Las Vegas has been in the news of late, most particularly for the October 1, 2017 attack on concert goers near the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Fifty-eight died and more than 800 were injured. I’ve addressed that shooting with only two articles:
I’ve not written since because what little information the Metro Police have released has been, to say the least, uninformative. It has also been revealed that Metro officers were ordered to turn off their body cameras during the event. I also have not written since because in the eight years I’ve been covering Metro, I’ve discovered it to be arguably the most corrupt police agency in America. Honest citizens are in greater danger from Metro officers than from criminals. Of course, Las Vegas is one of the most corrupt cities on Earth. Whatever Metro is saying about the shooting, whatever they eventually say, cannot be trusted. Lies and cover ups are daily, routine Metro business.
I know this because I’ve been writing about the July 10, 2010 murder of West Point graduate and decorated former Army officer, Erik Scott at the hands of three panicky Metro cops. The SMM Erick Scott archive is available here. As regular readers know, it’s a story of rampant corruption in the police department, criminal and civil justice systems, and in every Las Vegas agency related to the case.
I’ve been working on a book about the case for years, and have discovered just how very difficult it is to get a paper and ink book published these days. The Internet has changed publishing dramatically, and since I’m not a disgraced, Democrat politician or bureaucrat, it’s almost impossible to be published, and forget any advance. But finally, my co-author and I found a publisher. The book is in paperback and is exhaustively documented. I’m afraid anyone hoping for a leather bound, gold inlaid edition might have to wait a bit longer until the demand is a bit more obvious. It is available via Amazon in paper and e-book versions.
Erik Scott and his fiancé were shopping in a Costco. Erik stooped to examine merchandise on a low shelf, momentarily exposing his lawfully carried concealed handgun as his shirt rode up. A panicky security guard called management and the police. This set off a bizarre chain of events that sent a huge number of police vehicles, and even a helicopter, rushing to the Costco. Erik never threatened anyone, wasn’t behaving oddly, and posed no danger to anyone. At the order of a police administrator that wasn’t at the scene and had no idea what was happening, the store was evacuated.
Erik and his fiancé were merely two of the more than a hundred shoppers calmly walking out of the store, where three sweaty, panicked cops lurked by the main entrance, their guns already drawn. Erik was so unremarkable, he walked right past the cop–William Mosher–that would kill him. The security guard pointed Erik out to Mosher, who grabbed Erik by the shoulder.
Erik turned around, Mosher screamed three contradictory commands, and shot Erik in the heart and right thigh, all within two seconds. Erik had no time to do anything. The other two cops, Joshua Stark and Thomas Mendiola, fired five additional shots into Erik’s back as he fell and lay, face down on the pavement, this in the middle of a huge crowd of people. Despite being on the force only a few years, Mosher had killed before. Mendiola was soon fired, but for giving a firearm to a convicted felon.
Mosher claimed Erik drew his handgun, a Kimber 1911 pattern .45 and pointed it at him–still in its holster. Erik, already dead, was quickly thrown into an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, one of the EMTs found that gun and holster on Erik and gave it to a Metro officer. The gun was quickly returned to the scene and planted on the pavement near Erik’s body.
This was a major problem for Metro. How could they explain the gun found in the ambulance if Erik’s gun and holster were supposedly dropped on the pavement when Mosher shot him? They discovered Erik’s concealed carry paperwork in his wallet that indicated he had a Ruger.380 pocket pistol. They could claim this was the gun the EMTs found on Erik. But where was it? This began a panicky search for the pistol that ended about seven hours later when the police, without a warrant, broke into Erik’s home and stole the pistol from the nightstand by his bed. They claimed Erik was carrying this pistol too, but it was a gift for his mother he purchased a short time before, intending to give it to her the next time they were together (she lived out of state). He never carried it.
If this sounds incredible, gentle readers, it’s only the beginning. The cover up was so bizarre no Hollywood screenwriter could have imagined it. Disappeared video, tampering with witnesses, tampering with evidence, rampant perjury, virtually any corrupt police practice one can imagine happened in the Scott case. By the time Erik was murdered, it was so common for Metro to kill innocent citizens, activating the well-oiled Metro cover up machine was routine. It’s a practice that has continued to date.
Metro was used to sweeping its murders under the rug with little blowback. They were shocked when the Scott family, and this scruffy little blog, would not let them get away with murder. I was eventually able to obtain copies of the complete Metro report, as well as interviews and depositions, all of which made the book possible.
The book details all of this, and much more. It’s a fitting tribute to the memory of an extraordinary man. It also reminds us of our responsibility to keep those we hire to protect and serve honest. In Las Vegas, that may well be impossible.
I hope, gentle readers, you’ll buy the book, and recommend it to your friends, and as always, thank you for taking the time to read this scruffy little blog.
UPDATE, 07-10-18 1745 CST: License to Kill is also available online through the publisher’s–North Slope Publications–website.