Las Vegas Sun

November 29, 2015

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law enforcement:

Motorist kicked by Henderson cop to get settlement

City Council agrees to $158,000 settlement


Nevada Highway Patrol

A screen grab from the video of an incident with Henderson Police.

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 | 7:52 p.m.

Man kicked in the head by Henderson Police officer

Video footage from a Nevada Highway Patrol dashboard camera of a Henderson Police officer kicking a man in the head during a traffic stop, Feb. 7, 2012. Warning: The footage contains material that may be offensive.

A motorist who was pulled over after driving erratically and was methodically kicked in the head by a Henderson Police officer — while being videotaped by a Nevada Highway Patrol dashboard camera — will receive a $158,000 settlement.

The motorist said he was weaving because he was in diabetic shock. Police found a vial of insulin in his pocket. The settlement amount was blessed by the city attorney then approved by the Henderson City Council tonight.

Audible on the video is what sounds like whispering between two officers after the kicking. One officer expresses concern about the cameras installed in NHP vehicles. Their voices are picked up on microphones attached to troopers.

“It’s on camera,” one says.

“They don’t know you,” someone answers. “I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“No, I’m just saying,” the first one replies, then his voice becomes inaudible.

In addition to the Henderson settlement, sources say, the state has agreed to pay the motorist $30,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit against both police agencies that alleges battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The suit was filed by Adam Greene, who was pulled over after 4 a.m. Oct. 29, 2010, at Boulder Highway and Lake Mead Parkway in Henderson. The lawsuit says Greene was on his way to work in Henderson from his home in southwest Las Vegas and was suffering from insulin shock after his blood sugar level dropped.

The Sun obtained video recordings from four NHP vehicles that responded to the call. Squad car video cameras are fixed and pointed to an area in front of the vehicles.

One of the videos shows Greene swerving as he drives east on Lake Mead for about three minutes until he stops for a red light at Boulder Highway. At that point, a trooper gets out with his service weapon pointed at the driver, who is still seated. The trooper kicks the window with his foot.

“Don’t move! Hey driver, do not move!” the trooper says. “Hands up!”

A trooper opens Greene’s door, and four officers — troopers and Henderson police — pull him out of the car.

A series of commands follows: “Get on the ground! Stop resisting, (expletive), stop resisting (expletive)!”

Greene groans as four law enforcement officers push him onto the pavement and, joined by a fifth, restrain and handcuff him. At that point, a Henderson police officer walks into camera view, steps up to Greene and kicks him five times in the head, twice with his left foot, three more with his right. The officer then walks away nonchalantly, and turns briefly toward the direction of the NHP cruiser whose camera is pointed his way.

With Greene subdued on the ground, an officer searches his pockets and finds a vial of insulin and announces it to everyone, looking up to the sky.

“He could be a diabetic,” he says.

“Yeah, I see that,” someone answers.

Someone else says to a dispatcher over the radio: “He’s a diabetic. He’s probably in shock, semiconscious.”

The Sun has requested the names of the officers involved in the incident and whether anyone was disciplined. A Henderson Police spokesman did not immediately have that information. Greene’s attorneys did not return a call for comment.

Sources said one trooper was disciplined, but not for actions that took place during the arrest. The troopers in the video help subdue Greene, but they do not kick him.

Highway Patrol Major Kevin Tice said he could not discuss state personnel matters.

Patrol vehicles have had video cameras for a few years, Tice added.

“They’ve been a real nice tool” for accountability purposes, he said, adding that he predicts all law enforcement vehicles will one day have them.

“We defend ourselves,” Tice added. “And the way we do that is to hold our people accountable.”

Henderson added cameras to their vehicles in June. The digital video and audio devices were put into 150 patrol vehicles at no cost to the city. They were paid for with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Metro Police vehicles do not have video cameras.

County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who serves on Metro’s Fiscal Affairs Committee, said he would research the cost of installing cameras in Metro’s vehicles.

“It’s about accountability and providing assurances to our residents that we are as transparent as we can possibly be,” he said.

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