About a month ago, in early September, I did an interview with Joe Bartels of “8 News Now,” the local CBS affiliate in Las Vegas. Although the actual interview went really well, once it was broadcast it was fairly obvious that the intent of the piece was already set even before Joe talked to me.
That predetermined slant being the nonsense claim that Cop Block promotes violence against cops and has ties to the Millers, a married couple who recently murdered a couple of Las Vegas Metro cops, but had no actual ties or even any evidence that they so much as followed Cop Block. (Their Facebook pages, which were pretty widely viewed after the incident, contained a grand total of two shares from Cop Block going back three months.) In spite of the fact that I pointed out that neither I nor anyone I know had ever met or even heard of the Millers prior to the day they shot those cops and that in doing so they had actually made it more difficult for those of us advocating for accountability in peaceful ways, he chose to leave all that out and just do a very incomplete paraphrasing of my statements about them.
Beyond that, that little spinning flyer graphic they made is obviously going to be the opening of all my videos from here on out. Also, as the title of the post states, Metro decided they didn’t want to respond to any of my statements (they held the broadcast back a day in order to talk with a Metro spokesperson), but they did state that they agreed with everything on the flyer, which would presumably include the advice not to speak to cops and to film them. The other thing about this interview that made me rather happy is that it was prompted by someone placing one of our downtown “know your rights” flyers on their news van one day while they were at lunch.
I actually asked everyone that I thought might be out flyering that day and none of them had put it there. Therefore, someone apparently downloaded the file of the flyer that is available here at Nevada Cop Block, printed it off, and went out flyering on their own. I think it is awesome that people are taking advantage of that resource and that people I don’t even actually know are out there spreading the word to protect people from the harassment that has become so commonplace in downtown Las Vegas.
‘Cop Block’ advocates for rights when dealing with officers
LAS VEGAS – A group critical of police is warning downtown visitors of what they’re calling police harassment. The group known as ‘Cop Block’ said it feels that police are overstepping their authority, so they want people to know their rights.
Cop Block is a nationwide movement, and their main goal is to be an advocate for individual rights, so the group likes to hand out flyers with a series of suggestions on how to handle interactions with police authorities…
The group said it’s handing out these flyers because of an increase in run-ins with police and the alleged harassment people see downtown.
“That flyer is basically a ‘know your rights’ flyer. It’s meant to educate people on what their rights are,” Kelly Patterson, a member of the Nevada chapter of Cop Block said.
Patterson said there’s a systemic problem that exists between police and the public.
“I’m advocating for them to be accountable; for them to do reasonable investigations when things appear questionable,” Patterson said…
We reached out to Metro Police, but they didn’t have anyone available to talk about the alleged harassment, or the flyers being handed out downtown.”
A spokesperson did tell us that the department was aware of the flyers and they agree with the information on them. The flyers five suggestions for people to take in consideration when they come into contact with officers consist of:
Record your interaction on camera.
Do not talk to the police or answer questions.
Ask whether you are being detained, if not leave.
Never consent to a search.
Be polite, but firm.
We caught up with Stephen Stubbs, a local attorney, and he said that’s sound legal advice.
“If you want to talk to police, talk to police. The fact is that you don’t have to. The supreme court has said very clearly that you do not have to talk to police,” he said.
In this essay, Ballentine discusses the long history of and lack of accountability for violence by police within the Las Vegas area, as well as some of the many victims (both human and animal) of that violence. In addition, he discusses how corporations, especially Zappos and the various minimally disguised “shadow corporations” they have created to facilitate their monopolization and gentrification of Las Vegas, use the police to strong-arm local competition and the poor out of the downtown area in what often amounts to a mafia style protection racket.
I never knew Trevon Cole. I have never met his girlfriend, and, like Trevon Cole himself, I have never met his child. This is because he was murdered by Officer Bryan Yant of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department during a drug raid.
Cole, unarmed, was shot in front his girlfriend while on his knees in his bathroom. His girlfriend, Sequoia, gave birth to a baby girl only five days later.
The pig that shot Trevon Cole was punished with a desk assignment. Cole was the third fatal shooting he was involved in.
I shouldn’t even know who Trevon Cole is. I shouldn’t know about Stanley Gibson, a gulf war vet who accidentally went to his old apartment building one night by mistake and paid for it with his life. Officer Jesus Arevello put 7 rounds from an assault rifle into Gibson’s head.
