My Point of View
By Rolando Larraz
I could be a George Floyd from Minneapolis if I were not careful and did not listen to my own advice not to argue or disobey commands from a police officer when stopped by one.
A very jealous police officer, B. Foster, badge number 16314, was driving opposite to me, but he was “able to see” that my license plate was expired so he followed me through the parking lot from my newspaper office to the Radio-Tribune office and turned his lights on.
By the time he turned the lights on his patrol car there were three more patrol cars with lights on and guns drawn like they had found Chapo Guzman walking out of his inhumane cell in a New York penitentiary where they have him locked up with the blessing of the International Human Rights Organization.
I have said many times that these police officers have the right to be concerned or even scared when they stop someone for any reason.
The best thing to do when a person is stopped by a police officer is to follow the instructions and obey the orders, but that is even more true when a person knows that they have committed a crime and have been caught or are being questioned by a police officer.
Even if I have been stopped without a reason right on my own property, I believe that if I would have argued with the big-mouthed police officer who was very brave after three more police cars arrived with guns and lights on, I could be dead today or beat to a pulp, even if I had told them that I could not breathe.
Out of the four police officers, two of them, B. Foster and R. Lopez, were in charge of the intimidation and scare tactics they used on me.
Like I always said, I am Cuban but I’m not stupid, and even if I am very lucky and do not get stopped by police too often, when it happens, I do not give them the opportunity to remind me who is in charge or who is in the seat of power because I know that at the time they are.
The incident in Minnesota is very sad, but I believe that we do not know the whole story; we do not know how many times the officer told the man who was going to be questioned as a possible suspect of a crime to stand up or any other command he may have given to the alleged suspect.
Being stopped by a police officer in a public place, especially during a crime investigation, is not the place or the time to be talking about the Constitution or what the law is; at that time the officer is in charge, the officer is always right, if you want to leave the situation alive.
Once I was stopped by a plainclothes police car and the officer asked me if he could look in the trunk of my car and I obeyed his order and clicked the trunk open.
The beautiful young law student lady who was with me told me that I did not have to open the trunk of my car without a legal search order.
I explained to her that I was aware of what the law was, but I did not have anything to hide so I did not mind opening the trunk of my car to the officer that wanted to act super macho in front of a beautiful young lady.
I explained to her that if I play by the rules of the law the officer could make me wait there until he gets his partner to go get the search warrant and that could last all the time they want and I did not have anything to hide so let them play “superior” and get it over with.
Of course, the issue happened before the Sheriff’s Organized Crime Unit in Las Vegas had raided the Stardust Hotel, Tony Spilotro’s jewelry store, Joe Cussumano’s car store and by mistake, under the command of Lt. Bobby Hitt, my office, when a super macho police detective beat up an indefensible switchboard telephone operator on duty because she wanted to call me and inform me of what was happening.
Of course, the issue happened before June 19, 1991 when I had the saddest experience of my life with some of the most corrupt police detectives of our most illustrious members of our Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department under my former friend, Sheriff John Moran’s Organized Crime Unit. Rod Mathis, dead after being arrested by the FBI for committing several crimes in Nevada and Utah, Mike Bunker, David Kallas (now a drug dealer), Dan Harness, Frank Sutton (before he was arrested for committing a crime) and others who were forced to be there.
Before that day I was still under the wrong impression that police do not create crime scenes and they don’t lie; how wrong I was!
Even then I kept my cool and did not argue with any of the criminals that were there arresting me for a crime I had not committed or had no intention of committing.
Very early in my life I learned that one should not argue with police officers, in uniform or plainclothes because they always win. I used to let my attorney do the fighting when attorneys used to fight and defend their clients and their clients were innocent until proven guilty.
We have to remember that the man on the floor or ground had supposedly committed a crime and if he was fighting his arrest it might have been for a reason and that is why he was resisting.
Despite my sour experience with Las Vegas’ men in brown, I believe that there are always three sides to every story, mine, yours, and the truth and we do not know if that tape of George Floyd contained the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.
My Point of View