Tag Archives: police union

Update: Las Vegas School Cop Who Assaulted, Pulled Gun on Teen Victim During DUI Reinstated With Back Pay

Las Vegas School Police DUI Assault Gun Russo

Las Vegas school cop who caused an accident while drunk then pulled gun & assaulted victims has been reinstated because he was off duty at the time.

In October of 2015, I posted about Sgt. Anthony Russo of the Clark County School District Police Department. Russo was arrested after he got drunk, ran a red light, hit another car, assaulted the teenage driver of the car he had just crashed into at 60 mph, and then pulled a gun on witnesses who tried to intervene to stop his attack on a completely innocent person who was already “incapacitated” from being hit by some drunk maniac’s car.

At the time the Las Vegas Review Journal described the incident this way:

Troopers said Russo was at fault in the crash that escalated into fight where the off-duty school police sergeant drew his gun. He faces charges that include driving under the influence, failure to obey a traffic signal, possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, drawing a deadly weapon in a threatening manner and two counts of battery, NHP said.

Witnesses said Russo ran a red light at the off-ramp while going about 60 mph before hitting the car, according to arrest records obtained by the Review-Journal. Bystanders went to check on the Hyundai’s passengers, and Russo, wearing “dress clothes,” punched the car’s passenger in the face three times.

When bystanders pulled Russo away from the passenger, he punched one of them in the face and lifted up his shirt, where his firearm was holstered. He pulled out his gun, and a female bystander stood between Russo and others at the scene, according to the arrest record.

That’s when Russo went back to his car.

The arrest record said he failed to take a field sobriety test. He was taken to University Medical Center — as were three other people involved in the crash. Troopers got a warrant to draw four vials of blood from Russo, the arrest record said. He was then booked into the Clark County Detention Center.

That’s obviously some outrageous shit for anyone, let alone a guy who is carrying a gun around a school and in fact already had a prior history of shooting children. There’s no way they could have just swept this under the rug. He had to have been in for some serious punishment after this. Amirite?

Rest assured officers, that’s not the case when you have one of those Magic Uniforms that renders you impervious to any sort of meaningful consequences for your actions, no matter how violent or outrageous they might be. Especially when you’re talking about a department that ruled officers covering up for cops that held an underage drinking party which led to one of the juvenile attendees killing a woman in a drunk driving accident was “within the scope of their duties.”

Not only were the laundry list of charges Sgt. Russo was originally facing reduced to two misdemeanors that resulted in just a fine and a temporary suspension of his license, but his firing has now been reversed. Apparently, according to an arbitrator, repeatedly punching a teenager and pulling a gun (while drunk) and threatening to shoot innocent people trying to stop him from committing assault on that innocent teenager doesn’t represent “a damaging impact to the workplace” or an indication of malice.  That workplace, of course is a building full of teenagers that he carries a gun around in. I can’t see any way his drunken rampage against an “innocent, incapacitated teenager” would be an indicator of some sort of potential workplace threat.

And he’s getting back pay for the two years he sat home. No word yet on whether he also will be getting reinstated as the head of the CCSD police union.

Local News Coverage

No Honor Among Road Pirates: Ohio Deputy Joseph P. Caito III Latest to Admit Stealing From Police Union

On Thursday, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy pled guilty to stealing almost $100,000 from the police union he once served as treasurer for. Not surprisingly, Deputy Joseph P. Caito III has a long history of financial issues and at least one questionable lawsuit based on those issues. In addition to the money Caito admitted to stealing, at least another $20,000 is also unaccounted for.

Via the Dayton Daily News:

Caito, who pleaded guilty by bill of information for the fourth-degree felony, was ordered to pay restitution of $92,148.21 to the lodge, had his K-9 reassigned within the sheriff’s office and must permanently surrender his Ohio peace officer certification.

The plea agreement had no stipulated sentence. Caito could receive probation up to five years, local jail time of up to 180 days or a prison term of between six and 18 months, plus a possible fine of up to $5,000.

Neither assistant prosecutor Ward Barrentine nor defense attorney Frank Malocu commented after the hearing.

During the hearing, Barrentine said Caito’s thefts from the union lodge came between Sept. 10, 2014, and Aug. 26, 2016, when officials found “discrepancies in the books” at the lodge.

Caito had been placed on paid administrative leave pending a criminal and internal investigation. Caito resigned Dec. 12, according to Sheriff Phil Plummer.

Plummer said in September that Caito admitted to lodge membership he stole $26,000 and “is in the process of admitting his fault” for alleged actions over the past two years.

