Tag Archives: UT

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.

University of Tennessee Police Violate Independent Media’s Rights at Public Protest

The following post and video were shared with the CopBlock Network by Christian Alexander of BackRoomKnox.com, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. Along with the description below, Christian stated:

The police chief has apologized, but not the University. I would love to get a consensus on whether I was right or wrong from your audience. Maybe it can be a teaching tool for being on campus.

Date of Incident: November 10, 2016
Officers Involved: Officer O’Neal, Officer Underwood, Officer McCarter
Department Involved: University of Tennessee Police
Phone Number: (865) 974-3114
Fax Number: (865) 974-4072
E-mail: [email protected]

Short version: (long version below) I was not able to go on a public university campus to film a protest. I was stopped and asked if I was a student, and they let me know only students, faculty and staff were allowed to be at the protest. The officers were respectful, while stabbing me in the back violating on my rights. I showed them my media credentials, but they still put me in a free speech zone. I even had a shift supervisor tell me the same. “It’s a public university, but private property.” I ultimately refused their orders under threat of criminal arrest-as you can see in the video. At this point, I did not know what the outcome would be. Would I be arrested or trespassed later? Or was I in the right and the law needed to be fixed? I’m still seeking guidance on both.

I am writing in regards to the violation of my first and fourteenth amendment rights on the University of Tennessee campus, Knoxville Tennessee. I have received an apology from the UT Police Department. I received no apology from the University itself.

Free speech zones are illegal on public campuses. University of Tennessee Police Officers and official policies, practices, or customs resulted in a deprivation of my rights. Because the protest was not an official “event of national significance,” I cannot be forced, as a citizen or media, into a separate area, under duress.

“The First Amendment represents “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964). Our institutions of higher learning play a central role in a system of freedom of expression because “[t]he college…surround-ing (sic) environs is peculiarly the ‘marketplace of ideas.’” Healy, 408 U.S. at180. In this regard, “[t]he first danger to liberty lies in granting the State the power” to limit freedom of expression in contravention of the “background and tradition of thought and experiment that is at the center of our intellectual and philosophic tradition.” Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of the Univ. of Va., 515 U.S. 819, 835 (1995). The First Amendment provides in pertinent part that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech or of the press,” and is applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment.”

This past Friday a group(s) held a protest regarding the election of Donald Trump.

The Knox News Sentinal wrote:

“The protest, loosely comprised of the campus’ Diversity Matters student coalition, started near the amphitheater outside the humanities building at 12:30 p.m. The group marched along around the building and up pedestrian walkway.”

Trying to get the law or officers’ orders on record…I spoke to Officer A. O’neal. She stated “They just call us and tell us what we need to do.” She was speaking of campus policies and customs. I let her know that you don’t need to go through any procedure to be on public property.

violate-rightsSoon after speaking with Officer O’neal, I headed to the protest that was taking place in the walkway on campus. Before I was able to get there, I was approached by Officer McCarter. His first words were, “Let’s go down here for a minute. You do not have permission to be here.” He pointed to and told me to go to a “free speech zone.”

I asked why I could not go on my way to the protest. I had planned on recording the events. I do not actively participate in protests as a protestor. I do not believe I have ever been a protestor. I have been to many protests to report on them. I was not asked by the officer if I was protesting or going to be protesting. I had no signs. I only record the events.

He said that I was not affiliated with the university. We verbally disagreed on whether or not I could be there. Even though I knew I was on a public property, I asked if I was on public property for verification. The officer stated, “This is private property. It belongs to the State of Tennessee.” Again, I said, “Then it’s public property.” His response, “No Sir.” He said that I had to be student, staff, faculty or be here to conduct business. Again, university policy. I asked what happens next. He said I needed to go to the free speech zone, which was not near the protest. I asked what would happen if I did not do that. He said that I could be taken to jail for criminal trespass.

