Tag Archives: security guard

Detained by Las Vegas Police for Openly Carrying a Sword While Walking (Video)

Las Vegas Police Detain Black Men Walking While Open Carrying Sword

Two black men were detained, handcuffed, questioned, and photographed by Las Vegas police officers because they were walking while (legally) carrying a sword.

On Saturday (11-14-17), while I was out on a bike ride, I noticed a Las Vegas police helicopter circling the Walmart parking lot just ahead of me. As I reached the area where it was, I looked over and saw three LVMPD police cars with their lights on at the outer edge of the Walmart parking lot.

Once I was inside that parking lot, I could see that they had two black men in cuffs outside of a Dotty’s Casino (a small local “casino” chain that realistically amounts to more of an oversized bar) within it located on Nellis and Boulder Hwy. across the street from the Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino. So I started filming them with a GoPro mounted to the handlebars of my bike.

(See Video embedded below)

At the end of the video, I asked those two men what they had been stopped for and they told me that it was because someone had called to report that they had a sword, something that is by itself not actually illegal (as long as it is openly carried it’s legal just like a firearm or any other non-prohibited weapon). They stated they had been taking the sword to a nearby pawn shop, so they could sell it.

Obviously, they were eventually released without any sort of charges, since they had committed no crime, although the cops made them pose for pictures, which generally means they intend to add them to the gang registry and means that they will be harassed and profiled at every opportunity in the future based on that designation. That’s a pretty common practice by Metro for minorities, bikers, and others that they consider to be the “usual suspects.”

Although this fortunately didn’t result in any sort of physical violence being used against the men, Metro’s “finest” felt the need to not only respond with three patrol officers, but also at one point to have their lieutenant come by. And of course, as was mentioned already it gave them an excuse to play with their new “rescue” helicopter that’s usually busy circling downtown. (Apparently, there’s a lot of stranded hikers down there.)

Beyond the question of whether this was a case of racial profiling (whether it be by the police themselves or the security guard who apparently called them), as the men who had been detained stated, there’s a very real chance that someone will end up getting killed anytime the police are called. Not only does Las Vegas have a history of police violence without any sort of consequences, but not too long ago just one state over, in Saratoga Springs, Utah, an innocent man was shot to death for the non-crime of using a samurai sword as part of a cosplay outfit.

The reality is you should never call the police unless you’re comfortable with the idea that the person you called them on might end up dead. The cops don’t murder someone every time they show up (yet), but if do, they will absolutely get away with it every time (and they know that they will, too).

Note: You can share posts with Nevada Cop Block via our reader submission page. So, if you have videos, personal 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. You can also send in links if you a story involving police misconduct or corruption involving someone within the courts. 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.

Security Guard With a Criminal Justice Degree; Knows Pretty Much Nothing About the Law

Stupid Security Guard Zappos AcmeRecently, members of Nevada Cop Block and the Sunset Activist Collective were doing a chalk protest on the sidewalks in front of the Zappos Headquarters in Las Vegas. Although Zappos is a private entity, we often protest against them because they use their money and influence to buy land from the city at huge “discounts.” They also leverage that ability to acquire cheap property to drive long standing businesses out of the downtown area. It’s gentrification and cronyism at its worst. They literally bought city hall and it’s not just a metaphor. They have a tight leash on Mayor Carolyn Goodman and most of the City Council members.

They have pushed for and had passed on their behalf laws and city policies, such as beverage sales restrictions and age based curfews, that target their competition (liquor stores) and give police the opportunity to harass people who might be downtown, but that aren’t frequenting the bars that they own or sponsor. Other ordinances they have used their influence to get passed have also targeted street performers, who they also see as competition for the bars, and homeless people.

Security Guard Bachelors Degree Zappos AcmeAs we were in the process of chalking, one of their security guards (the company they work for directly is “Acme Security”) came out and very aggressively tried to claim we couldn’t write on “their property.” Another security guard showed up shortly after and was also acting very aggressive and was equally confused about basic property laws. A third security guard was there, but stayed more or less in the background.

We informed them that the public sidewalk was not their property. Then the first security guard threatened to call the police and also said that we didn’t have his consent to film, which we don’t actually need when filming in public. After we pointed out that he probably should learn basic law if he’s going to work in security, he stated that he was not “just a stupid security guard” and that he “has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.”

