Prosecute the Police Officer who killed Army Veteran Stanley Gibson
Stanley Gibson, a disabled Gulf War veteran, was murdered in a Las Vegas parking lot last December 12. He was shot seven times in the back of the head, without provocation, by a stranger wielding an AR-15 rifle. The killer, 34-year-old Jesus Arevalo, remains at large and is easy to find: He’s an officer with the Las Vegas Metro Police.
Gibson was unarmed. He was not a criminal suspect and posed no threat to anybody. His killing was a clear and unmistakable case of criminal homicide. Yet Arevalo has not been charged with a crime. He is on an extended vacation called "administrative leave," during which he continues to collect his taxpayer-funded salary and benefits.
Meanwhile, Gibson’s widow, Rhonda, has been left all but penniless. Her husband was a fully disabled combat veteran of the first Gulf War who suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and cancer – the latter affliction most likely a result of prolonged exposure to depleted uranium. Over the past several years, Gibson’s disability benefits were consistently reduced and cut off entirely shortly before he was murdered by Arevalo.
The day before he was shot, Gibson – whose anti-anxiety medication had been cut off two weeks earlier by the Veterans Administration – suffered a breakdown. According to Rhonda, "He didn’t know where he was and didn’t know what he was doing."
The police were called after Stanley wound up in the front yard screaming at cars and "causing a scene." Claiming that Stanley had taken a "fighting stance," the officers arrested him for "resisting arrest" and booked him at the Las Vegas Detention Center. Although they informed Rhonda that Stanley would be placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold, he was released within eight hours.
The following morning, Gibson called 911 twice to ask for medical help. He eventually drove to a nearby hospital, but left without receiving treatment. At about 9:30 that evening he called Rhonda to tell her he was parked outside their apartment complex – but he was nowhere to be seen.
Stanley had actually pulled into the parking lot of a condominium next door. She wouldn't learn about what happened to her husband until seeing a news report of the shooting – and recognizing his white Cadillac.
Eyewitnesses recalled that Gibson drove slowly through the lot as if he was lost and confused. At the time, Arevalo and three other officers were at the condo responding to a call from a resident regarding a suspected break-in. Although they had no reason to consider Gibson as a suspect, they surrounded the vehicle and penned it in between several squad cars. Disoriented and frightened, Gibson gunned his engine and spun his wheels—but there was nowhere he could go.
For about a half hour, the officers tried to get Gibson to leave the car. During that period they should have been able to run his license plate and identify the driver. They should have recognized that they were dealing with a sick and confused man, and contacted a crisis intervention team. They should have gotten in touch with his wife, who lived less than a block away. They should have simply waited for Gibson to calm down.
The officers did none of those things. Instead, they chose to escalate the encounter by devising a plan to force him from his car: One officer would shoot out a window with a beanbag round, and another would incapacitate him with pepper spray. After the window was shattered, Officer Jesus Arevalo modified the plan by shooting Gibson seven times in the back of head with his AR-15 rifle.
Arevalo, who has a lengthy history of citizen complaints and official reprimands, was given the customary 72 hours to work out his story with the help of a police union attorney. He was then placed on paid vacation. Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie, who supervises the Metro Police, initially claimed that the shooting was justified because Gibson supposedly threatened the officers by using his car as a "battering ram" – a claim that disintegrated after the emergence of a private video documenting that Gibson’s car was stationary when Arevalo murdered him.
There is some unbearably sinister symmetry in the way Stanley Gibson was murdered by agents of the Government. As a U.S. Army cook in Kuwait, Gibson was assigned to clear away what remained of the tens of thousands of Iraqis slaughtered in the "Highway of Death."
During the First Gulf War, shortly after Saddam Hussein announced the complete withdrawal of his forces from Kuwait, U.S. and allied forces attacked a convoy headed back into Iraq.
