Tag Archives: Rondha Gibson

Police Violence and Gentrification in Las Vegas

Ballentine speaking during the May Day march in 2012

Ballentine speaking during the May Day march in 2012

Note: This was originally posted by   at the Seattle Free Press on . I’ve added a picture of Ballentine, who wrote this essay, made the original first sentence a section header, and added a caption to the picture that originally accompanied the Seattle Free Press’ post.

Otherwise, it has been reposted in its entirety as it originally appeared, which you can view here. Ballentine is one of the three members of the Sunset Activist Collective (along with Gail Sacco, who is not a member but has been a long time associate and supporter of both the Sunset Activist Collective and Nevada Cop Block, as well as other local activist groups, such as Food Not Bombs Las Vegas) that filed a lawsuit against the LVMPD over the August 2013 arrests of four people associated with Nevada Cop Block last week.


Trevon Cole’s family attending the Coroner’s Inquest for his murder by Bryan Yant

I never knew Trevon Cole. I have never met his girlfriend, and, like Trevon Cole himself, I have never met his child. This is because he was murdered by Officer Bryan Yant of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department during a drug raid.

Cole, unarmed, was shot in front his girlfriend while on his knees in his bathroom. His girlfriend, Sequoia, gave birth to a baby girl only five days later.

The pig that shot Trevon Cole was punished with a desk assignment. Cole was the third fatal shooting he was involved in.

I shouldn’t even know who Trevon Cole is. I shouldn’t know about Stanley Gibson, a gulf war vet who accidentally went to his old apartment building one night by mistake and paid for it with his life. Officer Jesus Arevello put 7 rounds from an assault rifle into Gibson’s head.

Stanley, like Cole, was unarmed. He and his car were boxed in, unable to be a danger to anyone.

In the last 10 years over 150 people have been shot by the Las Vegas police. A dozen stories I have heard detailing unarmed people shot by the police, some in cold blood.

Erik Scott was armed but by most accounts was not holding the pistol he was legally entitled to carry when he was shot outside a crowded wholesale super market. The police tried to blame his murder on prescription drugs and the store’s security camera footage was mysteriously never found.

Adding fuel to fires of police violence are businesses in the are which encourage a larger police presence downtown.

The Zappos Shoe Corporation, for example, has duped the local government into letting them “revitalize” the downtown area. Working with the city’s blessing and assistance, the company is spearheading gentrification in the area many of us have lived our whole lives in.

The media of course promotes this effort as though Zappos were some prophetic savior, come to rid us of the “dirty” and “unsafe” downtown, and, as usual, the police are front and center in this mafia-style protection racket.

Companies with more than one hundred patrons are now required by law to hire Las Vegas Police Officers as security, to aid in cleaning up the downtown corridor.

Of course, we don’t need corporations like Zappos to save our city.

We don’t want them having the ear of the mayor.

We don’t need the police to patrol our neighborhoods and escort Zappos employees to their cars after work because “they’re scared to be downtown.”

I am of the opinion that the police are an occupying force doing the bidding of the corporate state. And if you protect the rich, then you should be counted among them, as their willing puppet. Anyone with this desire is in effect the bloodied arm of the corporate overlords with its hand clasped around the throat of the people.

Small response to a big problem:

In response to the Gibson shooting, we in the Sunset Activist Collective created a list of demands against the city and the police department which listed, amongst other things, justice and compensation to the families of the murdered, resignations of the district attorney as well as that of Sheriff Doug Gillespie.

We called for an end to the militarization of the police force, who are now equipped with AR-15 rifles and an armored car that they proudly displayed during the last two MLK day parades.

We demanded an end to the tactic of “neighborhood saturation” which pours dangerous, steroid-amped police freshly home from Iraq and Afghanistan into the poorest neighborhoods and leaves the affluent suburbs pig-free.

Part of our outreach has included “chalking” against the Clark County Government Center, the county seat of authority and the main police head quarters a short distance away.

A few times a month, we sweat in the cold. We write the stories of victims most of us never knew.