Stanley, like Cole, was unarmed. He and his car were boxed in, unable to be a danger to anyone.
In the last 10 years over 150 people have been shot by the Las Vegas police. A dozen stories I have heard detailing unarmed people shot by the police, some in cold blood.
Erik Scott was armed but by most accounts was not holding the pistol he was legally entitled to carry when he was shot outside a crowded wholesale super market. The police tried to blame his murder on prescription drugs and the store’s security camera footage was mysteriously never found.
Adding fuel to fires of police violence are businesses in the are which encourage a larger police presence downtown.
The Zappos Shoe Corporation, for example, has duped the local government into letting them “revitalize” the downtown area. Working with the city’s blessing and assistance, the company is spearheading gentrification in the area many of us have lived our whole lives in.
The media of course promotes this effort as though Zappos were some prophetic savior, come to rid us of the “dirty” and “unsafe” downtown, and, as usual, the police are front and center in this mafia-style protection racket.
Companies with more than one hundred patrons are now required by law to hire Las Vegas Police Officers as security, to aid in cleaning up the downtown corridor.
Of course, we don’t need corporations like Zappos to save our city.
We don’t want them having the ear of the mayor.
We don’t need the police to patrol our neighborhoods and escort Zappos employees to their cars after work because “they’re scared to be downtown.”
I am of the opinion that the police are an occupying force doing the bidding of the corporate state. And if you protect the rich, then you should be counted among them, as their willing puppet. Anyone with this desire is in effect the bloodied arm of the corporate overlords with its hand clasped around the throat of the people.
Small response to a big problem:
In response to the Gibson shooting, we in the Sunset Activist Collective created a list of demands against the city and the police department which listed, amongst other things, justice and compensation to the families of the murdered, resignations of the district attorney as well as that of Sheriff Doug Gillespie.
We called for an end to the militarization of the police force, who are now equipped with AR-15 rifles and an armored car that they proudly displayed during the last two MLK day parades.
We demanded an end to the tactic of “neighborhood saturation” which pours dangerous, steroid-amped police freshly home from Iraq and Afghanistan into the poorest neighborhoods and leaves the affluent suburbs pig-free.
Part of our outreach has included “chalking” against the Clark County Government Center, the county seat of authority and the main police head quarters a short distance away.
A few times a month, we sweat in the cold. We write the stories of victims most of us never knew.
As I took a bruised knee, dirtying my work pants to write “F@@K Pigs” upside down so that those pigs could read it from their office window, I notice Rhonda Gibson looking down and reading it. She doesn’t seem to mind the language.
I hope these actions help her cope with her loss, and give her some sense that not everyone is awful. Writing like mad on the sidewalk.
So, if you ever find yourself in Las Vegas, you might take a moment to ignore the neon and look down at your feet. The sidewalk is our horizontal, traveling monument to the victims of police repression.
Brian Sumner has reported via the FaceBook event page that his charges were dropped He also stated:
“Its all thanks to you. I wish everyone of you could have seen the DAs face. My lawyer told me that she wasn’t sure if the DA was going to inner (sic) the agreement. I’m going to take that as it was a very successful phone bomb. You all have my heart, and our voices will be heard.”
Thanks to everyone that managed to call. Remember, call floods have been very effective at putting pressure on police departments and courts to release people being charged with bogus crimes based on retaliation or intimidation motives. Always call if you can.
This is a cross-post from the Nevada Cop Block site.
Brian Sumner wrote the article included below regarding how “obstruction” charges are often used to punish and attempt to discourage people involved in Copwatch or Cop Block related activities. This is done much the same way that “resisting arrest” is often used to prosecute people who have been arrested, even when the actual excuse for arresting them is thrown out or dismissed, as a way of intimidating them.
