Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of illegal Data Searches

Sunday, July 20th, 2014
Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura

Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura

This was originally posted by Kelly W. Patterson at the Nevada Cop Block Website

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:

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

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.

This shiny badge couldn't be more tarnished.

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 as 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 a 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 by itself be 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.

John Bonaventura, the Most Corrupt Man in Las Vegas

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

Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of illegal Data Searches is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

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

This Week’s Corrupt Stories

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

We present a trio of law enforcement miscreants, including a Houston deputy who was ripping off dealers and selling their wares, a North Carolina cop with a pill problem, and a Baltimore schools cop who was flipping rocks on the side. Let’s get to it:

In Houston, a Harris County sheriff’s deputy was arrested Monday just after selling cocaine, marijuana, Loricet, and Soma to an undercover officer. Deputy Christopher Ellis, 34, is charged with two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. He went down after investigators received information that he was stealing drugs from dealers while on duty, then reselling them for a profit. At last report, he was in the Harris County Jail trying to raise $120,000 bail.

In New Bern, North Carolina, a former New Bern police officer pleaded guilty Monday to stealing drug evidence from defendants and from the department evidence room. Frances Sutton admitted taking drugs on at least four occasions. Officials say it was for her personal use. It’s not clear what formal charge she pleaded to, but she will serve between one and two years in prison. Because of her tampering with evidence, nine cases involving six drug defendants had to be dismissed.

In Baltimore, a Baltimore city schools police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to dabbling in crack cocaine trafficking. Napoleon McLain Jr., 31, admitted buying several ounces of coke between December 2012 and August 2013 and selling the drug to at least four other people, including, unfortunately for him, a snitch. He copped to one count of conspiring to distribute and possess cocaine base. He’s looking at up to 40 years in prison when sentenced in October.

 

This Week’s Corrupt Stories is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

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.

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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

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

Sunday, May 18th, 2014
Beware of Local Gang Members in the Las Vegas Area

Beware of Local Gang Members in the Las Vegas Area

This was originally posted at NVCopBlock.org and written by Kelly W. Patterson of Nevada Cop Block.

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.

Scott Crow will be in Vegas Monday, May 19th

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

Kelly W. Patterson of NVCopBlock On Non Partisan Liberty For All is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

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.

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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

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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.

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

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?

PointingAtGillespieYT 300x163 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

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.

ChalkThePoliceState 29a 300x127 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

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.

NoMoreCops 150x150 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

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

HittingPeopleWCars 300x259 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

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.

ChalkThePoliceState 11a 300x132 Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

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

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Recent Instances of Police Preventing Sexual Assault

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Oh did that say “Preventing”? Editorial mistake. “Committing” is the word we’re looking for here. That should be, “Recent Instances of Police Committing Sexual Assault.” Obviously.

Late last year, San Antonio police officer Jackie Neal was charged with felony sexual assault for handcuffing, groping, then raping a 19-year-old while on duty. He stopped the woman and claimed her car had been reported stolen. He then forced her to the back of his squad car and raped her. (More here).

In another instance late last year, Kim Nguyen, a student at Loyola Marymount University, filed a lawsuit against LAPD, alleging she was sexually assaulted by police officers. Ms. Nguyen was standing on the sidewalk with friends on March 17, after a night of drinking, when accosted by LAPD officers David Shin and Jin Oh. The officers singled Ms. Nguyen out, handcuffed her, placed her in the back of squad car. She testified in deposition that the officers sexually assaulted her.

She ultimately was tossed out of, or fell out of the moving squad car. Ms. Nguyen woke up after a six-day, medically-induced coma. She underwent several jaw surgeries and lost all her teeth. More herehere and here.

The San Jose Mercury News reported in March that Patrolman Geoffrey Graves raped a woman who was staying in a hotel because she had been arguing with her husband. Graves was booked on suspicion of one count of forcible rape. However, he spent no time in custody, as he posted the $100,000 bail. He is currently on paid administrative leave (paid vacation for a rapist who turned himself in). More here and here.

In another instance last month, a Detroit police officer Deon Nunlee was charged with sexually assaulting a woman while responding to a domestic violence call. Upon the reported rape, Nunlee was placed on administrative leave. After results from the rape kit returned, Nunlee was suspended without pay. More here.

