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Las Vegas police remove member of watchdog group from briefing — VIDEO

Updated January 30, 2019 - 1:03 pm

Two police accountability activists were cited for trespassing after their group tried to attend a Las Vegas police news conference Wednesday morning.

At the news conference, a Metropolitan Police Department official shared an update on an officer-involved shooting from the weekend. On Sunday, a Metro sergeant fired at a man who had leaped onto a woman and raised a cane as if to hit her, police later announced at the press conference.

The members of the group, Nevada Cop Block, were not credentialed by the Police Department’s public information office, and therefore weren’t permitted to attend, Metro spokesman Aden OcampoGomez said, adding that the group could apply for credentials.

One of the men had entered the media briefing room and sat down. When he was asked to leave by police, he refused and told officers to cite the Nevada statute that prohibited him from being there. Officers first tried escorting him out, but when he said he wasn’t going to leave, multiple officers handcuffed him and carried him out of the room.

Two others — who were filming their interactions with police — weren’t allowed inside of the room. Metro spokeswoman Laura Meltzer said two of the three were cited for trespassing and released from custody.

The group describes itself as an independent media outlet that covers police accountability. Its members encourage people to film police in an effort to try to deter misconduct.

One member of the group, Ronald Mecklosky, told the Review-Journal afterward that the group has been active for years and should have been allowed inside as independent media, citing First Amendment protections for freedom of the press.

“It’s our right to be here,” he said, sitting in his car parked outside of the department’s headquarters.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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