Brian is a local activist and copwatcher from the Fresno area. Within a relatively short time he’s made quite a few videos and been involved in several major actions in and around Fresno seeking police accountability as part of the Fresno Liberty Movement. As a result, he has become a target for retaliation by local police and other government employees. In one such instance (not the one in the video included below), he was charged with obstruction simply for filming the arrest of another person from a distance. He will be starting trial for this “crime” today, Sept. 10th 2014, and has asked (via a FaceBook event) that people call the DA to show their support and ask that they drop those bogus charges:
“Brian Sumner was arrested for obstruction of justice while filming a routine traffic stop in Clovis, Ca. Please call the DA’s office as many times as humanly possible and ask them to drop the charges. Brian will begin his first day of trial at 1:30 pm 9/10/14. Vanessa Wong is the DA prosecuting the case against Brian. The phone number to her office is (559) 600-3141. Any and all support will be greatly appreciated. #NoVictimNoCrime #PhotographyIsNotACrime #CopBlock #CopWatch #Solidarity”
“Obstructing” is “Resisting” for Cop Watchers
We have all seen a youtube video where a cop demands ID, or for someone to go with them, and when they refuse the cop threatens them with resisting arrest. Even though no crime was committed beforehand… If you have not seen one of these videos click the link below.
Threatened with resisting arrest.
I FILM COPS!
I have been filming the police for around a year and a half now, and it has slowly just become apart of who I am. I was just out of the military, and dealing with the poor taste it left in my mouth. I had been Listening to the Adam VS the Man podcast, reading The Free Thought Project, and watching everything CopBlock.org was putting out. I had joined the military to serve, and well lets just say my service was more of a disservice.
The visible wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan these “Wars on Terror” were being flaunted along with 9/11 as major reasons to draft such legislation as the Patriot Act, or NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) to create such organizations as the NSA, and the TSA. While the US military eroded rights, and lowered the living conditions in the middle east, the US government was systematically removing rights, and lowering the standard of freedom in the USA.
I was drawn to activism and civil disobedience because it was an in your face act of rebellion, and when you do something like block a freeway, chalk up a police station, or take over the streets with a group of people, and the authorities just have to let you do it due the critical mass its very liberating to one’s soul. You make connections, and form bonds with each other much like in the military.
One thing I have noticed is cops don’t take kindly to an unknown person walking up and sticking a camera in their face. Luckily for me, I could care less what a cop wants. Too many times there is no objective record, and cops take advantage of people, or worse hurt them. The supreme court ruled that it is the job of police to enforce the laws, not protect people. With that in mind does it make a little more sense why there are so many victimless crimes?
Police often tell me that my presence is an obstruction of their investigation, they usually try to defend it with “I’m cool with you filming, just from over there, Officer safety, and all” or something along those lines. In reality what the cop is trying to do is place you in a position where you are less likely to capture what he is doing, and/or saying. I have been threatened with arrest for this crime known as “Obstruction of Justice” on many different occasions. I recently made the connection between resisting arrest, and Obstruction of Justice.
If I am not harming anyone, and I am filming from a distance that I deem is reasonable for both mine, and the officers safety, and if I am not engaging the officer in any unwanted dialogue how can I be obstructing justice, or interfering with his investigation? Is he claiming that my presence with a camera is somehow hindering him from doing his job? Or is he afraid of what the camera will see? Regardless the situation remains where unquestioned obedience to an authority figure, possibly a complete stranger, can and will land you in cage, even worse you can end up with a criminal record.
The same can be said with resisting arrest. As we saw in the video link above the man was eating a meal at a fast food restaurant. When the man did not want to leave his meal, and go with the officer he was threatened with arrest for resisting arrest. How can your only crime be not wanting to have an interaction with a complete stranger? Does it make sense that you can literally be arrested for refusing to go somewhere with someone who claims authority over you?
Police now can detain and arrest you for not wanting to talk to them. At the same time police can detain and arrest the people who would film these arrest’s in order create an objective record, if they do not follow the orders of a the police officer. I will now share a personal experience from 2 nights ago with the Clovis, Ca police department.
Clovis police officer, and local hero Jesus Santillon, threatened me with arrest for filming him while he detained, and later arrested a homeless man with a bicycle.
This video also may serve as an objective comparison of the behavior of cops while in certain uniforms. The officer with the tactical vest, and the military haircut was the one to make contact with me, and cry about “officer safety” in an attempt to get me to alter my position. While the police officer in his regular uniform was very patient, and kept to the matters at hand.
Notice also that even the nice cop was telling me what to do. Officer Santillan was telling me to move, the other person involved Officer Shermanti was telling me that no one threatened me, and the supervisor was telling me to keep my opinions to myself, and to do whatever complete strangers with guns tell me to. In retrospect thats actually not that bad of advice… If a complete stranger came up to me with a gun and told me what to do. I would probably do it. Unless it was a cop. Then I would probably film it.
