Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Metro will never be held accountable

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With all the talk by Metro Police and the District Attorney’s Office about being more transparent and accountable concerning officer-involved shootings, it’s just business as usual with the grand jury refusing to indict the officer responsible for the Stanley Gibson shooting.

Metro has stood by the officer (as it does every time an officer shoots someone) by saying it was a “miscommunication” and the officer didn’t understand what the plan was to remove Mr. Gibson from his car. They’ve even gone so far as to blame it on their faulty new radio system on which they just spent millions of dollars.

But miscommunication or not, why would an officer fire seven shots from an assault rifle into a suspect’s car when there was no sign that the suspect even had any weapons? It sounds more like a case of an overzealous officer than a radio that didn’t work. It’s clear that officers are never going to be held accountable for shootings, not even with an investigation by the Justice Department.

Perhaps as citizens of Clark County, one of the most important things we should consider as a necessity for our survival is a bulletproof vest.

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  1. Puleeze! Another Metro basher! A grand jury, made up of ordinary citizens, heard the evidence and made the decision. Metro isn't Terry Fator. They don't pull strings and puppets dance. This was just another case of someone refusing to obey a lawful order given by a police officer and then acting suspiciously. The blame for the incident belongs squarely on the shoulders of the deceased for being uncooperative in the first place. Two police officers in Kansas were recently shot & killed because they did not react quickly enough in a situation seemingly benign. It's easy for Bob Owen to be a "Monday morning quarterback," however, if he were to face a similar situation, how would he would react? Wait a second too long and die or take swift action and go home to your family? To me, the choice is clear.

  2. Jerry: So "acting suspiciously" should justify Metro in "lighting up" another "perp"? The deceased was alleged to suffer PTSD (a mental issue). There should have been a way to subdue him and end the issue without killing him. From what I have heard and read, there was a "failure to communicate" between the responding officers, resulting in deadly force being used instead of "bean bag" rounds to incapacitate the victim.

    Having said that, the rest of your comment is totally relevant. The best course is compliance with Police commands. In this town, being a Police Officer is dangerous thankless work. If the victim had been MENTALLY ABLE, and willing to comply at the time, he'd probably be alive today

  3. Hind sight is always 20-20. Should have, could have, would have. If all people were just perfect we wouldn't need police.

    CarmineD

  4. I simply don't think there are cowboys on the force. The last thing an officer wants is to unholster his weapon. If there were cowboys on the force, they'd stand out like sore thumbs and be headed to jail.

  5. @ lvfacts101..." A grand jury, made up of ordinary citizens, heard the evidence and made the decision." Exactly what evidence was presented to the Grand Jury? Did the DA's office explain the NRS to them properly? Did Arevalo testify as to how scared he was, or did the DA just tell the jurors he was? Was the Grand Jury told the same lie you are trying to sell, that Gibson was "refusing to obey a lawful order given by a police officer," when that was not the case. To this day, police have failed "to point to specific and articulable facts which" lead them to believe Gibson was involved in criminal behavior.

    They have failed to articulate a particularized, objective, and reasonable basis for believing that criminal activity was taking place because Gibson was not doing anything illegal. So, while police where free to approach Gibson and ask him questions but Gibson was under no legal obligation to cooperate with them and should have been allowed to leave. However, police detained a man who they had not witnessed doing anything illegal.

    Was the Grand Jury told about this? We will never know what "evidence" was submitted to the G.J. because Wolfson choose to make sure the public never know the truth. I wonder why? We can look at how the DA's office kept pertinent information about Bryan Yant's history of committing perjury during his inquest, and how many of Wolfson's recent OIS reports cite "facts" that are not supported by any physical evidence or recorded witness statements. And since these reports consistently misstate Nevada law (ignoring fundamental sections of NRS 200.120 and NRS 200.170 in its entirety) I have no reason to believe he didn't do the same thing with the Grand Jury.

    If Wolfson wants to prove that he is his own man, then he should man up and resubmit the case. His puny predecessor had no issue submitting cases to the grand jury over and over again until he got an indictment.

    Or better yet, skip hold a preliminary hearing in open court so we can see what kind of prosecutor he really is. Unless he feels that information will harm his chance at getting elected.

  6. "It sounds more like a case of an overzealous officer than a radio that didn't work. It's clear that officers are never going to be held accountable for shootings, not even with an investigation by the Justice Department."

    Owen -- more like another officer without fear of any consequences.

    "Puleeze! Another Metro basher! A grand jury, made up of ordinary citizens, heard the evidence and made the decision."

    lvfacts -- who do you think Metro works for? Who do you think pays when Metro loses another lawsuit for unnecessary force or worse? And last, the grand jury only "heard" the part of the "evidence" the DA wanted them to consider.

    "In this town, being a Police Officer is dangerous thankless work."

    ressince73 -- and well paid for it

    "I simply don't think there are cowboys on the force. The last thing an officer wants is to unholster his weapon. If there were cowboys on the force, they'd stand out like sore thumbs and be headed to jail."

    FreedomRadio -- depending on how you define "cowboy," I disagree. My experience with Metro is they have no respect whatsoever for We the little people. And too many shootings, like the subject here, shows officers are far too trigger-happy.

    "They have failed to articulate a particularized, objective, and reasonable basis for believing that criminal activity was taking place..."

    bghs1986 -- good post!

    "Makes you feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game." -- Bob Dylan "Hurricane"

  7. @alma...You know what I find amusing? Willful ignorance--your comments provide the perfect example. Why are you so quick to insult those who don't share your blind allegiance to police? People who question authority, especially when that authority has a history of being untruthful, are the opposite of "ignorant"--they are intellectually curious--something you will never be accused of.

    Bob Owen's frustration is shared by the majority of citizens capable of independent thought. LVMPD has EARNED the distrust of the community. Police officers have killed 150 citizens and have NEVER been held accountable. It would be irrational to believe the fairy tale that cops were truly justified in all 150 deaths. But cops are so thin-skinned that when a citizen expresses an opinion that is less than positive, it is dismissed as a hateful attack by an idiot cop-basher. What else can we expect from an agency that refuses to hire people who score too high on their entrance exam? The fact that Metro considers intelligence to be an unfavorable trait in cops speaks volumes about the department.

  8. @ lvfacts101..."if he were to face a similar situation, how would he would react?" I bet you dollars to donuts that Bob finds himself standing behind unarmed men all then. I know I find myself standing behind unarmed strangers a dozen or so times every day, and I have yet to fire a single bullet into one their skulls, let alone seven. In fact, it has never even occurred to me to do such a thing.

    While I'm not sure this has anything to do with me being especially brave. I believe those who are scared of unarmed people who want nothing more that to get away from them have a level of cowardice unique to law enforcement.