On February 22, 2012, I posted the first Erik Scott case article original to Stately McDaniel Manor, Update 16: And The Beat Goes On. That update told the story of Adam Greene, who on October 29, 2010 at about 0400 was driving to work in Henderson, Nevada from his Las Vegas home. On that otherwise unremarkable morning, Greene suffered two great misfortunes: (1) A diabetic, he went into insulin shock, and (2) he happened to live in the Las Vegas Valley, a Twilight Zone of corrupt and dangerous—to the law-abiding public–law enforcement.
For those not familiar with the geography of the Las Vegas Valley and Clark County, North Las Vegas, Las Vegas and Henderson are part of one substantial urban area (Google Map Here) with no separation between them. Henderson is situated to the southeast of Las Vegas and the dividing lines between Henderson and Las Vegas are nothing more than the centerline of streets shared by both communities. Las Vegas Metro and Henderson officers work closely together, for good and bad, as I noted in Update 16.
I recommend you visit the You Tube video of the stop, recorded by the dash camera of a Nevada Highway Patrolman’s vehicle. For the convenience of readers, I’ll reproduce a portion of Update 16 here but I also recommend you read the entire Update on the Greene case to fully understand the issues involved. From Update 16 (in italics):
Notice that I did not say the Highway Patrolman “stopped” Greene. It is clear from the video and subsequent testimony that Green was in insulin shock and quite out of it. He stopped not because he saw and heard the flashing emergency lights and siren of the Patrolman’s vehicle, but because he came to an intersection with a red light. If he was that out of it, how could he stop for the red light? Conditioning over many years. We all unconsciously respond in a variety of ways to this sort of conditioning. We see a stop sign and, without conscious thought, begin to stop. The time frames listed in this analysis are taken directly from the time clock of the linked video and may be off by a second or two in places.
00:00: As the video begins, a police siren is audible, and the Highway Patrolman (hereinafter: trooper) is heard calling in the location.
00:00-00:14: The trooper, who is apparently at the open door of his car, can be heard quickly and loudly yelling something—three times–unintelligible that sounds like “eh-uh!” In fact, he is yelling “driver.”
As he approaches the closed door of Greene’s car, his handgun is drawn and pointed in (extended straight at Greene). He raises his right leg and fully extends it, pushing the sole of his shoe flat against the window twice in quick succession. He has stripes on his uniform sleeve, but due to the slightly fuzzy quality of the video and my lack of familiarity with Nevada HP insignia, I can’t tell if they are corporal or Sgt. stripes.
As he does this, he twice and loudly tells Greene “Do not move.”
00:28: The trooper opens Greene’s door and takes several steps backward, keeping his handgun pointed in. He tells a fellow trooper outside of camera range: “Hey, come over here,” followed by “hands up, hands up!” Greene responds very slowly, raising his hands.
Speaking to the campaign hat-wearing trooper that walks into the frame (the HP officers are wearing striped pants), he says: “Take him in a wristlock and get him out.”
He then says: “Do not move! Hey driver, do not move.”
The hat-wearing trooper, who was holding his handgun (he’s left-handed), holsters it, and pulls out a set of handcuffs. As that trooper and two Henderson officers reach into the car and begin to pull Greene out, the first trooper lowers his handgun to low ready.
00:37: As the officer pulls Greene—who is not resisting—from the car, the first trooper says “Shit! Car’s movin’!”
A Henderson officer says, “I got it, I got it.”
The first trooper says “go ahead,” and the officer slips behind the wheel and promptly stops the car.
As the car is moving, Greene is pulled onto the pavement and is on his right side, unmoving and not resisting the officers. His left wrist is handcuffed, and the hat-wearing trooper is holding it and pulling upward (he obviously handcuffed Greene’s left wrist before pulling him out of the car).
The first trooper holsters his handgun and within seconds, both troopers and three Henderson officers have monkey-piled Greene who is not consciously resisting but is obviously reacting to being brutally handled and forced to the ground.
