If you agree with VIPI in asking Gillespie to resign, please send your comments to the following media outlets, and LVMPD:
Letters to the Editor should include name, address, phone number. Anonymous letters are usually not printed.
Las Vegas Tribune email@example.com
Las Vegas, Nevada, November 19, 2012 at 10AM
—Veterans In Politics, International, Inc. again formally requests the resignation of Sheriff Douglas A. Gillespie from the office he currently occupies with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
The list of grievances on which we base our request is long, and listed below the main article of this press release.
Gillespie has been a member of the LVMPD, by his own statement, for more than 30 years. He was elected to the office of Sheriff in 2007, and re-elected in 20120. This office will face another election in 2014.
The LVMPD has a very long history of corruption and mis-conduct by officers. As a 30 year veteran of the Department, Gillespie has had more than ample opportunity to take corrective steps on the issue. However, not only has he failed to do so, even more horrendous actions have been committed by not only rogue officers, but by Gillespie himself, in regards to his own domestic violence issues, and his attempts to cover-up the actions of his officers who have committed crimes.
Gillespie has made a good show of creating impressive and wordy statements about how he’s going to care for our community, listing his accomplishments, work with charitable organizations, and associations. However, Gillespie has failed in every aspect of the stated goals listed on the LVMPD website.
During a January, 2012 radio interview of Gillespie, VIPI made the suggestion that LVMPD officers should obtain proper training in regards to citizens with PTSD, and how to de-escalate situations rather than relying on deadly force. It was also asked of Gillespie to pledge a commitment of self-examination to determine shortfalls and remedies. Neither of these have taken place. Now that the Department of Justice has released it’s “Collaborative Reform Process”, containing 75 “recommendations”, Gillespie has again made a fantastic show of concern and self-correction, suddenly becoming “transparent” by placing the DOJ’s report on the LVMPD website, along with pictures of himself with members of the DOJ, in an apparent attempt to “partner”. Gillespie has ignored the pleas of the citizens of his own community, but will cow-tow to politicians to save his office. This is in direct opposition with his pledge to partner with the community.
In that same interview, Gillespie stated that he “is not perfect, and mistakes are made”. The interviewer reminded Gillespie that his job puts peoples lives literally in his hands, and he can’t afford to make mistakes. When the Sheriff makes mistakes, people die. The citizens of our community deserve a Sheriff who will take their lives more seriously, and not be so cavalier about making mistakes that could end them. We might even go so far as to say that people have died as a direct result of Gillespie’s inactions, and he should be held accountable for their loss of life.
Gillespie has recently signed and adopted a new ‘Use of Force” policy. But it’s too little too late. When any organization has an employee that has had more than 30 years to improve his or her service, yet has failed to do so, to the death of innocent people, that organization is foolish for not terminating the service contract of said employee.
Veterans In Politics, International, Inc. is living up to the obligations of civic duty, and now asking Gillespie to show himself to be the man of integrity he claims to be. In light of the recent Department of Justices’ suggestions, and the November 17 federal lawsuit filed by 32 year LVMPD veteran Gordon Martinez, we ask Gillespie to admit his failures, apologize for his egregious actions, save the tax-payers of our community the cost of a re-call election, and vacate the office of Sheriff of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department immediately.
Sheriff Gillespie Resignation Request — LIST OF GRIEVANCES —
Sheriff Gillespie’s salary is $147,987.56
There has been a mismanagement of tax-payer funds by purchasing radios and system known to be faulty, refusing to take seriously the complaints by officers about those radios, then threatening those officers with discipline for making complaints.
While making pay cuts and benefit decreases of more than $8M, LVMPD opened a new 307,500 sq. ft. department building located
at 400 S. Martin L. King Boulevard, in mid-2011. This building is a LEASE which will cost over $12M/year, for 30 years. Millions of dollars of security and other upgrades are still needed for the department to function properly. These necessities were knowingly cut out of the original bid items to meet the construction budget, with every intention of being added after the completion of the building. This building consolidated 27 bureaus. What happens if a plane flies into the building?
As stated by many LVMPD employees, Officers are forced to purchase their own safety equipment such as bullet proof vests, and operable radios, while upper management is adding new positions such as “chief of staff” and “sheriffs assistant”, as crime and population has decreased.
2,184 Commissioned positions are paid for by a special “sales tax initiative” and are kept in a separate fund from the Sheriffs annual budget, but the funds needed for these positions are included in the annual budget report, which requests $501,307,011 for FY 2011/2012.
Crime has gone down, population has gone down, property values that provide most of the funding for LVMPD have gone down, yet the Sheriff has allocated
$118,402,736 in the requested budget for NEW officers in his 2012 budget request. On Monday, July 16 2012, Gillespie asked the City of Las Vegas and Clark County for an additional $68 Million. Gillespie suggested the budget could be cut in a variety of ways, such as ordering a hiring freeze and canceling two scheduled police academies, leaving 104 police officer positions and about 70 civilian positions vacant, trimming gasoline usage and overtime. Many of these positions were added during the 2004 boom. But that boom is gone and has shrunk, it should not be a hardship to the Sheriff’s Office to cut back on them now.
There are also large expenditures for SWAT with almost 40 operators, DHS, and undercover units. Traffic has the largest Harley Davidson fleet in the country with over 160 officers. Are these necessary, or frivolously spending tax dollars?
Moving violation ticket quota’s are creating criminals out of citizens for the sake of raising revenue. Officers are given accolades for numbers of arrests made. Funding and budgets should never be based on laws broken. This assumes not only guilt on the part of every day citizens, but creates incentive for all officers of the LVMPD to focus on finding crime, when focus should be on protecting and serving citizens. In this country, citizens are innocent until proven guilty, not guilty based on how much money the City needs to raise.
LVMPD is the largest police agency in Clark County, and one of the largest in the nation.
12 fatal shootings by LVMPD as of December 12, 2011 (A record)
Since Jan 1, 1990:
379 Police Shootings (311 involving LVMPD)
143 resulting in death
115 resulting in known wounds
Officers were shot at by suspects in 29% of these cases.
These include incidents involving the Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas police departments, the Nevada Highway Patrol and Clark County School District police.
LVMPD has 2700 officers serving 1.3 Million people, that’s one officer per 481.48 people.
Since 1991, 97% of the 500 “shootings and other use of force” cases that came before the “Use of Force Review Board” were cleared. The board is made up of officers and civilians.
1990 recorded 2 police shootings in all of Clark County. 2010 recorded 31, 25 of which involved LVMPD.
No clear relationship has been shown between rise in population compared to rise in shootings, or violent crime. In fact, violent crime has fallen since 2008, while police shootings has increased.
On average, LVMPD officers fire their weapons 17 times a year, as of November 2011, the average was 16, with a month left to go of the year.
To determine if Las Vegas police use their guns more than officers in other cities, the Review-Journal canvassed 24 major, urban police agencies. Many said they don’t keep that data or declined to say anything at all, but 16 departments provided statistics for a decade, 2001 through 2010.