My press credentials were visible on my neck the entire day, and I was the only one at the event or at my location with both a photo ID and press credentials on my neck. My media credentials include my photo, date of expiration, address, signature and my affiliations and large bold letters PRESS. He looked at my credentials and sent me to an eight ft. long “free speech zone.” The officer then mentioned I needed to go stay with my friend. The “friend,” I had seen only once before in my life when I was covering the election. I said he was not with me. I was only covering him because that is where the news was at the time. This was clarified, and I was still told to go to the free speech zone by officer McCarter. I was respectful, but I was forced to go to the free speech zone as I verbally protested to the officer. My rights were violated and under threat of arrest, again, I had no choice but to follow the officer’s commands in order to get more clarification and offer respect to the officer.

Officer R. A. McCarter came back some time later, and he said, “talked with my sarge.” Officer McCarter stated that I needed to call (865) 974-3174 to get permission to be up here. Again, procedures of the university. Officer McCarter stated, “I told her [his sarge] that you are press. There is no headway with it.” He then pointed out the free speech zone which was far from the protest. I took my press credentials off my neck, out of the badge holder, and showed him again, and I said I was not there to protest. He then voluntarily stated that Knox News notified them. Implying that media should get permission before working a breaking story.

(Knox News had 318 comments 565 shares of their coverage of one of a previous protests. I had 9519 comments 17,275 shares of the same protest for a total of 1,754,515 views via Facebook, not including my other pages with additional views. In the digital age, reporting is no longer confined to America’s traditional newsrooms. As such, threats to press freedom threaten anyone who seeks to share information about official actions using a cellphone, social media service or website.)

Mr. McCarter then stated, “I was told, so this is it. You can stay down here.” (Pointing to a “free speech zone.”) about six to eight feet…” officer McCarter stated.

I asked for a supervisor of the supervisor for one more clarification and a chance for them to correct what should have been obvious First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment violations – under threat of criminal trespass and arrest. After an additional long wait in the illegal “free speech zone,” The supervisor for the shift, Officer Underwood, stated that the university is public but private property. He again stated the custom that the university is only open to students, faculty, staff, and invited guests.

I discovered my main camera was now out of space after using it on these highly illegal, disconcerting, disheartening, and defeating confrontations at the University of Tennessee. I then had to use a backup camera whose sound is not good compared to my main camera. It also took up about an hour of valuable time that I missed to cover the beginning of the sit in, as I was the first reporter on scene.

That said, assuming a protest is in a public forum, as this protest was, reporters don’t need credentials to cover it. We enjoy a right of access along with the public. Media does not need permission to be there, nor do they need permission to engage there in news gathering activities. The kinds of actions taken out on me alone can send a harsh message: gather legal video at your own demise.

I missed, but heard with my ears, the main news that I wanted to get, but did not get the video I needed as I was detained in the “free speech zone.” At this time, I was extremely upset and flabbergasted at the actions of these officers. After about an hour, I went on to campus in the public area anyway. The entire time I was on campus I was under duress and threat of arrest. This is not a good way to gather news, and I am thankful that I did not have a heart attack each time the officers came near me. I also stayed up all night in fear of officers arriving at my house to arrest me.

I recorded evidence of three assaults at this protest. Two current students and one non student were assaulted at the event. Two have filed police reports. The female victim of the assault sought out my news page, and I will send her the video evidence. I also have video of this same gentleman inciting violence on campus, at the rock. It involved an assault. Police were called. The victim was given an apology and no charges were filed.

I am seeking help via social media and other organizations to help me put together this matter and to understand who did right, who did wrong and what can I do to fix it or help someone else in the future.

Christian Alexander

Utah School Cop Only Sentenced to Probation for Sexual Exploitation Charges Involving Student

Sergeant Brett Ryon Hadley was given a plea deal and sentenced to probation on charges related to the sexual exploitation of a minor. As part of the deal, he pled no contest to attempted sexual solicitation and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Additional charges of lewdness and “intoxication” were dropped as part of the deal.

Sgt. Hadley admitted that he sent sexually explicit photos to a student and offered money for that student to send him nude photos. He also admitted to trying to encourage that student to work as a prostitute. In addition, the original charges included “a series of sexual assaults” over the course of eight years between 2007 and 2015.

