UNR Cop On Leave After "Shooting" Comment During Traffic Stop
Police put one officer on administrative leave as it investigates a controversial traffic stop on the campus of the University of Nevada-Reno.
UNR Police Chief Adam Garcia said Thursday the officer made a comment early Sunday during the stop about how he’d have to “shoot” the occupant of a vehicle had a fight ensued because the man was so large.
The comment was made in a joking manner, but Garcia told State of Nevada that there was nothing funny about it.
“Quite frankly, I don’t think it’s a joke to say those kinds of things for anyone, much less an African-American individual in the climate we find ourselves in today,” Garcia added. “This is very serious.”
The man police officers were talking about has been identified as Kevin McReynolds, a former UNR football player. He played for UNR in 2015 and is listed on the team’s website then as being 6-feet-2-inches tall and 300 pounds.
His Twitter account now says he is a masters student at UNR.
Garcia said the complainant talked to police because he was afraid. He did not identify the person who filed a complaint.
“The complainant, who I have spoken with, was fearful, didn’t know what was going to happen, basically thought from that point forward, ‘I’d better watch what I do because this guy just said he would shoot me if things went south,’” Garcia added.
The police chief wondered aloud what would have happened had the complainant decided to run that night.
“Thank God [he] remained collected and didn’t respond by running or by saying ‘I’m going to have to fight my way out of this. He didn’t do that. He let the situation unfold and … this could have gone badly.”
Later during the stop, the officers are talking among themselves about a fight at a tavern they responded to a week earlier. In a mocking tone, one of them says the parents of a UNR student called to complain about police behavior.
“I should have Tasered that kid,” one of the officers added.
Garcia said the comments about the parents are “highly derogatory, highly inappropriate, have no place in a conversation with a citizen in our community.”
Adam Garcia, UNR Police Chief