LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joe Lombardo said the legal observers caught in the chaos and detained during Saturday’s protests were “antagonizing and obstructing [LVMPD] officers.”
The Sheriff held a news conference at LVMPD’s Headquarters on Tuesday to address the interaction between police and protesters over the weekend.
Metro is now conducting an investigation into multiple complaints that were sent to the department following Saturday’s protest.
Four citations were issued to legal observers at the scene, Sheriff Lombardo said.
Videos of Saturday’s protests, showing legal observers in red shirts approaching police vehicles, were shared during the briefing.
WATCH FULL BRIEFING BELOW:
“Officers have shown care and restraint in the face of incredible conflict,” Sheriff Lombardo said at the beginning of the news briefing.
Regarding Saturday’s protests, Sheriff Lombardo said officers issued several dispersal orders “due to safety concerns.”
According to LVMPD, one legal observer “shoved their cellphone camera up to an officer’s face in a confrontational manner,” added Sheriff Lombardo.
Another he said left the median, approached a police vehicle and leaned into the window.
“This is not healthy for Las Vegas. It only emboldens agitators and extremists… to do something that harms our community,” Sheriff Lombardo said.
According to Metro, police officers are told to give 3 dispersal orders before taking action, but there can be an exception to this if there’s an emergency of some kind. Sheriff Lombardo says this exception came into play during Saturday’s protests as protesters tried to occupy the I-15.
During the briefing, Sheriff Lombardo said that LVMPD has monitored and responded to 87 protests across Las Vegas in the past few weeks.