Via the Standard-Examiner:

Concerned about the welfare of a teenage son, a family hired a private investigator, triggering an inquiry that resulted in the downfall of a veteran Northern Utah police officer.

Brett Ryon Hadley, 39, was terminated in December 2015 from the Harrisville Police Department after an investigation into allegations of sexual improprieties dating back to his time as a school resource officer employed by the Pleasant View Police Department and assigned to Weber High School.

Now, in a case that has involved three police departments, three prosecutor’s offices and two state agencies, Hadley has been sentenced to probation on two misdemeanor offenses and faces the loss of his professional certification.

Key details of the case were learned only this week after six months of conflict over public access to an Ogden Police Department investigative report.

Responding to an open records request by the Standard-Examiner in March, Ogden City withheld the bulk of the report, having classified it as private and citing an invasion of privacy of alleged victims.

The newspaper appealed the denial, and the city on Sept. 2 released further portions of the report that provided a broader look into the investigation. Police interviewed this week said the alleged victim was 16 or 17 years old when the improprieties began and is now an adult. Detectives also looked into the possibility of a second male teen victim, but no charges resulted from that.

The Standard-Examiner does not identify the victims of sex crimes without permission from them. The victims’ identities were not released to the Standard-Examiner.

A partial timeline of the alleged criminal activities and a chronicle of the investigation and prosecution of Hadley was pieced together through police and court documents, as well as interviews with police, city and school officials…

An alleged victim told police it began with Hadley sending and requesting sexually explicit photos via cell phone and he paid cash for the photos. The detective wrote, “This pattern of illicit behaviors appears to possibly be (Hadley’s) ‘grooming’ of (a victim) for a lengthy period of time.”

In the report’s conclusion, Mackley wrote, “It does appear from witness accounts as well as evidence on Officer Hadley’s own cell phone that he was soliciting sexual favors … in exchange for money.”

Hadley described the text messages “as a joke,” the report said. Mackley added, “It seems based on the entirety of the text messages that it is not.”

Hadley was sentenced to 90 days for the solicitation charge and 180 days for the contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge. Both charges were suspended as part of the deal, though. He was also given a fine of $600 and will be required to complete “Moral Reconation Therapy,” a counseling program that is supposed to build moral reasoning among convicted offenders.

Sgt. Hadley, who was a school resource officer at Weber High School in Utah during the time the crimes were committed, was never arrested or forced to turn himself in to be booked at the jail, as people facing charges typically are. Instead, he was just issued a summons. With the sentence of probation and no actual jail time, that means he literally will spend not one single minute in jail as a result of his crimes.

Interestingly, Hadley resigned as a school resource officer due to unspecified “health reasons” shortly after the sex crimes involving this victim are alleged to have happened. Somehow though he managed to recover enough to be hired by the Harrisville Police Department in 2015. It’s almost as if he resigned before the scandal became public and in order to avoid being fired and charged with these crimes. (Which were only filed as the result of evidence uncovered by a private investigator the victim’s family hired.) Obviously, that would never happen, though.

Breaking News: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Found Dead in Texas

It was just announced that United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was 79 years old, has been found dead. Scalia was staying at a resort style ranch in Texas while attending a private party and taking part in a hunting trip at the time of his death. Reportedly, there were no signs of foul play and it is believed that he died from (as yet undisclosed or unknown) natural causes overnight. Justice Scalia had been the most senior justice currently and historically is the second longest serving Supreme Court Justice.

Via MySanAntonio.com:

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.

According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, of the Western Judicial District of Texas, was notified about the death from the U.S. Marshals Service.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said he was among those notified about Scalia’s death.

“I was told it was this morning,” Biery said of Scalia’s death. “It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how,” he said. “My reaction is it’s very unfortunate. It’s unfortunate with any death, and politically in the presidential cycle we’re in, my educated guess is nothing will happen before the next president is elected.”

RELATED:Scalia: Black students do better at ‘less-advanced’ schools than UT

The U.S. Marshal Service, the Presidio County sheriff and the FBI were involved in the investigation.
Officials with the law enforcement agencies declined to comment.

A federal official who asked not to be named said there was no evidence of foul play and it appeared that Scalia died of natural causes.