It is obvious that the hat-wearing trooper has Green’s left wrist in a handcuff-which he applied before pulling him from the car–and is pulling upward on that cuff—a very painful technique–which is making it impossible for the other officers—who are probably unaware of what the trooper is doing—to take Greene fully to the ground. Even if Greene is sufficiently conscious to hear and respond to their commands, he can’t do it.
00:40: At least two officers can be heard to say—a total of four times—“Get on the ground.” As five officers are now piled on top of Greene, an officer is heard to say—at least twice—“stop resisting motherfucker.”
00:49: Sgt. Seekatz walks into the frame and nonchalantly begins to kick Greene—with considerable force–in the head and face, twice with his left foot and three times with his right. This appears to be the only portion of Greene’s anatomy he can reach; a clear view of the rest of Greene’s body is obscured by the five other officers. He then casually walks around the pile of wriggling officers to Greene’s feet, stands there several seconds observing the pile, and saunters back to Greene’s head (Greene is prone on the ground, parallel to his car, his head toward the rear of the vehicle).
At this point, two of the officers wrestling Greene are Highway Patrol officers and three are Henderson officers, not counting Sgt. Seekatz’s contribution to their efforts.
00:52: Two Henderson officers kneeling on the ground at Greene’s right side begin delivering at least five very forceful strikes—in quick succession–to his side with their knees. It is obvious they are generating all the force they can manage from that posture. The officer furthest from the camera strikes Greene once, the officer nearest the camera strikes Greene twice, the officer furthest from the camera, once again, and the officer nearest the camera strikes at least once more. It is somewhat difficult to make out every move the officers make in the video due to officers moving between the camera and action.
As he is being struck, Greene moans and cries out pitifully, obviously in pain, and at 00:54, officers step aside so that Greene’s head, face and shoulders can be seen. He is crying out in pain, but it is quite clear that he is essentially catatonic and is not actively resisting the officers, but merely reacting in pain to the assault. The hat-wearing trooper still has hold of the handcuff on Greene’s left wrist and is twisting it painfully while pulling Greene’s arm up and backward. Because Greene is so close to his car, the trooper cannot sweep Greene’s arm out and to the side, and is pulling his arm in an unnatural and painful manner.
1:09: The officers succeed in cuffing Greene. Greene’s pitiful moans will be audible until about 1:18. The officers begin to search Greene while he is on the ground. Greene is limp, unresisting and obviously in pain.
1:21: The hat-wearing trooper appears about to call the dispatcher, but the first trooper says “I got it, I got it. Worry about him,” and walks toward the door of his car, out of the frame.
1:38: The trooper is heard calling his dispatcher and says: “Alright, we got him. Roll me a uh, uh, 51.”
2:12: The HP asks his fellow officers if any of them are hurt. They reply: “I don’t think so,” and a few seconds later he will say—for reasons unknown–”…medical.” He will ask again a few seconds later and all officers will affirm that they’re unhurt.
2:25: The trooper calls his dispatcher and tells her: “alright, we have a…we found some insulin in his pocket…roll 52, tell them to expedite… he’s semi-conscious.”
2:44: The officers lift Greene from the ground. He is clearly unaware of what is happening around him. One Henderson officer walks him toward the HP car, out of the frame of the camera. What appears to be a large bruise or abrasion is visible on Greene’s right cheek.
For the remainder of the video, Greene and most of the officers cannot be seen. The officers can be heard, but the trooper wearing the microphone is heard most clearly.
3:01: The first trooper radios for medical assistance saying: “Alright, Let’s get medical out here. He’s a, a diabetic…he’s probably in shock…semi-conscious.” He then confirms his location for the dispatcher.
3:47: The first trooper is leaning in the open driver’s door of Greene’s car, apparently searching it. The hat-wearing trooper approaches and speaks so quietly to the first trooper he can’t be understood. The first trooper replies: “yeah, I’ve seen this before, but…” They do not speak intelligibly again.