I hope you also noticed that none of the cops really listened to me, they all just made excuses for each other, and talked at me in a manner that made me feel more like a subject to them. In other news, Officer Jesus Santillan was awarded a hero medal for 80 DUI arrests, and singlehandedly making up 21% of the DUI arrest for Clovis PD.
Stoll-Lee said Officer Jesus Santillan arrested 80 drunken drivers during the graveyard shift in 2013, which accounted for 21% of the department’s total DUI arrests. Santillan worked on DUI checkpoints, AVOID task forces and saturation patrols in Clovis.
The event, which is sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, recognizes law enforcement officers and community leaders throughout California for their efforts to stop drunken driving.”
As the residents of Las Vegas (and an increasing number of visitors) are well aware, the LVMPD has made it one of their priorities to harass people in the downtown area, especially on Fremont Street and during the monthly “First Friday” art festivals. Nevada Cop Block (NVCopBlock.org) has decided to respond in kind and make documenting that harassment and the inevitable abuses it leads one of our priorities, as well as doing outreach to the people downtown, especially during First Fridays.
We’ll be meeting up in the “Arts District” area initially for outreach and flyering and centering our activities on the First Friday section and the nearby Fremont Street area, where most of the police presence will be. We anticipate being down there by about 7pm, but you can show up whenever and there’s not really going to be any set end time, but once again, you can just head out whenever you feel the time is right.
If you can spare some time to help out or if you just plan to be downtown and want to stop by and say hello, that would be awesome of you and will probably be admired and talked about for many years by people throughout the country, if you bring a camera they’ll probably chant your name in remote villages throughout the entire planet. (#TrueStory)
In September, we’ll be distributing a new flyer that contains information focused on helping residents and visitors understand their rights when confronted by police. In addition contact and resource information both for Nevada Cop Block and for the main Cop Block site is included on the flyers. They are designed to be used in and around downtown Las Vegas to enable people to protect themselves and avoid having their rights infringed upon, but the information is universal enough that they can be used as a resource throughout the country. So tourists can add them to their stash of Las Vegas mementos.
A secondary reason will also be one of outreach to meet and connect with members of the community that may want to become involved in future Cop Block activities. Obviously, the more people we have actively involved the more actions we can do and the more opportunities for accountability we can create. Also, more people equals more witnesses, so when NVCopBlock members are monitoring the police, they are safer and less likely to become a target themselves.
A third and potentially the most important reason for being downtown involves actually observing and documenting police interactions (“CopWatching”) in order to discourage them from abusing people’s rights and providing evidence should they in fact do so. This will also give us the opportunity to find and interact with people who have had negative experiences with the police in the past.
On June 2, 2014 a call was made to the Waukesha County dispatch center about a man with who had been “missing” approximately 2 hours. The family member we’ll call Jane stated the man drinks a lot and was drinking that day. She stated he may be at his favorite bar or out at his 10 acre property in a rural area near Milwaukee. Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department showed up and shot the unarmed, sleeping or passed out man, in the arm. The Waukesha Police Department was called upon to clear this Deputy at all costs. They obliged.
Earlier that day, a man we’ll call Jon Doe had fallen at home. He went to the hospital and after approximately 3 hours of waiting he walked out apparently out of frustration over the long wait. He returned home and had been drinking according to Jane. At some point that afternoon he left the house in his vehicle for an unknown destination. She stated she was concerned, and after significant prodding by dispatch, stated in the past Jon had said “If he wants to drink himself to death, let him.” Time to ramp things up.
After speaking with several people who knew the area police found Jon about 50′ off the road in his parked vehicle at his tree farm. It was around 8:30pm and was still light out. Deputy Steven Lyles showed up with two other enforcers, one armed with an assault rifle. Bringing the assault rifle to the “welfare check” indicates the mentality of the cops on scene.
I listened to the interview of Doe conducted by Detective Benitez of Waukesha PD. Doe was a credible blue collar guy who clearly wanted to get away from the nagging about him drinking and have some piece and quiet in the woods. He had a small bottle of vodka in the car with him and some masonry tools on the floor of his vehicle for his job. He had no guns and stated he was napping at the time of the shooting. He stated he heard nobody and didn’t hear the apparent 1 command by Lyles. All the car windows were closed at the time.
