Tag Archives: Sheriff Gillespie

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.

Racist Newark Police Lieutenant Compares Black Mayor to Monkey

Newark Police Lieutenant Racist Mayor

In Newark, New Jersey, an unnamed lieutenant has joined the ever- expanding list of cops who have been exposed publicly as racists. The allegations involve a Facebook post in which Ras Baraka, the city’s black mayor, is compared to a gorilla. This particular case involves not just the lieutenant currently under investigation by the Newark Police Department, but also a retired NPD lieutenant.

According to NJ.com:

Police officials said they obtained a screen shot of the Facebook conversation, which is being investigated as a violation of the department’s social media policy. The screen shot was sent to Police Director Eugene Venable Wednesday, department spokesman Sgt. Ron Glover said…

“What’s particularly disturbing about this incident is that this police official has been on the job for many years and has some amount of influence over the rank and file in the department,” Venable said.

The thread between the two writers opens with a picture of an ape captioned “Lmfao….How’s your mayor?”

“Exactly!!!!” replies the writer believed to be the current police lieutenant.

In a subsequent reply, the same writer says “Bring back Sharpaaaa!!!!!”, an apparent reference to former Mayor Sharpe James. He also says he is trying to “stay low” and that he had been transferred several times.

It’s disturbing enough that two people who were in positions of authority which allowed them to commit violence against others as police officers would publicly express racist attitudes. It obviously makes you wonder just how much worse their private behavior is. The fact that they were in positions of leadership and influence within the police force takes that to a new level.

In spite of that, this shouldn’t be surprising. The fact is that the reason this lieutenant is being investigated in the first place is because of policies that had to be implemented after a series of racist and criminal scandals embarrassed the Newark police several years ago.

According to Think Progress:

According to Police Director Eugene Venable, the Newark Police Department’s social media policy prohibits officers from posting anything “which could possibly be misconstrued and reflects negatively on the department.” Information about criminal investigations is also banned from social media.

“The general order was created as the result of several embarrassing instances of online activity by members of the department that were quite racy and somewhat, quite frankly, borderline discriminatory…Violations of the order could result in disciplinary actions, including dismissal,” he told NJ Advance Media.

Detective Bobby Kinch Racist Cop LVMPDIn July of 2014, a U.S. Department of Justice report was released that characterized the Newark Police Department as racist thieves who routinely disregarded the Constitution, racially profiled citizens for “stop and frisk” detentions–even though there was no statistical difference between minorities and whites found to be violating the law during those stops–and also often used excessive force against Newark residents. Those accused of racist acts even included the head of the NPD Internal Affairs Unit. (Those guys who “investigate” cops when they are charged with misconduct.)

On a national level, this is just one of a string of recent revelations of open and public racism by police throughout the country:

  • In Las Vegas, Detective Bobby Kinch, of the LVMPD, posted racist comments and photos stating a desire for a race war to begin on Facebook. Not only did Sheriff Gillespie himself step in to prevent him from being raided after a Secret Service investigation of those posts, he was actually assigned to investigate black suspects exclusively afterward.
  • In Ferguson, the DOJ investigation launched after the murder of Mike Brown uncovered racist emails being sent between officers containing jokes depicting racial stereotypes, including Barack Obama as a chimpanzee and Michelle Obama as a bare chested African woman.
  • In San Francisco, police officer sent text messages in which they routinely referred to black people as niggers, referenced cross burnings, and called a black person a monkey and an animal.
  • In Louisiana, a series of racist emails amongst police was uncovered in 2014. As is the typical formula, the emails “depicted black men as animals, likened President Barrack Obama to a monkey, and referred to African Americans as the ‘entitlement crowd.'”

Once again, it begs the question of just how racist police departments are in private, when cops feel safe enough to post this sort of racism on internal emails and publicly on social media. While those posts should never be a criminal matter, regardless of the occupation of their authors, it certainly raises questions about someone who is in a position to act on those sort of prejudices on a daily basis to the point of deadly force. The overwhelming statistical bias toward minorities in relation to stop and frisk instances, use of force incidents, and arrest frequency are just the things that can be tracked. If cops are willing to be this racist out in the open, there can be little doubt that it influences policing on a base level, even if it doesn’t rise to that point.

banner-app(If you enjoyed this post, check this previous post by Kelly W. Patterson: “Las Vegas Police Agree That You Should Film Them“)

Las Vegas, NV Police (and Security/BLM) Brutality Video Compilation #2 (Update)

0This is an update (sequel?) to a previous police brutality compilation video that Jason Nellis submitted to CopBlock.org (by way of Nevada Cop Block) about a year ago. This version is almost twice as long (because the hits just keep coming) and also includes some incidents involving Las Vegas area security, as well as local actions by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), who are employed by the Federal Government.