5:13: The first trooper, who is not in view of the camera, is laughing loudly. Another officer observes: “he’s not a small guy.”
The trooper, still laughing, replies: “Right. I coulda taken him by myself.”
The video ends shortly thereafter.
Greene was eventually examined by paramedics at the scene and was released without any charges. He drove himself to the hospital where his broken ribs and multiple other injuries were diagnosed and treated.
Monkey-Pile: noun, police term. When a great many officers leap upon and restrain someone with great exuberance, and in an uncoordinated and poorly executed manner.
As I noted in Update 16, of great significance in this matter is the fact that the hat-wearing trooper has a handcuff on Greene’s left wrist and is continually trying to pull his wrist upward, while the rest of the officers are pushing down on Greene, screaming at him to get on the ground. Also significant is that they are screaming at him to quit resisting, which seems to be something Henderson and Las Vegas officers are taught to do whether anyone is resisting or not. In this case, Greene is simultaneously being pulled in two directions. He’s damned no matter what he does, but he is surely not actively resisting the officers, who smash him in the ribs at least five times, breaking them.
Most significant is Henderson police sergeant—a supervisor—Brett Seekatz, who casually strolls into the view of the camera, and while no less than five officers are monkey-piling Greene, kicks him five times in the head and face, twice with one foot, three times with the other.
After finally getting Greene handcuffed, they stand him up and take him out of the view of the camera. Within less than a minute, the trooper who made the initial stop finds Greene’s insulin and notifies the dispatcher, yet it takes him and the rest of the officers quite awhile before they realize that Greene is not drunk, but in real medical peril, and actually act on that knowledge.
Resolution: Approximately a year later, the Henderson City Council voted to award Greene $257,000, and the Nevada Highway Patrol added $35,000. However, Sgt. Seekatz was “disciplined,” but did not lose his job or, apparently his rank. The type of “discipline” suffered by Sgt. Seekatz has never, to my knowledge, been revealed. None of the other officers were apparently sanctioned in any way. Apart from Seekatz, the other officers involved seem to remain anonymous. Apparently such information is not the business of the public.
This was not the only improper action by Sgt. Seekatz to come to the attention of the public. Clark County Criminal Cops documented a case occurring around the time of the Greene beating wherein Seekatz was accused of falsifying a police report to assist a fellow officer going through a divorce in a child custody battle. Apparently no internal investigation was done regarding that incident and no discipline was applied.
Clark County DA Steve Wolfson, on April 6, 2012, announced that no charges would be filed against Seekatz. According to KTNV:
Wolfson originally said that he would not be bringing charges. However, he and a team of ten prosecutors took another look at the case after new accusations about Sargeant Brett Seekatz came to his attention.
‘Normally putting ten laywers in the room, you’re not going to get the same opinion, but in this case, all ten laywers agreed that we could not prosecute this case,’ said Steve Wolfson in an interview with Action News…
Wolfson admits that the dashcam video is ‘disturbing to watch’ but explains that ‘none of the officers acted maliciously.’
Wolfson points out that Henderson police allow and train in the use of kicking to restrain suspects.
‘If I have to prove that this officer acted with malice, with an evil design, it would be difficult for me to prove that, if he was trained in such a way that permitted this kind of use of force,’ added Wolfson.
‘It is now public knowledge that Adam Green, the motorist depicted in the video, was not a criminal, but instead was suffering the effects of a diabetic reaction,’ a statement from the DA’s office explained. ‘However, the officers involved did not have the benefit of knowing this.’
‘They believed they were dealing with the person who had broken the law and was endangering the lives of others,’ the statement continued. ‘More importantly, those officers also believed Mr. Green was forcibly resisting their efforts to take him into custody.’
The Las Vegas Review Journal, writing on March 11, 2012, also had reason to be suspicious of Seekatz:
Around the time of the Greene incident, Seekatz also generated complaints accusing him of falsifying a police report in a domestic dispute and of lying under oath in a misdemeanor case. Neither complaint was substantiated by Henderson police, which in light of the way officials handled the kicking case isn’t the least surprising.
