Archive for the 'History' Category

Attorney Stephen Stubbs Arrested for Defending Client’s 5th Amendment Rights

Sunday, August 10th, 2014
AttorneyStephenStubbs Attorney Stephen Stubbs Arrested for Defending Clients 5th Amendment Rights

Attorney Stephen “Bowtie” Stubbs

This post was originally shared via CopBlock.org‘s submit page. and posted to CopBlock.org. It’s being reposted here at Nevada Cop Block both because of the obvious relevance of it having happened in Las Vegas, and because Stubbs mentioned during one of his monthly “Know Your Rights” seminars that the court case resulting from this incident will be beginning soon (I believe he said in September, but I could be wrong about that).

In Las Vegas, the LVMPD regularly detains motorcyclists for minor traffic violations, and then keeps them for an extended period of time for “intelligence gathering.” On 11/14/2013, about a hundred motorcyclists were gathered in Las Vegas for a Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs meeting. At this meeting, Attorney Stephen Stubbs was going to make a presentation on Constitutional Rights. However, Attorney Stubbs was pulled out of the building by other motorcyclists to help a member of the Bikers for Christ Motorcycle Ministry that was being detained by LVMPD.

Attorney Stubbs came out of the building; the detained member of Bikers for Christ immediately pointed at Stubbs and said, “That’s my lawyer.” Attorney Stubbs approached two LVMPD officers and one LVMPD Sergeant. Attorney Stubbs asked the LVMPD Sergeant if the man was being detained and the Sergeant said, “Yes, for a traffic violation,” then explained that they wanted to “question” him.

At that time, the video started.

StephenStubbs5thAmendment 300x218 Attorney Stephen Stubbs Arrested for Defending Clients 5th Amendment Rights

The 5th Amendment is your friend.

Attorney Stubbs told the LVMPD Sergeant that he would be attending the questioning and the LVMPD Sergeant agreed and approved. Stubbs and the Sergeant had a brief discussion on the 5th Amendment Right to Counsel. A few minutes into the questioning, LVMPD Gang Task Force showed up and announces that it was now their investigation. LVMPD Gang Task Force Lieutenant Yatomi (P#6402) (this short little girl has MAJOR power trip issues) ordered Attorney Stubbs to leave so that LVMPD could question Stubbs’s client out of his presence. Attorney Stubbs refused to leave because of his client’s 5th Amendment Right to Counsel. LVMPD Gang Task Force Lieutenant Yatomi then arrested Attorney Stubbs for Obstructing a Public Officer. Attorney Stubbs was booked in the Clark County Detention Center and was released early the next morning. Attorney Stubbs has his first court date in March 2014 to face the charges.

 

Thanks for reading. Attorney Stephen Stubbs Arrested for Defending Client’s 5th Amendment Rights is a post from Nevada Cop Block

Bill Scott, Father of Erik Who Was Killed by LVMPD Employees, Interviewed by Bill Buppert of ZeroGov.com

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

 

Coroners Inquest2 300x183 Bill Scott, Father of Erik Who Was Killed by LVMPD Employees, Interviewed by Bill Buppert of ZeroGov.com

The text below was posted to ZeroGov.com on August 04 by Bill Buppert. It is cross-posted here (by way of CopBlock.org) per the obvious relevance of the matters it addresses, including the fact that the shooting of Erik Scott took place in Las Vegas four years and one month ago, on July 10, 2010.

Related:

________________________

Ten Questions for Bill Scott, Author of The Permit
by Bill Buppert

I read Bill’s book, The Permit, and was aghast at the more intimate and grim details on his son’s murder by cops in Las Vegas in 2010 depicted in the novel. This site is no stranger to reports of predation and rampant misbehavior and mayhem wrought by American police today. My twitter posts three-five new incidents of cop brutality daily. The police state in the US may be the most far-reaching residual of the American War on Terror which has become a self-fulfilling Orwellian prophecy with the use of the campaign as a means to institutionalize maximum government to keep the tax cattle safe no matter the expense in liberty and freedom.

Bill has been kind enough to grant this interview with me.

Bill Scott is now a full-time author, writing techno-thriller novels. The latest is “The Permit,” which is based on the murder of his eldest son, Erik. He co-authored two other novels, “Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III,” and a sequel, “Counterspace: The Next Hours of World War III,” plus one nonfiction book, “Inside the Stealth Bomber: The B-2 Story.”

Bill can be reached via the Contact section of my website, http://williambscott.com, or e-mail at: bill@williambscott.com.

While Bill and I may not agree on everything, we do agree that the US police state is a clear and present danger to any human being living within the borders of the US. -BB

Bill Buppert: Tell the readers some of your background.

Bill Scott: My wife and I have been married 44 years, and we were blessed with two incredible sons, Erik and Kevin.

In 2007, I retired as the Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief, concluding a 22-year career as a writer/reporter for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. I’m a Flight Test Engineer graduate of the US Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS), and flight-tested aircraft for 12 years, both as an Air Force officer and civilian FTE. My undergraduate degree is in electrical engineering. While on USAF active duty, I flew classified nuclear debris-sampling/collection missions, served as an R&D engineer with the National Security Agency, and was a flight test instrumentation engineer, prior to being selected for USAF TPS. As a civil pilot with a commercial certificate and instrument and multi-engine ratings, flight test engineer, AvWeek reporter, and USAF aircrew member, I logged about 2,000 hours of flight time in 80 different types of aircraft.

Bill Buppert: Many condolences on the loss of your son; I read Erik’s story when it first happened in 2010 and then read your cathartic novel, The Permit, which fleshed out more details in a fictional narrative of the murder of your son by Las Vegas Metro cops and the subsequent cover-up. Were you surprised at the cover-up, stonewalling and general nastiness of the police after they murdered your son?

Bill Scott: Yes, very surprised. Before Erik was shot to death, I was one of those naïve American military veterans, who thought all but a few rogue police officers also were honest public servants dedicated to protecting and serving. I quickly learned that cowardice, corruption and cover-up were the standard for about a third of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department—including the sheriff, Doug Gillespie, and his chief cover-up “spook,” Captain Patrick Neville. I arrived in Vegas two days after Erik was murdered, convinced that a sloppy, transparent cover-up was well underway. When I asked, “Why would they cover up an officer-involved shooting, which appears to be a massive screw-up, not an intentional murder?” my lawyer, several of Erik’s friends, and long-time Vegas residents looked at me as if I’d parachuted in from Mars. They unanimously replied, “Because they always cover up their murders! There’s nothing special about Erik!”

Bill Buppert: Most Americans are living in what I consider an illusion in thinking the police protect and serve anyone but the rulers and bureaucracy of the various levels of government. This especially appears to be the case with the consistently egregious behavior of the LVM. Do you consider the LVM to be a viciously compromised and self-serving entity?

Bill Scott: Most definitely. Las Vegas Metro PD is an integral arm of the Clark County/Las Vegas Cartel of Corruption, which comprises billionaires, powerful politicians, immoral, appalling cops, a complicit district attorney’s office, compromised judges, the coroner’s office (which now encompasses Public Administrator functions), and an absolutely venal, obstructionist police union. This cartel is controlled by a Cleveland branch of the Mafia or Mob, which has its dirty paws in several of the big resort-hotels and casinos.

In short, this Cartel uses LVMPD cops as its enforcers of evil, ranging from stealing the wealth of elderly citizens to beating and executing those who can’t pay gambling debts, and forcing runaway kids into child sex rings. Paying off low-IQ cops is more sophisticated than hiring a bunch of knee-breaking “Guidos,” as the Mob does back East. Instead, the Las Vegas Cartel developed a quasi-legal “coroner inquest” system that guaranteed any murder committed by a police officer was found “Justified.” Since the late 1970s, about 200 coroner inquest hearings were held in Clark County, NV, billed as a quasi-judicial “fact-finding” exercise. Of course, not a single cop was ever found at fault. Every killing by a LV Metro cop was ruled “Justified.” Incredible.

Bill Buppert: Were you surprised at the cruel and nasty attitude and behavior of the LVM when you were attempting to get justice for Erik in the legal system?

Bill Scott: By the time we filed our lawsuits, I knew LVMPD would stop at nothing to protect their killer-cops and Sheriff Doug Gillespie’s reelection campaign. Good, honest cops said that my phones and e-mails were being monitored, thanks to the Vegas federal-state-local “Joint Fusion Center,” which routinely uses high-tech snooping technology, under the guise of counterterrorism. Metro detectives illegally broke into, and stole several guns from, Erik’s condo, twisted the facts of his medical records (Erik had 40% of his L5 vertebra broken off, a casualty of Army airborne training. He suffered severe back pain, after a fender-bender car accident that realigned his spine in late 2009.), tried to intimidate Erik’s ex-wife, harassed Erik’s then-girlfriend (three traffic tickets within three weeks of Erik’s murder), and cherry-picked witnesses for the coroner’s inquest hearing. Further, LVM cops illegally acquired court-sealed records from another state, which were clearly stamped by a judge, stating that the claims in a detective’s report “did not occur.”

Metro detectives even pursued laughable measures to gin up a patently false narrative about Erik carrying a “second gun,” when, in fact, he only had a single pistol on his person (a legal, concealed-carry weapon), when he was shot to death. His .45-caliber Kimber Ultra Carry semiautomatic was removed from the body, after Erik’s corpse had been loaded into an AMR ambulance. That firearm was then placed on the concrete, near the entrance-exit of Costco-Summerlin in Las Vegas, supposedly as “proof” that Erik had pulled it, still in its holster.

Ooops! The ambulance EMTs’ report documented a firearm and extra magazine found on Erik’s body. That little hiccup prompted a panicked effort to break into Erik’s condo and steal a “second gun” to comport with 1) a gun found on Erik’s body, and 2) a pistol, in its holster, being on the ground, after the shooting. In fact, the only item on the ground, after Erik was shot seven times, was his BlackBerry, which he had in his right hand. At least two of Erik’s pistols, and, possibly, two rifles were stolen from the condo. Then, brilliant Metro detectives fired a hole in the handle of a small (stolen) Ruger LCP, trying to imply the small gun was in my son’s jeans front pocket, which contained Erik’s 1.75-inches-thick wallet!

