Saturday, October 21, 2006

Law Enforcement Abuses on the Poor

Due to the most recent SHOOTING of a homeless person because he was throwing rocks at a female city marshal and a Nevada Highway Patrol person, I thought I would like to post something that I witnessed. Seems only right. I don't think that I should keep it to myself anymore.

Tues., July 3, 2006 I had a planned meeting with a wonderful woman (who shall remain nameless in this blog) for 3:45 pm. She was concerned about a homeless man that she had met. She made arrangements to meet with him at McDonald's on S. Las Vegas Blvd. to see if we could offer him any assistance.

This day, I decided to drop off some food at the two parks before my meeting. Out of convenience for myself, I dropped off some food at Circle Park first and then headed over to Baker Park. As I was driving east on E. Saint Louis, I saw a marshal's car drive into the Baker Park parking lot. Even though there are usually under 20 people at this park at one time, I didn't want any unnecessary confrontation with the marshal. I figured the marshal was just doing his/her usual check in on the park. So I drove past the park and then turned around and headed back to the park.

When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw the marshal under the canopy talking with a couple of homeless folks. I decided to go over (without the food) to legally observe.

Woman marshal's license plate number: 45997

Male marshal's license plate number: 46855

At one table there were two white homeless (or needy) men. At the next table was a Hispanic man with a young girl about 7-8 years old. Standing away from the tables was another white homeless (or needy) man.

The white, female marshal (with blond hair tied back and up) was talking with "Hessie" and "Salinas" and at the same time she was writing notes in her little notebook.

I nodded hello to the marshal and said, "Marshal" and then I asked her what time the park opens now with school not in session. (I was trying to find out why she was there.) She told me 7 am but some days it might be later because a daycare uses the school. She said I would have to call and ask the city. I thanked her.

Both Hessie and Salinas look like they are "of color". I stood about 4-5 feet away from Hessie and the same distance from the marshal. I asked Hessie, "what did you do?" Hessie said, "I didn't do anything."

The marshal screamed, "Just shut your big fucking mouth or you are going to jail! Two city employees said they saw you chasing a man with a shopping cart."

As soon as the marshal started using the F word, the two white men got up from the table and walked away about 20 feet and sat down on the ground.

The marshal then said, "See, even they do not want to be around you!"

Hessie asked her, "Does that make you feel good talking that way?" She responded, "You've got a big fucking mouth."

She then got on her radio and called for "back-up".

Then she asked him for his social security number. He got through the first five numbers and had a hard time with the rest. He said to her, "You have it right there in your hand." She yelled again, "You've given me four fucking different numbers. What's your social security number?" So Hessie pulled out his wallet and took out a piece of paper with his social security number on it and told her the number.

Then the marshal asked if he had been drinking. Hessie said he didn't drink. There were two open beer cans on the bench. The marshal said, "Well, I don't really know if there is any law against drinking in this park so I won't cite you for that. But I am going to tell you that you must leave the park now."

Then she asked, "What are you doing in this park anyway?" Hessie said, "Im just here waiting for my mama to bring me some food. I have no warrants or felonies. I am an officer and was in Afghanistan for 10 years." She told him, "Just leave the park now."

I walked with Hessie and Salinas to the parking lot. And then a second male marshal pulled in. The other homeless/needy came to my car and took the food and water from me to take to the picnic tables. Hessie and Salinas left. I stayed a few minutes longer, and then left.

Here are my questions and comments. I was very disturbed by the marshal's verbal abuse. Her language and yelling was definitely, in my opinion, a "crime against the public peace." NRS 203.010 The whole time I observed, Hessy was more respectful than the marshal. I do not know if this is the usual and accepted behavior for on duty city marshals. But, in my humble opinion, this marshal's conduct was very unprofessional.

Does she have the right to freedom of speech? Yes, I feel that she does. But, ya know, my friend (who shall remain nameless in this blog) did NOT have that same right to freedom of speech when she was arrested for disturbing the peace for cussing at a law enforcement officer.

AND she was found guilty after a trial with Judge Toy Gregory. The officer who focused in on her and arrested her for disturbing the peace was not even in the court room during trial. And his partner officer answered the majority of the questions by the defendant's lawyer with: "I don't recall" and "I don't know."

Guilty by intimidation. And unfair, in my humble opinion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hoe you send these exeriences
to other rather than just on ur site. I just received an e mailfrom Linda Lera-Randle El in reply to my e mail to many we need more
citizen power. Linda's first pararaphs were: It seems to me that most of the areas of concern are already represented at the Meetings help at The Govenment Center by the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Commission's Coalition on Homelessness.
Therefore that would be the place to go Gail and publically speak on the issue you just presented on your web site.
Hope to see you there.
Carol Beinhorn