‘Some new information has come out about officer Seekatz, and it’s troubling to me,’ Wolfson said. ‘I’m exploring some of this information, and it could make a difference in the future.’
While it’s possible Wolfson didn’t initially get a comprehensive briefing on Seekatz’s background, I’ve learned the district attorney recently ordered and received the cop’s complete file from HPD.
‘The fact he’s been accused in other cases of lying, and that it occurred around a similar time frame as the situation in Henderson caused me to step back,’ Wolfson said. ‘I’m considering a second look into this matter.’
As we now know, Wolfson’s “second look” into Seekatz produced the usual Clark County Pposecutor action: no action at all against any police officer regardless of their behavior. Another view was presented by Las Vegas Sun reporter J. Patrick Coolican on March 5, 2012:
But his decision [not to prosecute] will further erode the community’s already flagging confidence in police agencies while stoking a long-held belief that there are two sets of rules, one for police officers who kick people in the head and another for the rest of us.
Here was Wolfson’s first rationale, to the Las Vegas Review-Journal: ‘I’m troubled by the conduct that was displayed in the video … but I don’t think it’s in the community’s best interest to file a charge because it’s so long after the incident.’ Whatever that means.
Later, in a tough interview with my colleague Jon Ralston on “Face to Face,” Wolfson fleshed out his answer. He said he was ‘equally as troubled”’ and ‘shocked’ as the rest of us by the kicking in the head.
He noted that the statute of limitations on a misdemeanor battery charge had passed, making a prosecution on that charge impossible.
As for a felony charge, Wolfson said, ‘I have to feel comfortable that I can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,’ he said.
He pointed to previous cases of alleged police brutality in Southern Nevada in which juries didn’t convict. In one case he was the defense lawyer for a police officer.
(Yes, in private practice he defended police officers.)
As regular readers, particularly those who recently read Update 18 know, Las Vegas Valley police officers virtually always act with absolute immunity from prosecution—and almost always from departmental discipline—even when they kill citizens under grotesquely suspicious circumstances. Those doubting this assertion need only refer to Update 18 and its enclosed links for a quick overview. And while the Erik Scott series has focused primarily on Metro and the horrific and deadly behavior of its officers, it would appear that there must be something in the air and water of the Las Vegas valley affecting its criminal justice system.
Let’s examine DA Wolfson’s justifications for not prosecuting Seekatz. Keep in mind that Wolfson had only been in office a relatively short time in early 2012 before deciding not to prosecute. Former DA David Roger retired early in 2012 to accept a position as the general counsel for the local police union, a position many might assert he had already filled for many years while simultaneously drawing a paycheck from the citizens of Clark County.
Justification 1: The misdemeanor statute of limitations expired.
While this is true, remember that the actual assault occurred on Oct. 29, 2010. DA Roger had the case until early 2012. He could have filed charges at any time, but of course, it is practically impossible for any Las Vegas Valley officer to be prosecuted for any crime.
The statute of limitations in Nevada for the most applicable felony would be three years, for a gross misdemeanor 2 years, and for a simple misdemeanor, one year.
Justification 2: “Henderson police allow and train in the use of kicking to restrain suspects.”
This too is true. However, it’s blatantly and badly misleading. All professional officers are taught a variety of striking techniques. However, they are also taught that when those techniques are improperly applied, and particularly when they are used to punish, when they are not used to gain compliance and to overcome resistance, they constitute assault.
Wolfson and his ten lawyers should have been asking some very simple and specific questions, questions I’ll address shortly.
Justification 3: “If I have to prove that this officer acted with malice, with an evil design, it would be difficult for me to prove that, if he was trained in such a way that permitted this kind of use of force.”
Justification 4: ‘They believed they were dealing with the person who had broken the law and was endangering the lives of others,’ the statement continued. ‘More importantly, those officers also believed Mr. Green was forcibly resisting their efforts to take him into custody.'”
