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Update: LVMPD Officer Caught on Body Cam Beating Woman For Littering Sentenced to Year in Prison

Excessive Force Prison Sentence Las Vegas Police Officer Richard Scavone

Las Vegas Metro Police Officer Richard Scavone has been sentenced to one year in prison for assaulting a handcuffed woman as part of a plea deal.

A Las Vegas police officer has been sentenced to one year in prison as part of a plea deal for beating a handcuffed woman. As I posted about previously on NVCopBlock, LVMPD Officer Richard Scavone was caught on his own body camera assaulting the woman in January of 2015. He had decided that Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz was a prostitute, even though he readily admitted later to having no actual proof of that.

He then decided to arrest her for loitering and also for littering, after she threw her coffee on the ground. In the process of profiling her for legally standing on a public street, Scavone became angry because she cursed at him. In retaliation for her not respecting his authoritah (AKA committing “contempt of cop“), he assaulted her multiple times.

In addition to throwing her on the ground, he also slammed her head against the hood of his car twice (after she complained about him touching her breasts), grabbed her by the throat and hair, and slammed her into the door jam of the car as he was shoving her into the back seat. During that entire time, Vizcarrondo-Ortiz was handcuffed and not in any way whatsoever physically resisting.

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.

As I also posted about, Vizcarrondo-Ortiz  later filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Officer Scavone. Also named in the excessive force lawsuit were the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Travis Buechler, a former Corrections Officer. Buechler, who has since been fired for some undisclosed reason, stood by and watched Scavone beat a woman like a Good Cop without reporting it or interceding in any way to stop it. She reportedly suffered permanent injuries to her head, back, and neck during the attack. That lawsuit was settled for $200,000 of taxpayers’ money in July of 2016.

Eventually, due to the body cam footage (embedded below) and the pending lawsuit Scavone was charged with several federal crimes including assault and falsifying an official police report to justify that assault. In September of 2017, he accepted a deal to plead guilty to just one count of “deprivation of rights under color of law.”

In spite of having all but one charge dropped and a letter from retired LVMPD Sgt. Raymond Reyes that spoke glowingly of his award winning career, impeccable reputation, and referred to him as “cop of cops,” Scavone actually received a harsher than expected sentence. Earlier this month, on January 11th, he was sentenced to a year in prison and an additional year of probation. He was also fined $20,000 given 300 hours of community service by U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware II.

Body Camera Footage of Officer Scavone’s Assault:

Posts Related to LVMPD Police Brutality

Update: Florida Cop Who Tried to Murder 79 Year Old Woman Worked as Male Prostitute While On Duty

Last week, I posted on the CopBlock Network about Frankie Bybee, a Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputy who extorted cash from an elderly woman then tried to murder her in a staged suicide attempt once she filed a complaint against him. In the process, he also sold her dog on Craigslist, after charging her $1,000 to care for it while she was in the hospital.

Yesterday, an Internal Affairs report in the case was released. Not only did it contain new details concerning the original charges, including surveillance video of Bybee using the victim’s ATM card to withdraw money, but it also included some new revelations about “business deals” he was involved in.

Along with ten additional charges related to his use of the debit card and fraudulent online purchases Bybee made, Deputy Bybee is also facing new accusations that he acted as a male prostitute while on duty. The latter claim involves him having been paid to have sex with a woman, as well as to record videos of himself masturbating in his patrol car. The woman came forward after seeing media coverage of his charges for the murder attempt.

Via ABC Action News in Tampa:

According to the report, a woman, Elinor Jarvis, came forward and told detectives that they were “involved in an ongoing ‘business deal” for several years that included Dep. Bybee being financially compensated for engaging in sexual acts with her.”

The report said he met her years ago in a hotel room near Boston, Massachusetts and was paid $5,000 for their “initial sexual encounter.”

The report also said that Bybee would record himself in a sex act in his patrol vehicle while on duty and send the video to her via an app called “Tango” and then she would transfer $500 into his PayPal account.

The total payout, according to law enforcement, for these acts was more than $100,000.

The sheriff said Bybee’s actions were first brought to their attention on Jan. 9. That is when Marcia Sohl filed a complaint against then deputy Bybee.

Bybee, according to Knight, responded to a call for service at Sohl’s home on Oct. 21. He befriended Sohl and began to take advantage of her. Investigators released video they say shows Bybee withdrawing money from ATM’s across Sarasota using Sohl’s stolen debit card. In one transaction, Bybe is in uniform.

