Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Las Vegas Police Officer could be charged in killing

According to Fox Five Las Vegas,  Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson  is considering pressing charges against Las Vegas Police Officer, Jesus Arevalo (the full article is available here).  Officer Arevalo shot and killed Stanley Gibson, a U.S. Army Veteran of the Gulf War, ten months ago following a traffic stop.  According to Wolfson, Officer Arevalo shot Mr. Gibson in the back of the head seven times with his AR-15 rifle.    The article notes that an internal investigation cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.  However, the article also points to the fact that no internal investigation has ever found an officer guilty of wrongdoing following a shooting.  The Las Vegas Police Protective Association  (LVPPA) is standing by Officer Arevalo and is adamant that he will be cleared when a video of the incident is shown to the public.  Ironically, the LVPPA's general counsel is former Clark County District Attorney, David Roger (see LVPPA's website here).  Consequently, this case could put the former DA  (who resigned his position last year) up against the current DA.  

Nobody doubts that law enforcement officers have one of the most difficult jobs in our community.  They are often the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency and routinely risk their lives for the sake of others.  Nevertheless, each year law enforcement officers shoot and kill dozens of citizens following routine traffic stops and domestic disputes.  While many of these shootings are deemed justifiable, some of the killings simply cannot be justified based upon the circumstances.  Part of the reason for these incidents is the greater interaction between law enforcement and citizens.  Law enforcement agencies in America have morphed from what were once small community oriented agencies into what are essentially paramilitary organizations equipped with military grade weapons and aircraft.  The increasing size and sophistication  of law enforcement agencies coupled with the war on drugs (and the war on terror) has caused police/citizen confrontations to skyrocket.  During the past few decades law enforcement control has creeped in to virtually every aspect of our lives.  Irrespective of the societal changes of the past century, the United States Constitution guarantees citizens the right due process of law before being denied the right to life, liberty or property.  Unjustified officer shootings are the ultimate denial of our rights by the state.

In addition to the death of the individual, unjustified killings by law enforcement can give rise to criminal penalties for the officers involved and civil liabilities from lawsuits brought on behalf of the victims.  Victims of law enforcement misconduct need competent legal representation.  If you have been charged with a crime or if you or a loved one has been a victim of police misconduct, the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are ready to fight for your rights.  Our attorneys are licensed to practice before all Nevada state and federal courts.  We serve clients from all socioeconomic segments of our community and we will fight the charges with everything in our power to make sure that your rights are protected.  Our rates are reasonable and the firm is willing to negotiate a payment plan if necessary.  If you are facing criminal charges, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation.  You may contact the firm at info@connorpllc.com, (702) 430-4614, (702) 749-5992 or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm's page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.

1 comment:

  1. It should be interesting to see how this case proceeds. At some time in LAs Vegas' history a shooting by a police officer will have to be called into question.