Last Month, police officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrested a local activist named Jason Nellis, who has also contributed several posts to the CopBlock Network. In doing so, they used the excuse that he had jaywalked as they were arresting a wheelchair-bound woman on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas.
However, in the body camera video released by his lawyer, Stephen Stubbs, it’s very clear that they actually arrested him because they didn’t like that he was singing NWA’s song,”Fuck Tha Police” along with some street performers who were across the street, well away from the police. This is, of course, very much covered by the free speech protections within the First Amendment to the US Constitution and has been ruled as such many times.
As is common in downtown Las Vegas, they used jaywalking as an excuse to arrest him. Even that very shallow and see through aspect of the arrest is entirely invalid, though. In fact, the video shows that the police were blocking the crosswalk which made it impossible to cross the street without either “jaywalking” or actually interfering with the police that were arresting the disabled woman. The reality is that, as they themselves stated quite plainly in the video, the jaywalking charge was nothing more than a convenient excuse to illegally arrest a person they consider an “agitator” and “clear out downtown.” (They have even used that excuse to detain me once, which makes this the third time cops in Downtown Las Vegas have been featured for that same bogus reason on the Cop Block Network.)
The public relations wing of the LVMPD likes to make grand claims that they have made great strides to eliminate the rampant misconduct that they were widely and very correctly criticized for in recent years. Obviously, videos like this continue to show what an absolute and embarrassing joke that notion is. Nobody actually watching the LVMPD and its gang of hooligans is in the least bit fooled by superficial PR campaigns when the same behavior that created that lack of trust and respect among Las Vegas residents is not just allowed, but even condoned in practice.
What people see is what they remember and what actually defines you. And when police are willing to laugh and boast about it on camera everyone knows it’s not just a Few Bad Apples involved.
Jason Nellis will be in court for a hearing to present evidence that this illegal arrest violated his First Amendment rights this morning, October 27th at 9:30am PST/12:30pm EST. The hearing will take place in Judge Kerns courtroom located on the sixth floor of the Regoinal (In)Justice Center. If you’re in Las Vegas you should attend that hearing as a visible show of support for Jason and, as well as to send a message that Las Vegas residents are tired of the constant misconduct and abuses by the LVMPD. You can find additional information about the hearing on this Facebook event page that has been set up.
If for some reason you can’t attend or you’re not in Las Vegas, you can also contact the LVMPD and let them know you are paying attention and that you don’t appreciate the police in Las Vegas arbitrarily violating citizens’ Constitutional rights. I’m sure the Las Vegas Tourism Board might also like to know what sort of impression the officers working for the LVMPD are giving to people outside the city and what impact that is having on whether you visit Vegas.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
400 S. Martin L. King Boulevard
Las Vegas, Nevada 89106
Email: [email protected]
Local Phone No.: (702) 828-3111
Toll-Free Number: 1-800-492-6565
Facebook Page: LVMPD on FB
Twitter Profile: @LVMPD
YouTube Channel: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
3150 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Email: [email protected]
Local Phone Number: 702-892-0711
Toll-Free Number: 877-847-4858
Facebook Page: Visit Las Vegas
Twitter Profile: @Vegas Youtube Channel: Visit Las Vegas
Arrested For Exercising Free Speech in Las Vegas
Kelly is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes.
Connect with Kelly at these social networks; Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.