Note: This post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via an anonymous reader submission. 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.
Obviously, this submission isn’t some harrowing tail of police brutality. In fact, it’s pretty low on the scale of what police in general and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, in particular, are capable of (and have actually done). However, on a basic level it just shows the sort of “service and protection” that those who live in Las Vegas often receive from our “partners with the community.” As is pointed out in the submission, it’s these types of interactions that have the opposite effect, instead creating feelings of mistrust, fear, and even hostility toward the police among the public.
Beyond that, it’s also important to understand that many instances of brutality and killings at the hands of the police often start out as minor harassment based stops that then escalate into violence. When police arrogance combines with the (well earned) distrust of cops by citizens, things can go very wrong, very fast.
Last night, I was in line to enter the Bellagio drive up. A man in front of me had repeatedly allowed people to cross two and three lanes to nose into the line, and people behind me were honking.
When we approached the light, it turned green and the man stopped, even though there were no pedestrians crossing. So I tapped my horn. Much to my disbelief, two cops ran over to my car and yelled at me asking me why I honked my horn and hurt their ears???? I said I was sorry, I was not aware of them being to my right on the sidewalk full of pedestrians.
They continued to yell at me and said they were thinking of arresting me for using my horn illegally and told me to pull over and give them my license. This was a completely aggressive and demeaning interaction on their part, as I was shaking and completely stunned to find myself with the threat of going to jail. After sitting and waiting for sometime, the “nicer” of the two, and that is said with a grain of salt, explained to me that it is illegal to honk your horn unless it is an emergency.
Let me back-pedal a little to explain that each time I asked these two cops a question, they answered with a question, such as “do you want me to take you to jail?” They had no intention of providing me any type of information about the situation, but instead were completely wound up and had an agenda. Luckily, I was eventually allowed to go after being berated and told not to honk my horn unless it was an emergency…
I now understand these posts about people being wary to contact police in an emergency. If these guys are on edge because of the Mandalay Bay shooting then I suggest they get some heavy counseling before they harm an innocent passerby who disturbs their hearing!! Ridiculous…
– Jane Doe
Edit: Shortly after this was posted, Stephen Stubbs, a Las Vegas attorney who has been featured on NVCopBlock.org numerous times over the years, pointed out the signalling requirements outlined in NRS 484B.413 (AKA – the “signalling traffic statute“), that relates to vehicles preparing to turn in an area that might affect pedestrians.
As you can see in the photo below section #1 of that statute actually requires drivers to make “a clearly audible signal by sounding the horn if any pedestrian may be affected by such movement.” Anybody who has driven on the Strip, knows very well that pedestrians are very prone to walking across side streets and driveways against the light.
So, if the law is being interpreted by the letter (as it obviously was here) it’s more likely that not honking in the situation described would get you a ticket than honking would. Unless you’re dealing with a couple of cops who are just looking to harass someone because they did something that you didn’t like.
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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.
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