It appears to show how black and white people are treated differently under legal open carry laws. However, the WCSO and the Sun Valley man say there’s more to the video.
The You Tube user, who never contacted the people involved in the Sun Valley video, says he put these two experiment videos together to highlight racial discrimination. It’s been viewed some 25 million times on different websites.
News 4 dug deeper. The first video, with the white man, was from Albany, Oregon. The second video was shot in Sun Valley, Nevada on August 27, 2013.
According to an incident report obtained by News 4, an unknown female witness flagged down the deputy in a parking lot, saying a white man was waving around an A-R type of weapon.
Bob Harmon, WCSO Public Information officer, says that’s the information the deputy had before the video starts recording.
“There was only one factor behind the way this deputy responded and that was the safety of the community,” Harmon says, “”It’s not about an open carry response, this was about a possible brandishing response, which is against the law. So, that is why the deputy acted the way he did.”
The report also shows that the man was kept in a secure position and given his weapon back in a safe position within 10 minutes.
News 4 tracked down the man in the video, Gabriel Nobles. He says the longer video on his You Tube page proves he did nothing wrong.
“I never brandished a weapon in my life. I’m a respectable gun owner,” he says.
Nobles, who identifies as Hispanic and Filipino, considers himself an open carry activist. He’s shot other video with local law enforcement to educate others on open carry law, he says it was not originally about race,
“I’m not looking to become the next hashtag and be shot dead. I’m not looking for to that,” he explains.
He says after being stopped illegally once, he wanted to shoot an educational video in Sun Valley and thought he’d get a talking to. Instead, he got a gun pointed at him. Now, as the new racial videos goes viral, he thinks his skin color did play a factor. He also questions the existence of the witness who reported him.
“Honestly, feel that the story is fabricated. All respect to police department, all they do for us, they keep us safe, yes they do, but police are known to lie,” he explains.
Harmon says it’s unfortunate the edited video is pushing a racial narrative, but maintains the deputy did the right thing under the circumstances,
“As far as this sheriff’s office is concerned, we’re proud of what we do, we’re proud of the way we interact with the community.”
Unrelated to the viral video, the student union at the University of Nevada is hosting a barbecue and symposium on race tomorrow night with local law enforcement agencies and faith-based groups. Reno Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, UNR PD, Sparks PD, Nevada Highway Patrol, and the Washoe County School Police will join the event. It is meant to be an open dialog about how stereotypes and bias can impact community interactions with police.
A free pre-event BBQ on the third floor veranda of the Joe Crowley Building starting at 5:00 pm will start the event and will be hosted and funded by the ASUN until 5:45p.m. The BBQ is open to everyone in the community who wishes to attend.
After the BBQ, the symposium will start at 6:00pm and go until 9:00pm in the Joe Crowley Student Union Theater where there will be free admission, free parking, and free daycare provided for those members of the community who wish to participate. This is the 2nd Symposium on Race held in the area since it was initially created by Dr. Norris Dupree with the Reno Police Department.
The uploader of the video says it depicts how races are treated differently by law enforcement when it comes to open carry law.
As always, there are multiple sides of the story that need to be told. Reporter Van Tieu has the full story — including the police report, interviews with law enforcement, and an interview with the Sun Valley man depicted in the video — tonight at 5 p.m.