Caito started working for the sheriff’s office in 2006. Plummer said the FOP is actually missing $110,500. Plummer said an internal investigation won’t begin until after the criminal case is finished.

A personnel letter dated Sept. 9 stated that Caito “may have violated Sheriff’s Office Professional Rules of Conduct.” Caito earned a gross pay of $86,518 in 2015, according to the Dayton Daily News I-Team Payroll Project.

In October 2006, shortly after joining the sheriff’s office, Caito sued Fifth Third Bank in U.S. District Court, complaining the Cincinnati-based bank was “reporting erroneous information” about his finances to credit bureaus. The bank denied the accusations. The case, during which Caito represented himself, was referred to a magistrate and dismissed with prejudice.

In December 2011, Caito and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, during which Caito surrendered to creditors an inoperable 1967 Pontiac Firebird and a 2010 Dodge Charger SXT. U.S. Bankruptcy Court records show the couple emerged from Chapter 7 in April 2013.

Deputy Caito is the third cop that’s been featured on the CopBlock Network for stealing police union funds within the recent past. Of course, stealing union dues was an old standby of the Sicilian mafia, so it probably shouldn’t be surprising that the Thin Blue Mob has taken a cue from that.

BTW: “Caito could receive probation up to five years, local jail time of up to 180 days or a prison term of between six and 18 months…” Wanna bet on which one of those options he gets?

Son of NYPD Police Union Head Pat Lynch Stripped of Gun and Badge After Off-Duty Firearm Incident

NYPD Officer Kevin Lynch, the son of Pat Lynch, the biggest Hero in New York and also the president of the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, has been placed on “modified duty” after he and a rookie officer were involved in an incident with a firearm and subsequently failed to report it.

The younger Lynch was with Officer Robert Smilove in a car belonging to Smilove’s mother near her house in Queens when the incident happened. Smilove reportedly had just bought a new .38 caliber revolver and was in a hurry to show it off to his work buddy. While doing so, he managed to accidentally fire off a round.

Obviously, these Heroes, especially the one with the golden pedigree, did the proper thing and waited for police to arrive so they could explain the situation and, if necessary, accept their slap on the wrist, right? Actually, not so much. Instead, Lynch the Younger and Officer Smilove jumped out and ran away into the night. In the process, they abandoned the car belonging to Smilove’s mother, which had a fresh bullet hole in the windshield.

nypd-union-president-pat-lynchNot surprisingly, the NYPD was able to figure out who might be involved (without even calling in Columbo) by simply running the plates on the car. After walking a block or so, they found Smilove at his mother’s house where he also lives. (Apparently, these rookies aren’t quite on the gravy-train yet, salary-wise.)

Once the great getaway was over and Smilove was cornered in his mommy’s house, he apparently confessed and provided the gun, which had four live rounds and the one expended casing still inside the chambers. According to the New York Daily News, “It’s not clear how police learned Lynch was present.” I’m guessing someone crossed the Thin Blue Line, but that’s purely speculation on my part at this point.

The NY Daily News story also states that Officer Smilove hadn’t reported to the NYPD that he had bought the gun, which apparently is a requirement. Smilove has been suspended as a result of all this. There’s also a rumor started by me that his mother has put him on restriction and taken his cell phone away. He has only been on the force since January of this year and is still on probation with the department. According to a “high-level source” he isn’t expected to be celebrating his anniversary, although no official punishment has been meted out yet. It’ll probably be several months before he gets hired by another department once his termination becomes official.

As for Little Lynch, he’s still on the force and is not expected to be fired as a result (surprise). However, until they come up with a way to make it sound like the slap on the wrist he will receive was a legitimate punishment, he has been reassigned to the proverbial desk duty.

Update: St. Paul Officer Who Broke Ribs of Innocent Man During K-9 Attack On Video Fired

Earlier this week, reported on the story of Frank Baker, an innocent man who was simply walking home when he was attacked by officers from the St. Paul Police Department in June. One of those officers, K-9 handler, Brian Ficcadenti, allowed his dog to bite Baker for over a full minute. Another officer, Brett Palkowitsch, then kicked him three times in the ribs, breaking several of them and causing him to suffer a collapsed lung. As a result of his injuries, Baker was confined to the hospital for two weeks during his recovery and now has permanent scars and injuries, as a result.

Via Asa’s original post:

According to reports, 52-year-old Frank Baker was mauled by the police dog for more than a minute and was kicked three times by one officer. He suffered severe bites to his leg, multiple broken ribs and collapsed lungs.

