Members of Nevada Cop Block (NVCopBlock.org) and the LVMPD discuss community and police accountability issues at a “Coffee with a Cop” event in Las Vegas, NV on January 22, 2015. This is raw video of the full 2+ hours of video and audio (at one point the Starbucks manager informed us that “customers” had complained about us filming).
We basically softened them up in the first hour with fairly easy questions about routine police issues and the (mis)treatment of homeless people. Then we started throwing the hardballs about saturation teams and racial profiling, the horrible history of accountability among Las Vegas area police departments, and specific cases where the police failed to act when police officers displayed racist and/or violent behavior.
September’s Radical Movie Night Features a Free Screening of “If a Tree Falls”
Sept. “Radical Movie Night”
September 12th marks the debut of Las Vegas’ own Radical Movie Night, hosted by the Sunset Activist Collective, co- Sponsored by Nevada Cop Block and Food Not Bombs Las Vegas, and officially endorsed by the Las Vegas A-Cafe. This will be a monthly free showing of either a documentary or a movie with significant social value. The main purpose of Radical Movie Nights will be to connect local community members and encourage active participation within the local community by those within it to promote and empower those wishing to make positive grassroots-based improvements where they live and within their personal workplaces.
The location where Radical Movie Nights will take place is The Sci Fi Center, which many locals already know from its longstanding tradition for showing independent movies and cult classics that are often not available in a large screen setting. (Disclaimer: the Sci Fi Center is not actually involved in the Radical Movie Nights, outside of permitting us to use it as a venue for showing movies.)
The movie, which was nominated for an Academy Award and won numerous other awards, shows the history and personal reasons why those involved in the ELF actions did what they did and how they became “radicalized,” during previous less militant actions. In addition it addresses issues involving the declaring activists, who never actually harmed or ever tried to harm people, terrorists, based solely on property damage.
However, it also interviews and discusses the perspective of the targets of those actions and the effects they had on them. As a result, it is a fairly even handed presentation of the facts involved, which allows viewers to decide for themselves who was right or wrong and why.
“In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front– a group the FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.”
For years, the ELF—operating in separate anonymous cells without any central leadership—had launched spectacular arsons against dozens of businesses they accused of destroying the environment: timber companies, SUV dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses, and a $12 million ski lodge at Vail, Colorado.
With the arrest of Daniel and thirteen others, the government had cracked what was probably the largest ELF cell in America and brought down the group responsible for the very first ELF arsons in this country.
IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT tells the remarkable story of the rise and fall of this ELF cell, by focusing on the transformation and radicalization of one of its members.
Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thrilller, the film interweaves a verite chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.
Drawing from striking archival footage — much of it never before seen — and intimate interviews with ELF members, and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them, IF A TREE FALLS explores the tumultuous period from 1995 until early 2001 when environmentalists were clashing with timber companies and law enforcement, and the word “terrorism” had not yet been altered by 9/11.”
Brian Sumner has reported via theFaceBook event page that his charges were dropped He also stated:
“Its all thanks to you. I wish everyone of you could have seen the DAs face. My lawyer told me that she wasn’t sure if the DA was going to inner (sic) the agreement. I’m going to take that as it was a very successful phone bomb. You all have my heart, and our voices will be heard.”
Thanks to everyone that managed to call. Remember, call floods have been very effective at putting pressure on police departments and courts to release people being charged with bogus crimes based on retaliation or intimidation motives. Always call if you can.
Brian Sumnerwrote the article included belowregarding how “obstruction” charges are often used to punish and attempt to discourage people involved inCopwatch or Cop Block related activities. This is done much the same way that “resisting arrest” is often used to prosecute people who have been arrested, even when the actual excuse for arresting them is thrown out or dismissed, as a way of intimidating them.
Brian is a local activist and copwatcher from the Fresno area. Within a relatively short time he’s made quite a few videos and been involved in several major actions in and around Fresno seeking police accountability as part of the Fresno Liberty Movement. As a result, he has become a target for retaliation by local police and other government employees. In one such instance (not the one in the video included below), he was charged with obstruction simply for filming the arrest of another person from a distance. He will be starting trial for this “crime” today, Sept. 10th 2014, and has asked (via a FaceBook event) that people call the DA to show their support and ask that they drop those bogus charges:
“Brian Sumner was arrested for obstruction of justice while filming a routine traffic stop in Clovis, Ca. Please call the DA’s office as many times as humanly possible and ask them to drop the charges. Brian will begin his first day of trial at 1:30 pm 9/10/14. Vanessa Wong is the DA prosecuting the case against Brian. The phone number to her office is (559) 600-3141. Any and all support will be greatly appreciated. #NoVictimNoCrime #PhotographyIsNotACrime #CopBlock #CopWatch #Solidarity”
“Obstructing” is “Resisting” for Cop Watchers
We have all seen a youtube video where a cop demands ID, or for someone to go with them, and when they refuse the cop threatens them with resisting arrest. Even though no crime was committed beforehand… If you have not seen one of these videos click the link below.