A gray Cadillac hearse pulled into the ranch last Saturday afternoon. The hearse came from Alpine Memorial Funeral Home.

RELATED:Black UT students, alumni share successes online after Scalia comments

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Saturday afternoon, calling Scalia a man of God, a patriot and an “unwavering defender of the written Constitution.”

“He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution,” Abbott said. “We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Scalia was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.

Justice Scalia’s death and its timing will have many ramifications, both politically and legally. Beyond the obvious fact that he is a member of the highest judicial body in the country, the fact that he tends to interpret laws conservatively could create complications during an election year. Currently, President Obama, who is obviously a liberal, would be responsible for naming his replacement, which could tip the balance from a conservative majority to a liberal majority on the court. However, there is a pretty good chance that he would have trouble getting any nominee approved prior to the election and the start of a new presidency. Therefore, the significance of who becomes the new president and what their political leanings are will become a huge issue during the election, since they would be able to appoint his eventual replacement.

In addition, the likelihood that a new justice won’t be seated until after the election is over will leave an even number of justices available rather than the typical nine. In close cases, this would leave the court without a tie-breaking vote.

Cottonwood Heights (Utah) Police Threatens Citizen for Filming

This video was submitted by an anonymous reader, via the CopBlock.org Submissions page.

Date of Incident: 10/13/2015
Officer Involved: Refused to identify
Department Involved: Cottonwood Height (UT) Police Department
Contact Number: (801) 944-7100

According to the description on the video:

CHPD was making an arrest several miles outside of their city. I began filming. The officer threatened to pull his gun, shined his lights into the camera and said he does not have to give his name. This department is widely known as corrupt, this illustrates them well.

I called Cottonwood Heights PD and asked the name of the officer that drives the car with tag #516972. Lt. Askworth acknowledged he needed to identify but then was evasive and rude while refusing to give the thugs name for the complaint. This cop threatened me with his gun…Everywhere, Everyday :(

Film The Police

Utah Police Arrest Disabled Woman For Failure To Give Animal Control Her Name

This post was submitted by Andrea Daynes, via the CopBlock.org submission page.

I have a TBI (traumatic brain injury) due to an auto-pedestrian accident and am disabled. I have permanent brain damage, as a result. Please excuse the grammar and I hope this isn’t too long.

Andrea describes, in pretty good grammar and a not overly long manner, how she was falsely arrested and abused for no good reason except that she didn’t bow down to the whims of a (very minor) government official and the armed bullies that they called after they didn’t get their way, even though they had no business demanding that she identify herself in the first place.


mpDate of Incident: August 6, 2015
Officers Involved: Officer GA Wheelwright AC, Officer Greg Hunt AC, Officer J. Bradbury Murray PD,
WJPD – 8012562000, WJAC – 8012823951, MPD – 8012642673
Departments Involved: West Jordan (Utah) Animal Control, West Jordan Police Department, Murray Police Department
Case Numbers: Complaint #15C014371 Murray Police, West Jordan Animal Cotrol-15H011424, Case #151000890 MPD (One case,3 officers)
Contact Information:
Murray City Hall:

Email: http://www.murray.utah.gov/emailpage.aspx
Twitter: http://www.murray.utah.gov/Twitter
Facebook: http://www.murray.utah.gov/facebook
Address: 5025 S. State St., 2nd Fl.
Murray, UT 84107
Phone: 801-264-2600
Fax: 801-264-2608

Murray Police Department:
Address: 5025 S. State St., Ste. 206
Murray, UT 84107
Phone: (801) 264-2673
Fax: (801) 264-2568

West Jordan Police Department:
Address: 8040 S. Redwood Rd.
West Jordan, Utah 84088
Police Chief: Doug Diamond
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 801-256-2000
Fax: 801-562-2105

West Jordan Animal Control:
Contact: Dan Eatchel
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 801-282-3951

Additional Information: ”Dash cam doesn’t function &we have no record of when it ceased to function” – Lieutenant Tom Martin MPD


On the afternoon of August 6, 2015, I was visiting my grandchildren at my daughter Erika’s house, I noticed two ‘Animal Control’ (AC) vehicles pull up out front of her house. I told Erika about the vehicles out front and she walked out to meet the two men. I stayed inside with the kids watching while growing concerned about their tone of voice with her. She turned toward the house with a look of fear that she didn’t know what was going on, so I went to her door and opened it, while still remaining half-way in her house.