A reasonable case can be made that the three Henderson officers restraining Greene, and the two troopers assisting, reasonably believed that he was resisting arrest. I don’t believe that for a second, but a reasonable case can be made. On one hand, the trooper in the hat was clearly pulling Greene upward, putting him in considerable pain, while the rest, apparently unaware of what the trooper was doing, were violently and constantly pushing him downward. All the trooper needed to do was simply stop pulling Greene’s wrist and arm upward, and assist in settling him fully to the ground, and/or tell the other officers what he was doing so they wouldn’t think Greene was resisting. He did not.
My experience in investigating a variety of incidents with Las Vegas and Henderson officers leads me to believe that they reflexively scream “stop resisting…” (usually accompanied by multiple choice obscenities) whenever they are arresting anyone, apparently as part of an agency-sanctioned (perhaps even agency-taught) tactic to give bystanders the impression the people they are arresting are resisting so they might be encouraged to testify to that later. I have no doubt that some officers—such as the now fired Derek Colling (Update 11.2 here, and Update 18, here)—use the ploy to make assaults on unresisting citizens seem justified. As I noted in Update 16, any competent officer has to know that full strength knee-strikes delivered to the ribs of a man held rigidly in place have the probability of breaking those ribs, potentially causing deadly internal injuries. In addition, any rational officer had to have known that Adam Greene wasn’t going anywhere—he was under a five man monkey-pile–and was no danger to “the lives of others.”
Therefore, one can reasonably argue that properly trained officers would know that they were not using proper techniques in proper ways, and were actually conducting an assault. However, it is equally reasonable to believe that the five officers, and particularly the trooper who made the initial stop, were acting in good faith. The two Henderson officers who repeatedly struck Greene with their knees were applying too much force and weren’t in complete control of themselves, but their actions did not amount to violations of the law. If, however, I were their supervisor, large and bloody portions of their posteriors would have remained in my office after my talk with them about their lack of situational awareness, inability to communicate with each other and their improper application of force. A shame their supervisor was apparently Seekatz.
This is where we come to the behavior of Sgt. Seekatz. There is no training—none—that advocates or justifies kicking in the head and face, a man being forcibly restrained face-down on the ground by no less than five officers. Such an attack serves no tactical, lawful purpose. In fact, it could reasonably be calculated only to stun or enrage a suspect, causing him to resist more fiercely, or to become semi-conscious, unable to respond quickly and appropriately to the commands of the officers restraining him. In other words, it would only prolong the situation, making things more dangerous for everyone involved.
Seekatz’s actions could not possibly be sanctioned by agency training or policy—such training and policy would be illegal–and because they could not possibly contribute to any reasonable law enforcement goal, they clearly constituted an assault on Adam Greene. In any law enforcement agency—civilian or military—to which I have ever belonged or about which I have knowledge, Seekatz would not only have been fired, he would have been prosecuted. This would not have been a close decision. Any professional supervisor or administrator viewing the video would have instantly come to the same conclusion.
Analyze this from Seekatz’s point of view:
(1) He is standing out of the frame of the camera, some ten feet from the monkey pile and has an unobstructed view of the action.
(2) The officers are clearly not in imminent danger of harm.
(3) The public is clearly not in imminent danger of harm. In fact, there are no citizens in view of the camera. Any potential danger to the public ended when Greene stopped at the red light and was drug from his car, a car under the control of the police from that moment.
(4) The officers are not asking for help from Seekatz or anyone else.
(5) Seekatz could not have seen anything missed by the officers that could have caused him to intervene. Greene was merely groaning, his face contorted in pain as the officers foolishly tried to pull him apart.
(6) Just as I immediately noticed that the hat-wearing trooper and the Henderson officers were actually working against each other the moment I saw the video, any competent supervisor should have seen the same thing and immediately acted to correct it, not only to spare Greene any unnecessary pain and injury, but to ensure that he was handcuffed as quickly and humanely as possible, thus minimizing the risk of injury to officers.
