Where We Learn The LVMPD Can Shoot You In the Back
Never Say Why
And The DA Will Just Assume It Was Your Fault
On November 21, 2011, Gang Enforcement Detectives Casey Clarkson and Christopher Tucker, from the Gang Crimes Bureau, were conducting enforcement operations on East Karen Avenue. The two officers were working as part of an unmarked, gang unit detail when they patrolled the Karen Pines apartment complex at 4450 East Karen Avenue. Just before 11:00 p.m. they observed a black male “dressed predominately in red clothing,” walking through common area in the center of the complex.
The man would later be identified as 37-year-old Bernard Pate. Although neither officer was aware at the time, Pate, a “Tier 0” sex offender, was also a registered felon with previous convictions for attempted first-degree robbery and attempted third-degree burglary. A “Tier 0″ Sex offense is one that is not considered serious enough to mandate offenders be subject to a risk assessment nor are their identities listed on the Nevada Sex Offender Registry. Pate was in complete compliance with all of the requirements stemming from his convictions.
Despite the fact that neither Clarkson nor Tucker observed Pate violating any laws. Clarkson, who was not dressed in Metro’s distinctive beige uniform, exited the pair’s unmarked vehicle and attempted to contact the man, who by all accounts, appeared to be lawfully walking across the complex. Upon seeing the non-uniformed, armed man approaching, Pate allegedly began running from the scene. Clarkson, in complete ignorance of Pate’s rights under the Terry Decision (Terry V Ohio), gave chase.
According to Metro reports, Pate was running along Karen Avenue, when, without breaking his stride, lost both boots before producing a black, semi-automatic handgun. It was after he reportedly turned back towards Clarkson to point the gun at him that Clarkson fired several times. Despite police statements that indicate Clarkson fired because Pate turned toward him, Pate was shot in the back.
Additional Gang Detectives arrived and assisted with taking the dying Pate into custody. By the time medical personnel had responded, Pate had died at the scene.
At least that’s the way the LVMPD and the Clark County District Attorney’s officer are trying to sell the death of Pate. However, this narrative doesn’t take into account that not a single officer present that night gave an official statement to police, yet both agencies were able to determine not only what Clarkson saw that night, but also what his state of mind was at the time.
Neither of the two eyewitnesses who spoke with police saw Pate in possession of a weapon, much less point one at police. Additionally, neither witness state they ever heard Clarkson identify himself as a police officer, or order anyone to “stop,” “drop it,” or any other the commands one would expect to hear from an officer encountering an armed suspect. Metro’s account of the incident do not include any indication such commands were issued as well.
The weapon recovered at the scene was not found in Pate’s hand, but rather several feet away. Neither Pate’s fingerprints nor his DNA were found on the weapon. In fact, it was not tied to Pate forensically in any way. No one who knew Pate, including the woman whose apartment he had just left when police spotted him, could recall him in possession of a firearm. The weapon was actually reported stolen by an Arizona woman (who was not licensed to carry a firearm in Nevada) who told police no one knew where she kept the firearm, and that she had he never saw Pate anywhere near the apartment from which is it was allegedly stolen. The owner did not even provide police with the weapon’s serial number when she reported the theft, yet they were able to tie her to the weapon via Arizona records.
In addition both Clarkson and Tucker, refused to account for their actions that night, yet District Attorney Steve Wolfson refuses to apply Nevada Law to the case and has determined his office will not charge Clarkson with gunning down Pate.
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