A detailed analysis conducted by Mike McDaniel, a former professional police and ex-SWAT officer, trainer and crime scene investigator, completely destroys Metro’s ludicrous “two-gun” narrative. That superb analysis is available (with photos of Erik’s firearms) on Mike’s blog: The Erik Scott Case: Update 19

Bill Buppert: Is a Coroner’s Inquest designed to protect the misbehavior and brutality of the police and its allies?

Bill Scott: In Las Vegas, NV, that’s absolutely true. The old Vegas inquest was a one-sided, bizarre perversion of due process, which made a mockery of American jurisprudence. We allowed Erik’s September 2010 inquest hearing to be televised and streamed over the Internet. Once Las Vegas citizens and thousands throughout America and many foreign countries witnessed, first-hand, this moronic kangaroo court in action, the outrage and blow-back that erupted forced a radical revision of the Clark County coroner’s inquest process. However, the Cartel of Corruption, through its proxy, an uber-arrogant Las Vegas Police Protective Association (police union), managed to put the new, revised inquest system on indefinite hold. Now, a corrupt district attorney, Steve Wolfson, reviews all officer-involved shootings and single-handedly rules whether they were justified or criminal. Over the past three years, Wolfson has found every single shooting “Justified.” Surprise! New system, same outcomes. The Cartel maintains iron-fisted control of the Southern Nevada “justice” system, ensuring Metro’s killer-cops always go free and never are held accountable for crimes that would imprison a “civilian” for life.

Bill Buppert: There are an estimated 19,000 law enforcement agencies in the USA; do you suspect the behavior and actions of the LVM are a microcosm of modern American policing?

Bill Scott: I do, given that cops across the nation routinely commit and get away with egregious murders and acts of raw brutality. The federal Patriot Act literally gave cops a license to kill, and many don’t hesitate to shoot. As a result, law enforcement now attracts an extraordinary number of bullies and brain-damaged, angry men and women. Many of these are totally devoid of courage and conscience, and are convinced they truly are above the law. They feel they can do anything they please, and can get away with it. Backed by obscene unions, today’s cops take great umbrage with anybody daring to question their judgment, tactics, use of force, and absurd accounts of an incident.

Bill Buppert: I suggest an evil trifecta of police misbehavior in police unions, officer safety mandates and qualified immunity to be core causes of the tragedy that is the US police state today bolstered by creeping militarization and Federalization. What do you think?

Bill Scott: I agree. As described in Chapter Ten of The Permit, law enforcement officers and agents of all stripes constitute the most dangerous domestic terrorist threat facing Americans today. Over the last few decades, cops and federal agents have killed more citizens than our nation lost at Pearl Harbor, on D-Day 1944, and on 9/11/2001…combined. An American citizen is now eight times more likely to be killed by a cop than by a terrorist. And a police officer is 130 times more likely to be involved in an act of misconduct than to be killed in the line of duty.

Police unions leverage the power of money to elect, then control, politicians. With polished, proven rhetoric, unions have tricked well-meaning, yet hopelessly naïve, politicos into passing “Qualified Immunity” laws that virtually guarantee a killer-cop will never be held accountable for murdering an innocent “civilian”—as cops now refer to lowly taxpaying citizens. Juries rarely find a cop guilty of murder or wrongdoing, because the average jurist still believes the falsehood that cops are honest and would never lie. As any experienced courtroom lawyer will confirm, though, cops do lie, even under oath.

Add to that the totally unjustified, runaway militarization of local and state police departments—aided and abetted by federal dollars and military equipment—and we now have precisely what the nation’s founders tried to prevent: A standing domestic army that exists for the sole purpose of controlling the very people who pay the jackbooted thugs’ salaries. In the 21st Century, America truly has become a police state.

Bill Buppert: Absent a police power, how would a state deny individual freedom and liberty?

Bill Scott: By gutting the Second Amendment and disarming American citizens, removing the only sure, last-ditch means to resist a tyrannical government. Disarmament, in itself, would inspire a power-hungry tyrant to create his own police force. No politician would allow unarmed, vulnerable masses to live as they pleased.

erik b scott slain by lvmpd employees zerogov copblock Bill Scott, Father of Erik Who Was Killed by LVMPD Employees, Interviewed by Bill Buppert of ZeroGov.comBill Buppert: Any updates in the case with Erik?

Bill Scott: I’m still pursuing legal measures, and continuing to wage asymmetric war against the Cartel of Corruption that controls Las Vegas. I don’t talk about strategies, operations and tactics, but several battles have been relatively successful. I’m aided by a small number of motivated, well-connected allies, who are quietly working behind the scenes. I’m not privy to their campaign strategies, but am assured that the Vegas Cartel and its killer-cop drones are literally living on borrowed days. I couldn’t halt these warriors’ strikes-for-justice, if I wanted to.

Bill Buppert: I hope The Permit has been well received. I would urge my readers to buy the book and, if possible, review it on Amazon. Has it caused the reaction you expected? Do you still receive threats from the LVM?

Bill Scott: Many thanks for the endorsement, Bill. National sales of the novel continue to build steadily, thanks to overwhelmingly positive reviews, particularly on Amazon. In Las Vegas, reactions from Cartel entities are basically what we expected: Ignore the book and pretend it doesn’t exist, or, when pressed, demean and dismiss it as irrelevant. Fortunately, criticism and patronizing dismissal by the police union director, Chris Collins, and his team of online intimidator trolls backfired and has significantly increased sales of “The Permit.” Anything union cops hate and trash-talk, smart people embrace.

Metro’s threats aren’t as overt and transparent as they were a few years ago. However, the Las Vegas Joint Fusion Center’s geek-goons still may be monitoring my phone calls and e-mail messages, according to inside sources.

Before Erik was murdered, LV Metro had two public affairs officers; it now employs nine, supposedly because the “Scott Family” caused the department so much grief. The Permit also has contributed significantly to Metro’s miserable, tanking public image. I’m assured that, as a result of Erik’s senseless murder and courageous activism by “Erik’s Warriors,” LV Metro has quietly changed its policies, procedures and training dramatically. Of course, Sheriff Gillespie and his scared-stiff “Tower” staff also were motivated by the threat of a Department of Justice consent decree being imposed on the department.

I’ve been accused of being anti-cop and hating police officers. Absolutely not true. I’m deeply indebted to many good-hearted, professional police officers, who helped me expose the sordid inner workings of Las Vegas Metro, in particular, and Sin City, in general. Law enforcement professionals across the nation have patiently explained how a good police force operates. They invariably express stunned disbelief, outrage and embarrassment, when they hear how LV Metro’s badged thugs executed my son, then covered up the killers’ crimes.

These pros (and I) are quite distressed by the militarization of U.S. cops, and a few have helped me develop a presentation I call “Restore Honor.” I firmly believe that, unless good cops stand up and collectively demand that their own departments return to a “protect-and-serve” mentality and culture, our nation will explode in rebellion. As The Permit warns, armed, infuriated citizens will literally hunt down any cop sporting a badge. The level of simmering, subsurface fury I sense throughout the country, primarily directed at arrogant, above-the-law cops, is unprecedented…and scary.

I adamantly emphasize that I do not advocate violence against police officers. But “good” cops have been too silent, too willing to look the other way, for too long. I predict that, in the name of self-protection, honorable, professional cops will soon launch an aggressive crusade to Rid the Ranks of Rogues—eliminating corrupt outlaws from their own departments. Such a campaign might take the form of destroying a corrupt officer’s credit rating; pressuring a bank to foreclose on a killer-cop’s home; filing criminal charges for malfeasance, or taking more-direct action. The operation will spread rapidly, and it won’t be pretty. But, when Neanderthal killer-cops are systematically expunged from local, state and federal law enforcement, citizens will be quick to rally behind those high-integrity officers, who Restore Honor to what once was an honorable profession.

Godspeed to them.

Thanks for reading. Bill Scott, Father of Erik Who Was Killed by LVMPD Employees, Interviewed by Bill Buppert of ZeroGov.com is a post from Nevada Cop Block

LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover-Up of Illegal Data Searches

Sunday, July 20th, 2014
JohnBonaventuraLVConstable 300x265 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura

With the amount of corruption that takes place on a regular basis within Las Vegas area governments, it can be hard to stand out. However, (soon to be former) Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura and his deputy constables have actually managed to distinguish themselves among the roll call of corrupt officials in Clark County politics and even among the notoriously unaccountable members of Las Vegas law enforcement.

Bonaventura‘s latest scandal involves his cover up of the improper and illegal use of the Lexis Nexis “Accurint” database service to look up personal information on porn actresses by Deputy Chief Dean Lauer. Currently, Lauer serves as Bonaventura’s second in command within the troubled Constables office, which is scheduled to be eliminated in January after a rather extensive string of scandals.

The Accurint service, for which taxpayers are charged $800 a month for the required subscription fees, is intended to be used by law enforcement employees in order to conduct research on personal information during the course of an investigation. Instead, apparently Deputy Chief Lauer used it to conduct research on his favorite porn stars, including Traci Lords, Porche Lynne, Kayla Kleevage, Lisa Sparxxx and Gianna Michaels among the 16 current and former porn actresses accessed via his password and log-in info. A subsequent investigation was unable to find any legitimate law enforcement purpose for those searches.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, this incriminating information was presented to Constable Bonaventura by an internal affairs investigator:

Capt. Hadi Sadjadi, the office’s internal affairs investigator, presented the information at the meeting with Bonaventura, Lauer and other senior officers. On a recording of the meeting obtained by the Review-Journal, Bonaventura wasn’t interested in knowing anything at all about the unauthorized searches done between March and December 2012.

“I need you to pull out all that stuff you got on Dean for running the Accurint stuff because, you know, I believe in my heart that he didn’t do it because he’s addicted to porno or something like that,” Bonaventura is heard saying. “I know somebody mentioned it was 3 in the morning or whatever. … I don’t know. I don’t even want to know. I don’t want to f—-ing know. Whatever you got, I want you to bring it in here and put it in the pile.”