On Tuesday, Bybee was charged with ten new counts of Criminal Use of Information that involves several unauthorized uses of the victim’s credit card.

Also, according to the report, just prior to the murder attempt Bybee had used the original victim, email account to send a message to her doctor pretending to be her and expressing “suicidal implications.” As a result, the victim was involuntarily committed for a mental health evaluation (commonly referred to as a “Baker Act” hold). It was later determined that Deputy Bybee’s IP address was used to send the email as part of his plot to make it appear she had committed suicide.

In spite of all that, Bybee’s bail amount was dropped from $1,030,000 to $365,620

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Dominique Heaggan-Brown Charged in Shooting That Sparked Riots in Milwaukee; Sylville Smith Was Unarmed When Executed

Earlier today, charges of first-degree reckless homicide were filed against Dominique Heaggan-Brown for the shooting Syville Smith in August. Heaggan-Brown, who had earlier professed his desire to “start a riot like it’s Baltimore,” got his wish when Milwaukee erupted into riots after the murder of Smith. As I wrote about in October, Officer Heaggan-Brown also bragged that he could “do anything without repercussions” during a night in which he drugged and raped another man.

Unfortunately for him, he soon found that that expectation didn’t quite match-up to reality. He was arrested and charged with sexual assault for that attack, as well as another previous attack against a different man back in July. Those charges also included some prostitution related charges. Heaggan- Brown was fired from the Milwaukee Police Department as a result of those charges on October 31st.

The charges that filed today for the shooting of Smith make it very clear that not only was Heaggan-Brown unjustified in his action, but that they constituted an outright murder. The details that were released make it clear that Sylville was executed that day while unarmed and in no way representing a threat to Officer Heaggan-Brown or any other officer at the time that he was shot.

Via the New York Times:

Police officials have said that Mr. Smith was carrying a stolen handgun with a large-capacity magazine, and that he pointed it at the officer before the officer fired. But the criminal complaint filed on Thursday gives a somewhat different picture, based on video recorded by body cameras worn by Officer Heaggan-Brown and his partner. That video has not been made public.

In the video, Mr. Smith “turns his head and upper body towards the officers,” according to an investigator’s affidavit cited in the complaint. “He then raises the gun upward while looking in the direction of the officers and throws the gun over the fence into the yard.”

As Mr. Smith was raising the gun, the complaint says, Officer Heaggan-Brown fired his own weapon, the bullet passed through Mr. Smith’s arm and the suspect fell on his back. “Heaggan-Brown is observed standing a short distance from Smith with his weapon pointed down at Smith when Heaggan-Brown discharges a second shot from his weapon,” the complaint says.

Mr. Smith was hit in the chest.

There’s nothing ambiguous about that description. What you’re reading in those quotes is a description of a gangland execution. While it’s never a great idea to raise your hand with a gun (or anything else) in it toward a bunch of scared, trigger happy cops, Smith clearly made an effort not only to get rid of the gun he had on him, but to make sure those cops knew he had gotten rid of it.

Regardless of his prior intentions, after Smith was already disarmed, shot once, and lying on the ground, Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown stood over him and shot him in the chest. There’s no way to sugarcoat that or pretend it was an accident. Officer Heaggan-Brown committed a murder that day, plain and simple. And it’s very much obvious now why the police didn’t want to release that body camera video to an already outraged and angry public.

Meanwhile, even though the charge of first-degree reckless homicide carries a potential sixty year sentence (don’t hold your breath), Officer Heaggan-Brown should be charged with the crime he committed, which was murder.

“Start a Riot Like It’s Baltimore”

Video Taken During the Riots in Milwaukee by CopBlock Network Contributor Isiah Holmes

Four More Bay Area Cops Fired in Oakland Teen Sex Scandal; Five Others Officially Slapped on Wrist

The Richmond Police Department has announced that they will fire four officers after an investigation found “documented misconduct” between those officers and the teen prostitute who went by the name of Celeste Guap. Five other officers received official reprimands for their involvement with her. The RPD has not specified what their actual “involvement” consisted of, although it’s not terribly hard to connect those dots.

