Report: Police officer charged with manslaughter was told to 'le - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Report: Police officer charged with manslaughter was told to 'let him go'

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Kenneth Lopera (Source: LVMPD) Kenneth Lopera (Source: LVMPD)

The Las Vegas Metro Police officer charged with involuntary manslaughter was told to "let [the suspect] go," according to a newly released police report. 

Metro Officer Kenneth Lopera was charged with involuntary manslaughter after using a rear-naked choke hold on Tashii Farmer that resulted in Farmer's death.

The death of Tashii S. Farmer, the man who died in police custody last month, was ruled a homicide by the Clark County Coroner. Forty-year-old Farmer, also known as Tashii Brown, died on May 14, 2017. He was unarmed at the time of the incident. 

Metro said Lopera and his partner were approached by Farmer inside the Venetian Hotel. Farmer was "sweating heavily, looked panicked and stated people were chasing him." Lopera tried to talk to Farmer and he ran away, going through an "employee only" area of the hotel. Lopera chased Farmer and caught up with him outside, while Farmer was trying to open the tailgate of a pickup that had at least one person inside. Farmer then ran to the driver's side.

Lopera fired his Taser, thinking Farmer was trying to carjack the person inside the truck, according to LVMPD. However, according to the arrest report, the driver of the truck told officers he "did not believe Farmer was a threat."

Farmer overcame the Tasing and began to fight with Lopera, police said. Lopera punched Farmer several times. Lopera then used the unapproved "rear-naked choke hold" on Farmer for more than one minute. An officer gave Farmer chest compressions until paramedics arrived. He was taken to Sunrise Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead.

An arrest report documents the moments before, during and after the confrontation between Lopera and Farmer. 

In the report, officers said another Metro Police officer told Lopera to "let him go," but Lopera continued to use the choke hold on Farmer for another 46 seconds. 

The report also details what Lopera told officers after releasing Farmer. According to the document, Lopera said "I start waling on the dude and then I rear mounted and choked him out," as well as "I start punching him. Rear nakeded his [expletive]. He went out."

The arrest report reads that Lopera had "no...probable cause to believe that Farmer had been involved in any criminal conduct."

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