I-Team Exclusive: Henderson Police use pat down error to educate

I-Team

HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) — Henderson Police admit a mistake was made which could have turned deadly after a traffic stop. The incident was caught on video.

The department decided to use that mistake to educate, showing officers what can happen if they don’t do a thorough pat down.

“An initial improper pat down of the driver was conducted by the code nine,” a training officer says over the incident footage.

The suspect was placed in a Henderson patrol car with a gun after a pat down wasn’t thorough enough.

Here’s what happened, according to the police department:

  • Suspect slips cuffs from behind his back to the front of his body
  • He adjusts his waistband, the gun slides down his pants, and he hides it between the backseat and rear cargo area
  • Suspect removes his seatbelt and tries to escape twice
  • He then places his cuffs behind his back like ‘nothing to see here’ before officers return
  • Officers notice his seatbelt is off, but what they don’t know is he hid a gun in the cop car

“As a part of our normal protocol, we spot check random videos, you know, to see that the officers are conducting themselves appropriately, they’re following policy,” explained Lt. Kirk Moore.

And that’s how the police discovered what happened.

Moore says this and some other incidents led the department to question whether officers were getting complacent with pat downs, and his team decided it would be impactful to use this as a training video.

“The incident did not occur in Alabama, Georgia, Oregon or California. This happened here in Henderson, with officers from our department,” the training officer reiterates.

Moore says the officer who did the pat down didn’t face disciplinary action, but he did receive remedial training.

And then, the training video was sent to officers as a refresher on pat downs.

“To make sure that this doesn’t happen because we would hate for a catastrophic event to occur as a result of missing a dangerous weapon on somebody,” said Moore.

Moore says 29-year-old Andre Jaffe was initially stopped for a traffic violation, and after officers found drug paraphernalia and burglary tools with him, they took him to jail. He also says charges were not added once the video and weapon were discovered.

The case is closed, but the lesson remains.

“It may not be our life that’s lost or us that gets injured, but it might be your partner that you pass that subject off to that suffers as a result of an improper pat or search,” the training officer warns on the video.

The training video also included a demonstration of a proper pat down that they no longer use.

Moore says at least one employee was uncomfortable with this, though, because a male employee is searching a female. But Moore says male officers do search women. If a female officer is available, she will search a female, but that’s not always the case.

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