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Can One Wrong Death Bring Down Corrupt Las Vegas?

A concealed carry killing raises dangerous questions.

by
Mike McDaniel

Bio

March 28, 2011 - 12:00 am
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But wait, as they say on the late-night commercials. There’s more. Justice is also involved in a case involving an alleged attempt by his co-defendant Ronald Webb to kill his live-in girlfriend, Las Vegas attorney Nancy Quon. Quon is also reportedly the target of an FBI investigation into allegations of massive fraud involving Las Vegas Valley homeowner’s associations.

As with everything involving the Scott case, far more questions than answers continue to appear, and every question and answer points to corruption and incompetence in Metro from the lowest to highest ranks.

Recruits failing a basic academy throughout the nation are routinely fired. The inability to successfully complete a basic academy is commonly considered to indicate a lack of the most rudimentary abilities necessary to successfully function as a police officer. Yet Mendiola was apparently allowed to try again. Why? A recruit who shows no common sense or judgment in shoot/don’t shoot training is a far greater problem than one who fails a test on the specifics of burglary statutes. Officers can always look up statutes. They cannot Google the common sense necessary to keep them from wrongfully shooting people.

The mere fact that Mendiola has been charged with a crime is surprising. If, as all the known evidence suggests, the Scott shooting was unjustifiable and was followed by a massive and remarkably clumsy cover-up, it would normally be in the best interests of Metro to essentially immunize Mendiola from wrongdoing — to keep him “on the reservation,” within the fold, particularly as the Scott family’s civil suit proceeds. If my theory of the case is correct, the civil suit poses a great danger to Metro — not only to the three officers involved, but to other agencies complicit in the cover-up, and to high ranking Metro officers, up to and possibly including Sheriff Doug Gillespie. All it will take is one crack in the wall, one person to experience a crisis of conscience, to tell the truth, and the tower may come crashing down.

Did Metro come to believe that Mendiola was having such a crisis of conscience? Did they think he might crack, and if so, was his arrest a way of re-exerting control over him? And, of course, what was a police officer doing associating with a convicted felon off duty? Mendiola’s alleged crime came to Metro’s attention during an unrelated undercover operation. If Metro chose, it would never have come to light. There is more than ample evidence to indicate that this kind of wrongdoing, and worse, is routinely ignored. Why charge this particular officer at this particularly sensitive time unless it furthered Metro’s greater interests?

Every week, more of the kinds of malfeasance and incompetence that would horrify the officers of any professional, competent agency are exposed in Las Vegas. Metro seems to care not at all about public relations — in itself a very dangerous sign for the safety of the public. A police agency that considers itself outside the law and above it is a menace, not just to the rights of citizens, but, as the Scott and other cases reveal, to their very lives.

President Obama once suggested that citizens should not waste their money in Las Vegas. The Clark County commissioners may wish to consider the reasonable safety concerns of visitors, and the residents of Egypt and Las Vegas may have more in common than they imagine.

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Mike McDaniel is a former police officer, detective, and SWAT operator, and is now a high school English teacher. He blogs here.
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