In late March, San Diego Police may have fallen short of the legal definition of sexual assault, but nevertheless harassed naked women in a vile and perverted manner. Three officers with bulletproof vests and guns charged a strip club in San Diego, allegedly to ensure strippers were complying with licensing requirements. The officers held dancers  against their will for some 3 hours, and photographed them – purportedly in an attempt to check permits. More here and here. Feel safer now?

This is not much of a surprise, considering the data suggesting cops are three times more likely to commit sexual assault than everyone else. While some may be optimist that a couple of these rapists were actually charged with a crime, it would be naive to be too hopeful.

Waukesha SWAT Sgt. Accused of Murder Threats

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Photo Waukesha WI Police Sgt. Gregg Satula (Credit Waukesha PD)

By Tim @wkshacopblock – MilwaukeeCitizenPress

In the latest incident to come to light in what would generously be called an incompetent police department, Waukesha PD’s SWAT Sgt. Gregg Satula is accused of showing up at the home of his wife’s lover, armed and holding his holstered gun, threatening to kill the man and his own wife. The PD’s cover-up machine apparently took effect within minutes of a 911 hang up call and continues to this day.

According to an anonymous source familiar with the incident:

Gregg Satula showed up off duty at Todd Kraine’s (name changed) house to confront him about an affair with his (now ex) wife Waukesha PD officer Jessica Satula-Trucksa. Satula pulled his green Prius down the street from Todd’s house and Todd called 911.  He was startled by Satula approaching his house and hung up the 911 call. Satula then approached Todd’s front door while holding a holstered silver .38 special with approximately a 2″ barrel and a laser sight while yelling and demanding entry into the home. Todd grabbed his own 9mm for protection. Satula was yelling and stated something along the lines of, “I’m on the Tactical Team and I can put a bullet in your and my wife’s head.”

The 911 hang up call was plotted by cell tower to Todd’s address and WPD officer Michelle Enderle was dispatched. She saw (her current direct supervisor) Satula standing at the door and was told it was taken care of and not to include his name on the report. Enderle falsely entered info into the WI State CAD system stating she made no contact. Satula filed for divorce the next day.

Months later, Todd contacted Deputy Chief Dennis Angle to file a complaint about the incident by phone and requested documentation. Dennis Angle refused to document this incident as noted below.

Here’s the email exchange from 8 months after the incident after Todd tried to file a verbal complaint.

-   -   -

4/15/13 Todd wrote to Deputy Chief Dennis Angle:

Dear Mr. Angle: I spoke with you about a month ago with my concerns over Sgt. Satula and officer Trucksa. I would like to get a copy of that report for my court case. Is this something I can procure via email or pick up in person at the station? Please advise.

4/16/13 Dennis Angle responds:

Mr. Kraines, I did not leave a report based on our conversation.

4/16/13 Todd writes:

Mr. Angle, I thought I stated that I wanted those incidents documented? Perhaps there was a misunderstanding?

4/16/13 Deputy Chief Angle writes:

There was no misunderstanding when I spoke to you. We spoke about the computer aided dispatch call (CAD) that documented your call to the police department. That document is attached to this e-mail. However I did not, nor plan to, draft any report documenting our conversation.

-   -   -

Now let’s just look at the individuals involved. I’ve personally had experience with Satula while I was trying to file a complaint against Officer Katrina Frey who illegally detained me for filming which was unsubstantiated. He is also apparently was a member of what I refer to as the “Beat and Delete” club which is a group of Waukesha cops involved in the deliberate destruction of a critical dash cam video showing excessive force. The group was admonished by Judge Stilling for deleting Officer Ryan Lafavor et al’s dash cam video of Mark Schroeder being beaten. She stated it was deleted in “Bad Faith.”  Obviously Satula’s in deep and under the assumption anything will fly.

Deputy Chief Dennis Angle is personally named in the above described “Beat and Delete” Federal Lawsuit pertaining to La Favor‘s beating. Angle once described to me how sometimes officers have to make up their best guess as to what happen then write it as fact on the report. As seen in the emails, he’s shameless and deliberate about his aversion to even document Todd’s complaint. Perhaps he’ll do a better job if he wins the lawsuit he and “eyes wide shut” Police Chief Russel Jack have filed against Waukesha. They claim they should both be paid more than their current rate of $14,000 per month.

