Monthly First Friday Outreach & Downtown CopWatch in Las Vegas
This was originally posted at the Nevada Cop Block site.
Downtown Informational Flyering and Outreach
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.