This latest round of firings raises the number of Bay Area police officers officially implicated in the scandal to 28 total, including seven that are facing various charges and eight that have been fired. Within the space of nine days three Oakland police chiefs also were forced to resign or were fired as a result of the scandal.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

The Oakland Police Department and other Bay Area law enforcement agencies came under intense scrutiny in June after 19-year-old Jasmine Abuslin came forward earlier this year and said that she had sex with multiple officers, some while she was underage.

In addition to the firings in Richmond, four Oakland police officers were fired and seven others suspended without pay in September.

The allegations led Bay Area prosecutors to file multiple criminal charges against five different officers from other agencies, including three from the Oakland Police Department. Some of the charges included lewd conduct, engaging in prostitution, providing a minor with alcohol, failing to report child abuse and felony oral copulation with a minor.

One Oakland police officer, Brian Bunton, was charged with obstruction of justice; authorities accused him of leaking information about planned prostitution raids to the teenager in exchange for sex.

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said in an email that he cannot disclose what type of misconduct led to termination of the four officers, but Sunday’s disciplinary actions were harsher than what the city originally announced last month when the investigation concluded. At that point, the city had planned to fire only one officer.

“The appropriate corrective actions are being taken to ensure that we do our part in Richmond to address the rash of improper conduct seen in police departments across the Bay Area,” Butt said in a statement.

More than likely, it will be several months before all these officers are hired at a different police department in another area of the country. So, no doubt they have learned their lesson and the “appropriate corrective actions” have indeed been taken.

Milwaukee Cop in Sylville Smith Shooting Raped Man; Bragged He Could Do Anything “Without Repercussions”

Milwaukee Police Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who sparked riots in the city when he shot Sylville Smith, has been arrested and charged with raping a man. Prior to the sexual assault Heaggan-Brown and the victim had spent the night at a bar drinking heavily and watching the riots. The unidentified victim also stated that he believed he was drugged by Officer Heaggan Brown at the time of the assault.

That night, before they left the bar, “AV1” (as he is referred to in the complaint) said that Heaggan-Brown bragged to him that “he was the boss” and that there were “no limitations” on how he lived and that he could do whatever he wanted “without repercussions.” Shortly after they left the bar the victim said that he couldn’t remember anything until he awoke to Heaggan-Brown raping him.

Officer Heaggan-Brown claimed that the sex was consensual, although he admitted to a sergeant (identified as his “mentor”) he called looking for help covering up the crime that the victim was extremely drunk and “acting funny” at the time. That, of course, means that legally it wasn’t consensual, something that Heaggan-Brown should be well aware of being a police officer.

Beyond that, he is also facing two counts of prostitution for offering two people money for sex on at least three occasions dating back to 2015. In addition, he faces another allegation of sexually assaulting a different man in July and taking nude photos of that man while he was passed out. So, obviously there seems to be quite a long pattern of Heroic behavior by Officer Heaggan-Brown.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

Heaggan-Brown took the victim to a bar late on the night of Aug. 14 where they drank heavily and watched TV as coverage of the protests aired, the criminal complaint said. The victim told investigators that Heaggan-Brown bragged that he was the boss and that there were “no limitations” on how he lived and that he could do whatever he wanted “without repercussions,” the complaint said.

The victim told police the day after the alleged assault that he had trouble remembering everything that happened after they left the bar but that he felt drugged. He said he woke up to Heaggan-Brown sexually assaulting him. His eyes teared up as he recounted the details, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, the man was nearly unconscious when Heaggan-Brown took him to St. Joseph’s Hospital early on Aug. 15. The officer told a security guard who helped him wheel the man inside that the man had had too much to drink and was “completely out, zonked out of his gourd,” the complaint said.

But when nurses began providing aid, it said, “AV1 flipped out.” It quoted him as saying, “Help me, help me, he was touching me.” The terrified man grabbed the security guard’s arm with “a little child death grip.” And after he was secured in a four-point restraint, out of sight from the defendant, he exclaimed: “He raped me, he raped me,” the complaint said.

Later that morning, Heaggan-Brown texted his mentor, Sgt. Joseph Hall, saying he had messed up “big time,” the complaint said.

“Need your help big time. … But need to handle this the most secret and right way possible,” the text read in part. The sergeant told investigators that Heaggan-Brown claimed the sex was consensual but “admitted that AV1 was messed up and acting funny while at the defendant’s residence.”