Another great place on the internet to show your CopBlock love.

Another great place on the internet to show your CopBlock love.

There were two Animal Control (AC) men. One was short, the other tall. The short one looked at me and said ‘And who are you?’ I replied ‘Who wants to know?’. Then he stated ‘Now I want to see your ID’. I walked over on my daughters front lawn closer to where they were and asked why they would request my ID?

They said they were investigating a report that had come into their office about Erika’s address and needed my name for their report. He asked my name again. I told him I was Erika’s mother. He then wanted my ID. I refused and told him I had done nothing wrong to warrant him to ask that. Then I asked why they were there.

The taller one stated he would not give why/what the ‘report’ they received was for but that it was concerning Erika’s puppies she had in her backyard. (They never checked/looked at the puppies the whole time they were there). The taller one wanted Erika’s ‘business license’ to sell puppies. I explained to them (as she did) that my other daughter had rescued them from the original owners who were going to drown them. She had paid for shelter, food, shots, water, etc. for these puppies until they were old enough to go to a home instead of them being killed.

The taller AC then asked Erika ‘how much money are you planning on making off the sale’? I went back inside and got my grandson’s phone to record this situation that was obviously getting out of control by these two ‘officers’. Erika stated her sister just wanted her money back off what she used to rescue them. The taller AC man then stated ‘well, what’s the dollar amount difference going to be’? Erika didn’t know that.

banner cbn on fbThe whole time the taller AC was wanting Erika’s ‘business license’ and $ amount, the shorter AC man was harassing me about my ID. I told him again I didn’t do anything wrong to warrant showing my ID, I didn’t even live there and had nothing to do with puppies. The shorter AC man then looked at the taller AC man and laughed ‘she thinks she knows the law’. ‘I replied, I actually know my constitutional rights and there is no probable cause for your harassment of me’.

Then the short AC man asked ‘Do you have a gun’? This was an absurd question because I had on a spaghetti strapped shirt with shorts from just taking my grandchildren swimming, I hadn’t changed yet. I replied ‘no, but if I am a member of the NRA and if I chose to carry it would be legal, but no I currently am not carrying a firearm anywhere in my swimsuit’. He then told me he was calling police for back-up.

I remained on my daughters front lawn as I listened to the taller AC man continue to harass her about a ‘business license’. The whole time I’m thinking ‘If that’s why they are here, it’s a civil matter’ but a business license isn’t required if someone is just attempting to save puppies. Not once were the puppies in her backyard checked on by AC, in fact they commented on what a great cage she had them in (the cage being visible from the front yard, just not the puppies).

The police pulled up. The shorter AC went across the street to speak with him. The taller AC still wanted a dollar amount from Erika regarding the puppies. It was very redundant. The AC and Murray Police (MP) walked back to Erika’s home. The MP officer asked if he could speak with me across the street, I complied.

While there he asked my name, I asked what grounds he had to inquire? He stated it was an investigation and I had to. Like I had told AC I didn’t live there, did nothing wrong, didn’t have anything to do with the puppies and that I was Erika’s mother. He insisted again that I tell him my name. I refused.

dwc - bannerHe then put handcuffs on me. I thought I was being arrested, so I yelled to my daughter across the street ‘take care of my dog’ (who was at my home). The MP then yelled ‘shut-up’ and slammed me into his patrol car. I cringed because it hurt. He said, ‘get in the back’. I said ‘am I being arrested’? MP said ‘no, just detained’. He insisted on seat-belting me in and I commented to him ‘slam me against your patrol car, but make sure I’m seat belted in’? He then slammed the back door and I watched him walk back over to Erika’s house to talk with AC.