Or perhaps Angle will get his act together now that Waukesha PD squads are equipped ALPR systems which, along with several area departments, boasts a database of over 7 million “stored plate reads” saving the GPS location, time of day, and photo of car/driver etcetera for at least 1 year. It’s likely also shared with the Milwaukee Federal “Fusion Center.”  The cited database covers around 250,000 drivers while only 6 million people live in WI. ALPR has been outlawed in NH and similar laws are working their way through other states’ legislatures.

Then there’s Officer Michelle Enderle. Her CAD (computer aided dispatch) entry was made about 2 minutes after arriving on scene at the 911 hang up call and her entry stated the party had left. She likely wanted to get out of the situation ASAP then lie on this state database which could probably land her in a jail cell. Enderle was also present for a not yet released conversation between her, Officer Darin Wittnebel, and Officer Jeremy Bousman in which Bousman is heard laughing, almost hysterically, about dumping evidence in the Kevin J. Noe case (marijuana plants) on Owens Drive which is a small road behind the PD in Waukesha. She’s also facing some other very serious allegations from another incident which I’ll go into detail about this summer.

Prior to publishing this story, I requested comment from Waukesha PD’s Public Information Officer Captain Ron Oremus regarding the allegations (as well as Satula and Angle.)

Here is his response: Your email has given us information that is contradictory to the information we received a year and a half ago about the situation involving Sergeant Satula and Todd Kraines. We will be investigating this new information.

I’m sure they’ll just ask Deputy Chief Dennis Angle to come up with a lie to support the existing lies.

But Waukesha Police Department’s  SWAT Sgt. Gregg Satula placed a little American flag on top of his mountain of damning evidence.

On 8/13/12 (the day after the incident and the day he filed for divorce from Jessica Trucksa) Sgt. Satula sent this to Todd from his personal email which is gregg.satula@redacted.com:

I guess in some strange way I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me and explain your side. I don’t have any reason to believe you lied to me. You don’t have to fear me any more. I’m never going to stop by or call you again. I’m not going to check if she’s there. If for some reason you have a question for me, I’ll answer.Take whatever you want from this mess. I hope you don’t believe her lies anymore. And if you ever go after a married woman, pray that they have the self control that I do.

Apparently Gregg Satula feels that going to a man’s house with a gun (and invoking his official capacity as a SWAT Sergeant) and threatening a man’s life is self control. I tend to disagree.

Town of Brookfield WI Police Department sits just to the East of Waukesha and shares a jurisdictional border. TOB is 99.999% white and houses the upper middle class (along with hundreds of 1 million plus dollar homes) in suburban Milwaukee. TOB includes a 1/2  mile section of Moreland Boulevard  just west of the eastbound I-94 on ramp to the Brew City. It’s a great place for all cops near and far to tax “out of town-ers.” I refer to where my friend was stopped as “The Gauntlet, where black people come to learn about racial profiling.”

In February around quarter to 5, a personal friend of mine we’ll call J got off the bus on his way to work a 12 hour shift as an assistant manager at a local restaurant. It was still broad daylight and he was walking the half block from the bus stop when he was stopped by Field Training officer Steven G. Thompson and his apparent trainee (hired in Feb. of 14) Antonio Dominguez. Thompson demanded ID which was given under duress by my friend (and fellow cop-watcher) while he adamantly asserted that his rights were being violated. Thompson proceeded to unconstitutionally pat J down for weapons (drugs.) Nothing was located but of course Thompson had to make it look good on paper.

He fabricated an incident report which included the “you’re violating my rights” quote but stated he was given consent for both searches. He also reported that the area has a lot of vehicle break ins. The corner in question is overrun with cops from Town of Brookfield, Waukesha PD, and the Wisconsin State Patrol Milwaukee Outpost which is located 200 yards from the field interrogation. I asked police chief Chris Perket to provide some area crime stats to back  up the high crime area claim 5 days ago. He didn’t.

Thompson decided to toss one more lie on the official (probably sworn) incident report. He claimed J has prior convictions for burglary and trespass. This is false. You’d think he’d at least lie about stuff that couldn’t be dis-proven but perhaps his lies have gotten him through the past decade with such little resistance he no longer considers them.

Town of Brookfield Police Chief Chris Perket declined multiple requests for comment on these allegations.

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