But the police have a different way of explaining what happened. Waukesha PD was chosen as the “investigators” of this shooting. Here’s their version:
Deputy Pawlak was on scene with Lyles toting the assault rifle which is likely 1 of the 120 plus a grenade launcher Waukesha County obtained through the military’s 1033 program. He stated immediately after Lyles first ordered the man out of the car he heard a “pop.” He stated he wasn’t sure if it was Lyles or the sleeping man who fired the shot. He stated he could only see Jon’s head from the right rear of Jon’s vehicle. Deputy Robakowski also did not know who fired the shot and also stated the shot was fired immediately after the command to get out of the car was given. Immediately after shooting Jon, Lyles is quoted as saying “What do you got, what do you got!”
Deputy Chief Dennis Angle, arguably the most dangerous cop in the county based on his de facto “Beat and Delete” dash cam policies, wraps up the package nicely for the DA to rubber stamp the shooting as “justified.” Angle refers to the time the man was sleeping as “conspicuously ignoring commands.” He also says Lyles claims Jon was “tracking his movements in the rear view and side mirrors of the car.” For good measure the term “1000 yard stare” was tossed in as icing on the cake. Of course the other 2 cops on scene saw non of this because it didn’t happen. Angle goes on and on about how since the cop thought he saw a gun he was okay to shoot. But there was no gun. So…since there was a masonry trowl on the passenger floor the vehicle, Angle goes on about it’s deadly possibilities as if it was the “weapon” Lyles claims to have seen.
I’m not going to go into how destructive this incident has likely been for the shooting victim or the caller (or us taxpayers.) Incidentally the caller refused to speak to cops for an interview and is on record telling them to stop calling her for a statement. The idea that simply on his word, a man who goes and checks on another man’s welfare and shoots him gets a pass is absurd. The guy shot an innocent person on his own land doing absolutely nothing illegal.
I don’t believe Deputy Steven Lyles deserves to be in jail. I don’t think a criminal prosecution would serve anyone. I do believe this is the wrong job for Lyles. I understand that he’s been trained, through his 9 years “on the force,” to view every single person and thing as a threat to his life. I’m sure that has something of a brainwashing effect and he was likely putting his own desire to “get home safe” above the reality that this was just a guy taking a nap. That shouldn’t be the standard. This could have easily have become a case of contagious fire set off by a skiddish cop who has proven he has no business in this line of work.
The children working for Waukesha Police Department have again brought fodder to the front page of CopBlock.org at the mere expense of numerous citizens’ time and well-being (lives.) Black people always get an extra taste of “justice” in Waukesha and if you try to record it, you may be extra-judicially punished. The mood of WPD as of late has been that of a carnival where the kids run around drunk on love and sex. But these kids are also drunk on power.
In spring of 2013 some black people were driving around Waukesha. That was their first mistake. After spending 30 minutes with the driver the cops decide to give him a pre-release pat down for “officer safety.” Things take a turn as is usual and the guy ends up underneath a pile of Waukesha’s Finest.
As my friend TJ is videotaping this from across the street in front of his own home Ofc. Jessica Trucksa barks at him not to get involved. He’s watching a non-violent guy getting shaken down and having his car taken by armed and aggressive people. In true WPD fashion the guy who’s “not under arrest” and “not in any trouble” is taken to the ground because after calmly interacting with him for 1/2 an hour Ofc. Steven Cizinski remembers he forgot to pat him down for drugs before he’s allowed to walk away. As Waukesha Cop Jeremy Bousman says “…I say take ‘em all (sic) regardless…” That’s exactly what happened in the end. But no arrest is complete in Waukesha without dash-cam failure. Check.
The Hunt For The Camera Man
TJ called me the night this all happened and told me after the take down that Sgt. Dave Wanner was trespassing on his property taking down license plates. Ofc. Trucksa wrote in her report that TJ was a “member of CopBlock” and was anti-government. She didn’t mention he’s also a psych major at UW Milwaukee and knows that he has the right to film cops. Trucksa applied for an arrest warrant for TJ on an obstructing charge but never got one. That didn’t stop her.
After coming to TJ’s house several times over the next few days to harass him they finally picked him up a week or so later while on a walk with his mom and her dachshunds. Shock and awe took effect as 4-6 cops took this man, accused of “obstructing,” into custody at the behest of Ofc. Jessica Trucksa.