Officers had responded to calls about a fight on June 24 and were told that one of the individuals involved had a gun. As Baker matched the description of the suspect, the cops told him to put his hands up after he was spotted in the area.

Police said Baker raised one hand in the air before one of the officers repeated the command and the K-9 was released to apprehend him. Baker then fell to the ground when the dog initiated contact with him.

Officers reportedly told Baker to keep his hands visible but when he was slow to respond, one of the cops began kicking him in the ribs. Baker is heard screaming in pain on video recorded from the scene before being handcuffed.

Of course, it was later determined that Frank Baker had not been involved in the fight or any other illegal activity and was completely unarmed. The assault upon Baker was captured on a dash camera in one of the police cars (see below) and later released to the public.

Initially, the K-9 officer who allowed his dog to maul Baker was suspended for (just) 30 days as “punishment” for his actions. Now, it has also been announced (via a Facebook post) that Officer Palkowitsch has been fired from the St. Paul Police Department.

Via WDAZ.com:

In a Facebook message Friday morning, Police Chief Todd Axtell said he is “disappointed and upset” by what the video shows. The incident happened a day after he took office.

“When I became chief, I promised to do everything possible to ensure that the people we serve have faith in their police department,” Axtell said in his statement. “I want you all to know that the video does not reflect the way we strive to do our jobs — day in, day out. This is not the Saint Paul way.”

During the news conference, Axtell said releasing the video was “the right thing to do.”

“After this incident, I met with the man injured in the video while he was still in the hospital,” Axtell said. “At that time, I assured and promised him a full review was being conducted. I met with him again today in my office and offered my deepest apologies on behalf of the police department.”

Axtell said the K-9 officer, identified as Brian Ficcadenti, was suspended for 30 days even though a civilian review commission recommended 10 days. His suspension went into effect Thursday, Nov. 3.

Minnesota Deputy Caught on Video Beating K-9 Partner in Drunken Tirade Keeps Job (Update)

Last year, CopBlock Network contributor Asa J blogged about Deputy Brett Berry of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Berry had visited the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, MN, while attending training during K-9 trials in June (2015). Berry was thrown out of the casino for being drunk and making unwanted advances, as well as repeatedly making obscene gestures to the staff there. Shortly after he was observed by casino security on surveillance video (embedded below) abusing his K-9 partner.

Via Asa’s Original post:

The surveillance footage shows an obviously upset Berry pick the animal up by its collar, throw it on the ground, and repeatedly punch it in the face.

The docile canine can been seen trotting beside its handler, waging its tail, as it endures abuse that would make any pet owner cringe.

After the attack escalates, the dog is able to escape, and runs back to the casino. The footage shows Berry run after the animal before striking it multiple times outside a vestibule, police say.

After the security guards reported his assault upon the dog to the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Berry was sent home from the K-9 trials, placed on administrative leave (also known as paid vacation), and charged with animal cruelty. He was subsequently sentenced to (just) a year of probation. In April, he was fired by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office.

However, on October 31 an arbitrator ruled that Berry should be reinstated, because this is the only time he has been caught on camera savagely beating a dog and he said he feels really bad about it. Of course, someone who has a documented history of resorting to violence when angry doesn’t pose a threat to the public while working as a cop. Instead, he will be on double secret probation and will not be allowed to work with K-9’s anymore.

Via the Twin Cities Pioneer Press:

In a decision filed Monday, state arbitrator Gil Vernon wrote that the sheriff’s office did not sufficiently consider mitigating factors when it moved to fire Berry, and those factors show Berry is at a low risk of future misconduct. He noted that Berry had been forthright about his behavior that night and he sought alcohol abuse treatment afterward.

“The record shows he has nearly 20 years of incident-free service with good evaluations,” Vernon wrote. “He spontaneously, contritely, sincerely and without equivocation accepted his responsibility. Next he without prompting moved immediately to address his underlying personal issues.”

Vernon noted that the canine Boone suffered no physical injuries, and several of Berry’s supervisors said they expected no problems if he returned to service.

Vernon ordered that Berry be reinstated to active duty immediately but with the restriction that he cannot work with canines. He also ruled that the county does not have to repay Berry the back wages he lost since his termination in April.

“The permanency of his reinstatement is dependent on the successful completion of the terms of his misdemeanor probation,” Vernon wrote. “Based on (Berry’s) record and reaction to this incident, the Arbitrator is convinced that it was an aberration and that he deserves another (but last) chance to resume his career.”

