A group of motorcycle clubs has filed a federal lawsuit against the Metro and North Las Vegas police departments, claiming that their civil rights have been violated. The lawsuit was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Nevada by the Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs, which is comprised of 37 Las Vegas-based motorcycle clubs.
MCs v. North Las Vegas Police
Although the SNCC represents 37 different motorcycle clubs, the current lawsuit was filed on behalf of four groups: the Mongols, Bandidos, Vagos and Stray Cats.
Members of the four motorcycle clubs allege that they were “unlawfully targeted and harassed” by the two police departments. Not limited to once particular incident, the alleged violations actually took place over the course of several years, according to Stephen Stubbs, attorney for the motorcycle clubs.
Stubbs contends that Metro Police Detective Joseph Gagliardi was responsible for the majority of the abuse. The lawsuit also names fourteen Metro officers, Clark County Sherriff Doug Gillespie, and North Las Vegas Police Chief Joe Chronister as defendants. Additionally, the clubs reserves the right to add yet to be identified officers that violated protocol, according to the lawsuit.
The complainants are seeking over $75,000 on each of its 15 different claims and also punitive and exemplarily damages of more than $75,000.
The lawsuit claims that Las Vegas police threatened to revoke the liquor licenses of local businesses if they served certain motorcycle club members or let them frequent their place of business. Moreover, the lawsuit alleges that Metro police forced a Las Vegas hotel to cancel the reservations of certain Mongol members.
Stubbs even provided a copy of a letter dated from June 24, 2010 addressed to Mongol member Roger Espinoza from the general manager of Alexis Park All Suit Resort in Las Vegas. The letter informed Espinoza that his hotel reservation had been cancelled at the request of Metro police.
The grievance also contends that police raided a private gathering of Stray Cats members in January 2012, “without a warrant or probably cause.” Police brandished a taser during the incident and informed the motorcycle club members to leave their own property, according to Stubbs. As if that were not damaging enough, police officers purportedly told members of the Stray Cats that they had “no constitutional rights on the streets of Northern Las Vegas.”
Not to mention, the lawsuit also accuses police of getting a member of the Bandidos fired from his job. According to the complaint, police officials repeatedly visited Medic West Ambulance, the workplace of one club member, and told his supervisor that he was the member of a criminal motorcycle gang linked to numerous heinous crimes. The accusations led to the Bandidos member being fired from his job, which he had held for 12 years.
No Comment From Police Department
The accused have yet to officially comment on the accusations, but a statement appears to be imminent. Metro representatives stated that the department plans to release a statement regarding the lawsuit in the upcoming days, while Sgt. Tim Bedwell, a public information officer for North Vegas police, refused to comment because the litigation is pending.