In the description to the video, on YouTube, Jason writes (links added):

(This is) A 2nd video compiling clips of excessive force and sometimes killing by law enforcement and security in and around Las Vegas. Mostly Metro (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department) but also multiple abuses by hotel security guards, especially on Fremont Street downtown, and by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) outside of the city.

 

Last year I made the first part (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgg3C…) in “preparation” for the More Cops Tax vote at the County Commission, which was defeated. That was attempted to be brought back in the past couple months by the new Sheriff (former Sheriff Doug Gillespie announced he wouldn’t run for reelection after the loss), but now it appears indefinitely detained. We need to keep an eye out for that to be brought back though and I’ll update this as we get word.

 

And over the past year such huge national attention has been brought to police brutality and people in general are recording the police more than ever, consistently, and law enforcement agencies across the country are taking notice, and some are even taking responsible steps in the right direction. We keep this up and they’ll remember we the people are who they have to answer to. The problem is still rampant and out here there appears to be a growing problem in our recently revitalized and hyped-up yet gentrified Fremont East district of the Downtown corridor; awareness and pressure are the keys right now against tyranny, and social media is the primary avenue.

 

A recent Facebook (page) to keep track of all the officer-involved shootings in Nevada (why not make a page for your state?): http://facebook.com/ShotByPoliceNV/

 

Keep updated on police abuses and keeping police and the local government accountable at:
http://www.nvcopblock.org

http://www.snwatchdog.org
and more, website submissions welcome. Remain vigilant.

 

Clip sources (all from the past two years):
Police using excesive force on defenseless african american girl (Aug 19, 2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EZc0…

 

Police put man in chokehold (April 6, 2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1Vn9…

 

Security from Insert Coins (Fremont Street, Las Vegas) Attack a Man Dancing on the Sidewalk (Feb. 12, 2015): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkb53…

 

Cop Sexually Assaults Woman Then Arrests Her & Judge Turns Her Back (July 3, 2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtRxZ…

 

Las Vegas Police assaulting rapper for NO REASON (March 31, 2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SBD3…

 

I-Team: Man claims police overreacted, used ‘choke hold’ – 8 News Now (Jan. 29, 2015): http://www.8newsnow.com/ story/ 27977459/ i-team-man-claims-police-overreacted-use­d-choke-hold

 

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Beat a Man Because He Didn’t Move Fast Enough (Aug. 8, 2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfs3Y…

 

Protesters Fight Police Security On Fremont Street (Dec. 17, 2014- I was there to see the arrests afterward, happened to be on a movie shoot right there): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ntUE…

 

Last moments of man killed by police at Red Rock (Feb. 14, 2014… just before we held a Constitutional protest): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qArk6…

 

Ranch Riot!! Bundy Ranch Protesters Tasered by Federal Agents and Attacked by K9’s (Apr. 9, 2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhJ6H…

Watch the video below:

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No “More Cops” for the LVMPD; They Aren’t Needed and They Aren’t Wanted

Metro displaying just how shorthanded they are on Fremont Street. (Notice the massive, unruly crowd being held back behind them.)

Metro displaying just how shorthanded they are on Fremont Street. (Notice the massive, unruly crowd being held back behind them.)

This was received via submission after originally being posted at the website of the Sunset Activist Collective.

Once again, Sheriff Gillespie and County Commissioner Tom Collins are trying to push the “More Cops” sales tax down the throats of the people of Las Vegas to fill the self-inflicted gaps in Metro’s already bloated budget and hire even more cops to harass and abuse the members of that very community.

Yet another sales tax is wrong from a practical standpoint in a time when the Las Vegas economy consistently ranks at or near the bottom in every financial category and most local residents are already just barely hanging on. By nature, sales taxes are regressive. Unlike wealthy people that have the capability of stashing most of their income in the bank, poor people generally have to spend most, if not all, of their money on the basic necessities of life. It’s not a coincidence that crime rates have increased as the economy has tanked. People that have little or no other options resort to whatever they have to do to survive. Taking even more from people that are already struggling just to keep their head above water is not the way to “take a bite out of crime.” It’s an unarguable fact that poverty leads to even more crime.

Beyond the basic economics it’s wrong on an ethical level to expect poor residents to fund their own abuse at the hands of the LVMPD. People in poor and/or minority neighborhoods are routinely stopped, searched, abused, and humiliated by the police. In fact, Metro employs several “saturation units,” whose stated function is to descend upon certain neighborhoods en masse seeking any excuse they can to stop, interrogate, and arrest residents of that community. And those many, many abuses don’t end with harassment and wrongful arrests, either. The victims of police beatings and outright murder are predominantly members of the Poor People Shouldn't Have to Fund Their Own Abusepoor/ minority classes.