Following airstrikes that disabled vehicles at the front and rear of the column, a prolonged assault with incendiary weapons and depleted uranium rounds was undertaken. A sixty-mile stretch of highway was left littered with the hulls of about 2,000 vehicles and the charred remnants of tens of thousands of human beings – helpless, retreating soldiers, as well as civilians who had been caught in the traffic jam.
Gibson spent several days picking through the reeking rubble and disposing of the dead. In one of the ruined vehicles he found the mortal residue of a mother and child who had been melted together when their car was struck by an incendiary bomb.
The exposure to depleted uranium rounds quite likely was responsible for the cancer that forced Gibson to undergo a half-dozen operations and left his face partially paralyzed. Immersion in the horrific aftermath of that atrocity irreparably wounded Gibson’s mind and soul. He had no way of knowing that a little more than twenty years later, armed agents of the same Government that had penned in and slaughtered the helpless Iraqis would do exactly the same thing to him in a Las Vegas parking lot.
Rhonda Gibson blames the VA for the death of her husband. Originally classified as 100 percent disabled, Gibson had seen the VA arbitrarily re-classify him, alter his diagnosis, and change his treatment regimen. Last October 24, during an appointment at the local VA office, Gibson "aggressively confronted" an agency doctor about the capricious cutbacks in his cancer treatment. He was arrested by security officers and eventually pleaded guilty to "assaulting a federal employee" – by raising his voice in frustration over the fact that the government he had served was killing him through malicious neglect.
The couple’s financial situation worsened with each of the agency’s reductions in benefits. In November 2011, the couple lost their home and moved into an apartment next to the condominium where Gibson was killed. Now that Stanley is gone, Rhonda is both emotionally devastated and financially destitute.
Righteously furious over this state of affairs, Steven Sanson, retired Marine and president of Veterans in Politics International, seeks to organize a charity fundraiser: He has challenged Arevalo – who is a former competitive amateur fighter – to a refereed mixed martial arts match, with most of the proceeds going to Gibson’s widow. Sanson hopes to hold the event on 12-12-12 – the anniversary of Stanley Gibson’s murder.
Arevalo, who was as bold as Hector when drawing a bead on the back of an unarmed man’s head, has no appetite for throwing down with someone who can actually fight back. There is no such thing as "qualified immunity" in the Octagon; Arevalo wouldn’t be able to call for backup, nor would he be able to press charges for "obstruction," "disorderly conduct," or "resisting arrest." The referee wouldn't give Arevalo special advantages, and impose restrictions on his opponent, in the name of "officer safety." If the bout went the distance, the police union wouldn't be able to influence the decision rendered by the judges.
Not surprisingly, Arevalo has made himself scarce.
"There are many reasons why I’m trying to organize this event," Sanson told Pro Libertate. "First of all, there’s a grieving wife who has been left without income of any kind and who is literally wasting away. Rhonda approves of the idea – in fact, she’d love to get in the ring with Arevalo herself, even though she’s down to less than one hundred pounds."
"Secondly, I think this would help promote awareness of the desperate need for policy and personnel changes at the Metro Police Department," Sanson continues. "It would also help focus attention on the problems suffered by many returning veterans, some of whom may appear physically healthy but who have psychological problems and deserve much better treatment than they’re getting. I also want to build public support for revamping the current policies regarding officer-involved shootings. Las Vegas has seen far too many shootings of this kind in recent years, yet the official inquiries always exonerate the shooter, no matter how absurd his story or obvious it is that it was a bad shoot."
Until two years ago, officer-involved shootings were investigated through a County Coroner Inquest, a non-adversarial procedure described by former Nevada District Court Judge Don Chairez as "a search for justification of an officer’s actions." Attorney Adam Lagomarsino refers to the County Coroner Inquest procedure as "a kangaroo court and a dog and pony show."