Using photographs and other data from the officer’s cellphone, the complaint said, investigators determined that Heaggan-Brown offered two other people money for sex several times — in December 2015 and in July and August of this year — and that he sexually assaulted another unconscious person in July, and photographed that victim naked without that person’s consent.

The charges include two felony counts of second-degree sexual assault, two misdemeanor prostitution counts and one felony count of capturing an intimate representation of a person without consent.

Of course, like most Bad Apples that finally do something bad enough to force the Good Cops working with him to impose some repercussions on them, Officer Heaggan-Brown has a history of misconduct that should have caused him to be removed from the barrel long ago. However, it was instead ignored creating that “I’m the boss” who can do anything “without repercussions” attitude that eventually leads to a murder or at the very least unnecessary use of force that is just too big for their “mentor” to help them out big time with.

Part of that troubled history includes his probationary period having to be extended for unspecified reasons when he was first hired. Several people within the community also came forward with stories about overly aggressive behavior by Heaggan-Brown prior to the shooting of Sylville Smith. In fact, Heaggan-Brown is an aspiring “gangsta” rapper, who can be found singing about wanting to “start a riot like it’s Baltimore” on a Youtube video (embedded below) not too long before he did just that.

For Third Time in Nine Days An Oakland Police Chief Has Resigned Amid Sex and Corruption Scandals

Oakland-Police-Department-Banner
For the third time in just over a week, a police chief has either resigned or been fired in Oakland. On Friday, Oakland Police Assistant Chief Paul Figueroa, who had been appointed as acting chief just two days earlier, became the latest to step down.

The immediate reason for the firings/resignations is a scandal involving an underage prostitute that numerous members of the Oakland Police Department had sex with and tipped off about details of undercover stings, which was uncovered when one of the officers involved committed suicide and mentioned it in the note he left. (See “related posts” section below for previous coverage of this case on the CopBlock Network.)

Within the past week, it’s been reported that the investigation into that case has spread beyond just the Oakland police. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the Richmond Police Department has also started a review of their own officers’ potential involvement with Celeste Guap, who says she began working as a prostitute at the age of twelve.

“A second police department in the San Francisco Bay Area has launched an internal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by its officers.

The Richmond and Oakland departments are investigating after an 18-year-old woman said she had sexual relations with two dozen current and former officers in five cities during her stint as a sex worker. She told the East Bay Times recently that she was underage during encounters with three of the officers.

Richmond Assistant Police Chief Bisa French said Tuesday that the department opened an internal affairs inquiry last week after receiving information from Oakland police.

French said several ranking officers are being investigated for criminal contact with the woman or policy violations but she could not confirm the exact number of officers.”

The Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department also announced they had placed one of their deputies on leave as a result of an investigation into the sex scandal. So far, five Oakland cops have been suspended as a result and the San Francisco police Department has acknowledged that they are investigating at least two of their own officers.

Oakland Police Department ProtestOakland and other bay area police departments have faced serious allegations of misconduct and police brutality for years. The latest uptick in the current scandals also involve reports of racist text messages being sent amongst OPD police while on duty. The contents of those texts haven’t been revealed yet, but reportedly involve African American officers. Previously, San Francisco police officers were revealed to have sent similar messages to each other.

During the press conference (see video embedded below) where Assistant Chief Figueroa’s removal was announced, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf compared the conduct of the Oakland Police Department to a frat house and stated that it would not tolerate the misconduct and lack of accountability that has become commonplace within it.

City Administrator Sabrina Landreth has now been placed in charge in order to send a clear message about “how serious we are of not tolerating misconduct, unethical behavior,” and according to Mayor Schaaf, “root out what is clearly a toxic and macho culture.”

Also on Friday, activists held a demonstration in front of the Oakland Police headquarters. As part of that demonstration, participants scaled the flag poles at the entrance and erected a banner between them stating “OPD is guilty of human trafficking and statutory rape.”

Protesters also stated that the Oakland Police Department is rotten to the core, called for federal oversight of the department, and demanded change throughout the department. (See video embedded below.)

Related Posts

Las Vegas Corrections Officer Arrested For Second Time on “Prostitution Related Crime” (Update)

LVMPD_Corrections_Officer_Robert_Moore
Robert Moore, whom I had previously posted about his having been arrested in December on what was at the time referred to as a “prostitution related crime,” was arrested yet again and charged with involvement in an unlawful prostitution related activity. According to KLAS-TV 8, the local CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, his previous charge was for engaging/soliciting for the purpose of prostitution.

