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October 2, 2014

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CITY GOVERNMENT:

Henderson mayor ‘regrets’ police-inflicted pain suffered by diabetic after traffic stop

Image

Nevada Highway Patrol

A screen grab from the video of an incident with Henderson Police.

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Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen speaks during the 2012 Henderson State of the City address at the Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson Thursday, February 9, 2012.

Man kicked during traffic stop speaks out

KSNV coverage of a man speaking out after being kicked by a Henderson Police officer while he was having a medical episode, Feb. 8, 2012.

Man kicked in the head by Henderson Police officer

Video footage from a Nevada Highway Patrol dashboard camera of a Henderson Police officer kicking a man in the head during a traffic stop, Feb. 7, 2012. Warning: The footage contains material that may be offensive.

Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen, in a written statement, said Henderson Police officers have learned from a 2010 incident that cost the city $257,000 to settle legal claims.

The Henderson City Council on Tuesday approved a $158,000 settlement with Adam Greene, who was kicked repeatedly by a Henderson Police officer while in diabetic shock during an Oct. 29, 2010, traffic stop. A Nevada Highway Patrol dashboard camera caught the incident on tape.

“What happened to Mr. Greene was wrong, and we regret the pain and suffering that he and his family endured because of it,” Hafen said in a statement released Thursday evening. “Of great concern to me, as mayor, was that we learn from this incident and work to make sure we reduce the risk of it ever happening again. As a result of what happened a year ago with Mr. Greene, our police department modified their training on the use of force. As a result, we have already seen the numbers of those types of incidents go down.”

Hafen went on to say Greene’s encounter with Henderson Police was “an isolated incident” and “does not represent our entire police force.”

Greene’s wife also received a $99,000 settlement. Sources say Greene also will receive $35,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit against both Henderson Police and the Nevada Highway Patrol that alleges battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The Henderson Police officer who kicked Greene in the video, Sgt. Brett Seekatz, has been disciplined but remains on the force, according to a police spokesman.

“The mark of a good organization is the ability to learn from mistakes, own up to them and improve,” Hafen said in the statement. “We have tried to do that and will continue to do so in the future as we try to hold our officers and our department to the highest standards of accountability.”

Greene has since said he still respects law enforcement and wants his children to as well. The son of an Arizona state trooper, Greene said he settled the ordeal because he didn’t want to put his family through a years-long legal battle.

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  1. Yet not so concerned as to terminate the police officer's employment or demote his rank? Really? If a citizen kicked an officer in the face repeatedly, if a citizen broke an officer's ribs, does the Mayor think for one second that citizen could go on with life as though nothing happened?

    And here's the scary part: There would have been no repercussions whatsoever if the incident had not been accidentally caught on an official video recording.

  2. The money awarded, as small as it is, should come from the police retirement fund at the very least, and maybe part from the Mayor's pocket. Maybe then they might take their duties seriously.

  3. Sgt. Seekatz should have been terminated. Other officers seeing that consequence would be the best training they could get.

  4. The officers involved should have been fired.
    The settlement should have been 4-5 times larger and should have come out of the pockets of those same officers.
    And yes, it is very scary that this would have been covered up had it not been for the (accidental) recording.

    Mayor Hafen seems wishy-washy.

    It appears that the "regret" is that the whole thing was found out.

    The NHP comes across as more professional than the HPD.

  5. Not only should Sgt. Seekatz have been fired, he should have been criminally prosecuted. I wonder if this video ever made it to the DA's office. Oh, wait -- former DA David Roger now works for the police union. Unlikely the former DA would have done anything anyway. How about the Henderson City Attorney? No chance; she might have been unavailable, drinking on the job, and never saw it either. The new City Attorney, Senator Reid's son, certainly won't take any action. After all, the mayor is too-closely tied to Sen. Reid.

    As a Henderson resident, I find that the levels of wrongdoing, nepotism, and corruption are truly mind-numbing. To think that Sgt. Seekatz is still out there on the streets, and presumably supervises other officers, is frightening.

  6. Saaaay. This could be a great way to make money in Vegas now. Drive around until you find a volatile cop. Usually a young one with a buzz cut and is cruising around on his cell phone. Then run a light in front of him. Let him chase you until the next intersection. Then just park in the middle of it, undo your seatbelt, unlock the door, and leave the car in Drive. Then when the cop comes up and orders you out of the car, just ignore him. He'll get all full of rage, will break the glass, and will eventually just drag you out of the car where he'll start beating on you. Just go limp the entire time, and then tell the court that you were scared so you panicked and went into a state of paralyzed shock when the started hitting you. BOOM! Instant payday!

    Let's face it, $158,000 is a nice chunk of change that could either save your house, or let you buy a new one with some change left over if your old one already got foreclosed on. As long a cities keep cashing-out officers mistakes with no questions asked, and no reprimand for the officers, whose gonna care? Just like how they have that "Death By Cop" where suicidal people trick cops into shooting them, we could have "Payday By Cop" where people in financial straights do just this to provoke cops in order to get beaten up, and then just opt for cash settlements when police departments and cities want to quietly cover things up.

  7. FIRED,...cut and dried,...case closed.