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UPDATE: Civil rights activists meeting with LVMPD after Tashii Farmer death goes national

Posted at 8:14 AM, May 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 19:57:42-04

UPDATE MAY 19: Several civil rights activists are flying into Las Vegas to meet with the LVMPD to speak about the death of Tashii Farmer at the hands of a police officer.


LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officials are investigating the death of a man following a foot chase early Sunday morning.

According to police, uniformed officers were attempting to conduct a stop with the man inside the Venetian hotel-casino, who was reportedly acting erratic and stated people were "chasing him." He took off running into a secured area after officers tried to speak with him, initiating pursuit around 12:56 a.m.

Officials say that, as they caught up to him, the suspect attempted to enter a citizen's pickup truck and they were forced to use a Taser on him. 

Initial information indicated that the man was placed in a Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint (LVNR) after continuing to resist arrest. The LVNR requires officers to apply pressure to the side of a subject's neck to overcome resistance and allow safe control. 

However, investigators say that an officer, later identified as Kenneth Lopera, may have applied a rear naked choke to Farmer. The technique is not approved by Las Vegas police.

"The rear naked choke is not a technique taught by or approved by the LVMPD," said Undersheriff Kevin McMahill. 

The suspect lost consciousness and was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 1:39 a.m. 

The Clark County coroner has identified him as 40-year-old Tashii Farmer of Las Vegas. His cause of death is still pending.

LVMPD Officials revealed body camera footage and surveillance footage of the incident at a press conference on Wednesday.

"I have an ask of you and the community as I stand in front of you today and I'm asking for your calm and your patient," Undersheriff McMahill said. 

The entire media briefing is available below. WARNING: Video contains graphic language and violence.

The Office of Internal Oversight and Constitutional Policing is investigating the man's death. Anyone with information is urged to contact the LVMPD Force Investigation Section at 702-828-8452. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.