Note: The description included within this post was shared with Nevada Cop Block by Garfield Davis via 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.
The video and description below were originally submitted as part of a post to Garfield Davis’ Facebook profile. It involves a situation in which he was forcibly detained and then, once he objected to that detention, was subsequently arrested by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The charge under which he was arrested was “resisting arrest” without any underlying charge for that arrest to which he allegedly resisted. At the time of the arrest, Davis had been quietly and peacefully walking (on a public sidewalk) down the street on the Las Vegas Strip until he was confronted by the officers that arrested him.
Although the officer who initially grabs him very clearly states that he has not committed any crime and is “not in trouble,” they still refuse to allow him to leave. In order to be legally detained, police must actually have a reasonable suspicion that someone is committing (or has committed) a crime. Therefore, they had no legal right to stop him from leaving. Shortly after the beginning of that illegal detention, the police take Davis’ phone from him and place it on a police car. As a result, from that point on there isn’t any video of what is happening. Davis does maintain that their treatment of him during the arrest was violent and the audio from his phone seems to back that assertion up.
According to comments on the original Facebook video someone had apparently reported Davis missing. This is no doubt why the police wanted to speak with him in the first place. However, being reported as missing is not a crime, nor does it by itself create a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. An adult has every right to leave without telling someone where they are or having a legal obligation to justify their absence.
Without some unlawful act connected to their disappearance, they are within their rights to do so without it being grounds for detention by the police. That’s why you often hear people complain about the police not being willing to file a missing persons report within a short time of someone having been unaccounted for. It would more than likely be considered a welfare check type of situation.
As such, once it was established that Davis was not injured in some way (he still could also refuse medical treatment in most cases) or displaying some behavior that would lead them to conclude he was a danger to himself or others, they should have allowed him to go on his way in peace, once he indicated he wanted to do so. Incidentally, walking down a public sidewalk is not evidence that someone is going to harm themselves or someone else. Also, the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution outlines people’s right not to be subjected to questioning against their will.
Therefore, since the officers readily admitted that he was not suspected of committing a crime, they had no reason to detain him in the first place. And, since their charge of resisting arrest was actually predicated upon him not submitting to their illegal detention, they had no legal right to escalate the situation to that point by initiating a false arrest against Davis.
Submission by Garfield Davis
Date of Incident: December 20, 2019
Department Involved: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
LVMPD Phone No.: (702) 828-3111
On the evening of December 20, 2019, while walking in Las Vegas I was approached by police. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police arrested me for resisting arrest. Though the video paints a different story of how things really went down.
– Garfield Davis
Video of Arrest (Recorded by Davis)
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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