From [HERE] and [MORE] Tashii Brown died after an officer put him in an unauthorized chokehold last year as other white cops assaulted him. His family is now suing the Las Vegas Police Department and four officers for wrongful death.On Sunday, Trinita Farmer filed a federal lawsuit against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and officers Kenneth Lopera, Travis Crumrine, Michael Tran, and Michael Flores. According to the suit, Lopera put Brown in a chokehold for over a minute on May 14, 2017, while the other officers failed to intervene.
Brown’s mom alleges wrongful death in her lawsuit and is suing for emotional damages and attorney fees. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department declined to comment on the lawsuit, according to the Review-Journal.
Last May, Brown approached police officers near The Venetian, asking where he could find the nearest water fountain, the lawsuit states. When Lopera asked Brown why he was sweating, the 40-year-old man told the officer he thought people were following him.
Brown “displayed symptoms of mental confusion and appeared to be suffering from a mental disorder,” the lawsuit states. But Mr. Farmer ran off before the officers could talk to him.
Inexplicably, the white cops began to fervently chase [hunt] after Farmer as if he had committed a crime- ordering him to stop. [Under arrest or seized for what crime at this point? Under arrest for Sweating? In order for the police to stop you the Supreme Court has ruled that police must have reasonable articulable suspicion that there is criminal activity afoot and the person detained is involved in the activity. Clearly, these rules are only intended for white people.]
During the chase Officer Lopera, who caught up to Mr. Farmer behind the hotel, said he believed Farmer was trying to carjack a pickup truck. As he ran behind him, the cop later claimed he saw Farmer try to open the tailgate and then driver’s side door of a truck parked near the rear of the property. However, the driver of the truck told detectives he did not feel like he was being carjacked and apparently did not see him try to get into his car. [MORE] and [MORE]. The video also does not appear to show Farmer touching the car. He appears to run past the vehicle. He is about 10 feet from the vehicle when the cop orders him to stop and when the first stun gunshot comes.
Lopera was trying to prevent Farmer from carrying out what he believed was a carjacking, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) statement. The video shows that this statement is inaccurate.
Farmer is then seen lying on the ground as the policeman is heard yelling “Don't move! Get on your stomach!” While the man cried out “I will,” still lying on the ground and attempting to pull the Taser probe out of his back, he was struck several more times.
During the tussle on the ground Lopera, assisted by up to three other white officers, also punched Farmer in the face and head.
“Officer Lopera told Tashii to get on his stomach several times but never gave Tashii a reasonable opportunity to comply with commands before cycling” the Taser again, according to the court papers. The officer also hit Brown in the face and head 12 times, the lawsuit states.
Lopera allegedly held Brown in a chokehold for over a minute, as other officers stood by without attempting to intervene. Officer Tran was the only cop who told his colleague to let Brown go, according to local reports.
“Is he out yet?” Lopera repeatedly asked as he strangled Brown, according to a report obtained by the Review-Journal. When Lopera let go, Brown was unconscious, the newspaper reported. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital later that night.
Since Brown’s death, police revealed that Lopera used a martial-arts-style chokehold that isn’t permitted by the department, The New York Times reported. Lopera, who retired from the department in October, was charged with multiple counts of involuntary manslaughter in July. Crumrine was demoted from sergeant to officer for his involvement, according to the Review-Journal.
The neck hold is not seen on the body camera footage, but it was better captured by the outside camera. Three people are seen assisting the officer during the attack on Farmer, who are subsequently replaced by three arriving white police officers.
He was unarmed and had committed no crime. Investigators concluded that no charges would have been filed against Brown had he survived the encounter, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said in a news conference. [MORE]
Farmer is still grappling with her son’s death.
“[She] frequently must hurry and shut the television off when a story about Tashii is broadcast,” the lawsuit states. “Finally, every Mother's Day is and will be a reminder that her son was senselessly and illegally killed by Metro and its officers.”