The temperature was 90 degrees that day. I was in the back of a patrol car, windows rolled up, in handcuffs, seat belted in, plastic divider separating front from the back. I began to overheat, huge drops of sweat coming from my head dripping down on me. I began to gasp for air, I couldn’t breathe. I started screaming for him to come back, he didn’t. I tried to open the back door with my toes in an attempt for air, unsuccessfully. I looked into the rear camera of the police car and said ‘I’m dying, help me’. I was terrified. I laid back in the seat and tried to calm myself and attempted to breathe.

I finally saw the MP coming my way. I screamed ‘help me I can’t breathe’, with a smile he opened the door and said ‘what’s your name’? In fear for my life, I told him my name and address. He was quiet as he looked up my information only to find there were no warrants. But I had got some air through his open door. After his ‘warrant search’ he then once more shut the door and walked across the street.

I began to overheat again and screamed ‘help me’. This was a most helpless, terrifying feeling. I tried to remain calm as not to pass out, I knew if I passed out, I could die and with this MP I didn’t think he would care. He came back finally. I stated he couldn’t do that in this heat. I was passing out, he opened the plastic divider two inches and stuck a hose (like you use to vacuum a vehicle) through to the back seat. I immediately put my face to it gasping for air.

banner copblock twitterHe then started his patrol car, I asked ‘am I being arrested’? He said ‘yes’. I asked ‘what’s the charge’? He said ‘not giving me your name’. I told him that wasn’t a charge (when released from jail the charge was for ‘Obstruction of Justice’) I was never informed that. He told me he was going to read me my rights, I said ‘OK’. Whatever he was saying to me was not my rights. He attempted to remember, but didn’t and it was not my rights. I was exhausted and said ‘yes I understand’.

He then asked ‘what’s your other daughters name’? I said ‘how do you know I have another daughter? And if I did why would I tell you her name when after depriving me of air I gave you my name just to be taken to jail’? He asked her name again, I stated her name was ‘Jane’, he asked her last name, I stated ‘Doe’. He became upset and said ‘there goes your air again’ and took the hose and slammed the plastic divider shut. For the third time, I struggled for air.

I spent the next 9-10 hours in jail being treated less than humane only to pay $200 and be released at 12:30 am to walk back to where I was arrested for my vehicle and purse. The whole time worried about my dog if she had run out of water. All this because AC needed my ‘name for their report’?!?

I have bought/read both ‘discoveries’ from Murray police and West Jordan police, both filled with lies. I have highlighted all inconsistencies/lies. I am a citizen of the United States of America and I did NOTHING to deserve/fear/be tormented/terrified by both AC and MP.

– Andrea Daynes

Why was Danielle Willard Murdered by Utah Police?

Danielle Willard, a small, unarmed young woman, was shot and killed Nov. 2, 2012 by West Valley, Ut. police

A rally will be held Saturday, December 1st at the West Valley Police station, which is located within the Salt Lake City area (see end of post for a map), to demand justice for Danielle Willard. Also, a second protest and candlelight vigil be held at the same location Sunday, December 16th. Danielle’s death and the many unanswered questions surrounding it have left her family, friends, and supporters frustrated, saddened and angry.

In addition, the handling of it all by local police has made many people not just in Utah, but all across the country, question how and why such a small, unarmed woman barely out of her teens with no known history of violent behavior ended up becoming the latest in a growing list of “collateral damage” from the government’s disastrous War on Drugs.

Almost a month ago, on Nov. 2, 2012, Danielle Willard was shot and killed by undercover police working for the West Valley, Utah police department. Apparently, she was killed during an attempted drug bust, although even that is a bit speculative at this point because police have yet to confirm much of anything about what happened that day.

“The family of a 21-year-old woman killed in an officer-involved shooting yesterday await answers in her death. So far, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the shooting at this apartment complex.

We still don’t know why officers shot and killed Danielle Willard. Her family says, she wasn’t a violent person but drugs may have been her downfall.

Willard’s mother, who lives in Vancouver, Washington, is anxious for information to come out.

“Everything that keeps going through my mind is speculation,” said Melissa Kennedy. “Did she get back on drugs? Was she really clean? Was it the wrong place at the wrong time?”

