consisted almost exclusively of police employees) was the expense involved in buying them and storing the footage. That’s actually kind of understandable, since the cops obviously don’t want to just come right out and say they don’t want anybody to see all the bad shit they do all day or especially not to have irrefutable evidence, when those things cross the line into prosecutable acts. The problem with that line of reasoning is that all of the many lawsuits being paid out for the bad conduct of police would more than easily pay for the added expense associated with requiring body cameras.

CBN-network-bannerIn Las Vegas, the citizens eventually paid about $2,000,000 total for the settlements to the family of Stanley Gibson, after he was murdered by Jesus Arevalo (who is also receiving between $23,000 and $28,000 every year from those taxpayers, as a de facto reward for that murder). That alone would put a huge dent in the cost required to outfit cops within the LVMPD with bodycams. So, the deterrence for murders by Nevada police that wearing bodycams would represent, would more than likely actually save money by eliminating the need to constantly pay those settlements to the families of their victims, as well as the associated increases in the premiums (from $1.3 million in 2012 to $6.9 in 2013 at the LVMPD) for the liability insurance that Nevada police departments have against such settlements.

Bill opens his half-hour long testimony (video embedded below) with these statements:

My eldest son, Erik Scott, might be alive today, if Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. officers had been required to wear body cameras in the summer of 2010, when Erik was shot to death. Why? Because body-worn cameras are a powerful deterrent to the use of deadly force. They literally are “unimpeachable  witnesses.”

 

Officer William Mosher—who panicked and shot my son as Erik and his girlfriend calmly walked out of Costco-Summerlin—had already killed one man, in his first five years on the Las Vegas Metro force. That shooting was ruled “justified.” With no video evidence or civilian witnesses, inquest jurors had no alternative but to accept the accounts of on-scene police officers, even though they were highly suspect.

 

If he’d been wearing a bodycam on July 10, 2010, Mosher might not have fired at Erik. Having narrowly escaped criminal charges before, Mosher might have asked himself—as he hovered near the door of Costco, shaking like the proverbial leaf, according to witnesses:  “If I shoot and kill again, will I be fired? Will criminal charges be filed against me?” With his and dozens of other cops’ body cameras documenting every move, there would be no escaping the truth this time.

 

Body cameras on Mosher, Thomas Mendiola and Joshua Stark (the three shooters, who fired seven rounds into Erik, including five in his back) might have motivated the officers to opt for a much different, life-saving tactic: Follow Erik into the parking lot, de-escalate the situation by calmly talking to him, and check his legal concealed-carry permit. Everybody would have gone home safely…and Erik Scott would be alive and well today.

A full transcript of his entire testimony can be found at his website: williambscott.com

Bill’s book “the Permit,” a fictionalized account of Erik Scott’s murder, can be purchased via his personal website.

A related article Bill recently wrote for Politico.com about bodycams and how they may have affected not just Erik’s encounter with the LVMPD, but also how they potentially would have kept Michael Slager from murdering Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina can be read here.

The unedited video of the full Nevada State Assembly’s Government Affairs Committee hearing on Nevada State Assembly Bill AB403 can be viewed here.

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