He was taken to the PD and was thoroughly searched. Trucksa had him finger printed and photograph but not charged. She issued no citation or criminal charges at the time. We don’t even know if the case was referred for prosecution because the PD records custodian has no records of any nolle prosse documents from the DA’s office. This arrest has all but disappeared. Was this just a revenge arrest. Did TJ commit the unforgivable sin of contempt of cop? We now know that wouldn’t be outside the scope of possibility with Waukesha cops.
Death Threats and Hit Men
In a previous article I laid out the cases against SWAT Sgt. Gregg Satula and Ofc. Michelle Enderle. Satula went to the home of his then wife Ofc. Jessica Satula-Trucksa’s lover. In a PD investigation initiated by my article Satula wrote a narrative of the events which he says occurred that night. Satula wrote that he went to Todd Kraine’s house to confront him about the affair (he states Ofc. Trucksa was having multiple affairs) Todd and his wife were alleged to be having. He admitted he was yelling, he admitted he was swearing, and he admitted he was armed. He didn’t admit to telling Todd he would “put a bullet in his and his own wife’s head” though he didn’t deny it. Satula also stated he had lengthy conversations with multiple PD supervisors the next day in anticipation that something may happen to him due to his crazy actions. He also confirmed that Ofc. Michelle Enderle lied in her official capacity regarding Todd’s 911 call she was dispatched to. Instead of documenting that she encountered her co-worker and Todd, as required by law, she documented “Gone on arrival.” That’s called Misconduct in Office and is crime in WI. She wanted to make sure no fellow cops would get in trouble.
During the time of my friend TJ’s arrest, Ofc. Trucksa was involved in a divorce from SWAT Sgt. Satula. She had also filed a (TRO) temporary restraining order against Todd Kraines apparently at the behest of Waukesha Police Chief Russel Jack. The TRO was based on Trucksa’s petition that she was “fearful” along with a text Todd sent of him with a gun to his mouth. But according to the court record Trucksa sent numerous disturbing texts too. She refers to wanting to commit suicide multiple times and actually states she was “jealous” of a lady who had tried to die by taking pills whom she encountered at work the night before. She stated the lady was in the hospital and may or may not live. Ofc. Trucksa also texts Todd that she has put a “hit” out on her personal trainer who she refers to as “trainer boy” in court records. She assures Todd that “Mikey” will conduct the hit, apparently upon her request. It doesn’t seem like asking someone to kill someone else is consistent with her Oath of Office.
A week after Ofc. Jessica Trucksa filed the TRO against Todd (and months after the hit man text) she sent an email to Todd’s mom (which is also in the court record.) She offered Todd’s mom free tickets to the Circus. The exchange is odd and the offer is inappropriate to this guy’s mother after accusing her son, apparently with the help of the Chief, of being dangerous to her. Todd’s mom scolded her knowing Todd was not a true threat. It seems I’m not the only one living in a glass house.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Got something to say about your buddy’s arrest? Don’t say it in Green Bay, WI because you might get an ass kicking. In fact, don’t even say something about said beat-down on their Facebook Page, unless it’s in a “beatdown related approved portion” of their page.
In April of 2014 Green Bay cop Derick Wicklund decided to unleash his childhood bully on a guy who dared to say “Fuck You!” to him while he was arresting a guy for the crime of having a beer on the sidewalk. Yesterday, it was revealed that GBPD and some other government agency rubber stamped the beating of this guy.
This morning I posted a comment to GBPD’s post about “Operation Frogger” which discussed a crackdown on drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. I believe it’s a noble cause but with the beatdown fresh on my mind I posted; “Derick Wicklund will be “tuning up” violators with a wink from the Chief” on the GBPD Facebook post. It was promptly deleted and I was blocked from commenting.
I contacted the PD and spoke with Lt. Chad Ramos. We had a discussion and he stated he’d get back to me. He called back a few hours later and informed me that as I had made my comment about the Wicklund beatdown on the “Operation Frogger” post instead of one of the posts which discussed the beatdown, the deletion of my comment was appropriate. Apparently I am now banned for life from commenting on their page. Ramos stated that the rules pertaining to “off topic” posts and the lifetime ban were justified and reasonable under WI First Amendment (pertaining to tax payer funded pages.)
Recently a video surfaced that shows a California Highway Patrol employee straddling 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock, and delivering repeated blows to her head and face.
