UPDATE NOV. 30: A press conference was held Thursday afternoon to discuss incident involving police training taking place during a Black Lives Matter event on the campus of UNLV on Wednesday. Students said during the press conference that they asked for an apology from the North Las Vegas Police Department but the department said they have nothing to apologize for.
WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE
Were cops trying to send a message or was it just a big misunderstanding?
North Las Vegas police and UNLV students with Black Lives Matter on Tuesday night were briefly locked in some tense moments. It happened just after 8 p.m. at the student union courtyard. UNLV’s black lives matter group had just wrapped up a poetry reading. At the same time, police from North Las Vegas showed up on motorcycles and weave their way in around the tables. Students say they felt threatened.
Chapter president Micajah Daniels said things grew tense. “We saw the police officers there doing circles, staring at us,” Daniels said. “For them to be staring at us the way they were, revving their engines and going through a space that was ours, that it very intimidating.”
The group, organized to call out police misconduct, wondered why cops showed up right then and there. “They didn’t say anything to us, they just came and took over our space as it was theirs.” Daniels said.
UNLV President Len Jessup sent out a letter, saying that North Las Vegas police entered campus “without notifying” the university and that the officers’ actions were “unacceptable.” Jessup is asking for an “apology.”
North Las Vegas police insisted they were just on campus to train new motorcycle officers. “It is never our intent to offend or to intimidate anybody,” said Ofc. Aaron Patty, a spokesman for North Las Vegas police. “The instructors wanted to put the student in a situation where they could maneuver challenging spots at a very low speed.”
Patty said the incident was just an unfortunate coincidence, sparked by miscommunication. “We should have had better communication with the campus prior to our officers going down there and conducting this training,” Patty said. When asked if police would apologize, Patty said that would be a matter for the department’s chief to address.