Just a Stupid Security Guard Zappos AcmeEventually, after about ten minutes, two LVMPD officers showed up (two more cars also arrived while they were there, but it was basically over by then) and told him he was wrong and we were not breaking the law by chalking on public sidewalks or filming him in public view. It was actually rather humorous (in light of the security guard’s earlier claims about his education) when one of them remarked to us, after I brought up their lack of understanding of basic property law, that they are “just security guards. What do you expect?” (Then everyone laughed.)

There’s really several morals to this story:

Two years ago, three other people and I were arrested for simply writing on sidewalks with “sidewalk” chalk. In total, five of us faced bogus and ridiculous graffiti charges that could have potentially resulted in four years of jail time. Although we’d been harassed a pretty good amount prior to the arrests and for some time after, at this point whenever the police show up, they generally tell us we are doing nothing wrong and then leave.

Because Fuck You (I'm Batman)

Because Fuck You (I’m Batman)

Part of that is undoubtedly due to the lawsuit we filed over those arrests citing the prior harassment. However, the fact that we were vindicated in our original case made it clear that chalking on public sidewalks is not illegal and that the arrests were nothing but harassment, retaliation and intimidation tactics by the LVMPD against someone who was legally and peacefully protesting against their crimes and total lack of accountability. Metro has no choice, but to avoid making that mistake again and they’ve let their officers know that. That’s why it is important to know and exercise your rights.

Even though private security guards aren’t actually cops, they do, or think they can do, many of the functions that police perform. Therefore, it’s important to ensure they understand the laws and rights of people. Although security guards are more likely to be punished for their crimes, especially use of force crimes (and since they aren’t a product of a coercive monopoly there are options available to ensure they are held accountable, even if their employers aren’t willing to do so of their own volition), it’s just as important to ensure they (or anyone in general) know and are following the law and the Constitution.

And lastly, if you’re going to claim you aren’t “a stupid security guard” because you have a degree in criminal justice, perhaps you should crack open a legal dictionary or attend a real college. That way you might know the basics about property law and the First Amendment, instead of looking like a stupid security guard.

Click for related Know Your Rights videos and content.

Click for related Know Your Rights videos and content.

Watch the full, unedited raw video:

Philadelphia Police Arrest Man Open Carrying; Claim Only Security Guards Are Allowed To

The following post and accompanying video were shared with the CopBlock Network by Edward Yealey, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

I spent the week prior to October 8th as I usually do this time of year, working 13+ hour days putting on concerts and other events. I am an independent sound and lighting tech, and a production manager, something I have done professionally since I was in my teens. Following the latest event, I had to remove drapery and other set pieces the venue provided to the customer. It was something that had taken me all night because I wanted to be on a train fairly early Tuesday to visit my parents in Delaware, where my Pennsylvania LTCF (License To Carry Firearms) is not valid, so I have to ‘open carry’ to abide by the laws. I also prefer to wear a ‘Drop Leg’ panel for my tools as opposed to a standard tool belt, which many of you have seen me wear in the past. So, after finishing most of my work, I decided to take a nap in the office and finish cutting ropes down and sweeping after I awoke.

I woke from my two hour nap and decided to get some food at the diner which is owned by the person I was working for and a good friend of mine. (Incidentally, I also helped another good friend install most of the electrical wiring in the diner). I walked in the diner through the rear entrance as I usually do, and proceeded to serve myself coffee, as I usually do. I then proceeded out the front door to smoke a cigarette, where Sgt. Kevin Bernard of the PPD was already parked (in an illegal spot) in front of the diner, finishing a phone call in his vehicle.

The PPD routinely patronizes the diner on a daily basis, and many of their officers have seen me open carrying without any previous issues. Sgt. Bernard then exited his vehicle and entered the diner to finish his phone call, pausing along the way to exchange pleasantries with me, exclaiming about how cold and windy it had gotten. Bernard had definitely noticed my openly carried Glock 30 on his way in, but said nothing at first.

Later, he said he stopped me because he “feared for his life while he ate.” I know that if I was concerned, I would have stopped my phone conversation immediately – he did not. Sgt. Bernard entered the diner and stood in front of the dessert display while both finishing his phone call and staring intensely at my sidearm through the window; I had been surfing the internet on my phone as this happened, so my phone was already in my hand. I knew when Bernard exited the diner without making a purchase or even talking to anyone, he was going to ask about my firearm and permit, so I used my ‘Quick Camera’ button on my phone to start a video recording, which most have seen by this point.