It soon went beyond a simple lack of interest in investigating a clearly improper use of department resources into an active cover up when Bonaventura ordered Capt Sadjadi to shred all of his evidence and reports relating to the unauthorized Accurint searches:

BonaventuraShred 300x200 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

Instead of investigating the improper use of the police records database, Bonaventura ordered the evidence shredded.

On the recording, Sadjadi is heard responding to Bonaventura’s opening comment by asking that chairs in the office be rearranged so staffers could face each other and have a “friendly debate.”

“We’re not having a debate, Hadi,” Bonaventura responded. “We’re not having a debate. …”

“But what I want you guys to do is I’m going to leave the room,” Bonaventura said. “There’s all this stuff here. There’s a shredder right there. Take your own crap and put it in the f—-ing shredder, OK? And when I come back, I want every­body to shake hands and that’s it.”

Bonaventura’s orders were followed and his men shredded the records, current and former employees familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

Apparently, Bonaventura’s motive for sweeping this incident under the rug was, at least in some part, based on a desire to avoid yet another scandal for the Las Vegas Constable’s office, which at that point had already been abolished in a vote (which Bonaventura was attempting to contest at the time) by County Commissioners, as a result of a seemingly endless string of embarrassing and public scandals.

Bonaventura expressed concern for the future of his job, and for those of his staff.

“I don’t want no more of this infighting b—-s—-,” Bonaventura said. “We got too much at stake here. All of our jobs are on the line. Don’t you guys realize every one of our jobs are on the line?”

Bonaventura’s orders were followed and his men shredded the records, current and former employees familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

In the year since the shredding, Lauer has remained on the job. He is one of about two dozen sworn law enforcement officers in the Constable’s Office, which handles evictions and serves court papers.

This cover up shows the typical bias against accountability for law enforcement employees that is so prevalent throughout police departments across the nation and especially in Las Vegas. Further, it is a somewhat rare public glimpse into the aggressive nature with which police departments in the Las Vegas area don’t just look the other way, but actively work to ensure that their officers are never held accountable for their actions.

The improper use of the Accurint database by Lauer is, in and of itself, an illegal act that numerous cops across the country have been disciplined for committing (although usually not criminally, because laws obviously don’t apply to them). It has also become a huge potential invasion of the right to privacy with the ever increasing trend toward the collection of personal information by police and governmental agencies spurred by and justified with the September 11th terrorist attacks.

In fact, according to “Police Chief Magazine”:

Historically, officers have accessed police databases for myriad improper purposes, ranging from running the vehicle registration of an attractive motorist to seeking names and information in connection with a private investigation business.

Questions should be asked about why there aren’t better safeguards preventing unauthorized use of such a system. That is especially true in light of the growing number of reports of sexual misconduct among police officers, including those working in Las Vegas. Furthermore, the potential for the compromising of legitimate investigations and Las Vegas’ own rather long history of that type of corruption should make this type of cover-up a serious matter, worthy of its own investigation.

JohnBonaventuraLVConstable1 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

This shiny badge couldn’t be more tarnished.

The Las Vegas Constable’s Office: Corruption Defined

Of course, nobody in Las Vegas will be terribly surprised when hearing about corruption by local politicians, particularly when they are related to law enforcement. The completely nonexistent and shameful historic lack of accountability, including the recent rewarding of Jesus Arevalo, who was “fired” for murdering Stanley Gibson, with $30,000 a year in disability payments (because he is stressed out over being called a murderer after he murdered someone), has been covered pretty extensively, both here at nvcopblock.org and in the local corporate  media.

However, even in a city where cover ups, intimidation of, and retaliation against critics of the police are commonplace, Bonaventura’s Constables office has managed to outshine all of them. One of the many scandals involved a failed bid to sell a reality TV show based on their daily routines. The video, which Bonaventura proudly posted on his personal web page, was not as well received by state and county politicians, who oversee the Constables. Among other things, it featured deputies employed by the Constable’s Office cursing, pulling over and arresting motorists (technically they are allowed to do so, but it isn’t actually part of their job), and acting unprofessional, in general.

In an even worse example of the type of misconduct that has come to signify Las Vegas area police departments, Deputy Luis Rendon is being investigated for sexual harassment and animal cruelty. Rendon is accused of stalking and making unwanted sexual advances toward an 18 year old woman over the course of two months. When those attempts were rebuffed, he responded by shooting her dog. Deputy Rendon was hired in spite of several previous incidents in his background, which has been an ongoing point of criticism, along with questions about whether they are being trained properly, during Bonaventura’s term.

Of course, Constable Bonaventura has his own laundry list of incidents and controversies since taking office in 2010. This includes allegations of sexual harassment against a female deputy, demanding that deputies lie to County Commissioners about the reality TV video and then retaliating against them when they refused (which resulted in a $415,000 taxpayer funded settlement), turf wars over jurisdiction involving constables from nearby cities (in the process, he deputized two lawyers in order to avoid paying their fees after the County refused the bill), demanding kickbacks from deputies’ pay, and was himself arrested for DUI while driving home from his office. (District Attorney Steve Wolfson displayed his own well earned reputation of never holding public officials accountable by announcing he wouldn’t prosecute the case.)

Not surprisingly after all of that, Clark County Commissioners voted in March of 2013 to simply eliminate the Las Vegas Constable’s office, effective January 2015, once Bonaventura’s current term runs out. Bonaventura attempted an unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn the vote and then tried to run for a seat on the County Commission (which failed miserably during the primaries and resulted in a fraud investigation involving donations from none other than Dean Lauer, who’s illegal searches he covered-up). Even the pending dissolution of the LV Constable’s office hasn’t actually ended the constant stream of scandals, which for some reason have begun to revolve around secretly taped meetings between Boneventura and other elected officials.

Besides the one involving Bonaventura’s orders to destroy evidence of the illegal data searches, there are actually two other recorded conversations that have surfaced recently that are at best embarrassing and possibly criminal. In one, which resulted in a raid by the LVMPD on the Las Vegas Constable’s offices, Bonaventura can be heard in a phone conversation with Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins (who has his own extensive history of improprieties) in which Collins insults other commissioners and accuses several of them of being puppets controlled by Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak. In another, Bonaventura himself can be heard badmouthing Sisolak and discussing his desire to spend all of the money ($3.9 million) budgeted to the Constable’s office prior to it’s closing in retaliation for the vote.

The Las Vegas Constables office has a long and sordid history of corruption that predates even Bonaventura’s antics. It’s not likely that the constables will be missed and the fact that they could simply be voted out of existence during a time when Las Vegas leads the nation in foreclosures raises questions about whether they were needed in the first place or if it was just yet another unnecessary waste of money. However, the biggest potential drawback to the abolition of the Las Vegas Constable’s office is the fact that the LVMPD will be taking over their duties.

Outside of the slight increase in power and influence that it will give Metro, current Las Vegas Sheriff Doug Gillespie is already using it as an excuse to push for more funding and an increase in personnel within the department. In terms of potential effects on the residents of Las Vegas, having more “opportunities” to come into contact with members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department can be by itself a dangerous proposition. Constable Bonaventura’s corruption and lack of control over his employees are wasteful and embarrassing, but an encounter with Las Vegas police can be deadly and they have absolutely no reason to believe that they won’t get away with it, based on Metro’s history of accountability or more accurately, the lack thereof.

BonaventuraAbolished 1024x647 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

John Bonaventura, the Most Corrupt Man in Las Vegas!!!

Thanks for reading. LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover-Up of Illegal Data Searches is a post from Nevada Cop Block

Chalk the Police State (July 18th) – Updated List of Cities

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
ChalkThePoliceState Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

Chalk the Police State Wherever you Are.

Tomorrow, July 18th, is the Second Annual “Chalk the Police State” day. For the second year, Nevada Cop Block has called for activists across the country to hold chalk protests in their own cities in solidarity with and to draw attention to the victims of police brutality and the lack of accountability for crimes and other forms of corruption within local police departments.

This year in particular is intended to shine a light on the lack of significant changes in regards to such accountability and the blatant examples of police abuses nationwide. In addition, it will serve as a statement that we will not tolerate police violence and murders within our communities and that we are not just going to go away unless some sort of meaningful reforms are instituted and police officers are held responsible for their actions in the same way everyone else would be.

For more on the background and reasons for the “Chalk the Police State” event see here, here, here, here, here, and here. Meanwhile, here is an update of the cities that will be participating this year. At this point, we have pretty solid confirmations from 12 cities with a good potential for at least 16 cities nationwide. BTW, even though it’s obviously very short notice at this point, it’s still not too late to add YOUR city to this list. One of the many advantages of chalk protests is the ease of organizing and carrying them out. Basically, all you really need is a few boxes of chalk, some dedicated friends, and a desire to get the message out that police brutality will not be tolerated in your communities. It’s quick, easy, and cheap enough for even a small group of motivated people to have a visible impact.

List of Cities:

LVChalkPoliceStateFlyerF 240x300 Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

Las Vegas Flyer for the 2nd Annual “Chalk the Police State” event.

Las Vegas, NV.

Members of Nevada Cop Block will, of course, be chalking that day. No amount of retaliation or intimidation will be stopping us from seeking accountability from the LVMPD. We’ll be going back to the Regional Injustice Center, the original location of the inaugural Chalk the Police State Day.

Olympia, WA.

Seattle, WA.

Kansas City, KS.

Hosted by KCK Cop Block

Portland, OR.

Lafayette, IN.

Phoenix, Az.

  • Downtown Superior Courthouse
  • Friday, July 18 at 11:00am (PDT)
  • 201 W. Jefferson
  • Phoenix, Arizona 85003

Jeffersonville, IN.

KCKChalkPoliceStateFlyer 240x300 Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

The “Chalk the Police State” flyer for Kansas City, Kansas

 

  • Clark County Court House
  • Friday, July 18 at 6:00pm (CDT)
  • Jeffersonville, Indiana

 

Poughkeepsie, NY.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Madison County, Id.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Fresno, CA.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Philadelphia, PA.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Keene, NH.