(7) Any rational, professional officer would have to know that kicking Greene in the face and head would have only enraged him—in which case it would have made things worse for the officers—or so stunned him that he could not promptly respond to their commands, again, only making things worse for the officers. He would also know that the injuries produced by such strikes would not only look horrible, but would be impossible to justify—assuming a professional, non-corrupt law enforcement agency and prosecutor’s office.
(8) All police use of force training emphasizes that strikes to the head and face are particularly, uniquely dangerous because of their potential to be lethal, and that such strikes should not be used unless deadly force is reasonably required. Any rational officer should have known that deadly force could not possibly be required at the time Sgt. Seekatz stepped into view of the camera or at anytime during the confrontation.
(9) Sgt. Seekatz did indeed demonstrate “…malice, with an evil design.” We know that the only way he could have been justified in kicking Greene in the head and face was if it was required under the doctrine of the use of deadly force. In other words, Greene must have presented an imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death to Sgt. Seekatz or others. In such a case, deadly force must be applied in the most rapid and effective way possible. But what does Seekatz do? He walks nonchalantly—he is in no hurry–into the frame and kicks Green twice with one foot (perhaps it became fatigued?) and three times with another, not in a way reasonably calculated to quickly render him unconscious, but with sufficient force to injure him, perhaps disfigure him, and to cause him pain. And having hurt Greene, he steps back and casually strolls about, watching Greene writhe in agony. His face is, at best, impassive, at worst, satisfied.
In short, there was absolutely no justification for Seekatz’s actions. He was not coming to the aid of others; he was not protecting himself; he was not contributing to restraining Greene. He acted–with cool, deliberate calculation–only to hurt Adam Greene—that, gentle readers, is malice. That is an evil design. That is not negligence. That is not mere carelessness. That is not an accident. That is an affirmative, considered, pre-meditated assault. That is criminal, and any professional, non-corrupt prosecutor would have immediately seen that. Any professional, non-corrupt prosecutor would have known that the public outcry of that video, the political consequences, would be so overpowering that he would have had no choice. Not in Clark County where even murders committed by the police are arguably explained away and overlooked.
What did happen was police chief Jutta Chambers was given the choice of being fired or retiring. She retired on February 16, 2012. City Manager Mark Calhoun, after firing Chambers, resigned his job.
John L. Smith, writing in the February 26 edition of the LVRJ wrote:
Want to know the craziest part?
A professional police chief is gone, but the cop with the kung fu fetish still has his job and didn’t even lose his sergeant’s stripes.
As a fellow once said, ain’t that a kick in the head?
Indeed it is, Mr. Smith. Indeed it is, but just another day in law enforcement in the Las Vegas Valley.
THERE’S DEFINITELY SOMETHING IN THE AIR AND WATER:
Those of us investigating such cases in the Las Vegas Valley know that they represent only the tip of the corruption iceberg. Las Vegas is, after all, the town the Mob—organized crime—built. But it now seems that the true corruption is in law enforcement. Consider this June 26 story from KRNV TV in Reno:
Attorney Kenneth McKenna has filed a Federal Lawsuit on behalf of Nevada Highway Patrol Troopers and a retired Sergeant of Police who in part created and established the K-9 Drug Interdiction Unit for the Nevada Highway Patrol.
They are suing the Department of Public Safety, Nevada Highway Patrol, the City of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and individual members of the Highway Patrol Command Staff and Officers of the Las Vegas Police Department in a 103-page complaint filed in the United States District Court of Nevada.
The Plaintiffs are alleging that the Command Staff of the Nevada Highway Patrol intentionally destroyed the K-9 program. They claim the program had been instrumental in “getting drugs off Nevada Highways and achieving seizures in the multi-millions of dollars to the benefit of the State of Nevada’s revenues”.