Lagomarsino filed a lawsuit against the Las Vegas Metro Police on behalf of the family of Lavon Cole – an unarmed man who was gunned down in his bathroom by a uniformed serial killer named Detective Bryan Yant. Cole, who had been targeted for a narcotics sting by the Metro Police, was trying to dispose of roughly an ounce of marijuana – a quantity insufficient to sustain a misdemeanor possession charge in Nevada.
The raid on Cole’s home was staged for a film crew employed by Langley Productions – the loathsome outfit responsible for the police-porn series "COPS." Playing to the camera, Yant had brought along his AR-15 rifle, which was unnecessary for an operation targeting a mild-mannered non-violent offender. After bursting into the bathroom, Yant shot Cole in the back while his pregnant girlfriend was pinned to the floor in the next room with a gun to her head.
In addition to a previous shooting under very similar circumstances, Yant had compiled a record of corruption, dishonesty, and criminal misconduct. His version of the Cole shooting – in which the victim supposedly made a "furtive" movement that left the heroic detective in "fear for my life" – was impossible to reconcile with the forensic evidence. Naturally, he was exonerated by the Coroner’s Inquest.
The inquest procedure was introduced in 1969. Between 1976 and 2010, more than two hundred lethal force incidents were examined by a seven-member jury. Only one of them was ruled "negligent" – and that decision was overturned on appeal. This isn't a surprising result, given that the inquest procedure was a collegial exercise: The D.A.'s office literally choreographed the questioning with the police department prior to the hearing.
Attorney Lagomarsino points out that no cross-examination of police officers was permitted during the inquest. "We were allowed to submit written questions, one at a time, to the prosecutor, but we couldn't cross-examine Yant" or even ask follow-up questions, he told Pro Libertate in an August 2010 interview. The prosecutors didn’t even bother to present a summation for the jury. At the conclusion of the inquest into the Trevon Cole shooting, notes former District Judge Chairez, it appeared that the judge "was almost asking for a directed verdict."
Five days before Stanley Gibson was murdered, the Clark County Commission passed an ordinance to reform the Coroner’s Inquest process by including a representative of the victim’s family and making key evidence available to the public. This prompted a protest by the city’s largest criminal lobby – the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, which instructed its members to stop cooperating with the inquests altogether. On June 21, the police union filed a petition for a writ of prohibition against the revised inquest – the most recent of several legal challenges it has filed to prevent the system from being implemented.
"This process is no longer fair to our officers," sniveled union spokesperson Chris Collins, whining that the revamped arrangement wasn’t a "fair and level playing field." Bear in mind that police officers were still immune to cross-examination, and the inquest jury was still prohibited from handing down an indictment.
The DA’s Office remains disinclined to pursue grand jury investigations of police homicides. Accordingly, the only "accountability" for Metro officers who kill while on the clock is that provided by the department’s "Force Investigation Team."
Although he is on congenial terms with Sheriff Gillespie and other key officials, Steve Sannon isn’t willing to countenance their self-serving corruption – and he says that he knows more than a few police officers who share his opinions.
"There are law enforcement officers who have expressed concerns to me about bad leadership at Metro," Sannon told Pro Libertate. "I’ve even had a few of them call me and tell me they’d love to see me in the ring with Arevalo, who’s considered a cocky jerk."
Sannon says that sponsors are lining up to promote the event. There is no institutional or legal impediment to the proposed fight. In fact, an active-duty police officer participated in the June 11 Rogue Warrior Cage Fighting Championships at the Cannery Casino, which raised money for the Stars and Stripes Foundation.
"There’s no reason why Arevalo, who was a fighter before becoming a cop, couldn’t take part in this event," Sannon observes. That is to say, there’s no reason apart from cowardice and (what’s much the same thing) a bad conscience. In any case, Sannon isn’t going to relent in his efforts to impose hands-on accountability for the murder of Stanley Gibson by calling out a police officer who is protected by a system permitting him to kill without consequences.
Reprinted with permission from Pro Libertate.