SeaChalkPoliceState 240x300 Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

The “Chalk the Police State” flyer for Seattle, Wa.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Cincinnati, OH.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Nashville, TN.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Port St. Joe, FL.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Unconfirmed/Potential Locations:

  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Salt Lake City, Ut.

It’s Not Too Late to Celebrate “Chalk the Police State” Day in Your City!

LVChalkPoliceStateFlyerB 240x300 Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

It’s tragic when anyone is murdered, even if it isn’t one of the rare occasions when that person is a cop.

We hope that other cities will join us July 18th to make a statement about police brutality and demand accountability when police victimize people in their communities. Police corruption and misconduct is a nation-wide (international actually) problem and it’s only getting worse as time goes by. In addition, in spite the prevailing (and false) rationalizations for that increase in violence against citizens, police work is safer than it has ever been and is becoming safer all the time.

The mistreatment and abuse of you and your neighbors is inexcusable and needs to be stopped. Their record speaks for itself, though. They won’t regulate themselves or even hold the criminals in their midst accountable, after the fact. You need to take a stand and demand an end to the police state and its abuses before it’s too late.

A FaceBook event page has been set up to coordinate all of the different cities planning actions. If you have questions about setting up a chalk protest in your city, potential statements/slogans to write, questions of legality (it’s completely legal), etc. you can post them there. We would also like to have any local event pages link to that page, so we can keep track of who will be participating and allow people in those cities to coordinate with each other. That event page is located here: (National) Second Annual Chalk the Police State with the “Sunset 5″ and in Solidarity with the Victims of Police Brutality, Repression, and Murder. Alternatively, you can also contact NVCopBlock.org’s contact page, if you are not on Facebook or just want to cutout the middle man.

ChalkThePoliceState 29a 1024x433 Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments’ Pathetic History of “Accountability”

Thanks for reading. Chalk the Police State (July 18th) – Updated List of Cities is a post from Nevada Cop Block

Join Us For the 2nd Annual “Chalk the Police State” – July 18th

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
Chalk the Police 011a 300x217 Join Us For the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police State   July 18th

A year later, not much has changed.

Background

Every day brings with it more and more examples of the increasing militarization of the police and encroachment of the police state onto everyone’s lives. At the same time, accountability for police abuses and governmental crimes is becoming harder to find. This month on the 18th of July, the one year anniversary of the original “Chalk the Police State” event, members of Nevada Cop Block invite everyone nationwide to send a message that we won’t accept this within our communities and demand that accountability.

One year ago on July 18, 2013, three members of the Sunset Activist Collective, who were at that time being threatened with citations claiming that drawing on a sidewalk with washable sidewalk chalk constitutes graffiti, called for a nationwide solidarity rally on the day that was supposed to be our court date. While the city of Las Vegas had enough common sense not to even file those charges, this event (along with a previous “Second Saturday” chalk protest) ultimately led to the arrest of three members of the NVCopBlock and the filing of ridiculous charges of writing graffiti (with chalk marketed, sold, and primarily used to write on sidewalks) and “conspiring” to write graffiti against another two members (AKA the “Sunset 5″) by Steve Wolfson, the county district attorney.

*Note, if you’ve been following along at home, you may have noticed the number of people involved has changed from the original “Sunset 3″ to the current “Sunset 5.” The “Sunset 3″ consisted of the original three individuals that were cited in June of 2013. After the arrests the “Sunset 4″ was used because one of the arrestees was a minor at the time. The “Sunset 5″ consists of the three original members and two additional members that were charged after July 18th’s action last year.*

Of course, those ridiculous charges, which amounted to nothing more than a vindictive attempt to intimidate people who were bringing attention to the murderous record of Las Vegas area police and nonexistent history of accountability for those crimes, were dropped shortly afterwards. In the process, the actions of the bullies within the LVMPD, who had pushed for the charges, backfired in a big way. Realistically, all they accomplished was to draw way more attention to the issues of police brutality we were protesting than those protests had ever actually done. The ridiculously inflated clean up costs that they used to justify those arrests also shined a huge spotlight on the wasteful and unnecessary spending habits of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at a time when they were in the process of begging Las Vegas area residents for more money by way of a county sales tax increase.

A Year Later, What’s Different? (Spoiler: Not Much)

ChalkThePoliceState 11a 300x132 Join Us For the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police State   July 18th

This Offer Still Stands

In spite of those original charges being dropped amid a pretty large uproar, those very real and important issues that we were protesting in the first place remain. The police brutality and outright murders continue and the complete lack of accountability for such have not disappeared or even, on any discernible level, been addressed. If anything, in fact, they’ve only gotten worse.

Over the course of just the last year, there have been numerous egregious examples of misconduct and abuse by Las Vegas area police. In one instance, Sheriff Gillespie refused the recommendation of the department’s use of force board to fire Officer Jacquar Roston, who shot Lawrence Gordon after he mistook his hat for a gun, which would have actually been the first time any LVMPD officer was fired for shooting someone in the entire history of the department. Similarly, Officer Jason Evans shot Antoine Hodges inside a local 7-11 store, in spite of the fact that he was unarmed and backing away from him at the time, after mistaking him for a wanted suspect. In yet another instance, a man attempting to flag passersby down and asking for water was accosted and then eventually killed by BLM agents and a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper after concerned cyclists reported that D’Andre Berghardt Jr. may have been in need of assistance.

The most blatant and telling example of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s absolute refusal to institute any sort of accountability involves Jesus Arevalo, who murdered disabled Gulf War vet Stanley Gibson as he sat unarmed within his car, that had been immobilized by police vehicles. Even though Arevalo was technically the first person to be fired (or in any other way held accountable) for killing someone on duty, regardless of whether the person killed was unarmed and/or completely innocent, he was actually rewarded for his deadly actions that day with a lifetime of disability payments totaling $30,000 a year, based on the stress he felt because people began calling him a murderer after he murdered an innocent, unarmed person (shortly after stating that he wanted to kill someone in order to get payed time off).

It couldn’t be much more obvious that the LVMPD and other Las Vegas area police have no real (or even feigned) interest in holding any of their trigger happy gang members accountable for there actions, no matter how questionable or downright blatant those actions might be.

 Join Us – Wherever You Are

ChalkThePoliceState Join Us For the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police State   July 18th

Chalk the Police State Wherever You Are.

As a result of all those things already mentioned and so much more that there’s hardly room to list it all, Nevada Cop Block will be holding a second annual “Chalk the Police State” celebration (which was actually inspired by Cop Block’s original “Chalk the Police Day” and so technically could be considered a fourth annual event.) at the Regional Injustice Center in Las Vegas. However, since police brutality and the absence of accountability isn’t something that’s limited to Las Vegas, we’re calling for groups (and individuals) across the country to join us in a little summer time arts and crafts display.

Ideally, we would prefer if you chose somewhere symbolic of the police state, such as a courthouse, local government building such as a city hall, or police station to chalk some messages. However, it’s obviously up to you to choose the most appropriate place to do so in your own city. Please join us and help seek justice in a peaceful, public manner against those who have made injustice a part of their job description and have some fun at the same time.

One of the many advantages of chalk protests and reasons we found them to be effective is that they are fairly easy to organize and carry out. Contrary to the claims made for the silly charges from last year, it takes very little “conspiring” to set up such actions. Also, because those participating can each draw multiple messages without too much difficulty, a relatively small group can create a large impact within a small amount of time. Basically, all you need is a few boxes of chalk, some dedicated friends, and a desire to seek accountability for local officials and their hired goons.

Confirmed Cities Thus Far

LVChalkPoliceStateFlyerF 240x300 Join Us For the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police State   July 18th

Las Vegas Flyer for the 2nd Annual “Chalk the Police State” event.

Currently we have six cities that have already confirmed that they will be participating. As many as six other cities may also be chalking that day, but we don’t have solid confirmations from them yet. The cities that definitely will be “Chalking the Police State” on July 18th are listed below, along with contact information for people in those cities to use in order to coordinate with them:

Las Vegas, NV.

Members of Nevada Cop Block will, of course, be chalking that day. No amount of retaliation or intimidation will be stopping us from seeking accountability from the LVMPD. We’ll be going back to the Regional Injustice Center, the original location of the inaugural Chalk the Police State Day.

Olympia, WA.

Seattle, WA.

Kansas City, KS.

Hosted by KCK Cop Block

Kansas City, MO.

OlyChalkPoliceStateFlyerF 229x300 Join Us For the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police State   July 18th

The “Chalk the Police State” Flyer for Olympia, Wa.

Hosted by MO/KS Cop Block

Portland, OR.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Poughkeepsie, NY.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Celebrate “Chalk the Police State” Day in Your City

LVChalkPoliceStateFlyerB 240x300 Join Us For the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police State   July 18th

It’s tragic when anyone is murdered, even if it isn’t one of the rare occasions when that person is a cop.

We hope that other cities will join us July 18th to make a statement about police brutality and demand accountability when police victimize people in their communities. Police corruption and misconduct is a nation-wide (international actually) problem and it’s only getting worse as time goes by. In addition, in spite the prevailing (and false) rationalizations for that increase in violence against citizens, police work is safer than it has ever been and is becoming safer all the time.

The mistreatment and abuse of you and your neighbors is inexcusable and needs to be stopped. Their record speaks for itself, though. They won’t regulate themselves or even hold the criminals in their midst accountable, after the fact. You need to take a stand and demand an end to the police state and its abuses before it’s too late.

A FaceBook event page has been set up to coordinate all of the different cities planning actions. If you have questions about setting up a chalk protest in your city, potential statements/slogans to write, questions of legality (it’s completely legal), etc. you can post them there. We would also like to have any local event pages link to that page, so we can keep track of who will be participating and allow people in those cities to coordinate with each other. That event page is located here: (National) Second Annual Chalk the Police State with the “Sunset 5″ and in Solidarity with the Victims of Police Brutality, Repression, and Murder. Alternatively, you can also contact NVCopBlock.org’s contact page, if you are not on Facebook or just want to cutout the middle man.

