Controversial Facebook Posts By Metro Detective Spark Questions
Last Friday, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department held a rally in Sun City Summerlin, called Sea of Blue.
It was an event organized to help counter mistrust of law enforcement agencies that has persisted nationwide, following the killing by police of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, and newly elected Sheriff Joe Lombardo spoke at the rally.
But by Sunday, another story diluted the affect of that event.
Writing in the weekly magazine The Sunday, former Las Vegas reporter Mike Blasky told the story of Detective Bobby Kinch’s Facebook writings.
According to Blasky, just one post says:
“Let’s just get this over! Race war, Civil, Revolution? Bring it! I’m about as fed up as a man (American, Christian, White, Heterosexual) can get!”
Metro administrators also received a photo of Kinch pointing a gun at an image of President Barack Obama. That led to Secret Service involvement. According to Blasky, agents interviewed Kinch and determined he wasn't a credible threat.
Though the writings came to light more than a year ago, they were resurrected last summer around the time two Las Vegas officers were shot and killed at a pizza restaurant at Stewart Avenue and Nellis Boulevard.
So far, Kinch has received a written reprimand from Metro and is still working for the department. He didn't target a specific race or use a specific racial slur, which Blasky said may be why he didn't get a stiffer penalty.
"I don't think Metro knew what to do but knew it had to do something," Blasky said.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is the president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable and has worked for years to improve relations between minority communities and the Los Angeles Police Department.
He told KNPR's State of Nevada that he is disturbed by the controversy, but is not surprised.
"Detective Kinch should have been fired," Hutchinson said.
Hutchison said this type of controversy compromises community trust of officers and hurts the department's ability to do its job.
He said there are three things that are vital for police departments: transparency, effective discipline and outreach to the community.
Mike Blasky, former reporter, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Laura Martin, communications director, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, director of the National Alliance for Positive Action
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