Not surprisingly, it has also been explicitly stated that these “select’ neighborhoods don’t include the ones in Summerlin. Many of the proponents of the “More Cops” tax increase are, in fact, residents of Summerlin and other wealthy neighborhoods, who have expressed the desire to have a cop in their neighborhood because it makes them feel safe. I have very little doubt that the residents of poor neighborhoods would have no qualms about letting them have some of the cops terrorizing their neighborhoods. They rarely make them feel safe, especially within the Las Vegas area, since there is absolutely no hope that any sort of accountability will ever be imposed upon the perpetrators of injustices against them.

Metro isn’t short on cops, they’re short on priorities. Anyone who has witnessed the massive East German style check point erected on Fremont St. every First Friday or the continual harassment of water vendors and buskers on the Strip, both of whom are just trying to earn a living during tough economic times, would have to question the claims of personnel shortages within the LVMPD. When you can afford to employ undercover cops to ensure tourists don’t have the chance to buy water at a cheaper price than the casinos sell it, then maybe you have a few people to spare for other things. Perhaps those plain clothes cops using official Metro vehicles to escort Zappos employees to their parking garage so they don’t have to look at poor people along the way, could be better utilized, as well.

Gillespie and the rest of his mafia dons have expended their budget on raises for an already overpaid police force, shiny new headquarters buildings that they insisted on pushing forward with in the middle of the worst recession in history, and million dollar settlements to the victims of their abuses and murders. Now they want the poorest people within this community to bail them out so that they can hire more cops even while absolutely refusing to do anything to hold them responsible for the crimes they continue to commit against their own neighbors and families.

Just say NO to more thugs!

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments' Pathetic History of "Accountability"

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments’ Pathetic History of “Accountability”

A Community in Fear

Not too long ago I attended a meeting of the Clark County Commissioners concerning a vote over the process that would be adopted to address shootings by Las Vegas area police. Prior to the vote that eventually happened (after all the important stuff like giving a certificate to a group from a retirement home whose most lauded act was alerting neighbors if they forgot to close their garage door), members of the community were allowed to address the commissioners regarding the issue.

One speaker after another stepped to the microphone and it wasn’t long at all before a common theme began to develop. Statements such as, “I’m afraid of what will happen if I call the police,” “I would never call the police even if I was in real danger because I’m scared more of them,” and “I don’t trust them not to kill someone if I call them for help” were recited over and over again throughout the session. These fears were often accompanied by personal examples of negative experiences resulting from interactions with Las Vegas area police, including several from the families of people that actually had been killed by the police.

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.

Legitimate Reasons to be Afraid

When the cops in Las Vegas kill people their ONLY "punishment" is paid leave.

When the cops in Las Vegas kill people their ONLY “punishment” is paid leave.

Obviously, every time the police respond to a call they don’t kill or otherwise abuse the people they encounter, even in Las Vegas. However, it happens often enough to instill the sort of fear and hatred toward them that was on public display during the commissioners’ meeting that day. The problem is that people within the community know that should something happen to them or one of their loved ones at the hands of a member of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department they have very little hope of that cop ever being held accountable for their actions. They don’t know that the cop responding wants to kill them, but they do know that if they do they will get away with it.

The bigger problem is that members of Las Vegas area police departments also know this. Jesus Arevalo told his then-wife that he wanted to shoot someone so that he could get free time off, based on the policy of placing cops on paid leave during investigations. Within a couple of months after that statement, Stanley Gibson, an unarmed, disabled Persian Gulf veteran suffering from a PTSD induced panic attack and in no way representing a threat to anyone was murdered by Jesus Arevalo. Those seven unnecessary shots fired from Ofc. Arevalo’s AR-15 were the ticket to what is fast approaching two full years of the paid vacation that he had indicated he was hoping for. No charges were ever brought against him for his actions, which even other police on the scene characterized as unexplainable in their official statement to the detectives subsequently going through the motions of an investigation. At worst, Arevalo might possibly be punished by being fired.

A Long History of Corruption and Violence

The Biggest Gang in Las Vegas

The Biggest Gang in Las Vegas

Throughout their history, the LVMPD has consistently rated among the highest statistically nationwide (even when compared against cities with much higher populations) in times they have shot at people while on duty and in the level of fatalities resulting from those shootings. Stanley Gibson was just one of the latest names in the laundry list of the victims of Las Vegas police that includes Erik Scott (whose murderers were later given an award for bravery while gunning down someone from behind and then unloading their guns on him as he lay already dying on the ground), Trevon Cole, Orlando Barlow, Tanner ChamberlainDeshira Selimaj, and Henry Rowe, among the 150+ shootings just since 1990.