ChalkThePoliceState 29a 1024x433 Join Us For the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police State   July 18th

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments’ Pathetic History of “Accountability”

Thanks for reading. Join Us For the 2nd Annual “Chalk the Police State” – July 18th is a post from Nevada Cop Block

Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

Sunday, June 1st, 2014
LVMPDUseOfForce 150x150 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

It is sort of hard not to improve on Metro’s non-existent record of accountability.

The LVMPD Wants You to Know How Great They're Doing:
With great fanfare, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department recently announced on their official FaceBook page that they have done an amazing job of reforming their "use of force" policy:

"LVMPD Praised for Use-of-Force Reforms.
See the video: http://youtu.be/ISClT3e_d7c Today, the US Department of Justice released its final assessment of LVMPD's efforts to reduce the number of incidents involving the use of deadly force. 90% of the suggested reforms have been implemented, and efforts are underway to achieve the remaining few. Sheriff Doug Gillespie expressed his thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of this difficult process, which has become a model of reform for other police departments around the country. You will find a copy of the complete report at www.lvmpd.com."

LVMPDUseOfForce2 300x80 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

Incentivizing Murder

Of course, it could easily be pointed out that it’s really not terribly hard to improve upon a use of force policy that has resulted in exactly zero cases in which a Las Vegas area police officer has been held accountable, in any way whatsoever, for killing an unarmed person, even when that person was completely innocent of any crime, in the 40-year history of the LVMPD.

In fact, the two most recent examples of that use of force policy consist of a case in which Officer Jacquar Roston, who couldn’t distinguish between a hat and a gun, was allowed to remain on the force, despite the recommendation of the Use of Force Board that he be fired, and the case in which Officer Jesus Arevalo, who had mentioned to his wife that he was looking to kill someone while on duty so that he could get some free time off, did just that a few months later by murdering Stanley Gibson, an unarmed, disabled Gulf War veteran suffering from a PTSD induced panic attack while confined and rendered harmless inside his vehicle, which had been blocked in and immobilized by two police cars.

ChalkThePoliceState 1a 300x167 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

When the cops in Las Vegas kill people their ONLY “punishment” is paid vacation.

The former resulted in a large portion of the members of that Use of Force Board resigning in disgust over the “hollow, toothless sham” that Sheriff Gillespie’s disregard for their recommendation had exposed the “flawed process” as. In an even worse injustice, the latter case resulted in Jesus Arevalo being given a $30,000 a year lifetime payday (after he did in fact receive the paid vacation he had stated he was hoping to “earn” by shooting someone for just under two years) that I’m sure exceeded even his own wildest dreams as a reward for his actions that even Metro acknowledged were not justified when they “fired” him after stalling long enough to make sure he got all his paperwork in to file for disability based on the stress he was feeling from people saying that he shouldn’t have murdered a completely innocent, unarmed person, who had already been rendered unable to cause harm to anyone.

Detroit1stWin 150x150 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

“We Finally Won 1!”

A “Slightly” Different Take on Metro’s Use of Force Policy

It’s kinda like when the Detroit Lions improved on their winless season in 2008 by winning two games the next year. They certainly got better, but it wasn’t really anything to get that excited about. Similarly, I recently (subsequent to that celebratory announcement mentioned above) received an account of just how much the LVMPD’s use of force policies have actually changed:

"I was at the bus stop on Flamingo just west of Maryland parkway. A car blew through a red light. A cop followed with lights and sirens on. Within 35 seconds, five more cop cars descended on the pulled over and stopped car. Then six cops, guns drawn, one with a fucking shotgun, removed one driver and one passenger, threw them on the hot ground, and cuffed them. Then stand them up. Guns get put away, except for the shotgun. That stayed out and semi pointed the entire time.

Five minutes later, they release the driver, and keep the passenger for TRAFFIC warrants!!!!! They then proceeded to stand around laughing and joking for 20 more minutes...Disgusting. Literally for running a red light, two guys almost died just now. I don't have anymore details than that because I was told to stay back and put away my phone."

Overlooking the fact that the cops have no legal ability to overrule a citizen's First Amendment right to record anything or anyone within a public space, the rather obvious question is if that level of force really is necessary for a non accident traffic infraction, in which not only did the driver comply by pulling over, but the cops obviously didn't even consider it much of an offense, based on the fact that they actually allowed him to leave without even issuing a citation, when they clearly could have done so.

PoliceGang2 300x168 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

“We got a report of some overdue library books, sir.”

Having a swarm of heavily armed and easily provoked people unnecessarily confront drivers that haven't shown any signs of resisting during a relatively minor violation certainly does seem like a good way of preventing any more blatant use of force incidents. And BTW, Metro is so short of personnel that they are no longer able to respond to the vast majority of traffic accidents until we give them more tax money.

Not surprisingly, people in Las Vegas (especially those in certain neighborhoods) aren't exactly shocked by this type of heavy-handed behavior from cops. And, outside of bragging to their "fans" on FaceBook, the LVMPD doesn't seem terribly concerned about changing that perception in any sort of real way:

"It's sad and maybe a statement about how desensitized I am these days to the guns being drawn, but what bothered me the most was them standing around laughing and joking about it afterwards. It seems to me that they are too far removed from the actual reality they are supposed to be "protecting" and have created this pseudo reality in their own collective self.

So is the public as a whole, so blinded by what they are brought up to believe that they really don't see it? Or, are they just willing to "accept" it as part of what happens, as long as it doesn't happen to them?I have never necessarily been pro-cop, for sure. But, I think I have been among those willing to turn a blind eye to the excessive and overtly hostile tactics they use, until recently. I'm not 100% sure when I changed my outlook, and started really seeing things around me, but I really don't like what I am seeing."

But then, a little friendly propaganda (which the local Fox affiliate can usually be counted on for) never hurts:

"Oh goody. Just saw a commercial on channel 5. They are reporting on Metro and the crime that is on the rise...Hmmm. I bet it is not a report about abuse at the hands of Metro."

PoliceGang1 300x249 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

Beware! Signs that you might have encountered a violent street gang.

However, that does tend to get wiped out by the rather well known and all too common cases of retaliation by employees of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the complicity that local representatives of the "justice" system often play in those acts:

"My friend Chris and I got followed into a parking lot, got out of the car and then got stopped when on foot, walking out of Pizza Hut. For "checking out" the unmarked car the asshole with an ego was driving.

We both ended up being arrested for "warrants". Even though I had proof mine were already recalled.I spent from Friday at 6:30 pm to Sunday at 5am in CCDC "waiting" for them to verify I didn't actually have active warrants. Funny thing is that I still had to go to court to stand in front of a judge, who issued me yet another fine, for "court costs" on something I never should have had to go court for in the first place. When I told him I will not pay the fine, he told me I had 30 days to comply or have
another warrant issued."

Personally, I just can't understand why Metro or any of the other Las Vegas area police departments would have any sort of PR problem within the local communities they "protect and serve." It certainly does seem like the two guys in that car, and I'm sure plenty of others in the neighborhood that day, got served.

MilitarizationPolice1 Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements

“Come on guys, let’s get that cat out of the tree!”

Thanks for reading. Metro Police Use of Force Policy Improvements is a post from Nevada Cop Block

Kelly W. Patterson of NVCopBlock On Non Partisan Liberty For All

Saturday, May 17th, 2014
NVCopBlockWarningEdit 208x300 Kelly W. Patterson of NVCopBlock On Non Partisan Liberty For All

Beware of Local Gang Members in the Las Vegas Area

Recently, I did an interview for an internet radio show on Block Talk Radio. The show is entitled “Non Partisan Liberty for All” and is hosted by Dave Bourne. While it can be heard everywhere (except most of China and sometimes parts of San Francisco) via the internets, it is based locally here in Las Vegas.

The main reason I came on was to discuss the article I had just posted about the suspicious events surrounding the hit and run incident I was involved in back in March and the chances that it was an intentional act committed in retaliation for my opposition to and exposure of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Department”s corruption and other crimes, including the murder of Stanley Gibson by Jesus Arevalo and complete lack of accountability for abuses committed against other local residents. In the process, we discussed my own history and how I originally got involved in activism.

Among other things, I spoke about how I evolved from someone who believed in the basic philosophy of Anarchism, but didn’t think of it as a viable, real world possibility into someone that believes in and advocates for an Anarchist society. I also discussed my personal history with the Las Vegas Anarchist Cafe and Charles (RadGeek) Johnson, my initial meetings with Cop Block founders Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman and how the harassment of homeless people  and peaceful activists that I witnessed while working with Food Not Bombs Las Vegas helped to shape my anti-police brutality based activism and ultimately the founding of Nevada Cop Block.

ScottCrowFlyer2 200x300 Kelly W. Patterson of NVCopBlock On Non Partisan Liberty For All

Scott Crow Will be in Las Vegas Again Monday, May 19th from 6-8pm at Reclaimed Art Suppliez

Another reason I came on was to announce Scott Crow‘s upcoming talk on Monday, May 19th, from 6 to 8 PM at Reclaimed Art Suppliez, which is located in Downtown Las Vegas, within the Arts district. Scott Crow, author of “Black Flags and Windmills” and one of the founders of the Common Ground Collective, is an excellent speaker and Anarchist organizer. His talk, entitled “What Me Worry? The Rise of the Surveillance State & What We Can Do About It” promises to be excellent and very relevant to Las Vegas activists.

Although Dave has only been doing this show for about a month (as of mid-May 2014), it’s a good show and he’s a great host. I’m looking forward to doing future appearances with the show and very much encourage Cop Block fans and others interested in liberty and freedom to tune in. In fact, you never know when other awesome Cop Block contributors, such as MO/KC Cop Block‘s (and Women of Cop Block, too) Janel Florez might put in an appearance or when Deo from Greater Cleveland Cop Block might call in to talk about awesome videos the  crew out there in Ohio have made.

And before you go, don’t forget to head over to the NVCopBlock shop to get your Official Cop Block Press Pass and/or a Nevada Cop Block T-Shirt. In fact, in honor of the Cop Block Press Passes Facebook Page going over 1,000 “likes” a couple days ago, anything in the Nevada Cop Block shop is 10% off until May 22nd (2014) if you use coupon code “1kLikes” in the cart.