Federal investigation on corruption
For Immediate Release:
Steve Sanson Gulf War Veteran and President of Veterans In Politics (702) 283 8088
Bruno Moya Iraqi Veteran and Member of Veterans In Politics (702) 498 4660
Some citizens call for the resignation of Clark County Sheriff Douglas C. Gillespie!
Veterans In Politics International believe that Clark County Metropolitan Police Officer’s have a lack of training and no training in recognizing PTSD!
Some citizens call for the resignation of Sheriff Doug Gillespie saying there are too many officer involved shootings and this is the second military veteran to die at the hands of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officers are not trained to recognize Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Is it the policy of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to follow the lead once one officer fires a weapon? There appears to be a consistent pattern in a lack of organization and leadership when the police are faced with difficult situations. There appears to be little to no problem solving or solution focused choices as well as a lack of any clear plan or training in place.
The police officers are not the ones that should be blamed, it is the larger system at fault. Although there are a few officers that are not appropriate to be officers it is the responsibility of the leaders in the department to identify and prepare them for difficult situations they may face on the job. In addition the department should not protect the mistakes made by any officer and be able to hold them responsible for any mishap that has occurred instead of being concerned about ‘bad’ publicity. Ultimately dishonesty and poor leadership will reveal itself.
Officially, Gulf War Veteran Stanley Gibson died at the hands of Metro police officers. However the cause of Stanley Gibson's death is actually more tragic, more damning, and more shameful. The bitter truth, the dreadful irony, is that Stanley Gibson survived fighting a war abroad only to be killed at home by the callous indifference and bureaucratic ineptitude of the very institutions that purport to help veterans and to protect citizens.
On the day he was killed, Stanley Gibson had been without medication to treat his PTSD because the Veterans Administration cancelled his doctor's appointment and failed to re-fill his prescription. Before that, Metro found him disoriented and arrested him, promising his wife he would be subject to a 72-hour hold to evaluate his mental condition before being released. Yet he was released without any examination or hold. A short time later, he became disoriented trying to get home and found himself in the wrong apartment complex, where Metro was summoned. This tragic event could have been easily prevented if the department followed through.
After arriving, Metro officers found him alone and bewildered, unarmed sitting in his car. They blocked his car with their cruisers, surrounded him, and shot him to death. And like any institution unburdened by accountability, Metro confidently stated that the officers' actions were justified, indicating that Gibson had rammed a police cruiser and officers fired in self-defense. When video of the incident was released showing this never happened, Metro retracted, slightly, by indicating the investigation was ongoing.
The hope of course is that the killing of Gulf War Veteran Stanley Gibson will have some meaning and that the community's collective cries of outrage will finally spark meaningful change in two regards: First, a long-overdue federal investigation of Metro's use of force policies. And second, that a brief hush will fall over the ineffectual bickering and pandering in Washington long enough for our elected officials to hear the silent suffering of our best and brightest, our veterans. If this happens, if Stanley Gibson's passing can make our community and our country more fair, more humane, more noble -- in short, more American -- then Stanley Gibson's death will be patriotic, as his life was.
For More Information Go To:
Steve Sanson President of Veterans In Politics International 702 283 8088
Karen Steelmon Auxiliary Director for Veterans In Politics International 702 238 5134
Elected Officials need to Lead, Follow, or get out of the way!
Veterans In Politics International are confused on how the Henderson Police Chief Jutta Chambers is asked to resign but the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Douglas Gillespie remains in office!
Las Vegas, Nevada Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had 12 police fatalities against our civilian population in 2011 alone. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is ranked third in police shootings below Los Angeles and New York City and they have nine times the population of Las Vegas.
There has been some very high profile shootings Erick Scott an Army Officer Veteran shot dead by seven hollow point .45 rounds in front of his girlfriend in the day light hours at Cosco in Summerlin, after he received several conflicting commands from officers on the scene. Scott had a counseled weapons permit (CCW) and his weapon was in its holster while he bleed to death on the pavement and all video of this incident from the security camera is nowhere to be found.