Police in Philly are allowed to stop an open carrier and ask them for their LTCF, and also allowed the ridiculous policy of being able to remove a safely holstered weapon from someone for their ‘safety’. Knowing this, I expected Sgt. Bernard to ask me for my permit; imagine my surprise when he asked me if I was a security guard, and told me, “They told me in there, you are the security guard.” Immediately I was on the defensive, knowing he had not spoken a word to anyone inside. I told him no, and he asked for my ACT 235 card, to which I responded “What does that matter, I’m not a security guard.”

I then told Sgt. Bernard I had my PA LTCF, and held up the clear ID carrier I keep my ID and LTCF in, conveniently next to my lawyer’s card, in an effort to diffuse the situation being as he had not asked for my LTCF. Instantly, Sgt. Bernard changed his tune and tried to tell me I can’t open carry without an ‘Act 235’ card and that I was suspicious because of the knife I was carrying with my tools, which he jokingly referred to as a ‘sword’ on my hip.

At this point I realized that Sgt. Bernard is either ignorant of the laws, or has a blatant disregard of them. I am also aware that the PPD has been through training more than once in the past few years, on how to deal with ‘open carry.’ Without going over the entire video step by step, it is obvious that Sgt. Bernard is trying to goad me into admitting that I am “Moonlighting” as a security guard, either because he doesn’t like ‘open carriers’ or he needed to come up with something after calling in two other officers for ‘backup’ for such a dangerous suspect. At one point, while one of the officers and Bernard were inside the diner trying to figure out what to charge me with, the officer inside noticed I was recording with my phone and ran outside to grab it – this is when the video stopped. Sgt. Bernard told the officer to delete the video, an order I found out later the officer did not follow. The officer pretended to delete the video, shoved the phone back into my pocket, and returned inside to finish debating with Bernard.

Thirty minutes passed before the two finally emerged from the diner. Sgt. Bernard then informed me, “This is what I’m gonna do… You wanna record this part smart ass?” to which I replied, “Yes.” This infuriated Sgt. Bernard who said, “Well, now I’m gonna take your gun, take your permit, and issue you a summary offense for having a knife.” This is clearly illegal, but Sgt. Bernard was done being told what he can and cannot do by a mere citizen, so I told him he would need to take me to the station if he was going to do something so clearly out of spite, and do it in front of the whole station. The officer that transported me to the station made a point to tell me that he, “Didn’t want anything to do with this,” but was mum during the actual incident.

I arrived at the station, still not having been searched fully, or told that I was being arrested, and waited another 20 minutes for Sgt. Bernard, who had stopped for food. Sgt. Bernard arrived, obviously agitated, throwing papers and slamming things on the table, all the while complaining about how, “this little shit pushed the issue, making [him] miss [his] lunch.” Bernard then spent over an hour looking for the city code book, just to be able to find the crime I committed. Once Bernard found the book, he spent the next hour fighting with a computerized system for reports, complaining about the new operating system of his iPhone, taking a 15 minute break to eat, and asking his superiors how to fill out the reports. I assumed this happened because my situation wasn’t a normal legal process.

Two hours after my illegal detention, or kidnapping if you will, Sgt. Bernard handed me my paperwork to sign, and told me I could get all my property back, but now I had to deal with the “consequences” because I was a “prick.” He also regaled me with tales of how gun-friendly he was – about how he is a “Lifetime NRA Member” and supports the second amendment, but that, “You don’t need to be walking around like dirty harry.”

I left the station, and have since been making moves to have my stolen property returned to me. I have since gone to court and have been found not guilty of the charge of ‘carrying cutting weapons on the highway.’ I have filed a petition to return property with the Philadelphia Court, and am awaiting an answer about getting my firearm and knives back (one knife was a high end Stryder).

My LTCF Permit was also taken, but not revoked, However, I have to go through the process of obtaining a permit all over again, because the state of PA has no provisions for re-issuing lost or stolen permits. I hear the process for return of property in Philadelphia takes up to a year, and I will most likely have to appeal the decision even though I was convicted of no crime.

– Edward Yealey