Listen to NVCopBlock.org’s Own Kelly W. Patterson on “Non Partisan Liberty For All”

Listen To Politics Internet Radio Stations with Non Partisan Liberty For all on BlogTalkRadio

Thanks for reading. Kelly W. Patterson of NVCopBlock On Non Partisan Liberty For All is a post from Nevada Cop Block

Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

Friday, May 9th, 2014
BraceYourself 150x150 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

Kelly W. Patterson. NVCopBlock.org editor and longtime local activist, shortly after a hit and run “accident.”

A Week of Oddly-Timed “Coincidences”

Two months ago, on March 5th, I was struck by a hit and run driver while walking in downtown Las Vegas. Anybody that’s familiar with Las Vegas traffic knows that in itself isn’t exactly an unusual event. However, a string of incredibly oddly timed and interconnected events surrounding my own incident, including another local activist being hit by a car the previous day, have made many within the local activist community wonder if there wasn’t more to it than just a random car “accident.” In fact, some have even classified it as an assassination attempt by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Personally, I’m putting this out there because I feel that it’s important that people know about it and that there be a public record of it. Because of my injuries, which included a broken back, and the medication that I was taking for those injuries, it did take me a while to get this written, but once again, I think it is important to get this on the record. Not unlike other issues involving Cop Block related activities, when those activities make you a target, visibility and transparency are important not just to ensure accountability but to provide protection for those involved. I really don’t want to see any other “coincidences” happen to any of my friends or other activists within the Las Vegas area and making it public makes it difficult for it to happen again without people connecting the dots.

This account is rather long, but I don’t think I could have condensed it much more and still shown all the various connections and commonalities between the incidents of the week in question and the past two years that establish the possible motives and “likely suspects.” To make things a a little easier to follow, I did create a timeline that lays out most of those connections in a visual manner, which you can find a thumbnail to below.

A Timeline of Events Surrounding the Week of Oddly Timed “Coincidences”

SunsetTimeline 300x157 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

Click for a larger, more readable version

That week actually consisted of four separate incidents involving members or associates of Nevada Cop Block and the Sunset Activist Collective (a local activist group that several members of NV Cop Block also belong to). All four of those involved members with ties to anti-police brutality activism, in general, and protests using chalk, in particular. That detail is fairly significant because last August the LVMPD dedicated an entire task force and two months of their time to investigate, charge, and arrest four people (the “Sunset 4“), including myself, for conducting chalk protests relating to police killings in the Las Vegas area and the lack of accountability for questionable shootings or even several that amount to outright murder.

ChalkThePoliceState 1a 300x167 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

When the cops in Las Vegas kill people their ONLY “punishment” is paid leave.

The first of these incidents, on March 4th, 2014, was when one of the “Sunset 4” arrestees was stopped by Metro police for the rather arbitrary reasoning of supposedly following the car in front of her too closely. To further complicate this incident, just prior to the stop, she had dropped off Ballentine, who had also been among those of us arrested in August of 2013, prior to being stopped.

During the stop, the cops brought up the fact that she had been arrested for chalking and questioned her about her involvement in protesting. At the time, it was considered harassing, but because it was the first incident, it was assumed that they had just noticed the arrest on her record and wasn’t widely believed to be a targeted act.

Later that same evening, the second incident took place, this time involving local activist Jen Harney, who had organized a widely publicized protest shortly after the chalking arrests. Similar to my own incident, while crossing the street downtown she was hit by a car. Later, it was determined that the person driving the car she was hit by was not only an ex-cop, but that he currently works for a company that sells weapons and equipment to police departments.

The very next night, on March 5th, I was walking to the bank down Charleston near Las Vegas Blvd. As I (legally) crossed 8th street, a car made a right turn off of Charleston, ran into me, and kept going. During the collision, I suffered a concussion, and as is often the case in accidents, I don’t remember much beyond the initial point where I saw the car was going to hit me. However, I do have some hazy memories of afterwards and I’m pretty certain that the car didn’t make any effort to stop at all.

Finally, the last incident happened two days later on March 7th, 2014, during a “First Friday” art festival, which is held every month in downtown Las Vegas. Once again, this involved Jen, who was holding the official grand opening for a gallery and art supply store she owns. Late in the evening, a group of uniformed LVMPD officers came to the store.

While there, they displayed no actual interest in shopping, but instead stood together outside looking through the window. Soon after, they approached the doorway and again just stood watching as Jen’s partner, who is not particularly involved in activism, spoke to some customers. She asked them if there was anything she could help them with and subsequently asked them if they would like her to give them a tour of the gallery. They refused both those requests and continued for some time behaving in a way that made her feel very “freaked out” and intimidated, in general.

The Connections

Sunset4WantedPoster 212x300 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

Metro Doesn’t Like When People Bring Attention to All Those Murders

As previously stated, taken separately none these incidents are particularly unusual in Las Vegas. Even those clearly involving intimidation and harassment are pretty standard behavior for Las Vegas area police departments. While it gets a little more suspicious, even the two incidents involving people being run down by cars within less than 24 hours could conceivably just be wild coincidences. However, taken as a whole and factoring in all the common connections paints these as a rather unlikely and most oddly timed set of “coincidences.”

First of all, as has already been pointed out, all four of the incidents involved someone with both a connection to anti-police brutality protests and the previous chalking arrests. Secondly, three of those four incidents involved obvious, direct, and provable connections to the police and even to the LVMPD. The lone exception to that is the hit and run against me, in which the driver has not been identified. Thirdly, the limited time frame itself casts suspicion on the randomness of these events. All four of these incidents happened within a 96 hour period and three of the four took place within 24 hours of each other.

Expanding beyond that, there are even more common connections than those simple, obvious ones. On February 14th, 2014 officers from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) abused and subsequently murdered a man after cyclists called 911 to report that he was attempting to flag people down and appeared to be in need of assistance by Red Rock Canyon, just north of Las Vegas, and instead of offering that assistance they sent police to arrest him. In response, members of Nevada Cop Block conducted a protest involving chalking at the headquarters of the Nevada Highway Patrol, which had also had an employee present at the shooting, a few days later.

This particular protest took place roughly two weeks prior to the beginning of the four incidents. In addition, an undercover police officer in an unmarked vehicle was parked across from the NHP headquarters when those taking apart arrived, even though it hadn’t been announced publicly until about thirty minutes before it was scheduled to take place. This clearly shows that the police are still closely monitoring (the justification for those earlier illegal arrests involved surveillance by the LVMPD, both online and in person, which was detailed in the arrest reports) the activities of NVCB and the Sunset Activist Collective.

Yet another “coincidence” is that these incidents all took place during the week prior to the second Saturday of the month. This is significant because “Second Saturdays” are the days on which the regular monthly anti-police brutality protests that lead to the arrests for writing things the cops didn’t like with chalk are typically held. And a protest at the headquarters of the BLM was in fact scheduled for that day, although it was postponed by one day (see below) due to the four incidents that week.

The Motives and Previous Examples of Retaliation

ArrestedForChalking 300x225 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

Arrested for drawing with Chalk

There are no shortage of clear motives for Las Vegas police to go after members of Nevada Cop Block and the Sunset Activist Collective. Members, both individually and as a group, have a long history of being very active within local grassroots organizations. This has often involved acts of civil disobedience and many times has involved direct criticism of the police and their historical lack of accountability. After the murder of Stanley Gibson in December of 2011, a regular, sustained pattern of such protests began.

Metro showed their willingness to engage in retaliation and intimidation against those who would dare to criticize them and their policies by engaging in a targeted and concerted effort to justify arresting us on trumped up charges. Not only did they attempt to characterize drawing with chalk as a graffiti crime, but they also threw in the old standby for “stacking” charges of conspiring to commit the non-crime. In order to do so, they created an actual task force dedicated to investigating, charging, and arresting some people writing stuff with chalk. Also, as detailed in the police arrest reports, they engaged in surveillance of those they wished to arrest. This included monitoring of online and social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc), as well as actual, physical surveillance.

Additionally, even the bogus graffiti charges only allowed for a citation to be issued, which the city had already refused to prosecute, unless the “damage” caused amounted to more than $250. So, in order to arrest the “Sunset 4″ they had to convince the county District Attorney to actually prosecute it and they had to inflate the clean-up costs for something that throwing a little water on would remove. All of that (once again) was for some people writing stuff with chalk on sidewalks.

Not surprisingly, there was a rather large uproar within the community once the ridiculousness of the charges and the outrageous $1550 clean up bill was made public. This led to the charges being dropped shortly after and was yet another in a long string of embarrassing incidents that would eventually lead to Clark County Sheriff Gillespie announcing that he would not be running for office again in the upcoming election. The story also got picked up by the AP and received national press coverage, which had the inverse effect of shining a bright light on all the questionable killings and complete lack of accountability toward them that we had been protesting in the first place and which they were trying to intimidate us into not bringing attention to.

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Political Prisoners

Those arrests were, of course, not the first time Metro has abused their authority or retaliated against someone. In a pretty well publicized incident, they came to the house of the widow of a man they murdered and held her brother hostage until she agreed to allow them to search that house in an (unsuccessful) attempt to find a weapon or some other incriminating evidence to justify their killing of him. Another well known case involves a woman who was arrested while appearing in Family Court after she reported having been sexually assaulted by one of the marshals working at the court. Similarly, a Las Vegas Constable was recently placed under investigation for stalking and sexually harassing a woman and then shooting her dog when she refused his advances. In yet another case, the lawyer for a group of bikers involved in a harassment lawsuit against Metro was himself arrested.

The LVMPD doesn’t limit themselves to retaliating against and harassing everyday citizens, either. It was recently reported by a former Metro captain that the top brass within the LVMPD held an internal meeting to coordinate an effort to dig up dirt on Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak. The reason that they wanted to do so was in order to discredit him after he opposed a proposal to raise Las Vegas area sales taxes to finance the hiring of additional cops (more on that later).

Why Would They Come After Me Specifically?