In addition, Sean Gormley, the head of Law Enforcement Labor Services of Minnesota, Deputy Berry’s local police union, stated, “Officer Berry has the support of his fellow officers, and we believe he can still be an asset to his department and to the people of Ramsey County,” because it’s almost impossible to do something (outside of exposing corruption within the department) that would eliminate that support.

LVMPD to Hold Thomas McEniry Public Police Fatality Review on Monday September 19th

thomas-mceniry-shooting-lvmpd-public-review

On November 24th of 2015, Thomas McEniry was shot by LVMPD Officers Kyle Prior, Robert Nord, and Donald Sutton III. They’ve claimed that at the time he was shot McEniry had picked a (pellet) gun up from the ground and pointed it at them.

However, if you watch Officer Prior’s bodycam video (embedded below) not only do they cut it off as soon as he begins to put his hand down toward the ground, there is no visible gun at the location where he is moving his hand to. I’ve slowed the video down and watched it frame by frame and I don’t personally see a gun where they claim it was.

It would seem pretty logical that if someone had picked up a gun and pointed it at them, they could eliminate any dispute of it being justified simply by showing them do that. But, for no apparent reason, they didn’t that.

Also, although there was at least one other cop wearing a bodycam that day. Instead of releasing that footage, they released one screenshot showing a gun sitting against the garage door, a position that it could not have been in without being visible on the video.

Without any sort of context for that screenshot (such as the rest of the video showing the gun being discovered and moved to that position), it proves absolutely nothing. Once again, for no apparent reason they didn’t provide that.

LVMPD Shooting Video Thomas McEniryIt’ll be interesting to see if they show the footage of this gun he supposedly picked up and aimed at them and the footage of the second body camera during the review or if they continue hiding the full body cam footage. At that point, you’ll pretty much know there’s a reason they don’t want to release it publicly. (Note: I’ve been told that the family received multiple body cam videos, so it would seem that they do intend to show more than what was initially released, at least.)

These public reviews are really a joke where the cops put out their official story and bury any information that might contradict it. The official title given them, “Police Fatality Public Fact Finding Review” deserves an award for the level of Orwellian doublespeak it represents.

In reality, they were created by former Sheriff Gillespie and the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (police union) to eliminate scrutiny of police shootings after the murders of Erik Scott and Trevon Cole by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department led many within Las Vegas to question Metro’s use of force and absolute lack of accountability. Instead of replacing the Coroner’s Inquest that previously was used after police shootings with something more fair and transparent, as the public had demanded, they went the bait and switch route in order to eliminate any semblance of either.

However, it is still good to attend them in order to witness just how much of a blatant coverup it is and to show support for the family and friends of those the LVMPD murder. It also let’s them know we paying attention and aren’t just accepting their cover-ups and lies. You can also submit questions during the review, although they pick and choose which questions are “appropriate” to be asked. That means anything that seriously questions their official narrative and can’t be easily deflected gets filtered out.

If you are unable to physically attend, you can also watch a live feed of the review.

LVMPD Public Police Fatality Review for Thomas McEniry to be Held Monday September 19th

On November 24th of 2015, Thomas McEniry was shot by LVMPD Officers Kyle Prior, Robert Nord, and Donald Sutton III. They’ve claimed that at the time he was shot McEniry had picked a (pellet) gun up from the ground and pointed it at them.

However, if you watch Officer Prior’s bodycam video (embedded below) not only do they cut it off as soon as he begins to put his hand down toward the ground, there is no visible gun at the location where he is moving his hand to. I’ve slowed the video down and watched it frame by frame and I don’t personally see a gun where they claim it was.

It would seem pretty logical that if someone had picked up a gun and pointed it at them, they could eliminate any dispute of it being justified simply by showing them do that. But, for no apparent reason, they didn’t that.

Also, although there was at least one other cop wearing a bodycam that day. Instead of releasing that footage, they released one screenshot showing a gun sitting against the garage door, a position that it could not have been in without being visible on the video.

Without any sort of context for that screenshot (such as the rest of the video showing the gun being discovered and moved to that position), it proves absolutely nothing. Once again, for no apparent reason they didn’t provide that.

LVMPD Shooting Video Thomas McEniryIt’ll be interesting to see if they show the footage of this gun he supposedly picked up and aimed at them and the footage of the second body camera during the review or if they continue hiding the full body cam footage. At that point, you’ll pretty much know there’s a reason they don’t want to release it publicly. (Note: I’ve been told that the family received multiple body cam videos, so it would seem that they do intend to show more than what was initially released, at least.)