The incident happened in Los Angels on Tuesday, July 01st, around 5:40pm, at the La Brea Avenue onramp to I-10. It was captured by David Diaz, who happened to be traveling by at the time.
Almost two weeks since the incident, the aggressor remains unnamed, at work, with pay. Meanwhile, those in his outfit are doing damage control – hoping things will calm down so they can continue on with business as usual. That isn’t surprising, as they are incentivized first to protect not you or I, but the perceived legitimacy of their corrupt institution.
One colleague of the aggressor, Chris O’Quinn, claims that Pinnock had walked into traffic. Even if O’Quinn is believed, does that make acceptable the violence whetted out against Pinnock? If you saw someone who walked into the road, would it be justified if you stopped and beat them down?
O’Quinn also claimed that his colleague was merely trying to restrain Pinnock. Huh?? Clearly she’s trying to block the blows from being delivered. If the aggressor was so brazen in this instance, I wonder how many others he’s wronged?
As Pinnock’s own daughter noted,
I never would have thought I would be standing here today talking on behalf of my mom because she was beaten on the side of a freeway by a CHP officer that was sworn to protect her. That makes me scared.
Further, O’Quinn had the audacity to claim that Pinnock was not hurt. Really? After receiving multiple blows to her head and face from someone atop her, she’s just fine? Would O’Quinn put-forth the same narrative if it were his wife, or mom, who was repeatedly hit in the face and head by a grown male?
Some upset have been holding rallies, which are great to unify, and to bring attention to the situation, but they’re not the solution alone.
Some have called for more training of police employees, so that they can better-respond to situations (i.e. not initiate force). This is definitely not a solution, as the same corrupt institution, that suffers from the same perverse incentives, remains.
Some have called for an investigation done by employees of other, coercive monopolistic entities. There is no way justice or accountability will ever be achieved through this route, no matter how well-intentioned some involved may be. Like the California Highway Patrol, all are founded on the flawed claim that some people – those with badges – have the “legal” right to initiate force.
Some are happy to learn that since the incident, attorneys Caree Harper and John Burris have become involved to help Pinnock in legaland, and that a civil suit is in the plans. But that tactic too will not curtail the pattern of violence caused by police employees, as it’s not the individual aggressor who, assuming compensation is said due, has to compensate their victim, but area residents. Also, using this avenue bestows upon legaland some legitimacy, but it – like all of the injustice system – is a centralized, coercive apparatus that can only exist at the direct inverse of our rights.
Still others look forward to meetings held between so-called “leaders,” “experts,” and the so-claimed “authorities”. This is but window dressing. This perceived “solution” is both foolish and dangerous, as it does not question, but concentrates power with a few who claim the right to rule over others.
The real solution lies within yourself. If you conclude that some who demand your allegiance aren’t deservant, don’t grant them any. If you realize that an action wrong for one cannot become right for another based simply on a costume or badge, and act accordingly, you are more threatening to the Statist Quo than any rally, petition, or lawsuit.
One mind at a time, that erosion of legitimacy will do more to safeguard your rights, and the rights of those around you, than any inside-their-system strategy could ever accomplish.
FILMING IS KEY Because traveler David Diaz took the time to film, it cannot be as easily ignored or covered-up. Thousands are now aware of the incident, and the court of public opinion is powerful. Related: http://CopBlock.org/FilmThePolice
INDIVIDUALS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS The aggressors identity is still not known, though that’s likely to change. Whether that info is released by his colleagues during a press conference, or located and shared by those who have such skills, it should be welcomed by anyone, police and non-police alike, who value truth and know the importance of freedom coupled with responsibility, as it rightly focuses attention on the person who acted. Related: http://CopBlock.org/Library
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.
*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.*
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
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.
Celebrate “Chalk the Police State” Day in Your City
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 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.
According to the YouTube info this video was filmed in Shenandoah PA by Keith Smith from The Big Plantation. The man behind the camera invoked his human/constitutional rights to stand/observe and the cop reluctantly conceded. The fleeting “get a job” statement was unnecessary but I’ll take what I can get when it comes to cops walking away and allowing the de-escalation of Citizen Journalist V. Cop interactions.
I say overall, great job by both.
Mr. Smith said it best with “There’s millions of us.” Indeed Mr. Smith, there are millions of us non-violent citizens willing to “flex our rights.”