Update: On Monday December 5th, the Clark County District Attorney indicated that they were refusing to file the false charges against Kelly. Currently, the LVMPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the officer involved. We’ll update when there is some sort of announcement regarding that.
Kelly Patterson, founder of Nevada CopBlock and editor of this website, was spending his weekend doing what he usually does – filming the police on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. That’s when Patterson witnessed Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) officers about to affect an arrest on a woman and pulled out his camera (see video above).
As you can see in the video it appears that Patterson is a safe distance away from the arrest/officers, but for whatever reason a lagging LVMPD officer comes over to him demanding he leave. Patterson asks questions to the unknown and aggressive LVMPD officer about how his actions are criminal, but to no avail. Abruptly during the exchange, he’s arrested on bogus charges of obstructing a police officer and obstructing a vehicle in the roadway (after the officers arresting him threw him into the road).
While that seems ridiculous in itself, the comments made by retired Las Vegas police Lt. Randy Sutton are also pretty absurd. According to 13 Action News:
Sutton said, “Cop Block, the group that Patterson is part of, is notorious for antagonizing cops.”
“There was apparently some interaction before what we saw in this video because there was a reference made to it when the officer initially confronted the guy who had the camera,” Sutton said.
While Sutton said this, and the news aired it (with nicely edited footage, see below), you can see from the footage above that Patterson and the LVMPD officer had no interaction until the officer demanded Patterson leave the area – which is a violation of his right to record (especially since there was no danger or interference going on). CopBlock being “notorious for antagonizing cops” is also completely irrelevant. Police have to arrest people based on their actions, not the reputation of a group they are affiliated with. (An affiliation that the cop who started this incident and then assaulted and illegally arrested Patterson likely wasn’t even aware of.)
Thankfully, Sutton didn’t go full COPSUCKER and recovered by saying, “The reality is police cannot stop someone from videotaping an action and in doing that is not in keeping up with the policies of the police department.”
The question now is the same as it’s always been after such wrongful arrests, will the officer learn and be held accountable for his actions? Of course, cops are investigating cops on this matter. So, a fair review will be produced in a timely manner I’m sure.
Meanwhile, Patterson spent 24 hours in the local jail, faces two charges and possible injury from the interaction. Thankfully, Stephen P. Stubbs, a local Las Vegas Attorney, has decided to represent Patterson in his legal matters with the city.