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.

Uniformed Sexual Predator — Officer Accused of Lewd Behavior Resigns

Las Vegas Metro Police

 Purging Itself of Bad Cops

at a Record Pace.

A Las Vegas police officer accused of stopping female drivers while on duty and coercing them into exposing their breasts and groping at least one victim resigned Tuesday, June 12.

Metro Officer John Norman resigned following charges of open and gross lewdness.

Police Sgt. John Sheahan confirmed today that officer John Norman is no longer employed with the Metropolitan Police Department.

Norman, 33, was arrested in February and charged with felony oppression under the color of law, gross misdemeanor oppression under the color of law, felony coercion and gross misdemeanor open and gross lewdness after two separate incidents in which he allegedly assaulted the women. In addition to those charges, officials in Metro’s Internal Affairs division are reviewing the claims of two additional women alleging some form of sexual misconduct. These incidents, which allegedly occurred during traffic stops as well, did not meet the standards required for criminal charges. While police have not yet released details regarding the latest allegations, investigators have been looking at whether Norman’s actions might have broken internal regulations.

Sgt. John Sheahan

Norman has been on unpaid leave since charges were filed against him on February 1, His resignation essentially ends his Las Vegas law enforcement career which he had just begun in 2008. Sheahan assures the public that Norman’s resignation will in no way impede the IA investigation The ongoing internal investigation is will more than likely find Norman’s behavior constituted serious  violations of policy, “which will become part of his personnel file,” Sheahan said.

Sheehan took this opportunity to let the public know that the LVMPD is committed to bring accountability and transparency to a department plagued with secrets and cover-ups. While Sheriff Doug Gillespie has repeatedly promised voters he would bring reform to Metro, he has been plagued with incidents that exposed Metro as a department mired in cover-ups and rampant officer misconduct.

Officer Manor’s cruiser following the fatal 2009 crash

After he was caught lying to the public about officer James Manor’s culpability in 2009 traffic accident that claimed his life.  Gillespie was emphatic for days after the accident that both Manor and another officer had their lights and sirens on as they were making their way to the domestic violence call. Gillespie further defended Metro’s arrest of Calvin Darling,  an employee in the Bellagio’s engineering department, who was on his way home, on charges of drunk driving. After blood tests revealed Darling was not impaired and witnesses came forward adamant that neither of the Metro cruisers has their emergency lights on that night.

Following that incident, which cost taxpayers $120,000 to settle with Darling, Gillespie found himself in the midst of a rash of controversial fatal officer involved shootings culminating with a record number of  fatal incidents in 2011 and more than $6.5 million in taxpayer-funded settlements since 2008. However, despite his officers desperate attempts to avoid accountability, Gillespie has seemed willing to purge the department of rogue cops like Norman over the past few months.

Prior to Norman’s resignation, the department was expected to announce the termination of Metro Detective Timothy Nicothodes, who has been on unpaid leave following an accident he caused after a night of heavy drinking in Montana. Nicothodes plead guilty to a felony charge of criminal endangerment earlier this year and was scheduled to be formally sentenced late last week. The detective, whose wife, Deputy Chief Kathy O’Connor, is chief of staff to Sheriff Douglas Gillespie, was expected to be officially terminated once his sentence was officially entered into the Montana courts. Metro has of now, not announced the detective’s official termination.

Timothy Nicothodes’ Montana mug shot

Norman’s criminal case is now in the hands of District Attorney Steve Wolfson and the Clark County court system. On Monday, he waived his right to a preliminary hearing his case was bound over to District Court. His next court appearance was set for June 25, but has been delayed until mid-July.

CopBlock Creates An Affiliate Site in Nevada

CopBlock Now Has an Online Presence For Nevada!

There’s now another voice for those in Nevada who are tired of the lack of accountability with law enforcement, thanks to longtime Vegas activist Kelly Patterson. Patterson will be the site runner for Nevada CopBlock. Patterson says his reasons for taking the helm of Nevada CopBlock stem from a recent Metro shooting that personally affected him.

It was the recent murder of Stanley L. Gibson, whom I knew from high school, by Jesus Arevalo, a Metro cop with a long history of complaints, and LVMPD’s refusal to cooperate with his widow that fast forwarded Nevada Cop Block from a future project that I had been recruiting additional support for into something that I was going to get up and running ASAP.

 Patterson has been active with CopBlock for a few years. He can be seen helping raise awareness on Las Vegas Blvd. back in 2010. Patterson  helped hand out about 400 fliers as part of the week the guys from spent a  week in Vegas.

America Under Fire — Texas Has Executed Another Innocent Man.

Carlos DeLuna Never Stopped Telling Authorities,

“I didn’t do it, but I know who did.”

Turns Out He Was Right, but Texas Killed Him Anyway.


After years of investigation the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, has gathered a stack of evidence 10 feet high indicating not only was Carlos DeLuna innocent of  the 1983 murder of Wanda Lopez, he knew who really killed her. Even more shocking is that it seems key members of the prosecution knew he was telling the truth.

Los Tocayos Carlos, a book-length monograph and comprehensive website published by Columbia has  made all the evidence available (crime-scene photoslaw enforcement and court records,newspaper and TV coveragepolice audiotape of the manhunt ending in DeLuna’s arrestvideotaped interviews,) so readers can decide for themselves.

Sadly this is not an isolated incident.  There is very strong evidence to suggest Texas has killed four other innocent men since 1976.

And that’s just Texas, which is not the only state killing people where the evidence points to their innocence,.
and most recently
  • Troy Davis Georgia Conviction: 1991, Executed: 2011
And there are many more where the evidence doesn’t point to actual innocence, but does cast considerable doubt on their guilt. So, then how can we continue to implement a program that is not only more expensive than every alternative,  has absolutely no effect as a deterrent to murder and takes the life of the innocent?