Monday, March 5, 2012

When Will Justice Be Served?

I have to give Patrick Coolican credit for this: He's making quite the effort to ensure that the brutal beating of Adam Greene by Henderson PD Sergeant Brett Seekatz doesn't quickly fade from our memories. In fact, he's taking issue with new Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson and his decision not to prosecute Seekatz for kicking Greene in the head in 2010 while Greene was experiencing diabetic shock.

It turns out, [Adam Greene] was innocent and suffering a diabetic episode, and the ugly incident cost the city of Henderson more than $250,000 in a settlement with the man and his wife.

Wolfson decided not to prosecute. I don’t envy him, having to make a tough call less than two weeks into a new job.

But his decision will further erode the community’s already flagging confidence in police agencies while stoking a long-held belief that there are two sets of rules, one for police officers who kick people in the head and another for the rest of us. [...]

Wolfson told Ralston he consulted with “senior lawyers” in the office to make his decision. Let’s not forget, these senior lawyers all recently worked for Wolfson’s predecessor as district attorney, David Roger, who is now the attorney for the Las Vegas Police Protective Association. That’s the police union.

Anyway, just because juries haven’t convicted police officers accused of police brutality, does that mean we’ll never bring charges against an officer ever again? What message does that send?

Also, unlike the other cases, this has video evidence.

Wolfson said he could prove the kicking in the head but not criminal intent. Apparently sometimes there are perfectly valid and legal reasons to kick someone in the head. I learn something new every day.

By the way, here's what Coolican is talking about. Jon Ralston put Wolfson on the hot seat last Thursday.

Wolfson said he initially did a poor job of explaining why he's not prosecuting. He initially claimed statute of limitations (too much time had passed to file charges), but that turned out to only apply to misdemeanor charges that could have applied here. Ralston then asked why he didn't file felony charges, and Wolfson claimed that he believes there isn't a strong enough case to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Seekatz committed a felony level crime.

Wolfson told Ralston that he will prosecute future cases of police brutality. For many, that's not enough. Steve Sebelius wrote a scathing R-J column on this yesterday, and even the Clark County Commission may be having second thoughts on appointing Wolfson as the new DA.

Apparently, Seekatz has a history of complaints from the community. What happens if we see him kick another innocent driver in the head? And what will happen to the other infamous cases of police brutality across Clark County? Will the families of Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, Stanley Gibson, and Deshira Selimaj ever see justice served?

And what happens to our communities? What happens to our relationship with our local police? What happens to our relationship with our local government? Has Steve Wolfson really thought about the message he's sending by not prosecuting Brett Seekatz? And are the Clark County Commission and Henderson City Council ready to make a real effort to curb police brutality and restore public trust in law enforcement?

1 comment:

  1. I'm just curious if the public realizes that the reason it all took so long to come out, is because the video was suppressed. Another name for hidden! The other things that the public wasn't told is that after beating Mr. Greene ( keep in mind he still hasn't been treated for the diabetic shock) they call medical, but then they leave him by himself, beaten and still in shock. So if the beating was a mistake, leaving him in that condition was deliberate! Medical comes and treats him then they leave him to drive himself to the hospital! So I'm just wondering what has to happen to you to get help in Henderson, Nevada? As far as not prosecuting Brett Seekatz, now the sting is even greater! Now you've opened the wound and poured gasoline in it!!! Mr. D.A. don't you know that not taking a stand against the behavior, you rest in agreement with behavior. There is no fence sitting! What happened to the part of your job of protecting the people, especially those who can't protect themselves? In office just a few weeks and already you have forgotten why your there. Strap in a set, even if their borrowed, do the right thing!