Metropolitan Police Department administration’s business — and its
officers’ actions — as transparent as possible is nothing but a joke
that has become an insult to the intelligence of anyone in the
Many believe that the massive resignation of members of the Use of
Force Board is nothing but a political strategy manipulated by the
Sheriff and his political advisers.
For a long time, the name of Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody has been
circulated as the “chosen one” to replace Sheriff Doug Gillespie; he
and Joe Lombardo have been appearing for a while on the same radio
shows on which the Sheriff has routinely appeared on a monthly
schedule, with the excuse that the Sheriff is “out of town,” “in
Washington, DC,” or “tied up in police work,” when in reality
Gillespie has not done any “police work” for at least the last fifteen
years — or as long as he has been assigned to various police
Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody — who shared the Chair of the Use of Force
Board with the second member to resign, Robert Martinez — was the
first one to resign. He tried to be identified with the rest of the
Board members but managed to keep his name out of the press until he
announced his candidacy to the position his friend, Gillespie, holds
presently and is hopefully saving for him.
The daily newspaper and the local television stations have been very
instrumental in helping Sheriff Doug Gillespie in his endeavor by
giving great coverage to the resignation of less than one half of the
The whole issue is about a police officer who shot an unarmed man in
the leg and was not fired despite the board’s recommendation.
In the meantime, Sheriff Gillespie, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Department and fourteen of the most important members of his
administration are battling a federal lawsuit filed by Detective
Gordon Martines, an active member of the police department and a
32-year veteran detective with the robbery and homicide section, and
the daily newspaper and local television stations are ignoring that to
report on the weather and the traffic in Las Vegas.
The media is missing the fact, or just ignoring it, that Detective
Martines is not a disgruntled employee speaking out after being
terminated; he is an active member of the department on sick leave.
The Las Vegas Tribune has learned that during the deposition of
correction officer Greg Naglich — Detective Martines’s former
supervisor — Sergeant Tom Melton AKA James Melton, had been exposed
as a racist and a discriminatory supervisor in the department; one who
has used the “N” word while referring to black suspects or police
officers. Sergeant Melton was promoted to lieutenant after the
Martines controversy; yet in one deposition, he referred to Mexicans
in derogatory ways and referred to Detective Martines as a “dinosaur”
during a former correctional officer deposition in the federal
lawsuit, explicitly showing age discrimination.
Many people are wondering where the board and the media were when
Officer Brian Yant murdered a naked and unarmed black man in his
bathroom and was not fired. The fact is, he is still an officer —
perhaps patrolling the streets of Las Vegas — and no one says a word
about it; no one complained and no one resigned. Yant also lied to his
superiors, committed perjury and misled a judge in order to obtain a
search warrant, but was not fired and was not recommended by any board
to be fired.
The Use of Force Board was created after an investigation by federal
authorities on the amount of police-involved shootings by the local
Transparency at Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department seems to be a
myth and the more they try to enforce damage control, the more it
shows their political game and campaign strategy in action.
The sixth member of the Use of Force Board that tried to resign was
only notified verbally that “you might not be reappointed again,” but
was not officially thanked for his participation in the board and for
being part of Sheriff Gillespie’s game of transparency — because Metro
had misplaced his Email address.
Former New Jersey Sheriff Robert Le Piere refuted Metro’s spokesperson
Bill Cassel’s statement to the media that he was not notified at the
April 11 meeting that he could no longer be part of the board.
Le Piere said he was only informally told at the April meeting that he
probably wouldn’t be able to continue on the board because of a
decision to exclude civilian members with prior law enforcement
By having civilians with no previous law enforcement experience on the
board, it puts those board members at the hands of police officers
participating in the board.
“You have to walk in our shoes out there to know how to react and how
to make spur-of-the moment decisions,” said an active police officer
who asked us not to use his name.
It makes sense that a civilian with law enforcement experience be part
of the board to create a balance so the uniformed member cannot
mislead or misinform the civilian board members.
Calls made to Sheriff Doug Gillespie by Las Vegas Tribune to comment
on this article were, as always, not returned by press time.
Chris Collins, president of the Las Vegas Police Protective
Association, the union that represents the rank and file of the police
department and whose name was in the middle of this incident for his
close relationship with the sheriff, was not available at press time
to comment on this article.