LVMPD Controls Narrative After Officer Involved Shootings

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) uses social media to control the narrative after their officer involved shootings (OIS).

The department is proactive when disseminating information following these events. As a result, their voice takes the lead, and becomes a herald in the sea of media reporting.

According to their protocol, they release vital details during a press conference about 72 hours after the shooting.

Details Included in Briefing
  1. OIS is categorized by number, to include fatal and non-fatal. During the briefing the assistant sheriff provides comparisons to prior year.
  2. Overview of the incident is provided as you might expect during a normal press conference.
  3. Aerial map of the incident during the overview.
  4. Pictures of the area are provided.
  5. Officer involved in the shooting is identified along with brief background.
  6. Weapon used during the shooting is described.
  7. Total shots fired are provided.
  8. Details and imagery from body worn camera.
  9. Suspect identification includes photos, background, criminal histories, as well as current charges.
  10. Surveillance video showing the suspects engaged in the crime is provided.
  11. Weapons possessed by suspects as well as what occurred when the officer engaged them during the crime is provided.
  12. Evidentiary pictures of the crime.
  13. Disposition of the arrestees.
  14. Q&A.

Due to legal reasons, LVMPD did not have the threat perception from the perspective of the officer involved in the shooting below, but they addressed this topic. Moreover, the assistant sheriff told members of the media this information would be obtained during the administrative investigation (when the officer can be compelled to provide a statement).

LVMPD posts each OIS briefing on their YouTube channel. The following example is from OIS #14, which occurred Saturday, July 29, 2017.

LVMPD Controls Narrative . . . OIS #14 Briefing

Latest LVMPD OIS

While compiling this report, LVMPD was involved in a shooting. News 3 Las Vegas provided the following report:

Two officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department were shot during an exchange of gunfire in an officer-involved shooting in the south-central valley.

According to LVMPD, an incident started two-days prior to the shooting, when the suspect broke into a car at a grocery store parking lot and stole numerous phones.

The owner tracked the location of the suspect through one of the phones and notified police.

Officers received a suspicious vehicle call in front of a business around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, in the 4100 block of W. Tompkins Avenue near Tropicana Avenue and Arville Street.

As officers were trying to stop the suspect from leaving, he opened fire on the officers.

The first officer fired multiple shots back and was also hit and transported to UMC in stable condition.

A second officer was hit during the gunfire but the bullet was stopped by the gun belt the officer was wearing. 

Officers established containment on the vehicle and gave the suspect numerous verbal commands. The suspect would not comply and the situation was treated as an armed barricaded suspect.

The LVMPD SWAT and Crisis Negotiation Team responded to take the armed barricaded suspect into custody. The suspect was unresponsive and officers from the LVMPD SWAT Team made a tactical approach and discovered the suspect was deceased in the vehicle. 

Officers say the suspect sustained at least one gunshot wound from police and a self – inflicted gunshot wound.

UMC’s Dale Carrison spoke about the hospital’s level one trauma team. Carrison said all staff on the team including residents and interns are alerted and prepared to act any time a patient with life threatening wounds arrives there.

“It’s our job to have activations, have the trauma team available immediately,” said Carrison.

The UMC trauma team treated the officer who took a bullet to the lower left chest that exited the lower back. Carrison said the trauma surgeon is present, the anesthesiologist, the emergency physician, the entire trauma team join to save victims.

This is the 15th officer involved shooting of 2017.

LVMPD provided a proactive YouTube video regarding this shooting prior to the normal press briefing, which will occur 72 hours after the incident. This is also part of their standard protocol.

LVMPD Controls Narrative . . . OIS #15 . . . Pre-briefing Video

While this requires a great deal of work for LVMPD, it also allows them formulate the narrative as they get out in front of the story. Furthermore, this allows them to “walk the dog” rather than “chase their tail” so to speak. It is a model worth review.

(Photo: LVMPD.org)