These public reviews are really a joke where the cops put out their official story and bury any information that might contradict it. The official title given them, “Police Fatality Public Fact Finding Review” deserves an award for the level of Orwellian doublespeak it represents.

In reality, they were created by former Sheriff Gillespie and the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (police union) to eliminate scrutiny of police shootings after the murders of Erik Scott and Trevon Cole by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department led many within Las Vegas to question Metro’s use of force and absolute lack of accountability. Instead of replacing the Coroner’s Inquest that previously was used after police shootings with something more fair and transparent, as the public had demanded, they went the bait and switch route in order to eliminate any semblance of either.

However, it is still good to attend them in order to witness just how much of a blatant coverup it is and to show support for the family and friends of those the LVMPD murder. It also let’s them know we paying attention and aren’t just accepting their cover-ups and lies. You can also submit questions during the review, although they pick and choose which questions are “appropriate” to be asked. That means anything that seriously questions their official narrative and can’t be easily deflected gets filtered out.

If you are unable to physically attend, you can also watch a live feed of the review.

St. Louis Police Sergeant Embezzled Over $80,000 From The “Ethical Society of Police”

A sergeant with the St. Louis Police Department, who was the head of a group that represents black police officers has admitted to stealing over $80,000 from the organization. If the fact that the group this cop stole from is named the “Ethical Society of Police” isn’t ironic enough for you his name is Darren Wilson, although he’s not that Darren Wilson.

Apparently, Sgt. Wilson used all that money to fund his dreams of being an entertainer. Sgt. Heather Taylor, who replaced him as head of the Ethical Society of Police, doesn’t seem to be that amused, though. She even went the incredibly rare route among cops of saying another cop should actually go to jail.

Via STLtoday.com:

Darren Randal Wilson, 42, used money from the Ethical Society of Police on his side business of promoting local comedy shows “featuring nationally known comedians,” prosecutors said.

The current president, Sgt. Heather Taylor, told the Post-Dispatch outside the courtroom that Wilson looted the building fund and money meant for community service and legal representation.

She said the group was forced by Wilson’s theft to downsize.

Asked if Wilson had repaid any of the money, Taylor replied, “Not one cent.”

Taylor said that Wilson was a former professional clown, and said that he behaved as a “clown.”

“He needs to go to jail,” she said.

Wilson is not related to the former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, whose shooting of Michael Brown in 2014 drew nationwide attention.

During the plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cristian Stevens said that as president, Wilson wrote unauthorized checks and made unauthorized transfers, debit card transactions and cash withdrawals of ESOP funds.

The money in the accounts came mostly from member dues, he said.

Under federal guidelines, he faces a possible term of 12 to 18 months in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 12.

As part of the plea, prosecutors agreed to ask for 12 months, Stevens said, and Wilson’s lawyer could ask for less.

Wilson began his police career in March 1997.
And yeah, you heard (read) that right; Sgt. Wilson was a former clown. I’m not saying that Sgt. Wilson or any other members of St. Louis area law enforcement are necessarily tied to the Great Clown Invasion of 2016, which is currently spreading like wildfire after originating in South Carolina. I’m just saying will the evils perpetrated by clowns never cease? Also, I think we have to be concerned that Evil Scary Clowns have joined forces with the Bad Apples in a obvious attempt to undermine the efforts of Good Cops to clean up the police. That should have been expected.

Corruption Probe Has Sparked “Mass Exodus” Among High-Ranking Officers at NYPD

As of Wednesday, six high ranking NYPD cops have submitted retirement paperwork after the launch of what has been described as a “massive corruption probe.” This probe involves the receipt of cash and favors by officers in exchange for preferential treatment and is part of an even larger probe that has also implicated politicians, including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In addition, the New York Post has reported that their sources have indicated even the lower ranking officers within the NYPD have begun to question whether there is a double standard among the Good Cops in New York that allows Bad Apples, such as these, to escape any sort of real punishment for obvious and long standing acts of corruption.

Via the New York Post:

Two more high-ranking NYPD officials have filed for retirement amid a sprawling corruption probe, sources told The Post on Wednesday.

Deputy Chiefs Andrew Capul and Eric Rodriguez both put in their papers on Tuesday, bringing to six the number of cops who have headed for the door since being relieved of their duties pending investigation in a suspected gifts-for-favors scheme.

One of them, Detective Michael Milici, had his retirement request denied before getting fired last month for refusing to appear at a departmental trial.

