On October 17, Governor Steve Sisolak was involved in a car accident that took place at the intersection of Russell Road and Rainbow Blvd in Las Vegas. He was found at fault, and cited. One week later, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department released body camera footage showing a shocked and rattled Governor. First lady Kathy Sisolak—who was not involved in the crash but arrived moments later in a separate vehicle—seemed mainly concerned with cleaning out ‘garbage’ from the back seat of his Lexus. His protection detail arrived late to the scene as well.
Yesterday, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released the body camera footage from the incident. At about 3:30, the governor predicts that the event is going to turn into “a media circus.” That hasn’t happened yet, but the video does raise questions that deserve truthful, frank answers.
This video is filled with oddities–the muted reaction by the first lady, who seems more focused on clearing garbage out of the car, and the absence of his protection detail while he was driving. Not to mention the officer’s lack of inquiry or procedure that would be given to any Nevadan involved in a serious car accident causing physical injury and property damage.
Why was Sisolak, who speaks clearly in describing the wreck but appears dazed as he sits on the curb in front of the Pollo Loco in black Nikes, not asked if he had been drinking? Why was Sisolak not asked if he was using any prescription medication or narcotics? In fact, the officer says, “Whenever you want to go, you can go.” Surely, many ordinary Nevadans found responsible for having caused a crash with damage would love to hear that sentence from the responding officer.
Why was the first lady allowed to clean out ‘garbage’ from the back seat of his vehicle? Why is the garbage so important to her? In the officer’s words, “you can do whatever you want with inside of the car.”
I took these questions to a law enforcement source who is close to the LVMPD. Here is their assessment:
“An officer can run a field sobriety test at the scene of any accident. The officer on scene doesn’t need probable cause. As far as the First Lady cleaning out the car, that’s a little sketchy. The officer has some leeway at the scene, but who knows as the Watch Commander is already on the scene when the traffic unit arrives. We don’t know if the car was already checked by an officer before the First Lady started to remove the items. I want to know why he was out there alone with no security, then after he crashes, they show up. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sheriff Lombardo wouldn’t use something from the investigation. He has to look like he has nothing to do with the investigation. His detectives will present any evidence to the DA’s office and they will ultimately make any decision to prosecute the Governor.”
The Nevada Globe has left a message with the Public Affairs division asking if there is an open investigation into Sisolak’s accident or if the department has referred the case to the DA for consideration. We will continue to follow this story and provide related updates.
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