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September 1, 2014

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Man kicked by officer says he still respects law enforcement

Image

Nevada Highway Patrol

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

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.

Despite being repeatedly kicked by an officer during a traffic stop, Adam Greene wants his children to respect law enforcement.

In an interview Wednesday, Greene said his four children, the oldest of whom is 10, are unaware of what happened in the Oct. 29, 2010, incident captured by a Nevada Highway Patrol cruiser’s dashboard camera and made public this week. Greene wants to keep it that way and asked not to be photographed during an interview at the office of his attorney.

Greene’s father was an Arizona state trooper, and he said he respects the job that law enforcement officers must do. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t affected how he views them.

“Did I look over my shoulder for a while after that?” he said. “Yes, but anyone would.”

Tuesday night, the Henderson City Council approved a settlement of $158,000 for Greene and $99,000 for his wife. In addition to the Henderson settlement, sources said, the state has agreed to pay the motorist $35,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit against both police agencies that alleges battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Asked why he and his wife settled, Greene said he didn’t want to put his family through a years-long legal ordeal. His attorney, Todd Moody, said such a case would have involved a lengthy attempt to prove a pattern of similar abuses by Henderson police.

A Henderson Police Department spokesman said Sgt. Brett Seekatz, who is seen in the video kicking Greene in the head as Greene is held to the ground by five others, has been disciplined.

The Nevada Highway Patrol has disciplined one of its officers but would not reveal why. Sources said it was not for actions that took place during the arrest. The troopers in the video help subdue Greene, but they do not kick him.

The Sun obtained the video recordings from four Nevada Highway Patrol vehicles that responded to the call of a driver swerving on Lake Mead Parkway. Squad car video cameras are fixed and pointed to an area in front of the vehicles.

One of the videos shows Greene swerving as he drives east on Lake Mead for about three minutes until he stops for a red light at Boulder Highway. At that point, a trooper gets out with his service weapon pointed at the driver, who is still seated. The trooper kicks the window with his foot.

“Don’t move! Hey driver, do not move!” the trooper says. “Hands up!”

A trooper opens Greene’s door, and four officers — troopers and Henderson police — pull him out of the car.

A series of commands follows: “Get on the ground! Stop resisting, (expletive), stop resisting (expletive)!”

Greene groans as four law enforcement officers push him onto the pavement and, joined by a fifth, restrain and handcuff him. At that point, a Henderson police officer walks into camera view, steps up to Greene and kicks him five times in the head, twice with his left foot, three more with his right. The officer then walks away nonchalantly and turns briefly toward the direction of the Nevada Highway Patrol cruiser whose camera is pointed his way.

With Greene subdued on the ground, an officer searches his pockets and finds a vial of insulin and announces it to everyone, looking up to the sky.

“He could be a diabetic,” he says.

“Yeah, I see that,” someone answers.

Someone else says to a dispatcher over the radio: “He’s a diabetic. He’s probably in shock, semiconscious.”

Video from the patrol vehicles shows two of the four troopers at the scene reached speeds in excess of 100 mph responding to the incident, which happened after 4 a.m. One vehicle reaches 128 mph; another gets up to 115 mph.

Highway Patrol vehicles have had video cameras for a few years, Highway Patrol Major Kevin Tice said.

“They’ve been a real nice tool” for accountability purposes, he said, “We defend ourselves, and the way we do that is to hold our people accountable.”

Henderson added cameras to police vehicles in June. They were paid for with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Metro Police vehicles are not equipped with video cameras.

Greene told the Sun he remembers nothing about the incident.

He was on his way to work as a retail manager and doesn’t know why he had the diabetic reaction behind the wheel. A diabetic for 26 years, Greene did take Bronkaid, an over-the-counter drug for asthma. The label warns users with diabetes to talk to a doctor before taking the medication.

After he was handcuffed, microphones pick up what sounds like whispering between two officers. One officer expresses concern about the cameras installed in Nevada Highway Patrol vehicles. Their voices are picked up on microphones attached to troopers.

“It’s on camera,” one says.

“They don’t know you,” someone answers. “I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“No, I’m just saying,” the first one replies, then his voice becomes inaudible.

Greene said EMTs at the scene gave him dextrose, a sugary liquid, and he soon felt good enough to drive himself to the hospital.

In the video, Greene is heard apologizing to a state trooper.

Not heard in the video is the apology of a Henderson officer, Greene said.

“He apologized to me and said he had never done that before,” he said.

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  1. Professional law enforcement officers are to be respected. Too bad none were on scene.

  2. Quite obviously, poor Mr. Greene was kicked in the head one too many times. There is no other explanation for him to respect "the job law enforcement officers must do."

  3. Respect is something that's earned...In this particular case, $257,000 in cash goes a long way towards paying for a little respect...just a little bit...

  4. The officer who kicked him in the head was 'disciplined'? If that discipline entailed anything less than being held to the ground and kicked in the head, he got off far too easy.

    Officers who blatantly abuse their power like this officer should be terminated and subject to criminal charges.

  5. they know his name, where he lives and what kind of car he drives. What else is he going to say publicly?

  6. westvegas,

    Your point was fine. Please make it without the negative references to Mr. Greene if you wish.

  7. Besides kicking a restrained citizen in the head we had two officers clocking speeds of 128 and 115 miles per hour for a suspected impaired driver leads to some serious questions involving public safety.

  8. @ mikegino...

    "Seekatz should be in jail. Why is he still employed."

    VERY, VERY good question, Michael!

  9. Westvegas

    The speeds were recorded by This very column. Look for the phrase; for full story click here.

  10. "Video from the patrol vehicles shows two of the four troopers at the scene reached speeds in excess of 100 mph responding to the incident, which happened after 4 a.m. One vehicle reaches 128 mph; another gets up to 115 mph." - from the story

    GOOD GRIEF!!! Didn't law enforcement learn ANYTHING from Manor's death?!?