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Pointing at Gillespie

This is something that people not familiar with local police issues and the people involved in those issues might ask. One of the more obvious reasons why I would be chosen is a simple matter of convenience. I’m pretty well known around town for being an avid bike rider and prior to being injured I rode on the average about three hundred miles a week between commuting and recreational group rides. So, if you were going to pick someone to target with a car “accident,” picking the guy who’s on a bike in traffic at least two or three hours every day is a pretty easy choice to make.

However, anyone familiar with Nevada Cop Block‘s and my own actions over the past two years probably already has a pretty good idea of the deeper reasons. I founded NVCopBlock.org shortly after Officer Jesus Arevalo, who was at that time an employee of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department, murdered (on video) a friend of mine from high school, named Stanley Gibson, on December 12, 2011. While I had been involved for quite a while in activism and anti-governmental abuse issues locally and informally with Cop Block on a national level, this unnecessary, and in my opinion intentional, killing of an innocent, unarmed person that I actually knew made things personal for me.

During the arrest that has already been discussed there were several indicators that things soon became personal toward me for the cops, as well. Not only were several references made to Cop Block or “that Cop Block guy” by people during our booking, but I personally overheard a phone call (once again during booking) in which one of the members of the task force they created to arrest us stated “we got Kelly.” The fact that he mentioned me by name shows that there was some effort to target me personally. (I was actually rather pleased that they displayed such an awareness of Cop Block, since I think it’s important that they know we’re watching them and it showed that we were doing an effective job.)

At the same time, the LVMPD and their lobbyists within the Clark County government were busy undoing reforms that had been created to address the glaring lack of accountability that the much criticized Coroner’s Inquest process allowed. They were, in fact, working to replace those reforms with a new system for reviewing police fatalities that was even worse and less transparent than the original Coroner’s Inquests that had failed to hold even one single cop accountable for shooting someone, even when that person was unarmed and/or completely innocent in the entire history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

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The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments’ Pathetic History of “Accountability”

Knowing that they intended to ensure Stanley Gibson would join Erik Scott, Trevon Cole, Orlando Barlow, and Henry Rowe on the long list of people blatantly murdered by local police for which no accountability would be afforded or even pursued. I and others involved with Nevada Cop Block and the Sunset Activist Collective began staging demonstrations against the circumvention of the inquest reforms and police brutality, in general. This soon evolved into regularly scheduled protests held every “Second Saturday” of the month and came to include writing with chalk as a regular method of exposing police abuses and paying tribute to their victims.

This continued for about nine months before police first tried to intimidate us by issuing us citations for writing on sidewalks with chalk that is specifically sold for the purpose of writing on sidewalks. While those bogus tickets were never even filed, they set into motion the chain of events that led to the even more bogus arrests about two months later. That in turn led to even more embarrassment for Metro after public outrage at the ridiculousness of the charges and inflated clean up costs required to justify them led to those charges being quickly dropped.

MoreCopsFlyer 300x110 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?Shortly after that, Sheriff Gillespie announced amidst an almost constant barrage of scandals involving the LVMPD that he would no longer be seeking reelection for the next term, but that he would instead be putting his full efforts into passing the “More Cops” tax, which would increase the county sales taxes in order to fund the hiring of additional cops, and that getting it passed would be considered his legacy as sheriff.

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Lines Out the Door Against “More Cops”

I don’t normally get very involved in the formal political process because it usually amounts to nothing more than a waste of time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. However, partly because of my desire to connect with and support some very cool people and groups that had supported me while I was in jail and partly because it presented me with an opportunity to bring even more public attention to Metro’s abuses and personally confront those enabling and even encouraging it, such as Sheriff Gillespie and Las Vegas Police Union spokesman Chris Collins, I did become very involved in the fight against the More Cops tax.

Although they kept trying to bring it back hoping to outlast the opposition, ultimately Sheriff Gillespie’s “signature proposal” was defeated and in the process those that spoke out against it were able to bring a lot of attention to the waste and abuses within the LVMPD. Our “graffiti” arrests and the inflated clean up costs used to justify them, were often cited as examples of both those things. During the first time I spoke against the tax, a picture of me pointing at Sheriff Gillespie and calling his decision to refuse a recommendation to fire a cop that had shot an unarmed man because he thought his hat was a gun disgraceful was posted in the local paper as part of the coverage of the Commission’s vote against it.

Also by chance, during the public comments for the final vote a few months later, when the tax was ultimately defeated (until the next sheriff gets into office and brings it back), I actually ended up at the podium at the same time Chris Collins, head of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association – the police union – and was able to reference a previous comment he had made that all the money being wasted and all the people being wrongfully killed “had nothing to do” with the More Cops tax.

Conclusions

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That’d be great Metro

Those two instances of public defiance of the two biggest mob bosses in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, along with the ongoing protests and the public embarrassment caused by their previous attempts to bully us into stopping with citations and arrests, would by themselves be enough motive for someone to want to send a message to members of Nevada Cop Block and the Sunset Activist Collective and to want to personally retaliate and try to intimidate me. As was shown by their plan to discredit Clark County Commission Chairman Sisolak, the defeat of the tax increase that was so coveted was enough to make them want to strike back at those involved in opposing it.

Furthermore, their attempts to have us arrested and jailed for four years (contrary to the single year that was widely reported, we actually potentially faced one year for each of the four charges against us) for drawing on a side walk with something that would take a couple minutes to clean up with some water and a broom (and in fact didn’t need to be cleaned up unless someone didn’t want people reading the things written about them), shows their vindictiveness toward us.

Even with all of those reasons to potentially want to go after NVCopBlock in general and myself in particular, it might still seem a bit farfetched that they would actually try to assassinate me with a car. In fact, I hadn’t been on the look for that sort of tactic and wasn’t entirely convinced it was the case until after the “First Friday” incident, simply because it’s so incredibly easy for Las Vegas area police to get away with murder that I always figured if they wanted to come after us they would just shoot at us.

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This Offer Still Stands

However, within the past few days a story surfaced in which a Muslim that the FBI was trying to pressure into becoming an informant actually recorded a federal agent warning him that he “might get hit by a car.” So it’s not exactly a foreign concept to them.

For decades, law enforcement agencies have employed “COINTELPRO” type programs to intimidate, falsely imprison, disrupt, and even kill activists and members of activist groups. On a federal level, the FBI used such tactics against MLK, Malcolm X, Jerry Rubin, Fred Hampton (who was drugged by a police informant and then murdered by Chicago police in his sleep), and even Albert Einstein, based primarily on their political activities and perceived threat to the power that those in authority at the time held. On a side note, while I don’t actually suspect that the Feds were involved in our incidents, someone self-identifying as a member of military intelligence did show up to our chalking actions at the Regional Injustice Center, one of the actions for which we were later arrested.

The “Aftermath” – AKA: Did It Work?

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Not Gonna Stop

If that question is taken literally, then it did almost work. As a result of the hit and run, I suffered a pretty severe concussion, a very badly bruised shoulder, and worst of all a compression fracture to my spine (which necessitated the ridiculously uncomfortable brace in the picture at the top of this article that I had to wear nonstop, including while sleeping, for an entire week). While I’m much better and at this point it’s just a matter of some residual pain, I am still recovering from that broken back two months later. I’m also quite certain that had I been hit even a fraction of a second earlier and been more to the center of the car, rather than toward the right corner, I probably would have been killed rather than injured.

However, since I wasn’t killed, the answer is an unequivocal no. If anything it makes me more determined to expose them for the criminals they truly are. Not only did they not intimidate me into stopping, the “Second Saturday” protest that we had scheduled to bring attention to D’Andre Berghardt Jr., the person the BLM murdered out by Red Rock Canyon in February, 2014, went on as planned with just a one day postponement to Sunday. Personally, I think that the fact they felt they needed to take me out just shows that what we’ve been doing is working and getting to them. Plus, I think we owe it to the people that have been murdered in the past without any justice or accountability to keep at it.

Although, both the arrests and the recent incidents have actually caused some of the people who originally came to our demonstrations to back off, the LVMPD and other Las Vegas area police departments can count on the fact that I won’t be going away anytime soon and nothing they do will ever be enough to intimidate or scare me away from demanding true accountability from them.


Still chalking

Support NVCopBlock – Because We Always Support You

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Front and Back Examples of Cop Block Press Passes

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Nevada Cop Block T-shirt

In somewhat unrelated news, Nevada Cop Block recently had personalized Cop Block t-shirts created bearing the fancy new NVCopBlock logo, which is awesome (and I’m not just saying that because I’m the one that designed it). And of course, as always you can still order the Official Cop Block Press Passes via the Nevada Cop Block Site shop.

Additionally, the entire shop has been updated to accommodate the T-shirts and other new items that will be added soon. One of the new features is the ability to use Bitcoin and other “crypto” currencies within the shopping cart, if you’re into alternate currencies. (You can still donate directly to our Bitcoin wallet, also: 1JaQEAyPS71GW2JPPCMqMN53mTGMjVqctT).

Another really cool new feature with the new shop is that it has the option to sign up as an affiliate. What that means is that you can obtain a personalized referral link to share on your own website, Facebook, Twitter, or pretty much anywhere else you can post links. Whenever someone using that link purchases something on NVCopBlock.org, the person assigned to that link will receive 10% of any amount spent. So you can actually make a little money yourself by referring people.

Support Cop Block in Nevada and Get Some Cool Stuff in Return

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An Open Letter to LVMPD Sheriff Doug Gillespie From Stanley Gibson’s Widow

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Doug Gillespie,

Chalk the Police 014a 300x175 An Open Letter to LVMPD Sheriff Doug Gillespie From Stanley Gibsons Widow

Two years ago today, Stanley Gibson was murdered by Ofc. Jesus Arevalo of the LVMPD

I know your name. It’s a name I will never forget and, along with Jesus Avalero, one of the two names I can NEVER FORGET. My name is Rondha Gibson. I’m sure you remember my name too, but do you remember what today’s date represents? For me, it’s something else I can never, ever forget.

Today marks two years since Stanley Gibson was shot and killed while sitting unarmed and incapacitated in his car on December 12, 2011.

