Local News


Vegas police, NAACP hold discussion on issues

Posted at 7:15 PM, Jan 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-17 13:38:10-05

A meeting between Las Vegas police and the local chapter of the NAACP got intense on Saturday.
The NAACP called for the meeting in response to all of the officer-involved shootings that have been happening nationwide.
"The last thing we need is a Ferguson on our hands,” said Officer Dwain Thacker. “So this is why we're doing this."
The event began as a meeting of the minds, but quickly turned into a meeting of the hearts.

"We have to come to a resolution and control this before it gets out of hand," said Thacker. “Before more lives are lost."
NAACP leaders believe the tension between the police and minorities has only intensified since the death of Michael Brown in 2014 who was shot and killed by a Ferguson officer. They say the tension is rooted in fear that can only be reversed by meaningful dialogue.  
"We want to make you aware of the some of the challenges that are happening in our communities,” said NAACP Vice President Ron Thomas.
Leaders referenced local instances like the death of Keith Childress who was shot and killed on New Year's Eve by police officers who thought the cell phone he was holding was a gun.
The general public also brought up the incident involving a Clark County School District police officer pepper spraying students at Eldorado High School on Friday.
District trustee Kevin Child defended the officer. He says the officer was apprehending a trespasser when a crowd gathered and became unmanageable.

A member of the public alleged that school administrators tried to force the student to delete the video of the incident, wondering why they would want the video deleted if the officer did nothing wrong.

Another member of the public asked officer Thacker to explain the death of Laquan McDonald who was shot 17 times by a Chicago police officer, questioning why the officer fired so many shots.
Thacker said, “You gotta to take every person as an individual. Just because you have an experience with one cop that's bad, doesn't mean you're going to have a bad experience with next one."
Officers encouraged the public to utilize the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's new Community Engagement Unit, which offers several programs for local youth.