Kelly Patterson Arrest Las Vegas Police Lawsuit Settlement

Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Over Unlawfull Arrest of NVCopBlock Editor and ACAB Radio Host Kelly W. Patterson in November of 2016

I’d like to be surprised by the statement below, but I’m all too familiar with the LVMPD’s idea of accountability and integrity.

“Despite multiple sustained internal affairs investigations, Officer Fonbuena is still employed with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.”

The original post published several days after the unconstitutional arrest is included below. The video, which pretty clearly shows what happened that night, is also included below.

Keep filming.

Via Stephen Stubbs (who along with the Clear Counsel Law Group represented me during this case and the subsequent lawsuit) on Facebook:

(Links added)

LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT SETTLES FIRST AMENDMENT POLICE RECORDING CASE FOR $125,000.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department settled Kelly Patterson’s First Amendment civil lawsuit for $125,000.

On November 4th 2016, Kelly Patterson, as a writer for Nevada Cop Block and police accountability activist, was recording LVMPD making an arrest on the streets of Las Vegas. LVMPD Officer Richard Fonbuena took issue with Mr. Patterson recording police and ordered Mr. Patterson to leave. Mr. Patterson refused to leave, and continued recording. Officer Fonbuena then yelled, “I told your dumb ass to move”, asked Mr. Patterson if he was an “idiot”, threw Mr. Patterson into the street, and arrested him for unlawfully being in the street and obstruction. The criminal case was denied by the Las Vegas City Attorney and a civil lawsuit was filed (United States District Court, District of Nevada, Case No: 2:18-cv-00518-JCM-GWF). On December 19, 2019, after receiving a settlement in the amount of $125,000, a stipulation to dismiss the civil case was filed and the case is closed.

Despite multiple sustained internal affairs investigations, Officer Fonbuena is still employed with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.”

The video of the incident in case is shown on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/x1kb3JC74TU

Youtube Video description:

“Kelly W. Patterson founded NVCopBlock.org and is an on air host of ACABradio.com. He regularly films the police in downtown Las Vegas (AKA: the #DTLV). On November 5th, 2016 at around 3 am, he was unlawfully arrested by LVMPD Officer Richard Fonbuena while filming the police arresting a woman. The charges, which the district attorney chose not to even file, were obstruction and being an “unlawful pedestrian in the roadway.”

Original Post (Published Nov. 9, 2016)

Note: The Following post was written by and was originally published at CopBlock.org under the title “Nevada CopBlock Founder Arrested While Filming Las Vegas Metro Police.” It’s being reposted here for obvious reasons.

Kelly Patterson, founder of Nevada CopBlock and editor of this website, was spending his weekend doing what he usually does – filming the police on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. That’s when Patterson witnessed Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) officers about to affect an arrest on a woman and pulled out his camera (see video embedded below).

As you can see in the video, it appears that Patterson is a safe distance away from the arrest/officers, but for whatever reason a lagging LVMPD officer comes over to him demanding he leave. Patterson asks questions to the unknown and aggressive LVMPD officer about how his actions are criminal, but to no avail. Abruptly during the exchange, he’s arrested on bogus charges of obstructing a police officer and obstructing a vehicle in the roadway (after the officers arresting him threw him into the road).

Raw Video:

While that seems ridiculous in itself, the comments made by retired Las Vegas police Lt. Randy Sutton are also pretty absurd. According to 13 Action News:

Sutton said, “Cop Block, the group that Patterson is part of, is notorious for antagonizing cops.”

“There was apparently some interaction before what we saw in this video because there was a reference made to it when the officer initially confronted the guy who had the camera,” Sutton said.

While Sutton said this, and the news aired it (with nicely edited footage, see below), you can see from the footage above that Patterson and the LVMPD officer had no interaction until the officer demanded Patterson leave the area – which is a violation of his right to record (especially since there was no danger or interference going on). CopBlock being “notorious for antagonizing cops” is also completely irrelevant. Police have to arrest people based on their actions, not the reputation of a group they are affiliated with. (An affiliation that the cop who started this incident and then assaulted and illegally arrested Patterson likely wasn’t even aware of.)

Thankfully, Sutton didn’t go full COPSUCKER and recovered by saying, “The reality is police cannot stop someone from videotaping an action and in doing that is not in keeping up with the policies of the police department.”

The question now is the same as it’s always been after such wrongful arrests, will the officer learn and be held accountable for his actions? Of course, cops are investigating cops on this matter. So, a fair review will be produced in a timely manner I’m sure.

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Meanwhile, Patterson spent 24 hours in the local jail, faces two charges and possible injury from the interaction. Thankfully, Stephen P. Stubbs, a local Las Vegas Attorney, has decided to represent Patterson in his legal matters with the city.

1 Comment

  1. The United States Supreme Court ruled you can resist an unlawful arrest even to the point of taking an officers life . On the video it shows an assault by 3 armed cops . I believe that is enough to fear for your life . I was assault by a cop years ago in another state , I fought back and beat him down . No charges on me but on him he got fired . Self defense .

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