Las Vegas is 3rd behind Houston and Chicago for per-capita officer involved shootings. In shootings per reported violent crime, the agency also ranked third, behind Denver and Seattle. In average number of shootings per year, Las Vegas police ranked fifth.
In 2010 alone, LVMPD officers shot at people 25 times, killing eight. NYPD shot at people 34 times, killing eight….with 13 times more officers, and 6 times the population. LAPD, with more than three times as many officers covering more than double the population, shot at people 32 times, LAPD fatality numbers were not available.
13% of the current LVMPD officers have been involved in shootings, compared to 8.5% for Henderson PD and LVMPD, although that does not include officers who were not employed as of November, 2011.
75 officers are involved in 30% of officer involved shootings.
25% of LVMPD officer involved shootings involve foot chases after officers witness petty infractions, which often ends in fatality.
20% of LVMPD officer involved shootings involved police shooting at cars, often by officers who needlessly put themselves in danger of being run down or violated department policy by shooting at a fleeing driver who presents no imminent danger to anyone.
11% of the people shot by LVMPD officers since 1990 have been unarmed, about half of those are black where blacks make up about 10% of the population.
Some of the officer involved shooting cases are as follows:
April, 2000, officer Nathan Chio stopped a car after running the plates and discovering the owner was wanted on a felony parole violation. Officer Chio ordered Kendrick Witherspoon out of the car, and then ordered what he thought to be another person out of the car. When that person did not respond, officer Nathan Chio fired 2 rounds. Into a pile of laundry on the backseat. It was later discovered Kendrick Weatherspoon was not wanted, the warrant was for the cars previous owner.
February, 2003, officer Brian Hartman shot Orlando Barlow in the back as the unarmed man was on his knees, surrendering to other officers who had holstered their weapons and were moving to arrest him for domestic violence.
In 2004, a coincidental internal investigation pointed out an academy class that produced officers with the highest number of complaints, many of which were assigned to the same supervising sergeant. Over a period of several months, most squads will have three or less alerts. This particular squad had 37. There were also internal anonymous complaints about a rogue squad. The supervising lieutenant thought this was his best performing squad, due to the high number of felony arrests.
In 2006, a 16 year old boy with a knife was shot, but only wounded, one of the on-scene officers,
Marc Hinrichs, stated the boy did not need to be shot, the situation was under control.
Also in 2006, Swuave Lopez, a handcuffed, 17 year old murder suspect, ran from police and was shot and killed
July 2006, Tarance Hall was shot and killed on Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard. Police statements are confusing, conflicting, disagree with witness statements, and do not reflect the facts of the video taken by tourists. The charge…his radio was too loud…on Las Vegas Boulevard…on 4th of July.
2008, James Breed, former Top Cop, arrested for forging prescriptions and obtaining narcotics illegally, was allowed to resign.
On Jan. 19, 2009, a jaywalking suspect ran from officer
Danny Tapia, who said he fired five shots — one each time the runner turned and pointed a gun at him without firing — but missed each time. The jaywalker got away and has never been identified.
Later in 2009, Las Vegas gang officers tried to detain
Ray Ivory, 22, and another jaywalker. Ivory ran, and pulled a gun, Officer Ben Rose went after him and fired three rounds, missing each time. Ivory didn’t shoot.
September 11, 2009, bicycle Officer Jesse Gerstel shot at Erik Perez, 28, at a busy Las Vegas Boulevard intersection. After observing the suspect “disobeying traffic laws”, the suspect was ordered to turn off the engine, which he refused, and instead revved the engine and sped off. Gerstel was behind the vehicle, and shot at it as the car sped off.
September 2009, 15 year old Tanner Chamberlain, armed with a 4” knife and a mouthful of anxiety pills, ALLEGEDLY holding the knife to his mothers throat, was shot and killed by Officer Derek Colling after a 30 SECOND encounter.
June 2010, Trevon Cole was shot to death in the head, while he crouched in front of a toilet, unarmed. Narcotics Detective Bryan Yant was reassigned to a desk job after having been found in violation of several Department policies, including the procedure for serving the search warrant that resulted in Cole’s death.
July 2010, Erik Scott, military veteran, was shot to death as he was in the process of attempting to obey conflicting orders to “show” his hands, “dis-arm” himself, and “get on the ground”; he was given less than 1 second to respond, before officer William Mosher began firing upon him. Mosher testified Scott said “I have a gun”, which is NOT heard on the 911 tapes, but even if Scott did have a gun, he could just have been informing the officer of his possession of a weapon. After being shot 7 times, Scotts holstered gun lay beside his dead body, his other gun inside his clothing; LVMPD refused to release the 911 tapes or original police report for the coroners inquest in this case, and claims there are no video tapes. Gillespie’s assertion that Scott did not obey orders is faulty mis-perception at best, and an outright lie, at worst. Mosher faced another Coroners Inquest in 2006 after shooting and killing home invasion suspect, Aaron Jones, as he sat in his car, penned in by a parked car and a police cruiser (Stanley Gibson would die the same way).
May 2010, Ivan Carillo was killed because officers Aron Carpenter and Andrew Charles Ubbens disobeyed orders to halt a vehicular pursuit.
May 2010, Metro Capt. Charles Hank was the subject of a domestic violence complaint by his wife. She later recanted her initial statement. Capt. Hank wasn’t arrested. The Metro Domestic Violence Unit team was dispatched to the residence.
Though no charges were filed, District Attorney David Roger decided to monitor the case until Capt. Hank completed a form of domestic violence counseling.
January 2011, Officers Brad Gallup and Jake Grunwald were ultimately only placed on administrative leave after being caught more than 80 miles outside their assigned area, in Dolan Springs, AZ.
March 2011 Officer Derek Colling (involved in 2 previous fatal shootings) beat Mitchell Crooks in his own driveway, as Crooks video taped the police activity happening across the street from his home.
May 2011, officer James Anthony Segura was arrested after allegedly choking his ex-wife and firing a gunshot into the ceiling of his home.
July 2011, Rafael Olivas was shot to death, being armed with only a knife. Reports indicate Olivas was in an argument with his mother when police were called. Olivas was walking along the street with a butcher knife. Police ordered him to drop the weapon. They fired low-lethal rounds at him. He didn’t respond, and 3 officers killed him.
December 2011, Stanley Gibson, disabled military veteran, unarmed and unable to escape, was shot in the back of the head with an AR 47 rifle, and killed, after 29 minutes of so-called attempted negotiations in which LVMPD attempted to detain him on an UNRELATED burglary incident. Gillespie initially reported that Gibson had been attempting to use his vehicle as a weapon to “ram” officers, and they shot in self defense. It was later revealed in an eyewitness video this was not the case. Jesus Arevelo, who shot and killed Gibson, has been on paid administrative leave since December 2011, pending the outcome of a coroner’s inquest that has not yet been scheduled. Arevelo earns $78,000 annually.
February 2012, Officer John Norman was arrested on felony charges of coercion and oppression under the color of office and misdemeanor open or gross lewdness. This was done following separate complaints from two women whom Officer Norman had detained and/or arrested during which the women were made to expose their breasts. One of the women claimed she was groped. Officer Norman was released from the Clark County Detention Center on his own recognizance. The initial investigation of Officer Norman came in late 2011, when he was apprised of the possible charges against him, and at that point refused to cooperate with investigators, and retained attorneys, one of which is former Clark County District Attorney David Roger. Assistant Sheriff Ray Flynn was quoted as saying that the investigation could take months, and that John Norman could lose his job. On Feb 15, 2012, Assistant Sheriff Ray Flynn reported to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that two more women have come forward with allegations of misconduct on the part of officer John Norman, and that the new incidents of misconduct did not rise to the level of criminal behavior, but could rise to the level of ‘conduct unbecoming an officer’, and that there are now four internal investigations which are ongoing against Officer Norman. On June 12, 2012, Officer John Norman resigned from employment with the LVMPD, according to Sgt. John Sheahan, who also stated that while John Norman has resigned, the internal affairs investigation, and criminal investigations against him are still on-going. Former LVMPD officer John Norman plead guilty to two misdemeanors on June 25, 2012, and as a result of his guilty plea, he could receive a sentence ranging from probation up to two years in prison, and he will be required to register as a sex offender with the state. If Norman successfully completes the sentencing obligations, the open and gross lewdness charge would be dismissed and replaced with another count of oppression under the color of office, and his sex offender registration would be expunged.
May 2012, Officer Garrett Vandereecken, 43, turned himself in to the Clark County Detention Center, Vandereecken was being investigated by his own department’s Juvenile Sexual Abuse Detail. He was arrested on a felony charge of lewdness with a minor under 14, and was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigations.
July 2012, two former K-9 handlers with the Nevada Highway Patrol filed a 104-page lawsuit alleging that LVMPD K-9 (along with Nevada Highway Patrol K-9) animals unreliable in narcotics cases; they were possibly influenced by their handlers.
So far in 2012, LVMPD officers have shot their weapons at Clark County citizens 5 times, a record for any 6 month period in Metro’s history.
The egregious actions of Gillespie include:
Paul Page was the chairman of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Managers and Supervisors Association. He was accused of misappropriating $38,521 in union funds. He was placed on PAID administrative leave in November 2010, and in January 2011, HIS union members voted against filing a criminal complaint against him. Rather than being charged with a crime, in December, Page was approved for disability retirement by the Public Employees’ Retirement System, after 18 years as an officer. The cause of his disability was never publicly stated. Page was once a member of the Public Employee’s Retirement Board. Page is also a certified fraud specialist. Page and his brother Kevin Page, a university regent and investment banker, serve together on a nonprofit, the Police and Fire Emerald Society of Nevada, raising scholarship money. He was never charged with any crime. There are so many conflicts of interest here it’s mind boggling.
Gillespie appointed Deputy Chief Greg McCurdy to Assistant Sheriff. McCurdy was deemed GUILTY of sexual harassment of two female Metro employees. He was in charge of the bureau that investigated sexual harassment complaints at Metro during this time.
April 2010, LVMPD Homeland Security Department Lieutenant, Steve Menger
Was investigated for distribution of large quantities of narcotics, was allowed to retire in May 2011.
The Clark County Coroners jury has found police actions criminally negligent in only ONE case, in 1976. Not on the basis that the shooting should not have happened or was not necessary, only that it should not have been necessary for officers Jerry Weaver and Arthur Summers to fire 16 rounds at Darryl Taylor in a residential neighborhood.
LVMPD own internal “Use of Force Review Board” finds in favor of officers in 97% of the cases it reviews.
No outside agency beyond the “Citizens Review Board” monitors policy. LVMPD is self-governing and answerable to nobody.
LVMPD does not answer to the citizens, it answers to the unions. Gillespie has made many statements about what he is planning on doing to make the department more effective, but has yet to be publicly active in seeking such solutions, and opposes forming an independent auditor with authority to look at policies, such as has been done in Los Angeles, Oregon, and other agencies.
Gillespie has given officers the option of forfeiting 40 hours of vacation in lieu of being penalized by the UFRB for violating regulations.
LVMPD has yet to adopt Police Assessment Resource Center, or PARC, policies. PARC is a Los Angeles based organization designed to help officers learn to de-escalate situations.
Since 2008, LVMPD has settled out of court and paid victims in 152 separate incidents Costing taxpayers more than $6.5 million, Including nearly $2 million so far in 2012. The year is only half over.
According to reports, The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has cost taxpayers an average of $1.1 million dollars a year in settlements over the past four years.
2008: Metro wrote 25 checks for a total of $1,001,595
2009: Metro wrote 37 checks for a total of $1,386,812 2010: Metro wrote 36 checks for a total of $728,814 2011: Metro wrote 42 checks for a total of $3,206,996 As of April 2012: Metro wrote 12 checks for a total of $1,907,000 TOTAL OVER FIVE YEARS: $6,514,918 involving up to 152 officers.
How many of the officers who were involved in these settlement cases are still employed by the department and receiving tax payer salaries? Many still wear a badge or have retired with full benefits. Very few of received discipline of any kind.
Much of the $1.9 million dollars of the payouts this year went to the family of Trevon Cole. In January, $1.7 Million was paid from LVMPD, (the department’s single largest settlement ever) to the family of the unarmed man gunned down in his bathroom by narcotics detective Bryan Yant, during a drug raid, the legality of which is still in question. Yant currently remains on LVMPD payroll, receiving a total of $131,051.08 in 2011.
(copied from Wikipedia)
Since the late 1970s, more than 90 LVMPD officers and civilian employees have been implicated in documented instances of
police misconduct and/or actual criminal activity, with several incidents resulting in lawsuit settlements in excess of a million dollars a piece.
Press reports indicate the department is more prone to fire its weapons at citizens than most other urban US police departments. The department ranked third behind Houston and Chicago, in officer-involved shootings per capita. During the period 1990 to 2011, the department reported 310 shooting incidents, 115 of them fatal. During this period three officers were killed in the line of duty. Although the local population is less than ten percent Black, about a third of those shot by the police are Black. In twenty-nine percent of the shootings, officers were shot at by suspects.
In the late 1970s, the
FBI via the use of wiretaps found that police officers at LVMPD were passing sensitive intelligence to (now deceased) organized crime boss Anthony Spilotro about undercover activities which were aimed at getting information to indict Mr. Spilotro. Detective Joe Blasko who was assigned to the intelligence section of LVMPD was regularly leaking the details of surveillance activities and information on potential burglary targets. In 1978, the police department fired Joe Blasko, and as a side effect, produced a rift between the FBI and LVMPD as the FBI determined that the LVMPD could not be trusted with handling sensitive information related to organized crime in Las Vegas. A side effect to this issue was that Sheriff Ralph Lamb lost his re-election race in November 1978 to John McCarthy, who ran on a platform to clean up the image of LVMPD and to declare war on organized crime in southern Nevada.
In January of 1987, Sheriff John Moran reported the theft of 9 pounds of
cocaine valued at $700,000 and travelers checks valued at $300,000 from a safety deposit box at Western Vault company (which was used by detectives as a ‘flash roll’ while they were posing as drug dealers) and that two officers and the company owner was implicated in the thefts. Although the two LVMPD officers had unrestricted access to the deposit box, they were never charged after being cleared by a controversial local polygraph examiner and instead LVMPD focused their investigation on Grady Sanders, who at the time was a FBI informant. Mr. Sanders was eventually indicted on 11 felony counts, and after a two week trial was acquitted on all counts returned against him. The theft of who took the cocaine and travelers checks was never solved, and the missing evidence was never located (this incident also shattered relations between LVMPD and the FBI). As a result of the publicity regarding this case, Western Vault Company went out of business soon after the trial of Mr. Sanders.
In 1991, The estate of Charles Bush settled with Metro for $1.1 million after Bush died in 1991 when the lateral-vascular neck restraint was used to subdue him. The three officers involved in the death (including former Detective Gerald Amerson) were placed on trial for involuntary manslaughter, and that they were acquitted after a hung jury was returned on the charges in question. The charges were filed by then AG
Frankie Sue Del Papa, and that the case itself was the result of the officers entering Mr. Bush’s apartment without a warrant and without announcing themselves as police officers.
In June of 1995, Las Vegas resident (and coin thief) Andrew Dersch was beaten by LVMPD officers Brian Nicholson, Robert Phelan, and Sgt. James Campbell. After a trial, the officers were convicted, but the officers were given a new trial when District Court Judge Lee Gates found that one of the jurors had mis-represented his criminal record during juror selection. In October of 1997, Campbell and Nicholson pleaded no contest to the charge of conspiracy to commit assault with a deadly weapon (which is a gross misdemeanor under Nevada Law), while Phelan pled guilty to two misdemeanors, obstructing a police officer and battery. The agreement called for each of the men to serve two years on probation, and 400 hours of community service. The three officers were fired by LVMPD, and in November 1997, District Court Judge Lee Gates disregarded the plea agreements which called for probation and community service, and instead sentenced James Campbell and Brian Nicholson to nine months, and Robert Phelan to six months in jail.
In June of 1996, LVMPD demoted Steve “Whitey” Franks from captain to lieutenant and handed out three (3) week suspensions to Franks and Sgt Ronald Fox on charges of falsifying and forging documents at LVMPD.
LVMPD intelligence detective Robert Conboy was issued a misdemeanor citation after he allegedly shoplifted a cassette tape from a Target store. He faces termination, and Mark Beckerly was fired earlier this year after the officer was charged with misdemeanor petty larceny involving an $8.50 dry cleaning bill. The district attorney’s office is prosecuting the case.
LVMPD Officer Michael Ramirez was arrested in October of 1996 on charges of sexual assault, open and gross lewdness and oppression after a couple claimed he forced them to perform sexual acts while he watched at a location near the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
In March of 1998, Michael Ramirez pled guilty to two counts of oppression under the color of office. The 30-year-old former officer admitted that on Oct 4, 1996, he used his badge, gun and the indirect threat of arrest to force the couple to engage in sex in front of him at an isolated spot near Red Rock Canyon, about 14 miles west of Las Vegas.
On December 28, 1996, an off-duty Metro officer, Ron Mortensen, murdered Daniel Mendoza in a drive-by shooting. Another Metro officer, Christopher Brady, was driving at the time. Mortensen received a life sentence as the trigger man, while Brady was eventually convicted of federal charges for his role and received a 9 year sentence (in July 2010, the Nevada Supreme Court upheld Ron Mortensen’s murder conviction, finding that the murder was “premeditated, willful and deliberate”)
LVMPD officer Art Sewall was arrested on February 8, 1997 and charged with attempted sexual assault and oppression under the color of law, both felonies, said Las Vegas police Sgt. Will Minor. Sewall was arrested following an undercover sting at a local motel. The investigation of Sewall was opened following a complaint received on February 6 alleging that Sewall was engaged in criminal conduct. After his arrest, officer Sewall was placed on paid administrative leave. In March of 1997, Art Sewall resigned from LVMPD and in June of 1999 pled guilty to two felony counts of oppression under color of office, and charges of kidnapping and sexual assault were dismissed.
In May of 1997, cousins Juan Berry and James Suggs were jailed on false charges by four (4) off-duty LVMPD SWAT officers after an altercation at the now-defunct Drink! nightclub in Las Vegas. In addition, Berry and Suggs said during this time, the SWAT officers continually taunted them and yelled at the on-duty officers. They said one SWAT officer called them “niggers” and that another continually made a gesture at them, pointing as though he had a gun and was pulling the trigger. Three on-duty responding officers later testified that the SWAT officers threatened the cousins. The on-duty police supervisor at the scene later testified that he was “embarrassed as a police officer” because of the off-duty SWAT officers’ “unprofessional behavior.” “They were belligerent. … They were drunk,” Sgt. Steve Custer said of his off-duty colleagues. Custer described Berry and Suggs as “calm,” “professional, polite and cooperative.” A detective assigned to the case conducted a second investigate which resulted in Berry and Suggs having their names entered into a national law enforcement database, and after Berry was arrested and jailed for three (3) days, after which Nevada authorities refused extradition, and Berry was released. The Police Department confirmed Wednesday that the five officers involved — Bob Rogers, Jerry “Bob” Montes, Mark Mills, Rick Klein and Bob Lewis — remain employed by the department. Lewis received a written reprimand as a result of the incident, according to court documents, but it’s unclear whether any of the other officers faced sanctions for their involvement. “Some discipline did come out of this,” Moody said, declining to elaborate.
On Saturday, August 9, 1997, LVMPD officer Steven Larrabee was arrested and charged with child abuse after his neighbors called police after hearing a child screaming inside of Larrabee’s residence. Steven Larrabee was charged with a gross misdemeanor of child abuse, and was booked into the Clark County Detention Center and released on his own recognizance. He is facing a gross misdemeanor charge of child abuse in this matter.
On April 1, 1998, Scott Cagnina, an eight-year veteran corrections officer for the Clark County Detention Center which is run by Metro, was arrested Wednesday after his wife called 911, police said. The charge was his second offense, a jail spokesman said. Details of his earlier arrest were not available, although a jail spokesman said the misdemeanor conviction was not in Clark County.
In 1998, an 18-year veteran, Sergeant Scott Ferguson, while on duty and using an unmarked police vehicle, exposed himself, by opening his trench coat, to two women. He was charged with two gross misdemeanors and later resigned from the force.
On Wednesday, August 19, 1998, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported that a Las Vegas metropolitan police officer was arrested Saturday night after a car she was driving was noticed moving erratically on U.S. Highway 95 north. Officer Beverly Wagner, 37, was taken into custody shortly after 10:30 p.m. and booked into the Las Vegas Jail on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, Nevada Highway Patrol troopers reported. It is the third time Wagner, a nine-year veteran, has been involved in a situation that apparently involved alcohol consumption. She was arrested Aug. 4 on drunken driving charges after a driver was seen rear-ending another vehicle and leaving the scene at Torrey Pines and Vegas drives. Wagner was arrested at her home in connection with that incident.
In November 1999, LVMPD Commander Charles Davidaitis was arrested at his home for DUI after crashing his Toyota Land Cruiser into a light pole, fire hydrant and chain-link fence before driving home. He also allegedly tried to have his wife take blame for the accident and initially planned to flee to the airport. Davidaitis, who was relieved of duty after the arrest and put on leave with pay, didn’t cooperate with police when they arrived at his home. When they gave him two breath tests, his blood-alcohol levels were 0.214 and 0.215 at a time when 0.10 was the legal limit. He entered a no-contest plea to reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident, both misdemeanors. He was also fined $800 and ordered to take a drunken driving class. After this incident, Davidaitis retired from LVMPD.
Lieutenant Larry Spinosa was suspended for two weeks by LVMPD for failure to inform his supervisors he was under investigation. Lieutenant Spinosa was arrested in June of 1999 for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence
DUI in McCall, Idaho. He eventually pled guilty to the DUI charge, but prosecutors in Idaho allege he offered an Idaho State Trooper $2,000 to avoid the drunken driving arrest (the charge of felony bribery was dismissed by Idaho prosecutors). The internal affairs investigation revealed that Lieutenant Spinosa violated police policy by engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer and that he failed to notify his supervisors of the pending police investigation.
In January of 2001, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that 42 year old LVMPD Detective Vinten Hartung would not be charged with any sex crimes by the district attorney’s office for having a sexual relationship with a 16 year old boy, but did remain under investigation for two lesser offenses: stalking and furnishing alcohol to a minor. Detective Vinten resigned from the LVMPD shortly after this story was reported in World Net Daily.
The family of French citizen Philippe LeMenn, who died while in the Clark County Detention Center in 2001, settled for $500,000 in 2003.
In June of 2001, the Las Vegas Sun reported that LVMPD officer Richard Splinter engaged in misconduct when, while off duty, he pulled back his shirt to show his gun to an umpire who had just ejected the officer from a ball game (this resulted in a minor suspension to officer Splinter according to LVMPD officials). In addition, Sgt. Dan Southwell was suspended by Sheriff Jerry Keller for 160 hours (one month) without pay when departmental charges of falsifying a police report and neglect of duty were sustained. Also, Southwell also will be required to take remedial training on conducting an investigation of a citizen’s complaint about an officer.
In 2001, LVMPD officer David D. Miller was seen on a video recording punching a handcuffed man, Frankie Davis, and breaking his neck in the backroom of the Las Vegas Club, and as a result, the LVMPD was sued along with the Las Vegas Club, which was eventually settled for $250,000. Officer Miller received a 10-hour suspension as a result of the Internal Affairs Investigation, and required to undergo additional training.
On January 9, 2002, LVMPD supervisors stopped by un-announced at the home of Officer Sean Curd to have him sign some paperwork, only to find him in bed, shaking, and so high he could barely lift his head. When they tried to have him sign some paperwork, they found fresh track (needle) marks on his arm. When narcotics officers were summoned to the scene, they found
cocaine, steroids, and ketamine throughout his house. Officer Curd pleaded innocent that Wednesday to a single felony count of being under the influence of a controlled substance and eight felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. Before Officer Curd was indicted by a grand jury on April 4, 2002, his supervisors recommended that he be fired.
Officer Jason Woodard was charged on February 12, 2002 with eight counts of sexual assault with a minor under 16, two counts of open and gross lewdness, and two counts of lewdness with a child under 14 (the child now involved in the case is 18). Officer Woodward is now on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation, had a preliminary hearing scheduled in Henderson Justice Court in September 2002.
LVMPD Detective Jack Brandon was charged with felony robbery and felony burglary in the holdup of two United Coin slot machine route trucks on Feb 22 at Rae’s Restaurant and Lounge in Henderson, Nevada. Police were led to Brandon after the robbery when one of the witnesses wrote down the license plate of the getaway car and it came back to the car issued to the 14-year police veteran, a police report stated. Jack Brandon was placed on paid administrative leave that same day, and a internal investigation by LVMPD ruled Detective Jack Brandon, 41, violated the department’s standards of conduct policy, said Sgt. Christopher Darcy, a Metro spokesman.
On April 23, 2002,
ATF agents searched the home of LVMPD Officer James Rexroad for evidence relating to criminal activity involving firearms, ammunition and firearms-related items, 15 bottles of pills were found along with a bottle of steroids, according to a Henderson Police affidavit for a warrant. Two counts of possession of a controlled substance – felonies – and five counts of possession of dangerous drugs – gross misdemeanors – were approved by the Clark County District Attorney’s office, said Ron Bloxham, a chief deputy district attorney. An internal investigation was started by LVMPD, and he was placed on paid administrative leave when the suspected steroids and pills were found. On June 25, 2002, James Rexroad resigned from the LVMPD.
In November of 2002, under a proposed settlement, the Metropolitan Police Department will pay $900,000 to two tourists who claimed rogue cops concocted bogus charges and had them falsely arrested after a brawl with drunken off-duty SWAT officers. The Police Department on Monday will ask city and county officials to approve using taxpayer money to settle the federal lawsuit filed by cousins Juan Berry and James Suggs.
In 2003, Sheriff Bill Young received an anonymous letter regarding members of a squad (which some would recall as rogue) headed by officer Brian Hartman (who was acting as unofficial leader of this squad), and prior to this incident, officer Hartman was involved in the fatal shooting of Orlando Barlow (who was unarmed) in the back. The squad that officer Hartman belonged to had no fewer than 37 warnings about such things as use of force, citizen complaints, and other issues that were tracked by LVMPD. An internal investigation revealed that the officers were celebrating Barlow’s death. They had printed T-shirts depicting Hartman’s rifle and the initials B.D.R.T. (Baby’s Daddy Removal Team), a racially charged term and reference to Barlow, who was Black and who was watching his girlfriend’s children before he was shot. As a result, graveyard shift officers Hartman, Krogh and James Vargas resigned or were fired, and another officer was disciplined. The sergeant was demoted, the lieutenant was suspended without pay and the area command’s captain was transferred.
Sergeant Paul Pagano was arrested in 2003 on charges of driving under the influence
DUI by officers of the LVMPD, and is no longer with the LVMPD, and has been arrested on two subsequent charges of DUI since leaving the employ of LVMPD. In June of 2003, two LVMPD corrections officers, Alan Hirjak, and Christopher Brinkley threw lit firecrackers into inmate areas at the Clark County Detention Center, which prompted a federal lawsuit by four former CCDC inmates against the two officers, and their supervisor, Sergeant P.J. Leeke. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2006 by U.S. District Judge James Mahan, but was re-instated by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2008, and at that time, Sergeant Leeke was removed from the lawsuit. The settlement case called for LVMPD to pay $8,000 to the former inmates, and the two corrections officers will pay $7,500 each out of their own pocket. An internal affairs investigation resulted in Mr. Hirjak serving a 160 hour suspension without pay, and Mr. Brinkley a 120 hour suspension without pay. Then-Sheriff Bill Young described the incident as a “practical joke gone awry.” The two officers returned to work after serving their suspensions.
In July 2003, a off-duty LVMPD dispatcher, Cynthia Thomas, reported a suspected drunk driver and followed the driver to Fellini’s restaurant. LVMPD officers responded to the restaurant and Ms. Thomas approached the driver, Janet Moncrief, and that the husband of Cynthia Thomas was personally affiliated with Janet Moncrief’s political opponent. After conducting field sobriety tests, the responding LVMPD officers determined that the complaint of Ms. Moncrief being under the influence was unsubstantiated. Ms. Moncrief then filed a complaint with LVMPD that she was personally singled out and embarrassed by the contact at Fellini’s restaurant. LVMPD’s investigation showed that Ms. Thomas’ husband was personally affiliated with Ms. Moncrief’s political opponent (at the time, Ms. Moncrief was running for a seat on the Las Vegas City Council), and that Ms. Thomas has used her position as a LVMPD dispatcher to obtain an unauthorized criminal history on Janet Moncrief. As a result of the investigation, Sheriff Bill Young terminated Ms. Thomas on December 19, 2003, and had engaged in acts of dishonesty related to the report of Moncrief’s alcohol consumption and during the ensuing investigation into Janet Moncrief’s complaint. Ms. Thomas went to arbitration claiming that she was unjustly terminated by LVMPD. On April 28, 2004, the arbitration panel upheld the firing of Ms. Thomas by LVMPD.
In December of 2003, LVMPD Officer Ryan McCulloch who had been arrested a total of three three times on
DUI charges since April 2002, chose to resign from LVMPD rather than face possible termination. According to his supervisors and Assistant Sheriff Ray Flynn, the department had a ‘very strong’ case for McColloch’s termination. McColloch also apologized to Sheriff Bill Young and Undersheriff Douglas Gillespie (now the sheriff) for any shame or embarrassment he brought to the department.
On July 1, 2004, LVMPD Sergeant Lawrence Montero was arrested on charges of felony obstruction and battery of a police officer after officers from LVMPD and the
Henderson (Nevada) police departments wanted to talk with him, but Sergeant Montero sped away and after a brief scuffle, was taken into custody at a gas station. Sergeant Montero spent one night in jail and was released after posting $4,000 in bail.
In August of 2004, LVMPD Detective George “Gregg” Pease was charged with the criminal offenses of using police vehicles for personal use and misuse of a gasoline credit card. Prior to this arrest, Detective Pease was involved in three previous officer involved shootings (all fatal) in 1991, 1992, and 1996. George Pease was placed on administrative leave with paid on June 1, 2004 by LVMPD, and as of February 2012, is no longer employed by the LVMPD in any capacity.
On August 2, 2004, Metro police responded to a report from his roommate that Keith Tucker was acting strangely. In the resulting confrontation, Tucker was beaten, handcuffed, and when he continued to resist,
tasered. He was taken to the hospital where he was found to be dead. A postmortem examination showed he was under the influence of cocaine at the time of his death. The matter is working its way through the courts as a civil matter.
LVMPD Vice Detective George Godfrey was arrested in January of 2005 on charges he tried to seduce a 14 year old girl during a sting operation at the girl’s home when he propositioned the girl. He was charged with: using technology to lure children, burglary with intent to commit a felony, and attempted statutory sexual seduction. Godfrey had told the girl he had connections in the pornography industry and wasn’t really into “the cop thing”. Godfrey was relieved of duty without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. He was released on bail January 14, 2005.
In 2005, Mark Lilly was paid $24,999 by the LVMPD as a result of being arrested in July of 2004 when he claimed that officers planted drugs on him to train drug sniffing dogs. Canine Officer David Newton placed real drugs in Lilly’s car, but forgot to remove the drugs after the training exercise was completed. It was after other officers searched his car that Mr. Lilly was arrested for possession of drugs. Officer Newton realized his mistake, and sent a notice to the prosecutor handling the case, but internal affairs determined that the notice was never received. Additionally, when police officers David Parker and Kevin Collmar testified during Mr. Lilly’s preliminary hearing, they never mentioned that Mr. Lilly’s possession charge should have been dropped. A LVMPD citizen review panel recommended that Officers Parker and Collmar should be terminated, and that Officer Newton receive a 4 month suspension; the three officers were suspended without pay for a indeterminate period of time. As a result of this case, Sheriff Bill Young ended the long-standing practice of placing drugs in law-abiding citizens cars (for the purpose of training) in April of 2005.
In April 2006, 8 News Now (a local CBS affiliate station) reported that LVMPD officer Mike Shultz resigned from the department after being arrested for possession of a controlled substance when police responded to his residence on a domestic violence call.
In 2006, Officer Eric Barros was sentenced to three years probation for theft and falsifying evidence during a drug raid. Prior to this, Officer Barros had been involved in two previous police shootings in 1999, and 2001. He is no longer employed by the LVMPD.
LVMPD officer James L. Breed drove to
Arizona and passed approximately 40 false prescriptions for pain pills at several pharmacies. In June of 2007, officer Breed was arrested on multiple charges of illegally buying narcotics, and in November of 2007, James Breed resigned from the LVMPD, closing out a 15 year career in which he earned the Medal of Honor, and the Top Cop Award in 2005. Mr. Breed was sentenced to four years probation and 500 hours of community service on March 31, 2008, and additionally serve six months on house arrest or an additional 350 hours of community service. Mr. Breed explained his addiction to pain killers as a result of a vehicle collision with a criminal suspect, breaking his collarbone and right wrist.
In July of 2007, Raymond Yeghiazarian was killed in a motor vehicle crash in which LVMPD Officer Jared Wicks was traveling through an intersection between 60 to 75 miles per hour (the posted limit is 45 MPH) while pursuing a white van and not using emergency lights or siren (this according to experts). A Clark County jury in August 2011 awarded a payment of 2.2 million dollars to the relatives of Yeghiazarian, but this amount was reduced to 250,000 dollars by a judge (being that the maximum civil payment allowed under state law). The award itself is being appealed by LVMPD to the Nevada Supreme Court (as of February 2012). The civil attorney for Yeghiazarian has filed a new civil case in US federal court for 7 million in damages (there are no monetary limitations on awards in federal court), and that LVMPD detectives have been biased in their investigation of this traffic crash (note – the jury in the above case did find that Mr. Yeghiazarian was at least 25 percent responsible as to the cause of the crash). An internal investigation by LVMPD found that Lieutenant Sean Donnelly abused overtime in 2006 and 2007 in the amount of approximately $1,800. The internal affairs department recommended firing Lieutenant Donnelly (according to Sheriff Douglas Gillespie, but Sean Donnelly chose to retire on July 5, 2007 before the investigation was complete. The investigation showed that Donnelly had violated the overtime policy, the police department’s truthfulness policy and had engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer.
On November 20, 2007, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that LVMPD officer Damian Amalfitano turned himself into the Clark County Detention Center on November 19th on on 10 counts of lewdness with a minor under 14, one count of luring or attempting to lure a child and 19 counts of possession of child pornography.
On April 19, 2010, Damian Amalfitano entered an Alford plea for one count of attempted lewdness with a child under 14 years of age and possession of child pornography. The Alford plea means Amalfitano didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors could prove their case against him. The two felony charges are probational offenses. He faces a maximum of 26 years in prison, and Amalfitano will have to register as a sex offender.
LVMPD Officer William Miller was arrested by officers of the Henderson Police Department on charges of domestic violence and coercion in 2008. He was convicted of battery and is no longer employed by LVMPD. Officer Miller was previously involved in the shooting (non-fatal) of a suspected car-jacker named Robert Lee Walker in July of 2004.
On August 7, 2009, LVMPD Lieutenant Robert Sebby was suspended pending an Internal Affairs investigation. Lieutenant Sebby has been employed by LVMPD since 1989, and was most recently assigned to the financial crimes section. Assistant Sheriff Raymond Flynn would not comment further on the investigation of Lt. Sebby. Lt. Robert Sebby retired from the LVMPD, but the outcome of the investigation was never revealed, and on June 29, 2011, Robert Sebby died at the age of 49.
During Labor Day weekend in 2009, LVMPD Officer Lourdes Smith was caught aiming a rifle-shaped BB-Gun at a neighbor’s surveillance camera and firing, but missed the camera by approximately 8 inches. As a result of the incident, the Henderson Police Department charged Smith on misdemeanor charges of damaging other property and using an imitation firearm in a manner that would be threatening if the firearm was real. Officer Smith turned herself in and was arrested, and that LVMPD Internal Affairs had started an investigation into the matter. Additionally, Officer Smith was placed in an administrative job where she will not have any contact with the public.
On September 11, 2009, Officer Jesse Gerstel and his partner made a routine traffic stop on the crowded Las Vegas Strip. The policemen ordered the driver, Erik Perez, to turn off his engine, but instead he drove away. Although the area was crowded with pedestrians and other drivers, Gerstel opened fire shooting out the back window of the car. The shooting was ruled unjustified. Officer Gerstel was arrested on charges of domestic violence (unrelated to this shooting incident), and is no longer employed by LVMPD.
In November 2009, LVMPD Officer Kevin Koval used a lateral-vascular neck restraint (commonly referred to as a choke-hold) to subdue Dustin Boone (who was behaving erratically and had not been taking medication) after entering his home through a unlocked sliding door. The finding of the coroner’s inquest found that the death was ‘excusable’ (which means accidental), and that Sheriff Gillespie had been advised on the manner of entry to the home, and what kind of risk Mr. Boone actually posed to the public. On May 23, 2011, the LVMPD fiscal affairs committee approved a $1,000,000 settlement with James, Dorothy, and Michelle Boone (all relatives of Dustin Boone).
Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on November 15, 2009, that LVMPD Lieutenant Benjamin Kim (known at the police department as the ‘Mayor of Chinatown’) was the target of a corruption investigation by both the FBI and LVMPD with regards to dealings in an ongoing HOA scandal in Southern Nevada. Additionally, his name has surfaced in an ongoing investigation of the Courthouse Cafe, which was located in the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Nevada (it has since closed, and is now a Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop).
On May 4, 2012, former LVMPD Lt. Benjamin Kim pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of misprision of felony “for their concealment of an attempt to commit bank fraud,” according to court papers filed by federal prosecutors that were unsealed on Friday. This guilty plea was in relation to the investigation of the Courthouse Cafe’, and is an offshoot of the ongoing HOA investigation in Southern Nevada.
Las Vegas Sun reported on November 28, 2009, that twelve LVMPD employees since 2005 were found to be improperly accessing and disseminating criminal history information for reasons unrelated to police work. The revelation came to light as a result of a lawsuit filed by Steven Quinn against LVMPD about obtaining DMV and police information about him improperly. A separate lawsuit against Officers Paul Osuch and Kai Degner revealed that Officer Osuch was the source of information leak at LVMPD, and that Osuch retired before he could be interviewed about the matter by LVMPD. Kai Degner was demoted from detective duty as a result of findings by LVMPD internal affairs officers.
In May of 2010, two LVMPD officers, Aron Carpenter and Andrew Charles Ubbens were charged by the Clark County District Attorney office with reckless driving in the death of motorist Ivan Carrillo. Carpenter was charged with felony reckless driving and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, while Ubbens was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving.
In July of 2011, a Clark County Jury returned a finding of not guilty to both charges faced by former officer Aron Carpenter, who was terminated by LVMPD during March of 2011.
On June 6, 2010, the
Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that LVMPD Lieutenant Steve Menger was at the center of a felony narcotics investigation (confirmed by several law enforcement sources) as a result of collecting thousands of Oxycontin, Lortab, and Vicodin pills using phony prescriptions written out of a local doctor’s office (a search of Menger’s residence recovered large quantities of the above-described painkillers).
On June 11, 2010 Detective Bryan Yant, was involved in a controversial fatal shooting of Trevon Cole was reassigned to duty as a desk officer following findings that officer Yant violated several several police department policies regarding the preparation and serving of the warrant, in addition to several minor violations. Yant had shot at least three other person in the line of duty up to that point. On January 18, 2012, the family of Trevon Cole (who had been killed by Yant) received a settlement from the LVMPD Fiscal Affairs Committee of 1.7 million dollars (which is the highest amount ever awarded by LVMPD). In addition, it was shown that Bryan Yant made several mistakes when he focused on Trevon Cole and that David Roger (former District Attorney for Clark County, Nevada) and other prosecutors did not believe Bryan Yant’s conflicting accounting of the shooting.
In July 2010, the LVMPD Fiscal Affairs Committee settled with Calvin Darling, who was initially accused of drunken driving and failure to yield in the death of Officer James Manor for $120,000. The initial reports that Officer Manor had his lights and siren on were incorrect and that Calvin Darling had a blood alcohol level of .035 after being tested (the legal definition for DUI in Nevada is 0.08%). In addition, the Clark County District Attorney office dropped all charges against Mr. Darling.
In August of 2010, LVMPD Officer Thomas Mendiola gave a Ruger firearm, and ammunition to Robert Justice, a twice convicted
felon as a gift for working on Mendiola’s car. As a convicted felon, Mr. Justice is prohibited from possessing firearms of any type in the state of Nevada. Officer Mendiola was charged in January of 2011 with one felony count of furnishing a firearm to a prohibited person. Mendiola was relieved of duty without pay pending the outcome of the criminal complaint against him. In February 2011, Thomas Mendiola failed to complete his probationary period with LVMPD and was terminated as a result.
On May 10, 2012, Thomas Mendiola entered into a plea agreement in which he plead guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of conspiring to dispose of a firearm to a prohibited person, and was fined $2,000 by District Judge Douglas Herndon. The felony charge that Mendiola was facing was dismissed as a result of the plea agreement.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on November 25, 2010 that Lieutenant Paul C. Page, chairman of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Managers and Supervisors Association union has been relieved of his duties and placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of misappropriation of union funds. A follow up article shows that LVMPD closed the case against Lieutenant Page was quietly closed without filing charges that he misappropriated $38,521 from the association. Mr. Page also filed for a disability pension shortly after being suspended and while a member of the PERS board. In addition, an internal affairs investigation conducted by LVMPD sustained charges of ‘Conduct Unbecoming an Officer’.
On October 18, 2010, LVMPD officer Roberto Angulo was arrested on a domestic battery charge by Henderson Police department officers after he pushed his ex-girlfriend into a stucco wall and bit her nose during an argument about the custody of their child. Officer Angulo was booked into the Henderson City Jail, and was released after posting bail of $3,137, and was placed on paid administrative leave, said officer Jacinto Rivera, a LVMPD spokesman.
LVMPD undercover officer David Denton was arrested on November 30, 2010 on suspicion of DUI after crashing his department vehicle into a median near Green Valley and Horizon Ridge parkways in Henderson, Nevada. Officer Denton has been employed by LVMPD for approximately 10 years, and was placed on administrative leave by LVMPD.
The police union advised its members, starting in 2010, to no longer cooperate with coroner’s inquests of police shootings.
Two LVMPD Officers, Brad Gallup and Jake Grunwald were placed on paid administrative leave in January of 2011 due to being stopped speeding in Northwest Arizona by officers who thought it was unusual that a LVMPD police vehicle in Arizona, and that the vehicle might have been stolen. The officers face discipline for numerous policy violations, including neglect of duty and abandonment of their post. The violations eventually resulted in each officer being suspended for one week without pay (which is the most severe penalty which can be imposed, short of termination).
On March 20, 2011, LVMPD Officer Derek Colling was involved in the beating and arrest of videographer Mitchell Crooks who Officer Colling approached when he observed Crooks filming a police investigation of a reported burglary. Mitchell Crooks has no criminal record in Nevada and, charges of obstructing a police officer and resisting arrest were dismissed by Clark County Justice Court. A claim of excessive force was made to the Internal Affairs Division, and on July 29, 2011, the
Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Officer Colling violated several department policies, and that Mitchell Crook’s excessive force complaint was sustained, Deputy Chief Gary Schofield reported. On December 13, 2011, officer Colling was terminated. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on March 26, 2012, that the LVMPD Fiscal Affairs Committee paid Mitchell Crooks the amount of $100,000 in order to settle a federal lawsuit filed by Crooks over his beating at the hands of former LVMPD Officer Colling.
On May 26, 2011, LVMPD Detective Timothy Nicothodes was driving 98 mile per hour when he crashed into the back of a pickup truck while driving in
Yellowstone County, Montana. Subsequent tests show that his blood alcohol level was between 0.192 and 0.219 percent (the legal limit for DUI in Montana is 0.08 percent). As a result of the charges of DUI, and criminal endangerment, he was placed on administrative leave without pay. Detective Nicothodes plead guilty to DUI, and no contest to criminal endangerment
On May 22, 2011, LVMPD Officer James Anthony Segura was arrested on counts of battery domestic violence-strangulation and shooting into an occupied structure after his ex-wife accused him of strangling her. Segura was placed on paid administrative leave the same day.
On July 8, 2011, the sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Doug Gillespie, along with Assistant Sheriff Ray Flynn, and LVMPD Crime Lab Executive Director Linda Krueger admitted a case of human error involving switched DNA samples by criminalist Terry Cook sent an innocent man named Dwayne Jackson to the Nevada State Prison for a period of 4 years for a crime he did not commit (it turns out his cousin was the actual culprit). David Chesnoff, a local attorney handing Mr. Jackson’s civil lawsuit against the department stated that he is a remarkable young man, who is forward thinking and is not bitter. Steve Sisolak, a Clark County commissioner for District “G” and a member of LVMPD’s Fiscal Affairs Committee stated that the eventual settlement being reached with Mr. Jackson against LVMPD and it’s crime lab could reach into the ‘7-figure’ range, implying a settlement of millions of dollars to Mr. Jackson.
Las Vegas Sun reported on August 11, 2011 that a federal jury had awarded the sum of 2.1 million (reduced to 1.6 million by a federal judge) to Charles Barnard, a resident of Henderson, Nevada as a result of charges of excessive force by LVMPD Officers Gary Clark, Greg Theobald and Steven Radmanovich.
On September 13, 2011, LVMPD Officer Peter Hervoyavich was arrested for soliciting prostitution after being observed by fellow officers picking up a prostitute and driving with her to a parking lot and performing a sex act in his personal vehicle. Hervoyavich and the prostitute were arrested and booked at the Clark County Detention Center and Hervoyavich was placed on paid administrative leave.
On 12 December 2012, Stanley Gibson, an unarmed mentally-distressed individual was shot seven times by Officer Jesus Arevalo. Gibson’s car had been immobilized by the police and the windows were up, indicating he was not an immediate threat to the officer.
LVMPD Officer John Norman was arrested on Feb 1, 2012 on felony charges of coercion and oppression under the color of office and misdemeanor open or gross lewdness. This was done following separate complaints from two women who Officer Norman had detained and/or arrested during which the women were made to expose their
breasts, and that one of the women was groped. Officer Norman was released from the Clark County Detention Center on his own recognizance. The initial investigation of Officer Norman came in late 2011, when he was apprised of the possible charges against him, and at that point refused to cooperate with investigators, and retained attorneys, one of which is former Clark County District Attorney David Roger. Assistant Sheriff Ray Flynn was quoted as saying that the investigation could take months, and that John Norman could lose his job.
On Feb 15, 2012, Assistant Sheriff Ray Flynn reported to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that two more women have come forward with allegations of misconduct on the part of officer John Norman, and that the new incidents of misconduct did not rise to the level of criminal behavior, but could rise to the level of ‘conduct unbecoming an officer’, and that there are now four internal investigations which are ongoing against Officer Norman.
On June 12, 2012, Officer John Norman resigned from employment with the LVMPD, according to Sgt. John Sheahan, who also stated that while John Norman has resigned, the internal affairs investigation, and criminal investigations against him are still on-going.
Former LVMPD officer John Norman plead guilty to two misdemeanors on June 25, 2012, and as a result of his guilty plea, he could receive a sentence ranging from probation up to two years in prison, and he will be required to register as a sex offender with the state. If Norman successfully completes the sentencing obligations, the open and gross lewdness charge would be dismissed and replaced with another count of oppression under the color of office, and his sex offender registration would be expunged.