Trevon Cole a football line backer for the University of Las Vegas Nevada shot dead in the face while he was leaning over a toilet unarmed in front of his pregnant wife. The Officer Bryan Yant executed Cole. Officer Yant falsified information to receive a search warrant, falsified a police report of the events of the shooting that was not consistent with the Coroner’s Report and the reports of the other officers that were on the scene.
We invited Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Douglas Gillespie to be on our radio show; Veterans In Politics Talk Show on KLAV and VANR after asking for Gillespie’s resignation in December by Press Release and on several news radio and television news shows. Sheriff Gillespie appeared on our talk show on January 28, 2012 in full uniform with his Under Sheriff James Dixon by his side. We found this to be unusual because Sheriff Gillespie appeared on our show on three separate occasions before this day by himself in civilian attire.
When Sheriff Gillespie was asked why Officer Yant has not been charged with murder. We were told that Yant is assigned to a desk and is still allowed to carry a weapon and still being paid by tax payer’s dollars. Gillespie added that the Corners Inquest found Yant justifiable of the shootings so no further investigation is needed. This was also the same time frame former District Attorney David Roger was negotiating for a job with the Police Protective Association (PPA) with Executive Director Chris Collins while investigating police shootings by metropolitan police officers. In addition, the family of Cole was recently awarded $1.7 million dollars in a federal wrongful death lawsuit of the shooting against the actions of Officer Yant and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Veterans IN Politics filed an Ethics Complaint against former District Attorney David Roger in January and recently received a response from the Ethics Commission requesting that further evidence was needed. Veterans In Politics forward additional evidence and requested that the complaint be investigated by a panel of commissioners in pursuant to NAC 281A-405 (A).
That leads us into Stanley Gibson an Army Gulf War Veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Sheriff Gillespie first reported to the public that Gibson was using his vehicle as a weapon to ram police cruisers and after 29 minutes of negotiations has failed officers had to defend them-selves and shot Gibson dead to the rear of the head with an AR 15 a military style M16 Machine Gun while he was sitting in his car. After the video of the event was aired on the media it was discovered that Gibson was pinned by several unoccupied police cruisers, he was unarmed, and his tires was spinning indicating that he had nowhere to go. The officers on the scene decided to use un-lethal ways of obtaining Gibson, but Officer Jesus Arevalo decided to fire seven rounds with an AR15 striking and killing Gibson instantly to the rear of the head. It was then stated by several officers on the scene that Officer Arevelo knew the plan to take Gibson alive. Now Officer Arevelo sits at home on paid administrative leave by our tax dollars. This incident has caused the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to request a federal investigation against police shootings by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
The Coroner Inquest has 17 cases that has not had a hearing and we were told the Sheriff Gillespie is holding up the procedures.
Then we had several police accidents one that comes to mind is Officer James Manor no lights, no sirens, no seatbelt, traveling at excessive speeds. All goes against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Policies and Procedures. Officer Manor hit Calvin Darling who pulled his pickup truck in front of Manor and Sheriff Gillespie first reported that Darling was a drunk driver that caused the death of Officer Manor. It was later reported that Darling was not drunk.
In 2010 while Sheriff Gillespie was going through his re-election campaign against Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Laurie Bisch. We interviewed Gillespie on KLAV “Eye on Nevada Radio Show”; I instructed Sheriff Gillespie that I was told by several Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers that there were two separate incidents of Domestic Violence calls to the Sheriffs home address and Gillespie told the arriving officers that they cannot arrest him. This is a correct statement there is only three people according to the Nevada Revised Statue that can arrest the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff; they are the Nevada State Attorney General, the Clark County District Attorney, and the Clark County Coroner.
With that said I was also told that Sheriff Gillespie removed the domestic violence calls to his home off of the police scope. When I asked Gillespie about this incident on air he told me that it didn’t happened, but off the air he told me that it did.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has its police officers by their own armor. Maybe if they stop paying out law suits they could afford to better equipped their police officers without them having to go into their own pockets to protect themselves. Gillespie indicates that his officers receive a clothing allowance but that allowance is for the dry-cleaning of their uniforms only.