They say the actions of the “Command Staff’”, resulted in the current K-9s being improperly and inadequately trained and thereby subject to discredit in the Courts. The suit claims improperly trained dogs are taught to respond to handler cueing to alert for drugs, rather than actually sniffing for drugs. This type of training and the resulting dogs are referred to in the K-9 training industry as “Trick Ponies.” The dogs are trained to falsely alert to drugs by the cueing action of the handlers, resulting in improper and illegal searches of private citizens [emphasis mine]. This can result in illegal seizure of property and money, even when no drugs are discovered in the subsequent search.
The lawsuit continues to claim evidence of tampering with drug hides during testing of the dogs. The suit claims that DPS Director Perry intentionally destroyed “this highest quality training that had been established, was a concerted, ongoing effort from the inception of the program”. McKenna claims that Perry, ‘in concert with others entered into a conspiracy to undermine the K-9 program for the purpose of creating a systematic way of conducting illegal searches in violation of citizen’s rights and the seizure of property illegally for financial benefit.’
KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, in a June 26 story, added:
The 103-page complaint alleges that Perry, along with others, used the K-9s to undermine the program to systematically conduct illegal searches and seizures for financial benefit.
The complaint also alleges the defendants, which also includes the state’s Public Safety Department and individuals in NHP and Metro, were involved in a Federal RICO conspiracy, also known as the Federal Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act…
Allegations also include corruption, abuse of office and official cover ups.
Here is a link to a PDF of the lawsuit.
The July 4-10 edition of the Las Vegas Tribune features an editorial (p. 6) on this suit:
Our sources indicate that not only does the RICO Federal Violation Act fit perfectly for those circumstances, it also fits for past and present alleged criminal violations committed by the LVMPD pertaining to, yet not all-inclusive of, excessive use of deadly force against the community; destruction and tainting of evidence; malicious prosecution; false arrests; discrimination; malfeasance; wrongful terminations; conspiracy to commit murder, theft, and extortion; threats to life; narcotics trafficking and use; criminal negligence and authoritative sexual assault.
The real irony is that LVMPD used to be set up to protect the community against such crimes and now it engages in these alleged crimes on a regular basis with complete impunity—or at least they think so.
For those not familiar with the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute, it is a federal statute originally designed to strike at organized crime. It allows the filing of suits and triple the usual amount of damages. It has sometimes been misused by overzealous prosecutors in the pursuit of people they could not otherwise charge, but does offer a way to strike at true public corruption.
That actually serving Nevada troopers would be a party to such a suit suggests strongly that their claims have merit and that they have the hard evidence necessary to back them up. By openly filing this suit, they have exposed themselves to professional censure and reprisal and have arguably endangered their lives. It is perhaps impossible for non-police officers to understand the courage required, and how bad things must be to compel these officers (I understand it is three troopers) to do this. I can only say that it is unsurprising that Metro would be involved.
I have not done sufficient research to write more on this topic, but will do so as more information becomes available. Obviously, if the charges of the officers are true, there are already a great many police officers and administrators across Nevada continually bathed in flop sweat as this is being written.
It’s a shame we don’t currently have a federal Department of Justice that actually recognizes and acts upon the rule of law. Perhaps in 2013…
Bill Scott, father of Erik Scott, is an accomplished and honorable man. A former Air Force test pilot and aviation journalist, he is also a well-respected author. He is currently publishing a serialized work of “fiction” about the shooting of a young man very much like Erik Scott by the Las Vegas Metro Police. As writers out there know, fiction allows some freedoms not easily granted in reality.
Scott is a fine writer, and his site where the book is published—The Permit—is certainly worth your time. It is…insightful.
As I’ve written before, I take no real pleasure in stories like this. Surely, I enjoy exposing corruption and having some small part in helping our system function as it should—for the benefit of the people. And I know that the killing of Erik Scott, and the brutal beating of Adam Greene could not occur unless police agencies, from the ranks of patrolmen to the highest office on the top floor of headquarters, weren’t corrupted. I just wish they weren’t and I didn’t have to write these stories.
I’ll be providing more information specifically on the Scott case in the near future. You will not want to miss it.