Much like his first arrest, few details were released regarding the current charges Moore is facing. However, a month after the December arrest, the arrest report was released and the details in that report were a little weird.

According to KLAS-TV 8:

Metro Police say Officer Robert Moore picked up a prostitute on December 23, 2015. Moore and the prostitute then allegedly went to a nearby abandoned building.

Officers say they found Moore with the prostitute with her clothes partially off and a crack pipe in her pocket. The woman told police earlier she and Moore read the Bible and talked about having intercourse. Moore gave her $55 and a bag of crack for sex, according to the arrest report.

Officers say they found a wrapper and condom; Moore told them he put a condom on, but never intended on having sex.

(Because putting a rubber on is usually something people not intending to have sex, but instead just engaging in a half-nekked bible study meeting, do.)

And of course Moore tried to get off (no pun intended) during that first arrest by showing them his Shiny Badge and telling them he was a corrections officer. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for him then.

It’s not clear yet whether he gave it the old college try again this time, too. Presumably, he wasn’t wearing his Magic Suit either time.

For the record, the problem isn’t that Moore was engaging in weird and sorta creepy sex games with a prostitute or even that he was supplying her with drugs and potentially doing drugs himself. The very obvious problem is that he locks other people doing the same things (along with prostitutes) into cages for a living beforehand.

Update: Woman Beaten by LVMPD Officer For Littering Has Filed Civil Rights Lawsuit

LVMPD Police Brutality Excessive Force Officer Richard Scavone

In January, I posted about former LVMPD Officer Richard Scavone, who was caught on camera assaulting a woman. The immediate reason for his violent actions that day was that she had thrown a cup of coffee on the ground while he was in the process of profiling and harassing her. In reality, it was a case of “contempt of cop” in which the woman didn’t properly bow and scrape to his authoritah and possibly a bit of showing off to the corrections officer he was giving a ride along to at the time.

Now the woman he attacked and then arrested on trumped up charges to justify that arrest has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against him. In that lawsuit, Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz names the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Officer Scavone, and former Corrections Officer Travis Buechler who was with Scavone at the time of the incident. Cal Potter, a Las Vegas civil rights lawyer, is representing Vizcarrondo-Ortiz in the lawsuit.

Via the Associated Press:

A California woman who authorities say was illegally beaten by a police officer wearing a body camera has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking damages from Las Vegas police, the former patrol officer and his partner at the time.

Officials have called the case one of the first to use body-camera video against an officer wearing the device.

Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz of Los Angeles said in her lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas that she suffered permanent face, neck and back injuries during her January 2015 arrest on littering and loitering for prostitution charges. The charges were later dropped.

Ortiz’s lawyer, Cal Potter, called her beating and arrest unjustified “street justice” for offending the arresting officer, Richard Thomas Scavone, by throwing a cup of coffee on the ground and refusing to put her hands behind her back to be handcuffed.

“He videotaped his own misconduct,” Potter said of Scavone. “It’s our belief that there was no basis for the stop or the arrest…”

The video hasn’t been made public. Officials have said it shows the woman’s face bleeding after she was thrown to the ground, grabbed by the neck and slammed by her head on the hood of a patrol car.

Scavone reported that Ortiz was combative and that he felt his safety was threatened.

A hearing date hasn’t been set in the civil lawsuit that also names the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and a former corrections officer, Travis Buechler, who was with Scavone at the time. It seeks damages greater than $225,000 and a declaration that the department’s use of a law banning loitering for prostitution is unconstitutional.

Officer Laura Meltzer, a police spokeswoman, cited department policy and declined to comment on the civil lawsuit. She said Buechler was suspended last July and fired in September after three years as a corrections officer. The court record didn’t indicate if Buechler had a lawyer.

Former Officer Scavone is still awaiting trial on the federal charges stemming from that incident. As stated in the AP quote, Former Corrections Officer Buechler has been fired, although there has been no indication when that happened or whether that was related to the beating.

Update: The bodycam video has now been released. Also, Vizcarrondo-Ortiz received a $250,000 settlement in June of 2016.

LVMPD Corrections Officer Robert Moore Arrested on “Prostitution Related Crime”

Earlier this week it was reported that Robert Moore, an LVMPD corrections officer, had become the latest Metro cop to be arrested for a sex related crime. Although not many details were made public, it was disclosed that Officer Moore was arrested on December 23rd for what was described as a misdemeanor violation of the Unlawful Prostitution Act.

