The video accompanying this post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Solomon Galloway, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. It shows his arrest in February of this year by members of a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department “saturation team.”
The video was posted to the YouTube channel of his attorney Stephen Stubbs and includes a verbal description of the incident by Stubbs, interspersed within footage of the actual arrest and the officers’ actions afterward.
In addition, posted with the video was this description on Youtube:
On February 28, 2016, LVMPD decided to do a saturated patrol in a poor, black, Las Vegas neighborhood. Their purpose was to do “proactive stops” there (per Lieutenant Connell).
Mr. Galloway, the suspect in this case, knew more about the law than all of these police officers. There was no reasonable suspicion that Mr. Galloway was involved in criminal activity, and thus Mr. Galloway had no duty to identify himself. Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004). The driver was pulled over for speeding, not the passenger. No reasonable suspicion for the passenger.
Then, LVMPD tried to conjure up a marijuana charge, and even arrest him to strip search him.
Not knowing that they were being recorded, LVMPD admitted that they didn’t actually smell the weed, and one officer even told another officer : “Well, yeah, do what you gotta do, because we gotta find somethin.”
Date of Incident: February 28, 2016
Officers Involved: Officer Legraves, Officer Unrich, Lt. Connell – also several additional unidentified officers
Department Involved: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Contact Phone Number: (702) 828-3111
Internal Affairs Bureau: (702) 828-3422
Facebook Page: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Twitter Account: @LVMPD
LVMPD on Yelp Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Give ’em a Review)
LVMPD Mailing Address: 400 South MLK Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. 89106
I’ve personally written several times already about the LVMPD’s saturation teams and the many problems with them, both from a Constitutional standpoint and well beyond that. What they do is descend upon certain neighborhoods and harass the residents of that area by finding any vague and arbitrary reason to stop whoever is unlucky enough to cross their path during the duration of that organized campaign of harassment.
Things as trivial as “jaywalking” or riding a bike without reflectors within a residential neighborhood becomes a pretense for them to detain and investigate or possibly search someone. Essentially, they are just playing the odds that if they stop enough random people within certain neighborhoods they will catch enough people with warrants or in possession of drugs to justify their efforts.
Meanwhile, even in what is considered “high crime areas” it is only a very small percentage of people living there that actually commit crimes. Even in that respect, the vast majority of those “criminals” are only guilty of non-violent, victimless crimes such as drug possession. The effective result is that anyone living within the targeted neighborhoods ends up being harassed and bullied based on the actions of a very small group of people.
The thing that should not be surprising at all is that the targets for these saturation patrols are invariably neighborhoods inhabited by minorities and poor people. In fact, the LVMPD has explicitly stated that they won’t carry out these sort of attacks in Summerlin, which is a wealthier suburb of Las Vegas.
I generally make a point of questioning cops about saturation patrols whenever I and other members of Nevada Cop Block crash the silly PR events such as “Coffee With a Cop” that the police use to pretend they are a part of the community or when they throw (poorly attended)“officer appreciation” rallies for themselves. Their usual justification is that they only harass those who “don’t belong” in those neighborhoods. Take a wild guess who gets to decide whether someone belongs within a neighborhood.
This video and the accompanying narration are a prime example of why saturation patrols are both unconstitutional and immoral. From a Constitutional standpoint, as Stephen Stubbs points out in the video, they never had probable cause to so much as detain Mr. Galloway, let alone arrest him. Obviously, that means everything they did on that video, including pulling him from the car, physically assaulting him during the arrest, they arrest itself (AKA kidnapping), and searching the car afterwards were illegal.
The lack of morals they display in trying to justify those acts is even more apparent. Since they don’t realize at the time that they are being recorded during their illegal search, these Good Cops come right out and say several times that they “gotta find somethin” (i.e. any excuse) to justify the illegal acts they had already subjected Mr. Galloway to.
In spite of every vile effort on their part to do so, they found absolutely nothing that could be twisted into a reason to carry out their attack on him. So, the next logical step (in a cop’s twisted little mind) would be to arrest Mr. Galloway and subject him to a strip search that would be properly characterized as a sexual assault if anyone not wearing a Police Officer’s Magical Uniform were to do it. After which they still hadn’t found anything illegal.
And that in and of itself is the biggest threat created by tactics such as saturation patrols. In spite of the supposed intent and carefully worded rationalizations, the very real truth is that perfectly innocent and upstanding people end up being abused because the biased predators swarming their chosen neighborhoods decide arbitrarily that they might not belong there. Then for equally arbitrary reasons, such as them knowing and valuing their rights or just not properly respecting their authoritah, they start looking for somethin’ to justify locking up and ruining the lives of those innocent people.
Fortunately for Mr. Galloway, he had the foresight and wisdom to film the police and catch them in the act this time.