He was my husband and he was murdered by Officer Jesus Avalero, who you once called dependable and stated you would stand behind. Fortunately, two years later your opinion about that has seemingly changed. Now you say he is responsible for my husband’s death, although you still refuse to call it murder. While you finally had the decency to at least fire him, you still haven’t held him accountable for his actions that day in any legal manner.

Essentially, his “punishment” for shooting my husband, who was both unarmed and innocent, is to have to find another job (after having spent slightly less than two years sitting at home collecting a full paycheck). I don’t doubt that he will cash in on some connections he made while with Metro to get some cushy security job or something such as that. That’s not a true punishment, it’s an inconvenience.

Meanwhile, the last 23 months of my life have been nothing but hell. While Jesus Arevalo was on a paid vacation (AKA “administrative leave”), I was struggling just to pay my rent and other bills. In all that time, I’ve hardly even really had a chance to grieve for my murdered husband amidst all the calls from collection agencies wanting me to pay for Stanley’s funeral, which I couldn’t even afford.

You once claimed at the inquest that you were in contact with me everyday and that you publicly apologized to me, calling Stan’s death a mistake. Even that’s a lie. We had never even talked until after that inquest and that only happened because Steve Sanson of VIPI asked you to come and talk to me. That was the first and only time we ever spoke and the apology you gave then was not worth the breath it took to deliver the fake sentiments it represented.

In the 23 months since Stanley was taken from me by Jesus Arevalo and the culture of lawlessness that you continue to enable within Metro by refusing to hold anyone accountable for their actions, no matter how heinous, I had only two requests for you:

That Stan’s medals and other personal belongings from that day be returned to me.
And that someone be held accountable for his murder.

Finally, his medals came home after a lot of unnecessary stalling, but still nobody has actually been held accountable for Stanley’s murder. Simply being fired isn’t punishment enough for taking the life of another person. I will not just be standing back and accepting that, either. My third demand is your immediate resignation as sheriff and I will renew that demand for every one of your successors until they create true accountability within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

No more members of this community should have to walk around in fear that they will be shot down in cold blood by cops, who know they have no chance of being punished for their actions. No more families should have to deal with the loss of loved ones and the knowledge that accountability is not even an option for Las Vegas area cops, as I and way too many others have had to. I will not rest until genuine changes are made.

I am Rondha Gibson, widow of Stanley L Gibson, a Disabled Veteran murdered by LVMPD Ofc. Jesus Arevalo. I was victimized by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, but I am finished being a victim.

Rondha G.
NEVER FORGET STANLEY L. GIBSON

Thanks for reading. An Open Letter to LVMPD Sheriff Doug Gillespie From Stanley Gibson’s Widow is a post from Nevada Cop Block

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation

Saturday, August 10th, 2013
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The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments’ Pathetic History of “Accountability”

A Community in Fear

Not too long ago I attended a meeting of the Clark County Commissioners concerning a vote over the process that would be adopted to address shootings by Las Vegas area police. Prior to the vote that eventually happened (after all the important stuff like giving a certificate to a group from a retirement home whose most lauded act was alerting neighbors if they forgot to close their garage door), members of the community were allowed to address the commissioners regarding the issue.

One speaker after another stepped to the microphone and it wasn’t long at all before a common theme began to develop. Statements such as, “I’m afraid of what will happen if I call the police,” “I would never call the police even if I was in real danger because I’m scared more of them,” and “I don’t trust them not to kill someone if I call them for help” were recited over and over again throughout the session. These fears were often accompanied by personal examples of negative experiences resulting from interactions with Las Vegas area police, including several from the families of people that actually had been killed by the police.

Legitimate Reasons to be Afraid

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When the cops in Las Vegas kill people their ONLY “punishment” is paid leave.

Obviously, every time the police respond to a call they don’t kill or otherwise abuse the people they encounter, even in Las Vegas. However, it happens often enough to instill the sort of fear and hatred toward them that was on public display during the commissioners’ meeting that day. The problem is that people within the community know that should something happen to them or one of their loved ones at the hands of a member of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department they have very little hope of that cop ever being held accountable for their actions. They don’t know that the cop responding wants to kill them, but they do know that if they do they will get away with it.

The bigger problem is that members of Las Vegas area police departments also know this. Jesus Arevalo told his then-wife that he wanted to shoot someone so that he could get free time off, based on the policy of placing cops on paid leave during investigations. Within a couple of months after that statement, Stanley Gibson, an unarmed, disabled Persian Gulf veteran suffering from a PTSD induced panic attack and in no way representing a threat to anyone was murdered by Jesus Arevalo. Those seven unnecessary shots fired from Ofc. Arevalo’s AR-15 were the ticket to what is fast approaching two full years of the paid vacation that he had indicated he was hoping for. No charges were ever brought against him for his actions, which even other police on the scene characterized as unexplainable in their official statement to the detectives subsequently going through the motions of an investigation. At worst, Arevalo might possibly be punished by being fired.

A Long History of Corruption and Violence

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The Biggest Gang in Las Vegas

Throughout their history, the LVMPD has consistently rated among the highest statistically nationwide (even when compared against cities with much higher populations) in times they have shot at people while on duty and in the level of fatalities resulting from those shootings. Stanley Gibson was just one of the latest names in the laundry list of the victims of Las Vegas police that includes Erik Scott (whose murderers were later given an award for bravery while gunning down someone from behind and then unloading their guns on him as he lay already dying on the ground), Trevon Cole, Orlando Barlow, Tanner ChamberlainDeshira Selimaj, and Henry Rowe, among the 150+ shootings just since 1990.

Yet not one singular time in the close to forty year history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a Las Vegas area police officer ever been charged for shooting someone, regardless of whether the person shot was unarmed or even completely innocent of having committed any actual crime. One rather telling fact is that the reason the old Las Vegas city police was originally merged with the Clark County Sheriff department to create “Metro” was in response to an uproar after a very questionable shooting that was ruled justifiable. Yet, no matter how questionable the many shootings by Metro have been, the justifications have continued unabated.

An Absolute Refusal to Hold ANYONE Accountable

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Finally someone within the Las Vegas police system has made some sort of stand for justice, but will it actually matter?

A recent incident has shined a very public spotlight on the reasons why it is so impossible to hold anyone  within the LVMPD accountable for their actions. In one of the most questionable shootings ever Officer Jacquar Roston claimed to have confused a hat Lawrence Gordon was wearing for a gun and shot him in the leg as he sat in a car. As would be expected of anybody with even half a brain, Metro’s internal Use of Force Review Board didn’t really accept that excuse and recommended that Roston be fired  as a result.

The fact that this recommendation was hailed as an “unprecedented” act by the board tells you a lot about the past history of the Las Vegas police in relation to officer involved shootings. The fact that Sheriff Gillespie promptly disregarded that recommendation in favor of a one week unpaid suspension (after Roston had already spent 8 months on paid vacation during the investigation) tells you a lot about the prospects for any sort of accountability for them in the near future.

However, in one glimmer of hope for some sort of prospect for justice, seven members of the board did actually have the integrity to stand up and resign in disgust after Gillespie’s disgraceful action. One former member of the board, Glenn Rinehimer, stated that previously the board had been “stacked” with retired police officers from other parts of the country designated as civilians. According to Rinehimer, they didn’t seem in any hurry to actually investigate whether shootings were justified. “The retired police just didn’t seem interested,” Rinehimer said. “They didn’t ask a lot of questions. They voted quickly for it to be justified.”

Robert Martinez, a co-chair of the board who also resigned, had previously expressed hope that this sort of rubber stamping had ended once former police employees and their family members were banned from being appointed as civilians on the board last year. He believed that Metro truly desired a fair and transparent process. That is until Gillespie essentially exonerated Roston despite the board’s unanimous recommendation. “I was thoroughly fooled,” Martinez said. “I thought it was going to change and it isn’t.” Within his resignation letter Martinez characterized the process as a flawed one that undermined the Use of Force Review Board.

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Sheriff Gillespie announcing that the final week of Roston’s 8 month vacation will be unpaid.

Former Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody, who submitted for retirement in response to this case, agreed that Gillespie was undermining the credibility of the board even as Metro faces increasing scrutiny over questionable shootings and other scandals that are becoming hard to even keep up with lately. Las Vegas police officers will not have the public’s trust until the department has a credible process for reviewing its own shootings, Moody stated. And that process must be stable, impartial, unbiased and free from political interference. “Anything short of that is going to fuel further suspicion and mistrust and is just begging for the imposition of externally imposed oversight,” he said. “Nobody wants that. We can be better than that.”

Rinehimer went even further in his assessment of the problems with a system that is in practice designed to ensure no cop is ever held accountable. Rinehimer said the sheriff’s decision to overturn the Use of Force Review Board’s recommendation doesn’t set a good precedent, especially for officers who find themselves in similar situations in the future. “At the end of the day, the officer might be sitting there smiling, knowing the sheriff might not fire him anyway,” Rinehimer said. “It’s a farce.”

A Lack of Accountability that is Not Good for Anyone, Even the Police Themselves

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The inevitable backlash

There’s an obvious incentive for members of the community to demand accountability for the heavily armed band patrolling through the streets that they live and work. If those individuals are permitted to act as an occupying force with the impunity to do as they please to those within that community, those among their ranks that have an unscrupulous tendency will take advantage of that to commit criminal and violent acts.

However, there are reasons why even those within the local police departments should want to see accountability for those “bad apples” that we are always being told are just exceptions to the rules. Fear eventually gives rise to hostility and working within the bounds of a hostile environment makes someone’s job just that much harder to do. People within communities don’t feel real obligated to help with the investigation of crimes when the person doing the investigation is perceived as being as bad or worse than the people being investigated. Having to deal with indifference or even active retaliation in the process only serves to make the job of the police more difficult and frustrating, which in turn makes them more bitter and cynical and leads to even more abuses. At some point, that downward spiral needs to be put to an end and the only way to do that is to create real accountability, rather than a hollow, toothless sham that does nothing but draw attention to the lack of it.  And as Sheriff Gillespie recently found out, people are a lot less accepting of having their taxes increased in order to supplement the LVMPD’s budget during an almost daily barrage of news about yet another police scandal.

Thanks for reading. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation is a post from Nevada Cop Block