Yet, not one singular time in the close to forty year history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a Las Vegas area police officer ever been charged for shooting someone, regardless of whether the person shot was unarmed or even completely innocent of having committed any actual crime. One rather telling fact is that the reason the old Las Vegas city police was originally merged with the Clark County Sheriff department to create “Metro” was in response to an uproar after a very questionable shooting that was ruled justifiable. Yet, no matter how questionable the many shootings by Metro have been, the justifications have continued unabated.

An Absolute Refusal to Hold ANYONE Accountable

Finally someone within the Las Vegas police system has made some sort of stand for justice.

Finally someone within the Las Vegas police system has made some sort of stand for justice, but will it actually matter?

A recent incident has shined a very public spotlight on the reasons why it is so impossible to hold anyone  within the LVMPD accountable for their actions. In one of the most questionable shootings ever Officer Jacquar Roston claimed to have confused a hat Lawrence Gordon was wearing for a gun and shot him in the leg as he sat in a car. As would be expected of anybody with even half a brain, Metro’s internal Use of Force Review Board didn’t really accept that excuse and recommended that Roston be fired  as a result.

The fact that this recommendation was hailed as an “unprecedented” act by the board tells you a lot about the past history of the Las Vegas police in relation to officer involved shootings. The fact that Sheriff Gillespie promptly disregarded that recommendation in favor of a one week unpaid suspension (after Roston had already spent 8 months on paid vacation during the investigation) tells you a lot about the prospects for any sort of accountability for them in the near future.

However, in one glimmer of hope for some sort of prospect for justice, seven members of the board did actually have the integrity to stand up and resign in disgust after Gillespie’s disgraceful action. One former member of the board, Glenn Rinehimer, stated that previously the board had been “stacked” with retired police officers from other parts of the country designated as civilians. According to Rinehimer, they didn’t seem in any hurry to actually investigate whether shootings were justified. “The retired police just didn’t seem interested,” Rinehimer said. “They didn’t ask a lot of questions. They voted quickly for it to be justified.”

Robert Martinez, a co-chair of the board who also resigned, had previously expressed hope that this sort of rubber stamping had ended once former police employees and their family members were banned from being appointed as civilians on the board last year. He believed that Metro truly desired a fair and transparent process. That is until Gillespie essentially exonerated Roston despite the board’s unanimous recommendation. “I was thoroughly fooled,” Martinez said. “I thought it was going to change and it isn’t.” Within his resignation letter Martinez characterized the process as a flawed one that undermined the Use of Force Review Board.

Sheriff Gillespie announcing that the final week of Roston's 8 month vacation will be unpaid.

Sheriff Gillespie announcing that the final week of Roston’s 8 month vacation will be unpaid.

Former Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody, who submitted for retirement in response to this case, agreed that Gillespie was undermining the credibility of the board even as Metro faces increasing scrutiny over questionable shootings and other scandals that are becoming hard to even keep up with lately. Las Vegas police officers will not have the public’s trust until the department has a credible process for reviewing its own shootings, Moody stated. And that process must be stable, impartial, unbiased and free from political interference. “Anything short of that is going to fuel further suspicion and mistrust and is just begging for the imposition of externally imposed oversight,” he said. “Nobody wants that. We can be better than that.”

Rinehimer went even further in his assessment of the problems with a system that is in practice designed to ensure no cop is ever held accountable. Rinehimer said the sheriff’s decision to overturn the Use of Force Review Board’s recommendation doesn’t set a good precedent, especially for officers who find themselves in similar situations in the future. “At the end of the day, the officer might be sitting there smiling, knowing the sheriff might not fire him anyway,” Rinehimer said. “It’s a farce.”

A Lack of Accountability that is Not Good for Anyone, Even the Police Themselves

The inevitable backlash

The inevitable backlash

There’s an obvious incentive for members of the community to demand accountability for the heavily armed band patrolling through the streets that they live and work. If those individuals are permitted to act as an occupying force with the impunity to do as they please to those within that community, those among their ranks that have an unscrupulous tendency will take advantage of that to commit criminal and violent acts.

However, there are reasons why even those within the local police departments should want to see accountability for those “bad apples” that we are always being told are just exceptions to the rules. Fear eventually gives rise to hostility and working within the bounds of a hostile environment makes someone’s job just that much harder to do. People within communities don’t feel real obligated to help with the investigation of crimes when the person doing the investigation is perceived as being as bad or worse than the people being investigated.

Having to deal with indifference or even active retaliation in the process only serves to make the job of the police more difficult and frustrating, which in turn makes them more bitter and cynical and leads to even more abuses. At some point, that downward spiral needs to be put to an end and the only way to do that is to create real accountability, rather than a hollow, toothless sham that does nothing but draw attention to the lack of it.  And as Sheriff Gillespie recently found out, people are a lot less accepting of having their taxes increased in order to supplement the LVMPD’s budget during an almost daily barrage of news about yet another police scandal.

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