Pot bust gone bad


Sequioa Pearce had 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 fiancé 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 and saw her kneel. She watched him put his hands up. "All right, all right," he said to police, Ms. Pearce recounted later.

She heard a gunshot and screamed. The man she was to marry slid and fell to the floor, blood pouring from a gunshot wound to his face. She saw him breathing before officers rushed her out of the apartment. Trevon Cole, 21, died minutes later.

Officers were serving a pot warrant at the apartment on East 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 after the suspect made a "furtive movement" toward the cop. Ms. Pearce contends Cole made no movements toward officers, did not have anything in his hands and did not own a weapon.

The officer who shot 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.

No coroner's jury that rubber-stamps this shooting as "justified" is going to explain why the cops are breaking into people's homes at night and holding them at gunpoint -- let alone shooting them -- over selling small amounts of marijuana.

Such arrests can be handled by the undercover officer who makes the "buy," or by a back-up officer waiting nearby.

Why the high-risk, late-night drama?

 

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