Mother's Day Vigil One Year After Tashii Farmer was Murdered by LVMPD Officer Kenneth Lopera

Mother’s Day Vigil to be Held May 13th Commemorating One Year Since Tashii Brown’s Murder

One year ago, early on the morning of Mother’s Day 2017, Tashii Brown sought help from two officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department inside the Venetian Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Instead of receiving that help, after he explained that he thought someone was chasing him those officers began treating him as a criminal rather than someone in need of medical help for a mental health issue.

This in turn prompted Brown to attempt to leave the area, likely out of fear that he would be arrested. LVMPD police spokespersons themselves acknowledge that Brown had not committed or even been suspected of a crime and therefore was legally free to do so. In spite of that fact, Officer Kenneth Lopera decided to begin chasing him.

As has been detailed numerous times here at NVCopBlock.org, once Officer Lopera caught up to Brown inside the casino’s parking garage, he then proceeded to violently attack him. After tasing Brown at least seven times, Lopera physically assaulted him by punching him in the head and upper body. Soon after, Lopera applied an illegal “rear-naked choke” hold to Lopera.

Body camera footage (embedded below), as well as casino surveillance video, released later clearly showed that Brown had not been aggressively resisting or physically threatening Lopera at the time that choke hold was applied (or any other time). It also shows that there were at least two Venetian security guards there holding Tashii Brown down at the time. In addition, Lopera’s sergeant can clearly be heard telling Lopera to release the choke hold. Instead of following that order, Lopera verbally refused while continuing to choke Brown for over a minute until he was dead.

The LVMPD, of course, responded by holding a press conference in which they did everything they could to shift the blame away from Officer Lopera and onto his victim. Even after admitting that Brown would not have been charged with any crime had he survived Lopera’s attack, Kevin McMahill still repeatedly referred to Brown as “the suspect” and referenced the assault upon him by Lopera as a “struggle” between them prompted by the blatant lie that Lopera believed Brown was going to car-jack someone.

Later, in large part to the public outrage spurred by the murder Officer Lopera was finally charged with a crime, as a result of his actions. However, even that was watered down to a mere charge of “Involuntary Manslaughter.” Furthermore, earlier this year that indictment was sent to a grand jury for review. Potentially, they could dismiss the charges entirely.

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.

Now, one year later, Brown’s mother Trinita Farmer has called for a Mother’s Day vigil to commemorate his death and demand justice for the actions by Lopera that caused it. As can be seen below in the announcement posted to Facebook, this vigil will be taking place at 3pm on May 13th at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. After a memorial in honor of Tashii Brown near the fountains out front, people will be invited to walk to the Venetian and honor Brown’s memory by leaving flowers in front of it.

Other family members of the victims of police violence have also been invited to participate and speak at the vigil. It is also being hosted by several local groups within the Las Vegas area. Primary among them are the Forced Trajectory Project and Families United 4 Justice, both of which work with families to support, advocate for, and document the effects police murder has on the loved ones of its victims.

Justice for Tashii Brown / 1st Year Mother’s Day Vigil

One year anniversary memorail and vigil for Tashii Farmer-Brown, who was murdered by LVMPD Officer Kenneth Lopera on Mother's Day 2017
Families United 4 Justice’s official flyer for the 1st Year Anniversary Mother’s Day Vigil for police murder victim, Tashii Brown

On May 14th, 2017, at The Venetian, Tashii Farmer-Brown, 40, a Hawaiian native, was distressed and asked the police for help. Rather than providing him with assistance, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Kenneth Lopera began to chase him and tased him seven times before putting Tashii into an illegal chokehold. Despite a co-worker’s demand to release him, Lopera refused and took Tashii’s life.

The LVMPD stated that Tashii would not have been charged with any crimes had he survived the attack.

While Officer Lopera has been indicted for involuntary manslaughter (a charge that clearly does not fit the crime), the grand jury has continuously requested more time to decide whether or not the DA will prosecute (a method that is commonly used nationwide to create distance from the the case).

The mother, Trinita Farmer, is calling the community to support her this Mother’s Day by showing up and demanding JUSTICE for her beloved son, a father of two young children. She has also extended her invitation to other victims of police violence, and we will have other mothers present to share their stories and demand justice for their loved ones.

We will be gathering at the Bellagio fountains. If possible, please bring a red rose or hibiscus flower. We will also have flyers available for you to print out and march with.

Additional Information

Interview about the vigil on National Public Radio by Nissa Tsun of the Forced Trajectory Project and Families United 4 Justice

Body camera footage of the murder of Tashii Brown by LVMPD Officer Kenneth Lopera

Guest appearance on “ACAB Radio Las Vegas” by Nissa Tzun, in which the murder of Tashii Born and the Mother’s Day vigil were discussed.

Guest appearance on “ACAB Radio Las Vegas” by Nissa Tzun, in which the murder of Tashii Born and the Mother’s Day vigil were discussed.

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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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