Family of man choked to death by Vegas police eyeing protest - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Family of man choked to death by Vegas police eyeing protest

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The family of a man who died after being punched, Tased and choked by an officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department plan to be on the Strip this weekend protesting against the department. The theme of the rally is "Black Lives Still Don't Matter."

Tashii Farmer was 40 years old. Police said he did not commit a crime, but that didn't stop Officer Kenneth Lopera from firing his Taser or putting him in a rear-naked choke for approximately one minute outside the Venetian, according to Metro.

The rear-naked choke is not a technique taught or approved by Metro.

Police released surveillance video and body camera footage within a few days of Farmer's death. Some said there haven't been any protests up to this point because Metro has been so transparent.

Others said Metro's transparency is a start, but it doesn't truly matter until they follow through and punish Officer Lopera. They called his paid administrative leave a "paid vacation."

Minister Stretch Sanders, a human rights activist with All Shades United, organized the protest.

"If we just say, 'Well, let's not do anything! Metro deserves kudos because they released the videos;' that's not good enough," Sanders said. "Tashii is still deceased ... He treated him differently because he was a black man."

Sanders referred to Farmer's death as an "assassination" and a "lynching." He said he didn't like the way Metro referred to the victim as a "suspect" during last week's press conference. He said he was also unhappy with the department broadcasting his arrest history and using an old mugshot to identify him considering that information is irrelevant to this case. He said he hopes Sunday's protest in front of the Venetian will help the victim's family realize there are plenty of people who are willing to stand up for injustice.

"Until we put the pressure, (this officer) will get off," Sanders said. "We have this conception that police terrorism doesn't really exist in Las Vegas, but it does ... I don't say 'brutality' because it's past being brutal. It's terrorism."

Sunday's rally is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. in front of the Venetian. Organizers said everyone is welcome to attend and show support for Farmer's grieving family.

Family members said they are still asking for the public's assistance to raise money for Farmer's funeral. To help, the family set up a GoFundMe page and is accepting donations.  

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