A 31-year-old Las Vegas police officer has been charged in the death of an unarmed Black man, who died after being placed in martial arts-type chokehold following a chase through a casino, according to CBS News.
The officer, Kenneth Lopera, who is White, was arrested Monday and charged with involuntary manslaughter in the choking death of Tashii S. Brown, 40, the report says. Lopera, who posted $6,000 bail, is scheduled to appear in court in August.
The incident began on May 14 when Brown allegedly approached Lopera and his patrol partner in a casino coffee shop, appearing sweaty, agitated and disoriented, and said he thought people were after him, writes CBS. A chase began, wending through the back hallways of a Las Vegas Strip casino, and Lopera lost his partner.
Las Vegas race soldier Kenneth Lopera was charged in chokehold death of an unarmed Black man, and his bail was $6000 https://t.co/InC4QBHIxz
Footage filmed by Lopera’s body-camera and casino security cameras show the officer using a stun gun seven times and punching Brown before placing him in what is known as a “rear-naked chokehold” for more than a minute, writes the television news outlet.
Besides using the chokehold, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said Lopera violated department policy, which requires officers to stop using Tasers after three times if it doesn’t have an apparent effect, notes the report.
Lopera will plead not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and a second charge of oppression under color of office, said Las Vegas Police Protective Association official Steve Grammas, according to the report. The two charges carry up to eight years in state prison. He has been suspended without pay.
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The arrest comes after years of protests over Blacks and police excessive force amid a number of high-profile deaths, including Eric Garner in New York City, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Rekia Boyd in Chicago.
Do you think the arrest and charge will send a message to police officers around the country? Sound off in comments.