The other applications remain pending.

An NYPD official said the planned retirements wouldn’t affect the ongoing investigation and denied that the cops were being forced out — even though Police Commissioner Bill Bratton last month said some may choose to leave to avoid humiliation.

“No one was told to retire. If they’re being advised by their peers, or union, or families, that’s a personal decision,” the official said.

“These guys are making personal decisions. They’re reading the writing on the wall.”

But a rank-and-file source said the situation was “not going over well with us lower-ranking guys.”

“The feeling from the ground troops is that they all should be fired,” the source said.

“If it was us, we would be crucified. Now we’re looking at these chiefs and wondering if there’s a double standard here. Because they’re high ranking, they get to retire, they get to avoid discipline and collect their pension…”

Capul was formerly second-in-command of Patrol Borough Manhattan North, while Rodriguez held the same post in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South.

They had been reassigned to desk jobs at the School Safety Division in Queens and the Support Services Bureau.

Capul was questioned by the feds about a trip he took to a recent Super Bowl game, sources have said.

In 2010, he was ousted as commander of the 34th Precinct in Upper Manhattan amid a spike in crime there and his public apology to journalist Debbie Nathan over the downgrading of her attempted rape in Inwood Hills Park to a complaint of “forcible touching.”

It’s unclear what Rodriguez did to fall under suspicion, but Brooklyn South covers the 66th Precinct in Boro Park, where officials are investigating ties between the NYPD and members of the Orthodox Jewish Community.

In April, a member of the area’s Shomirim private safety patrol, Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, was charged with bribing cops to score pistol permits for clients he claimed paid him $18,000 a pop for the service.

Whether you want to go with the analogy of rats fleeing a sinking ship or the slightly more apt one of roaches scattering once a light is shined on them, this says a lot about the police culture and the farce that is the internal discipline process within police forces.

The truth is that, in spite of what the NY Post’s sources claim, more often than not police aren’t “crucified” for their transgressions, regardless of how obvious they are. In reality, it’s not at all unusual for cops on any level to be given a pass multiple times throughout their career. Nor is it a new thing for those cops to be allowed to quietly retire with their pension intact once they finally go too far or get caught on camera abusing someone or engaging in some blatant form of corruption.

It’s just another day in the life of the Seventh Biggest Army in the World and for Police Heroes nationwide.

Within Scope Of Their Duties: Las Vegas School Police Got Teens Drunk, Covered It Up After Deadly DUI

It was announced this week that the Clark County School District Police Department had settled a lawsuit in a case in Las Vegas in which a teen killed a 25 year old woman while driving drunk in 2009.

That teen, Kevin Miranda, had spent the evening drinking heavily with CCSD police officers at a holiday party hosted by school police dispatcher Rebecca Wamsley. Dozens of other teens were also present and allowed to drink during the party, as well. None of the numerous cops present even so much as stopped Miranda or, presumably, any of the other teens (or adults) at the party from driving while drunk.

As soon as the police heard about the accident, they “sprang into action,” initiating a cover up to ensure nobody within the school police department investigated the conduct of those at the party. They also stonewalled an investigation by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police by making the ridiculous claim that they all were “looking at the wall” during the time that all of the teens were drinking. In reality, officers were actually playing beer pong and doing shots of hard liquor with the teens.

Amazingly enough, Federal Judge Larry Hicks actually ruled that the officers involved in the cover up were protected from a federal lawsuit because they were “acting within the scope of their duties” at the time. Therefore the parents of the victim, Angela Peterson, were limited in state court to a $75,000 settlement, which they refused to accept.

The settlement was accepted on their behalf by Mark Cook, the lawyer representing them, and placed into a scholarship fund in Angela’s name. Not surprisingly, part of that agreement is that none of the officers who engaged in the cover up will be charged or in any other way punished for their actions.

Meanwhile, Captain Jim Ketsaa, the man former Chief Phil Arroyo says he assigned to carry out the “investigation” has now been promoted to replace him as the chief of the CCSD Police Department. In addition, Erik Aldays, who was formerly the head of the school police union, has stated that many officers that new about the incident were afraid to come forward and provide information because they thought they would be punished if they did.

Frank and Linda Peterson are continuing with individual lawsuits against three officers who were not given legal immunity, Officers Mark Robbins, Tina Zuniga, and Cynthia Ruelas, all of whom attended the party and were actively involved with Miranda while he was drinking. Robbins, in particular, is accused of playing beer pong with teens, including Miranda, during the party.