Another triumph for the Baby’s Daddy Removal Team

Sequioa Pearce was made to kneel before the Las Vegas police officers who held her at gunpoint in her bedroom Friday night, June 11.

The 20-year-old, who was nine months pregnant, could see from the darkened bedroom into the bathroom where her fiance was reflected in the mirror.

He, too, was being held at gunpoint as officers told him to get on the floor. He met her gaze in the mirror. She watched him put his hands up.

“All right, all right,” he said to police, Pearce told the Review-Journal the following Monday.

She heard a gunshot and screamed. The man she planned to marry slid to the floor, blood pouring from a gunshot wound — possibly a shotgun — to his face.

She saw him breathing before officers rushed her out of the apartment. But Trevon Cole, 21, died minutes later.

Pearce will raise her daughter alone.

“I just feel like they stole everything from me,” said Pearce, who contradicted police reports that they found drugs in the apartment.

Officers were serving a pot warrant on the apartment at 2850 E. Bonanza Road, near Eastern Avenue. The warrant was based on Cole having made three marijuana sales to undercover police, according to Deputy Chief Joseph Lombardo, who oversees Metro’s narcotics section.

Police said his killer shot Cole, who played linebacker at Moorpark College in California, after the suspect made a “furtive movement.” Pearce contends Cole made no movements toward officers, did not have anything in his hands and did not own a weapon.

An unarmed man was shot in the head and killed for making a “furtive movement” while on his knees with his hands up, surrendering? I seem to recall that also happened to Orlando Barlow, on his knees with his hands up while surrounded by Metro officers in a front yard, back in 2003.

Officer Brian Hartman of Southwest 11 nailed Mr. Barlow with an AR-15 rifle. The killers later sported “BDRT” T-shirts. A cop union spokesman said it stood for “Big Dogs Run Together,” not “Baby’s Daddy Removal Team,” as widely reported.

Isn’t it interesting that every single person shot in or near their home by a Metro cop in recent years “made a furtive movement” — in not a single case has an officer ever said, “I discharged that round by accident; in hindsight I shouldn’t even have had my finger inside the trigger guard, since the suspect was unarmed”?

Could Las Vegas Metro Sheriff Jerry Gillespie please stage some big show-and-tells at local auditoriums, with officers demonstrating the kind of “furtive movements” that will get you killed in your own home late at night in Las Vegas, as well as some “bold and forthright” movements that won’t?

The officer who shot Mr. Cole has been identified as 34-year-old Bryan Yant, a 10-year veteran of the department who has shot two other people. (One survived.)

Something is very wrong here, and no coroner’s jury that rubber-stamps this shooting as “justified” (they’re all found to be “justified”) is going to explain why this made-his-bones member of the Baby’s Daddy Removal Team is breaking into people’s homes at night and holding them at gunpoint — let alone shooting them — over selling small amounts of marijuana.

Without even getting into whether pot should remain a police matter, at all (all plant extracts should be re-legalized, duh), many a modern-day officer will tell you that — if their departments still bother busting small-time pot dealers, at all — such arrests can be easily handled by the undercover officer who makes the “buy,” or by a back-up officer waiting nearby.

Why the high-risk late-night drama? Gentle giant pot dealers like Trevon Cole bear little resemblance to the desperate, shoot-first gang members who deal harder drugs in larger quantities — a criminal subculture entirely CREATED by the “War on Drugs.”

Not only that, during a 2002 inquest into his fatal shooting of a robbery suspect, Officer Yant’s statements contradicted the physical evidence, Lawrence Mower of the Review-Journal reports.

Officer Yant said he was chasing Richard Travis Brown, dubbed “The Candy Bar Robber” by police for his 41 heists, in the early morning of Nov. 17, 2001.

After a vehicle pursuit, Yant chased Brown on foot. Yant told the inquest jury that Brown reached for a gun as the two ran down a sidewalk. Yant fired three to four rounds. Brown fell, face first. Yant said Brown then tried to re-aim the gun at him, requiring Officer Yant to fire three to four more rounds, killing Brown.

But crime scene analysts recovered Brown’s handgun on the sidewalk 35 feet away from where he’d been shot.

That’s almost as good as Ronald Perrin, the guy into whom Officer Bruce Gentner of the Southwest 11 Baby’s Daddy Removal Team emptied his 14-round Glock on South Rainbow Boulevard while Mr. Perrin was “armed with a basketball” back in 1999.

Why was Mr. Perrin shot, with no witnesses? “Furtive movement,” of course.

Will the jury “probing” Trevon Cole’s death be told about the gun found 35 feet away from the earlier suspect who had just supposedly “re-aimed” it at Officer Yant? Of course not. Prosecutors lead them to their “justified” verdicts like children dressing up their pet rabbits and walking them through a tea party in the doll house.

What I want to know is, the next time a “civilian” kills a Metro cop, and states the cop “made a furtive movement,” will the Metro brass say, “Well, OK then, if the officer made a ‘furtive movement,’ I guess we have to drop all charges. After all, no one’s going to hold their fire when they see a ‘furtive movement’!”?

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