CCSDPD’s top cop faces questions after incident near Las Vegas school

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 9:05 AM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Video recorded by a student on a cell phone led to protests and calls for a CCSD police officer to be fired. It shows a student being taken down by an officer outside of Durango High School last month, the officer pushing his knee into the student’s back.

Monday night, CCSD Police Department Chief Mike Blackeye answered tough questions about the incident and what is now being done during a community meeting held by the National Action Network and other groups advocating for the rights of black and brown students.

“Does he belong in the street and does he belong around our children that are black and brown?,” a community member asked Chief Mike Blackeye in front of a full house at the meeting in North Las Vegas.

“I was asked that when I saw the video, what was my opinion of it? I’ve been a police officer, this is my 31st year, so I’ve seen a lot and it made me question what was going on? I knew there was a beginning. I knew there was something causing our officers to be in that location addressing the situation they were dealing with,” Chief Blackeye responded.

Chief Blackeye revealed during the community meeting, in the same location the day before, around the same time, a student took out a gun in front of about 50 other students.

“The student made the claim he was going to shoot up the school at a basketball game, so somebody shouted, ‘Gun! Gun!,’ and the crowd dispersed,” Blackeye explained. Blackeye added the day of the incident, a group of female students said a car drove by the school and flashed a gun. Extra officers were assigned to the school as it let out due to the two incidents.

“Any questions though that pertain to the investigation, I cannot speak about,” Chief Blackeye stated. Chief Blackeye would not say if any of the four students involved with the incident in the controversial video did have guns or what will happen to the officer who FOX5 confirms remains with the department but is no longer working around students. The community is demanding action.

“I want you to tell the community why he (the officer) hasn’t been terminated? Why he can’t be terminated,” a community member questioned.

“At the moment, due process. There is also a collective bargaining agreement,” Chief Blackeye answered.

After the meeting, CCCSD police Lt. Bryan Zink did take media questions. FOX5 asked when the investigation into the incident may be finished.

“We do get a lot of questions about what it is taking so long, and we do want to conduct a fair and balanced investigation... The last thing you want to see happen is for a decision to be made and that decision has to be overturned later on down the road,” Lt. Zink contended.

Chief Blackeye explained there were four officers with body cameras rolling at the scene and that video is being reviewed. That video will all be released at the conclusion of the investigation though no timeline was given. Chief Blackeye would not say if Metro was assisting with the investigation.