Home Las Vegas Family of slain protester files federal lawsuit against Las Vegas PD

Family of slain protester files federal lawsuit against Las Vegas PD

by Nevada State News
Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS—A lawsuit was filed this morning in federal court on behalf of the family of Jorge Gomez, a 25-year-old man killed by police during a Black Lives Matter protest June 1 near the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas.

The suit was filed against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and four named officers—Ryan Fryman, Dan Emerton, Vernon Ferguson and Andrew Locher—along with 10 additional unnamed officers. The family is seeking damages for a list of nine complaints which include wrongful death, unreasonable search and seizure, and violation of free speech and the right to peaceful protest.

Lawyers said Gomez was exercising both his First and Second Amendment rights when the incident occurred, participating in the Black Lives Matter protest and carrying a gun, when officers began firing non-lethal rounds at him. They allege that as he ran from the officers, Fryman, Emerton, Ferguson and Locher fired their weapons at Gomez 19 times without warning, wounding and eventually killing him. Gomez did not use his weapon during the incident, the lawsuit states.

The shooting occurred around the same time as another LVMPD officer, Shay Mikalonis, had been shot in front of the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino. The lawsuit alleges that the use of force was an overreaction and that the four named officers did not usually work patrol in the field.

The lawsuit notes that LVMPD claims to have no body-cam footage, either due to officers not wearing the equipment or the cameras not being turned on during the incident.

The list of damages in the lawsuit includes:

  1. Violation of Free Speech- Right to Peaceful Protest (42 U.S.C. § 1983)
  2. Unreasonable Search and Seizure—Excessive Force (42 U.S.C. § 1983)
  3. Unreasonable Search and Seizure—Denial of Medical Care (42 U.S.C. § 1983)
  4. Substantive Due Process—(42 U.S.C. § 1983)
  5. Municipal Liability for Unconstitutional Custom, Practice, or Policy (42 U.S.C. § 1983)
  6. Municipal Liability— Failure to Train (42 U.S.C. § 1983) 
  7. Municipal Liability— Ratification (42 U.S.C. § 1983) 
  8. Battery (Wrongful Death/Survival)
  9. Negligence (Wrongful Death/Survival)

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