Las Vegas, NV — Kenya and Henry Brian Rodriguez were playing video games and watching TV with their two friends Jordhy Leal and David Madueno when all of the sudden cops rushed into their home, held them all at gunpoint, killed the family dog, and unlawfully arrested them and their father. After going to the wrong home, murdering the family dog, and kidnapping and terrorizing innocent children, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department still maintains that they did everything by the book.
Now, because of America’s cruel system of ‘justice,’ the officers responsible were never held accountable and it is the taxpayers who are taking responsibility. On Monday, in spite of saying they did everything by the book, the LVMPD Fiscal Affairs Committee approved a settlement to the family for the abuse.
The incident happened on Oct. 24, 2009, and it has taken nearly 8 years for the family to receive even a drop of justice. According to the lawsuit and the arrest records, the children and family had done nothing wrong when police barged in that fateful day.
Around 4:30 in the afternoon, police received a 911 call from a witness who claimed he saw two white males looking into the windows of homes in his neighborhood. The children and the adults in the home were all Hispanic — not white.
Sgt Jay Roberts and officer Michael Dunn of the LVMPD responded first and were then followed by a slew of their colleagues who swarmed the residence of Jesus Sandoval and Adriana Rodriguez — the parents of the children.
According to the lawsuit, what happened next was nothing short of negligent terrorism.
Roberts looked through an open bedroom window and saw “three young males” who were “younger than 18 to 20,” and were “about 14, 15.” Roberts conceded that the boys—Henry, then 18, who lived at the house, and his two friends, David, then 15, and Jordhy, then 16—“did not match” two of the three metrics that Schouten had given him: the number of suspects or the age of the suspects.
In spite of realizing that these young boys were not the suspects police were looking for, Roberts and his fellow officers escalated the situation anyway. According to the lawsuit:
Roberts pointed his gun at the head of one of the boys through the bedroom window, and gave the boys conflicting commands, telling them “don’t move,” “[l]et me see your hands,” and “turn the music down.” Roberts told Jordhy to turn down the music, which Jordhy tried to do, and then told him, “I told you don’t move, I could shoot you” or “I’ll f* * *ing shoot you.”
According to the lawsuit, all the children did their best to comply with the crazed officer’s conflicting commands but admitted they may not have heard them all as the music was playing and he yelled so many of them.
As Roberts was holding innocent children at gunpoint, his partner Dunn entered the room through a sliding glass door — also with his gun drawn. Both officers admitted in the lawsuit that their commands could have created confusion.
After the situation briefly calmed down, Roberts ordered the children out of the bedroom. At this point, Henry asked police if he could put away the family dog, Hazel — before letting cops into the rest of the home — he was denied.
What happened next is nothing short of terrifying, especially considering these were children, not some hardened criminals. According to the lawsuit:
As the boys exited the bedroom, Hazel slipped in front of Henry and Jordhy, but continued to walk behind David, according to David’s testimony. Dunn shot Hazel in the face, twelve inches from David, and in the direction of Henry and Jordhy. The officers ordered David and Jordhy to the floor, handcuffed them, and brought them outside. Henry was ordered outside, but was not cuffed until later, as he was carrying Hazel, who was bleeding to death. The boys testified that the handcuffing and other treatment by the officers caused them pain.
Not until they had arrested all the children and killed their dog did the officers even ask if the kids had a right to be in the home.
After Henry called his father, Jesus Sandoval, he came rushing home to find his son covered in blood. He was horrified and thought police had shot his son. However, it was Hazel’s blood.
Cops then attacked Sandoval, who’d just had back surgery and was in severe pain, and put him in handcuffs. After they slammed him into the cruiser, Sandoval was detained in the patrol car for 25 to 30 minutes, still “screaming in pain,” before officers responded to his requests for medication, according to the lawsuit.
According to the court records, none of the family members or the boys were cited or charged with any crime, and Dunn testified that the boys committed no crime. The officers eventually “just left.” Dunn admitted that if he or Roberts had asked basic identifying questions, the entire incident would not have happened.
None of the officers involved in the case were held liable for any of the damage they caused. However, the taxpayers will now be robbed of $200,000 — an insultingly low amount for the family — to pay for these incompetent and abusive officers.