Sheriff Gillespie indicated on our radio program that leadership starts at the top, that he is electable, will continue to be the Sheriff in a re-election, and will not step down. There has been many accidents caused by Police Officers that had internal reprimand for driving and still allowed to drive a cruiser, there has been Police Officers that had internal reprimand and were moved to other sub-commands such as the sub-command on West Cheyenne and the 215.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is losing their senior officers at an enormous rate, officers on the job is looking at the calendar and counting down the days before their retirement.
It’s apparent that this Sheriff has lacked the leadership, training, moral, respect, and the counter ability that is needed to sustain a competent police force that our citizenship can believe in.
Should we as a community allow the current establishment to remain in power? Are money and a recognizable name all is needed to keep someone in power even though our hearts say different?
The Henderson Police Chief is an appointed position she had one police beating caught on tape by one of her police officers and her city is asking for her resignation, but The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff an elected position had several killings, and numerous violation of police conduct by his officers and it’s unfortunate that the only group that publicly asked for the Sheriffs resignation is the Veterans In Politics International.
Some Elected Officials are intimidated and worried about their re-election and refuses to stand up for what’s right.
The Veterans In Politics International is requesting that everyone contact their elected officials and request the resignation of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Douglas C. Gillespie.
Part of the Veterans In Politics International mission statement indicates “that in a culture of corruption to be the political voice in other groups that do not have one”. We are doing this because of the good police officers that’s on the job and risk their lives for us every day that do not have a voice within their own police department.
For More Information and to listen to the Radio Interview of Sheriff Gillespie go to:
For Immediate Release:
Steve Sanson President of Veterans In Politics International 702 283 8088
Karen Steelmon Auxiliary Director for Nevada Chapter Veterans In Politics 702-238-5134
The Veterans In Politics International filed an Ethics Complaint against former Clark County District Attorney David Roger
Roger has violated the public’s trust
Clark County Nevada, There has been dozens of police shootings by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers. There have been 12 fatal shootings by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers in 2011.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office investigates officer involved shootings and they also provide evidence to the Coroner’s Inquest procedures.
The Clark County District Attorney David Roger has been involved in negotiations with the Police Protective Association (PPA) for months to be their General Counsel, while his office investigates police involved shootings. To spell it out as a District Attorney one of the responsibilities is to investigate police shootings and now David Roger is taking a job that is directly opposite of this. This alludes to the idea that unethical practices have been in place throughout.
Roger announced his resignation on November 1, 2011 sighting family was the reason and indicated he had an offer from the PPA. Roger officially resigned on January 3, 2012 and on January 5, 2012 he accepted the position of General Counsel for the PPA.
Roger has violated the public trust and has broken the following Nevada Revised Statues:
NRS 281A.020 Legislative findings and declarations.
1. It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this State that:
(a) A public office is a public trust and shall be held for the sole benefit of the people.
(b) A public officer or employee must commit himself or herself to avoid conflicts between the private interests of the public officer or employee and those of the general public whom the public officer or employee serves.
2. The Legislature finds and declares that:
(a) The increasing complexity of state and local government, more and more closely related to private life and enterprise, enlarges the potentiality for conflict of interests.
(b) To enhance the people’s faith in the integrity and impartiality of public officers and employees, adequate guidelines are required to show the appropriate separation between the roles of persons who are both public servants and private citizens.
NRS 281A.170 “Willful violation” defined. “Willful violation” means a violation where the public officer or employee:
1. Acted intentionally and knowingly; or
2. Was in a situation where this chapter imposed a duty to act and the public officer or employee intentionally and knowingly failed to act in the manner required by this chapter.
There is a major conflict of interest on the part of David Roger investigating police shootings and negotiating for a job as their General Counsel.
For More Information go to: