“Out of the Mouths of Babes”

 “Because I have the right to.”

 Suddenly We’re Not So Afraid

For the Future of America

I’m just sorry it took us this long to uncover this YouTube video of a Las Vegas Metro Police officer and a 12-year-old boy named Jeremy Drew  who outed him for the coward he is.

KVVU Fox 5 has the full story.

Where We Learn When Being Rear-ended Is Your Fault

The Question Remains;

How Many Metro Officers Abusing Authority

Before We Kill The “Few Bad Apples” Conceit?

On February 16th, 2013, JohnPaul Rosario was riding his motorcycle to work at the Planet Hollywood when he was hit from behind by another vehicle. The Nevada Revised Statutes are very clear on the matter:

NRS 484B.127  Following too closely.

1.The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.

Describing the contact as a mere “love tap,” Rosario expected, as most of us would, an expression of concern from the offending driver. A simple, “Are you okay,” would be the response of most civilized individuals.

Unfortunately for Rosario, that wasn’t the way one would describe the other motorist. The most accurate description? He was one of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s finest.

Is anyone surprised at this officer’s behavior? In a culture supportive of perjury, whose officers feel free to disobey orders and endanger innocent drivers and where shooting unarmed citizens in the back is just part of the job, should we be shocked when an officer threatens to falsely accuse someone of a crime in order to get out of a minor finder bender?

Rosario has been promised an investigation is being conducted, but as of today, Metro can’t even identify the officer.

Requiem For a Chimp–Primate’s Death Exposes More Metro Monkey Business

Despite Sheriffs Promise That Things Would Change,

The Second Escape of CJ the Chimp

Brings a Second Round of Lies From Metro

When the news broke that C.J., one of two chimps who had escaped last month, was on the loose again, the last thing we expected was for this to turn into another example of how little the Las Vegas Metropolitan police force respects the citizens of Las Vegas. But that disrespect was evident as ever when the department could resist telling us lies exposed by video a month ago.

It didn’t take Carnac the Magnificent to predict that when two chimps escaped from their home in Northwest Las Vegas last month that, with LVMPD responding, at least one would be the victim of a police bullet. After all two full-grown chimps are not something police deal with everyday, and what little information about these creatures most of us have stems from a recent Connecticut incident where a woman was brutally attacked.

So when Sgt. Andrew Legrow took the life of Buddy the Chimp, not many outside of PETA were up in arms. What the public didn’t expect was how much the death of Buddy would teach us about how little Metro has progressed since Sheriff Doug Gillespie vowed to make his department the most accountable and transparent law enforcement agency in the country. The low bar he set for himself not withstanding, it’s clear Gillespie has made very little progress in that area. Last month’s shooting shows us that LVMPD is still a department with a culture of dishonesty, filled with overgrown adolescents who are poster children for the pitfalls of police militarization.

Sheriff Doug Gillespie

For those unfamiliar with the last moments of Buddy’s life, here’s a quick recap. Buddy and his longtime companion, C.J., escaped from their enclosure at 5720 Rowland Ave on the morning of July 12th. Both Animal Control and Metro were called to the scene. Arriving first, Metro officers established a perimeter they felt safe in allowing the chimps to occupy while awaiting Animal Control’s arrival with a tranquilizer gun. At 10:45, with no word yet from Animal Control, Buddy began to cross Ann Road, the Southern boundary of Metro’s perimeter. At that point Legrow opened fire, killing Buddy in the middle of the street.

At this point few would argue that Metro didn’t act in a sensible manner. Officers had determined a course of action, set up a point where action was required and took action when that moment came. What was inexcusable that day was the decision by Metro officials to lie to the public about what happened.

In a press release dated the day of the incident, Metro tells a hero’s tale of the “sole officer who stood between the agitated animal and a large group of citizens including many children fired multiple shotgun rounds, striking and killing the animal.” We can all picture the brave officer placing himself in harm’s way, standing between an enraged beast and innocent kids. It turns out, however, that the only thing accurate in Metro’s statement is that a “sole officer..fired multiple…rounds, striking and killing the animal.”

What Metro failed to anticipate was that an event of this nature would have produced a video captured by a member of the public, and that any such video would directly contradict the story Metro was telling the public. It was just this arrogance by Metro that lead to yet another exposure of department lies, because such a video did exist and was made public. The video, described by the Las Vegas Review Journal, “shows the chimp, who does not appear agitated, ambling along. An officer armed with an AR-15 rifle shoots Buddy at least twice as the chimp begins to cross Ann Road.”

What is clear here is that Metro’s default position in any given situation is to lie to the public. Buddy was not agitated and buddy was not killed with a shotgun, but rather an AR-15, a weapon entirely unnecessary for the situation. If Metro is so willing to lie about an event where they were 100% in the right, why should we believe things have changed at all from the time Metro officials lied to us about Stanley Gibson, Trevon Cole, Erik Scott. etc. And if Metro officers are so encouraged to “play with their toys” such as an AR-15 that an officer would even consider it appropriate to use one on an unarmed primate, the entire community is in danger a fate similar to Buddy’s

Ever since Gillespie stood up in front of news cameras and lied to us all about the circumstances surrounding the death of Officer James Manor, and continued to lie (despite eyewitness contradicting Metro’s version) until video was about to be released proving Manor was operating without lights and sirens, the public has not fully trusted Metro.

Sadly it seems nothing has changed.

Sex, Lies and Video Tape — Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura Had a Bad Year

Sexually Harassing Employees,

An Ugly Turf War, Lying to Officials,

And The Profanity-Laden Video That Won’t go away

In the law enforcement food chain, Constables are basically bottom feeders, with slightly more power than Parking Enforcement officers, less respected than Animal Control. Yet the once invisible members of local law enforcement have suddenly stolen the spotlight with allegations of sexual harassment, a turf war which has a many of the elected officials vowing to ignore state law, and video tape of officers cursing and acting outside the scope of their duties.

John Bonaventura

Constables are literally paper pushers with a badge, and until the housing market crashed and foreclosures and evictions skyrocketed, most valley residents never paid them much attention.  While technically “Peace Officers” under Nevada Law (authorized to carry a Taser and firearm) their days are spent enforcing evictions and serving civil documents such as subpoenas, property liens, court summonses and wage garnishments and most are funded, not by tax dollars but rather through the fees they charge. Having no budgetary muscle, the Clark County Commissioners generally left them alone.

That was until John Bonaventura took over the Las Vegas Township Constable’s Office and demanded an end to Constable poaching work outside of their jurisdiction. Taking advantage of the backlog present in Bonaventura’s office, constables from smaller townships with less workload would offer businesses in Las Vegas a more timely service. Bonaventura had enough and demanded the Clark County Assistant Manager Jeff Wells and District Attorney Jeff Troll address the issue. Thus the “Constable Wars” began.

Although the state eventually sided with Bonaventura, he may eventually regret the increased scrutiny his office would receive. Had Bonaventura maintained the status quo, perhaps the infamous the video posted on his personal Web page, would not have been brought the attention of local NBC affiliate KSNV, and eventually the Commissioners, who called the Constable to their chambers to explain himself.

Profanity Laden Video Did Not Sit Well With Commissioners

The low quality video, in which deputy constables are shown cursing, making a traffic stop and referring to themselves as “police,” was disconcerting to the Commissioners, including Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who told the Constable, ” You could not do a worse service to the citizens of Clark County.”

Bonaventura and his officers tried to downplay the video, entitled  “Dec. 15, 2011, Test Pilot Reel for National Reality Show,” as joke by the video’s producer, Mark Favreau. But then later described it as “training video” of “how not to act” on the job. In the end Bonaventura assured the public “that “none of us are in favor of the show. It’s going nowhere. We aren’t doing it.”

“That’s why we didn’t run it by the county people, because we didn’t have plans to go forward with it in the first place,” he said

But it seems Bonaventura might not have been telling the truth. According to the Las Vegas Sun, a Clark County animal control officer reported a video crew filming Deputy Constable Patrick Geary at a July 18 eviction. Animal control was there because cats were left in the residence.

The Sun also reported it had obtained recorded conversations with Bonaventura’s public information officer, Lou Toomin, who denies the office is doing a reality TV show. However, Toomin adds, any talk about such matters “is a secret … after the exposure we got from (the YouTube video).” He later adds, “It’s not back out in the open again.”

That isn’t even the worst news Bonaventura’s department received  last week. The Sun is also  reporting that Kristy Henderson, Bonaventura’s only female deputy, filed sexual harassment charges against him personally.

The 14-page complaint contains allegations of a pattern of sexual harassment beginning right after Bonaventura took office in 2011. Henderson allegations include a February 2011 incident where the constable asked her  to wear a “mini-skirt and garter” to work instead of a deputy’s uniform. A June 2011 incident where Bonaventura walked around the office with his pants zipper open, was described by another female employee as something Bonaventura did regularity.

Smelling the blood in the water, Jordan Ross Constable of Laughlin vows he will fight the order to stay out of Las Vegas, claiming he “brought a better quality of service to Las Vegas Township.”

North Las Vegas Constable Herb Brown made his feelings about the order to stay out of Vegas very clear, saying it was  “a bunch of crap.”