Willard was shot Friday and killed by undercover officers in the parking lot of an apartment complex in West Valley. Police used white sheets to cover her body from public view. Authorities aren’t saying what led to the shooting.”

Danielle Willard During “Brighter” Days

In fact, police have refused to even comment officially on such basic things as Danielle’s identity or even whether she is male or female. Purportedly, this silence is due to an ongoing investigation into the shooting and the events surrounding it. However, such rudimentary details have not only already been made public by Danielle’s family and friends, but are hardly something that would interfere with an investigation.

Those family and friends are understandably questioning that silence, especially since police normally have no problem releasing information that supports their officers’ version of events. Without any of that information, they are left to try and make sense of why police would need to kill Danielle, which is hard to reconcile with their own memories of her:

“Melissa Kennedy knows her daughter wasn’t perfect.

But she doesn’t understand what it is that her daughter did so wrong that prompted West Valley police to shoot and kill her…

‘…Danielle is a sweetheart. She’s got a big heart. She would give the clothes off her back for anybody. I used to get mad at her because she would use so much gas in our car because someone would want a ride home. She couldn’t tell them no,’ Kennedy said…

‘…She’s never been known to be a violent person. She’s 100 pounds soaking wet. She’s only 21 years old. She’s a tiny little thing. What could she possibly have done, other than having a gun, what could she have done to provoke them to shoot her?…I’ve never ever known her to keep a gun with her or anywhere around here,’ Kennedy said…

‘…Kayleen (Willard) said she admired her older sister.’I always wanted to be like her. She always inspired me, because she was always so happy. She always seemed to be the crowd pleaser. She always seemed to brighten up a room,’ Willard said. ‘She was an inspiration to me, she made me be the person I am today. She made me want to be a better person growing up. She will always be in my thoughts and my heart, and she’s in a better place right now and I’ll see her again some day.'”

In spite of the silent treatment from West Valley police, some details about that day have gotten out. As might be expected, those details don’t paint the undercover cops that killed Danielle in a very good light. Based on independent witnesses that have come forward and the limited admissions that detectives assigned to the case have made themselves several things have been established:

  • Danielle was not armed, nor were there any guns found within the vehicle where she was killed. (As confirmed by detectives)
  • Danielle was actually a passenger in her own vehicle and was attempting to seek cover by ducking down within the car at the time of the shooting.
  • It’s unlikely that Danielle was the target of the ill-fated drug bust. Whether she was in some way involved with drugs again or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time is unknown. However, even if she was that by itself would in no way justify her death.
  • An unidentified male, who fled the scene and was probably the one being targeted by the undercover cops, was driving the car. (Detectives Danielle’s mother spoke to actually denied that this person was present, which only raises more questions about why deadly force was necessary.)
  • According to the autopsy, Danielle was shot first in the cheek and then fatally in the top of her skull, which supports the witness accounts that she was ducking down at the time she was shot.

Demand Justice for Danielle Willard

The every day abuses and unintended negative consequences of the War on Drugs, as well as the selective nature of that war, should be enough to cause outrage at the unnecessary death of yet another person whose only real “crime” was an act which by itself only harms the person committing that act. No matter what your stance on drug use and its effect on those who become addicted, it should be apparent that the harm caused by drug prohibitions far outweigh any positive effects of such policies.

The bottom line is Danielle Willard should never have been killed in the first place and those who care about her deserve answers for why she was murdered in spite of being unarmed and, by all accounts, not acting in any aggressive manner at all. Unfortunately, police are in no hurry to provide those answers.

There are several ways that you can help seek justice for Danielle:

If you are in or have the ability to travel to West Valley, Ut., join those who will be there at the rallies to support them as they demand that justice in person. Other options to contribute from a distance include donating funds to offset funeral costs and the costs of traveling from Washington, where her family lives, to Utah. This is the link to do that via an online fundraiser. Yet another option is to call the West Valley Police Department at (801) 963-3300 or  (801) 965-5155 and let them know that you want justice for Danielle.

View West Valley Police Department 3600 Constitution Blvd in a larger map