As I took a bruised knee, dirtying my work pants to write “[email protected]@K Pigs” upside down so that those pigs could read it from their office window, I notice Rhonda Gibson looking down and reading it. She doesn’t seem to mind the language.

I hope these actions help her cope with her loss, and give her some sense that not everyone is awful. Writing like mad on the sidewalk.

So, if you ever find yourself in Las Vegas, you might take a moment to ignore the neon and look down at your feet. The sidewalk is our horizontal, traveling monument to the victims of police repression.

An Open Letter to LVMPD Sheriff Doug Gillespie From Stanley Gibson’s Widow

Stanley Gibson Murdered by LVMPD Officer Jesus Arevalo Chalk

On December 12th, 2011, Stanley Gibson was murdered by LVMPD Officer Jesus Arevalo. After spending two years on paid vacation during the “investigation,” Arevalo was rewarded for that murder with monthly disability payments totaling between $23,000 and $28,000.

Doug Gillespie,

Two years ago today, Stanley Gibson was murdered by Ofc. Jesus Arevalo of the LVMPD

Two years ago today, Stanley Gibson was murdered by Ofc. Jesus Arevalo of the LVMPD

I know your name. It’s a name I will never forget and, along with Jesus Avalero, one of the two names I can NEVER FORGET. My name is Rondha Gibson. I’m sure you remember my name too, but do you remember what today’s date represents? For me, it’s something else I can never, ever forget.

Today marks two years since Stanley Gibson was shot and killed while sitting unarmed and incapacitated in his car on December 12, 2011.

He was my husband and he was murdered by Officer Jesus Avalero, who you once called dependable and stated you would stand behind. Fortunately, two years later your opinion about that has seemingly changed. Now you say he is responsible for my husband’s death, although you still refuse to call it murder. While you finally had the decency to at least fire him, you still haven’t held him accountable for his actions that day in any legal manner.

Essentially, his “punishment” for shooting my husband, who was both unarmed and innocent, is to have to find another job (after having spent slightly less than two years sitting at home collecting a full paycheck). I don’t doubt that he will cash in on some connections he made while with Metro to get some cushy security job or something such as that. That’s not a true punishment, it’s an inconvenience.

Meanwhile, the last 23 months of my life have been nothing but hell. While Jesus Arevalo was on a paid vacation (AKA “administrative leave”), I was struggling just to pay my rent and other bills. In all that time, I’ve hardly even really had a chance to grieve for my murdered husband amidst all the calls from collection agencies wanting me to pay for Stanley’s funeral, which I couldn’t even afford.

You once claimed at the inquest that you were in contact with me everyday and that you publicly apologized to me, calling Stan’s death a mistake. Even that’s a lie. We had never even talked until after that inquest and that only happened because Steve Sanson of VIPI asked you to come and talk to me. That was the first and only time we ever spoke and the apology you gave then was not worth the breath it took to deliver the fake sentiments it represented.

In the 23 months since Stanley was taken from me by Jesus Arevalo and the culture of lawlessness that you continue to enable within Metro by refusing to hold anyone accountable for their actions, no matter how heinous, I had only two requests for you:

That Stan’s medals and other personal belongings from that day be returned to me.
And that someone be held accountable for his murder.

Finally, his medals came home after a lot of unnecessary stalling, but still nobody has actually been held accountable for Stanley’s murder. Simply being fired isn’t punishment enough for taking the life of another person. I will not just be standing back and accepting that, either. My third demand is your immediate resignation as sheriff and I will renew that demand for every one of your successors until they create true accountability within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

No more members of this community should have to walk around in fear that they will be shot down in cold blood by cops, who know they have no chance of being punished for their actions. No more families should have to deal with the loss of loved ones and the knowledge that accountability is not even an option for Las Vegas area cops, as I and way too many others have had to. I will not rest until genuine changes are made.

I am Rondha Gibson, widow of Stanley L Gibson, a Disabled Veteran murdered by LVMPD Ofc. Jesus Arevalo. I was victimized by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, but I am finished being a victim.

Rondha G.

Other Posts Related to Stanley Gibson