Via the Republic:

Las Vegas police say they arrested a fellow corrections officer nearly a week ago for a misdemeanor prostitution charge.

The department’s public information office said Monday that officers arrested Robert Moore on Dec. 23 for a misdemeanor violation of the Unlawful Prostitution Act.

The office released the information about Moore’s arrest after it closed on Monday. Court records and contact information for Moore or an attorney representing him were not immediately available, and Moore could not be reached for comment.

The statement makes no specific mention of what Moore is accused of doing.

Police say Moore has since been released from the Las Vegas City Jail and placed on paid administrative leave pending internal and criminal investigations. The statement says Moore has been with the department since May 2005.

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Officer Moore is just the latest Las Vegas cop to join the ever increasing ranks of sex offenders wearing a badge. Earlier this year, a LVMPD detective was arrested after beating a prostitute while on duty when she attempted to charge him more than the price they had previously agreed on. In May, Metro Officer Patrick Taylor was arrested on child porn charges. Also this year, a former NLV police chief admitted that he didn’t conduct a proper investigation and then destroyed evidence related to child porn on the North Las Vegas Mayor’s computer. In another incident, a Las Vegas court marshal sexually assaulted a woman during court, then had her arrested when she complained to the judge about it.

Will Lamar Odom Survive Long Enough to go to Prison for Harming No-One But Himself?

With as many people as there are out there “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” these days, I’m sure everyone is well aware of the most recent prostitute related-incident unfolding where Lamar Odom, who is also the estranged husband of Khloé Kardashian, was found unresponsive and close to death on Tuesday at a Nevada brothel. Odom was famously arrested during a prostitution sting by the LVMPD while attending summer school at UNLV in 1997. That scandal ending up causing Odom to transfer to the University of Rhode Island before he ever played a game at UNLV and led to an NCAA investigation that resulted in a four year probation for the Runnin’ Rebels.

Reportedly, Odom had been staying at the “Love Ranch” in Crystal, NV. for three days prior and had been in the midst of a cocaine and Viagra binge prior to lapsing into unconsciousness. He was found foaming out of his mouth and with blood coming out of his nose. At this point, it’s questionable and has been described as a 50/50 prospect that he will survive. A cadre of reality TV stars and sorta celebrities (including the Kardashians, of course) have begun gathering at Sunrise Hospital here in Las Vegas for what amounts to a deathbed vigil.

The audio of the 911 call

Lamar Odom Drug Overdose BrothelObviously, the immediate concern is whether the coin that he flipped over the weekend will come up heads and he will live through this at all. However, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, where the brothel is located (just north of Las Vegas) has already announced that they will be testing his blood and if he does come out on the top end of those 50/50 odds, he could face drug possession charges.

After initially saying that, they did back track a little by saying they weren’t sure what charges he may face if he lives. Regardless of that, it’s pretty certain that the Nye Cty. police will go after the brothel employees for providing him with drugs, possibly including the cocaine (they’ve denied that, but they also initially denied giving him the Viagra), whether Odom survives or not.

So the next question Odom may face, should he survive, is whether he ends up in prison as a result. The larger question is whether he or anyone else should be in prison for a crime when the only victim is themselves. Not to mention whether employees at the brothel should face prison time for giving somebody something they asked for.

There’s arguments we can have about DUI’s (outside of checkpoints, which are an entirely different story) and the potential for there to be a victim if someone isn’t stopped. However, as irresponsible and self destructive as someone might be in doing drugs, the simple act of doing the drugs themselves doesn’t harm anyone except the person doing those drugs. The majority of associated crimes are actually created and/or facilitated by the War on (Some) Drugs itself and they are all real crimes with identifiable victims that can be prosecuted in their own right.

Realistically, there’s no reason why someone who has a disease that should be treated should instead be thrown in jail. Nor should the vast majority of non-violent, non-addictive drug users be locked up because of those who do have that disease. The abuses, both physical and civil rights related, that the Drug War allows and even encourages among government and law enforcement, along with the abject failure that it represents in terms of stopping drug use, should be more than enough reason to put an end to it. The fact that someone can beat the odds and survive a fight for their life only to be thrust into a fight for their freedom as soon as they recover enough to stand trial is an equal, if not even more compelling reason, to do so.