Three men are suing Las Vegas police after officers arrived to break up a potential fist fight that was already resolved during the 2013 New Year celebration on the Strip.
Jackie Hubbard, Rickey Ward and Raymond Harmon filed separate federal lawsuits against the Metropolitan Police Department and officers Tom Jenkins and Amanda Frey seeking more than $10,000 in damages each.
A video of the incident is on YouTube under the title “New Years 2013 Las Vegas Police Brutality.”
The video shows two men peacocking for a fight as the crowd readies for fisticuffs about five minutes after midnight.
Hubbard, according to his lawsuit, steps between one of the men to calm him down. The other man is pushed back by others into the crowd taunting the two men to fight.
Officers swarmed to the scene and one grabbed Hubbard around the neck and forced him to the ground in a choke hold.
Harmon tried to tell officers that Hubbard was a peacemaker, but he too was thrown to the ground and restrained, according to Harmon’s lawsuit.
Ward attempted to record the incident on his cell phone, but an officer slapped it out of his hands. He was then put in a choke hold by an unknown officer until he blacked out, according to Ward’s lawsuit. Ward too was arrested.
After regaining consciousness, Jenkins called Ward a “bitch” and “somebody else is going to be (expletive) your girlfriend tonight,” the lawsuit stated.
Another unknown officer told Ward he wouldn’t be charged if stated he “‘fell’ to the ground” and agreed not to sue.
Ward suffered several injuries, including a cut near an eye, shoulder and back pain and continues to have headaches, according to the lawsuit.
The three lawsuits, filed by Henderson lawyer Amanda Connor, said a police report of the incident falsely stated “officers had ‘observed a fight in progress’” and that Ward grabbed Jenkins from behind as he escorted Hubbard from the scene.
Criminal court records show no cases against the three men for the incident.
A police spokesman said the department does not comment on pending lawsuits.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.