Threatened with resisting arrest.
I FILM COPS!
I have been filming the police for around a year and a half now, and it has slowly just become apart of who I am. I was just out of the military, and dealing with the poor taste it left in my mouth. I had been Listening to the Adam VS the Man podcast, reading The Free Thought Project, and watching everything CopBlock.org was putting out. I had joined the military to serve, and well lets just say my service was more of a disservice.
The visible wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan these “Wars on Terror” were being flaunted along with 9/11 as major reasons to draft such legislation as the Patriot Act, or NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) to create such organizations as the NSA, and the TSA. While the US military eroded rights, and lowered the living conditions in the middle east, the US government was systematically removing rights, and lowering the standard of freedom in the USA.
I was drawn to activism and civil disobedience because it was an in your face act of rebellion, and when you do something like block a freeway, chalk up a police station, or take over the streets with a group of people, and the authorities just have to let you do it due the critical mass its very liberating to one’s soul. You make connections, and form bonds with each other much like in the military.
One thing I have noticed is cops don’t take kindly to an unknown person walking up and sticking a camera in their face. Luckily for me, I could care less what a cop wants. Too many times there is no objective record, and cops take advantage of people, or worse hurt them. The supreme court ruled that it is the job of police to enforce the laws, not protect people. With that in mind does it make a little more sense why there are so many victimless crimes?
Police often tell me that my presence is an obstruction of their investigation, they usually try to defend it with “I’m cool with you filming, just from over there, Officer safety, and all” or something along those lines. In reality what the cop is trying to do is place you in a position where you are less likely to capture what he is doing, and/or saying. I have been threatened with arrest for this crime known as “Obstruction of Justice” on many different occasions. I recently made the connection between resisting arrest, and Obstruction of Justice.
If I am not harming anyone, and I am filming from a distance that I deem is reasonable for both mine, and the officers safety, and if I am not engaging the officer in any unwanted dialogue how can I be obstructing justice, or interfering with his investigation? Is he claiming that my presence with a camera is somehow hindering him from doing his job? Or is he afraid of what the camera will see? Regardless the situation remains where unquestioned obedience to an authority figure, possibly a complete stranger, can and will land you in cage, even worse you can end up with a criminal record.
The same can be said with resisting arrest. As we saw in the video link above the man was eating a meal at a fast food restaurant. When the man did not want to leave his meal, and go with the officer he was threatened with arrest for resisting arrest. How can your only crime be not wanting to have an interaction with a complete stranger? Does it make sense that you can literally be arrested for refusing to go somewhere with someone who claims authority over you?
Police now can detain and arrest you for not wanting to talk to them. At the same time police can detain and arrest the people who would film these arrest’s in order create an objective record, if they do not follow the orders of a the police officer. I will now share a personal experience from 2 nights ago with the Clovis, Ca police department.
Clovis police officer, and local hero Jesus Santillon, threatened me with arrest for filming him while he detained, and later arrested a homeless man with a bicycle.
This video also may serve as an objective comparison of the behavior of cops while in certain uniforms. The officer with the tactical vest, and the military haircut was the one to make contact with me, and cry about “officer safety” in an attempt to get me to alter my position. While the police officer in his regular uniform was very patient, and kept to the matters at hand.
Notice also that even the nice cop was telling me what to do. Officer Santillan was telling me to move, the other person involved Officer Shermanti was telling me that no one threatened me, and the supervisor was telling me to keep my opinions to myself, and to do whatever complete strangers with guns tell me to. In retrospect thats actually not that bad of advice… If a complete stranger came up to me with a gun and told me what to do. I would probably do it. Unless it was a cop. Then I would probably film it.
I hope you also noticed that none of the cops really listened to me, they all just made excuses for each other, and talked at me in a manner that made me feel more like a subject to them. In other news, Officer Jesus Santillan was awarded a hero medal for 80 DUI arrests, and singlehandedly making up 21% of the DUI arrest for Clovis PD.
Stoll-Lee said Officer Jesus Santillan arrested 80 drunken drivers during the graveyard shift in 2013, which accounted for 21% of the department’s total DUI arrests. Santillan worked on DUI checkpoints, AVOID task forces and saturation patrols in Clovis.
The event, which is sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, recognizes law enforcement officers and community leaders throughout California for their efforts to stop drunken driving.”
This post was received via submissionfrom Genevieve Sazlov, who is (or was at the time of the incident described) a resident of Pahrump, a city just north of Las Vegas. She alleges that while she was pregnant members of the Pahrump police arrested her, based on claims made against her by the father of her unborn child. She further states that her own health issues at the time of the incident should have made it obvious that those claims were false. Apparent proof of that would be the fact that she was released by a supervisor at the jail without any chargers being filed.
Note: This is being posted as received with the only editing being some obvious spelling and punctuation mistakes and the insertion of paragraph breaks where appropriate. Any legal or factual claims made within the block quotes are solely attributable to Ms. Sazlov and have not been verified by anyone involved with NVCopBlock.org or CopBlock.org.
I was 5 months pregnant calling 911 for an ambulance because I had a nose bleed that went on for 6 hours the night before. The father who was on drugs at the time woke me up in the morning and told me I had to get out. Mind you he just uprooted me from a small town in Texas five days earlier with all my stuff including my animals.
He wakes me up telling me to get out I sit up from the bed and my nose starts bleeding again so I ask him to take me to the hospital, but he refuses. So, I call 911 for an ambulance. The 911 operator asks me several times if it’s a domestic dispute. I say, “NO, I need an ambulance.”
Well guess who shows up first? The fucking cops. I go outside and say, “I didn’t call the cops. I need an ambulance.” They said, “it’s coming.” Then here comes the ambulance. They are in the middle of helping me pack my nose when one cop starts asking to go thru my purse. I say yes, confused.
Then I’m surrounded by cops asking me when the last time I did cocaine. I’m fucking confused now, but not too much. Baby daddy is lying to them so I will get kicked out. They finally get a female officer to take pee from me. Again, nothing in my system. Then they say, “he says you kicked him and he’s got a mark.” I said, “no, I didn’t kick him. How could I kick him when I’m choking on blood.” They fucking arrested me!!!
I get to the jail and my nose starts bleeding again, this time I am throwing up blood. The main guy of the jail comes in and says, “Genevieve, today we didn’t arrest you. Today we are not arresting you.” The douche bag rookie who did arrest me argues with him, but the elder precedes and I’m released in an ambulance back to the hospital. I fucking hate the police state.
This post was received via submission from Jeffery Garnaas, who apparently is having some sort of dispute with his landlord. He alleges that she is filing false complaints against him with the Henderson policedepartment and that they are wrongfully interceding on her behalf. In the process, according to Mr. Garnaas, they have been illegally searching his house and seizing his property.
Note: This is being posted as received with the only editing being some obvious spelling and punctuation mistakes and the insertion of paragraph breaks where appropriate. Any legal or factual claims made within the block quotes are solely attributable to Mr. Garnaas and have not been verified by anyone involved with NVCopBlock.org orCopBlock.org.
During the week of Aug. 4- Aug. 8, the Henderson police came to my home about 10 times. During 3 of those “visits”, they used intimidation to make me remove parts from a bicycle and gave the remainder of the bike to a person who had no proof of ownership. On the second ” visit,” they searched my bedroom for a firearm that was non existent, and on the third “visit”, served me with a temporary protective order that was not in effect or yet approved by a judge, forced me to sign it, then gave me 10 minutes to gather my cat and belongings and vacate the premises.
The woman who applied for the protective order was a but (sic) who advertised room rentals on Craigslist, and committed perjury to a judge in order to evict me using a fake TPO, instead of taking the proper steps of filing an unlawful detainer with the constables office and justice court. All 3 incidents were instigated by the landlord as harassment and retaliation in order to get the renter out of her property, and the renter being myself. Henderson police responded to at least 10 calls to 911, two of them from myself after being locked out, and the rest of the calls from Tina Guitierez stating continuous lies for everything from smoking in the house to chasing her around the house with a firearm.
One call she initiated was due to a light switch being turned on, a real good use of the taxpayers money for a non emergency response to a non emergency hallucination by Tina Guitierez. The Henderson police never arrested Miss Tina for abuse of the 911 system, or trying to use police to handle her landlord/tenant problems. If it was you or I who would have acted like Miss Tina, we would have been arrested and charged. But not Miss Tina, because she is a 57 year old grandma and mentally ill. So welcome to federal district court city of Henderson, I hope you use the tax payers money wisely for your legal defense.
A new group calling themselves Cop Watchers Lake Tahoe has started up after a situation where South Lake Tahoe resident calling himself Mike “Underdogtahoe” Smith was beat up for video recording South Lake Tahoe, California police illegally crossing State lines into the Stateline, Nevada casino district using canine (“K9”) dogs to search patrons of a place called the Raw Bar near the Montblue casino.
It was Mike “Underdogtahoe” Smith’s belief that he had the right to take a video of the police officers, and we would concur.
Mike simply took some video with his Iphone camera of what he thought was an odd situation of California police basically checking people in Nevada for drugs with a dog in a bar… We concur that this would be a jurisdiction issue of California cops patrolling in Nevada and illegal search using Californaia K9 units in Nevada with no probable cause. this was not a SLEDNET operation and Douglas county is not associated with SLEDNET according to their website.
South Lake Tahoe Police (“SLTPD”) Officer Josh Adler assaulted and arrested Mike for “obstruction” even though Mike did not obstruct anything, he was simply taking a video of Adler which he had the right to do with out the harassment, arrest and illegal use of excessive force.
Mike was actually arrested by the Douglas County Sheriff and he has a court date soon. In the mean time, the DCSO has his Iphone camera and has not provided Mike with his property or the video of the entire situation.