Federal Grand Jury reportedly convenes in Greene case
Probe focuses on 2010 incident that left diabetic motorist with broken ribs and bruises
This video, recorded by a Nevada Highway patrol car dashboard camera, resulted in the retirements of Henderson Police Chief Jutta Chambers and City Manager Mark Calhoun in February. District Attorney Steve Wolfson declined to seek the indictment of Henderson Police sergeant Brett Seekatz for his actions in the incident, but a federal grand jury is reportedly now hearing evidence in the case. photo by courtesy of Nevada Highway Patrol.
January 17, 2013A federal grand jury is reportedly hearing evidence in the case of a diabetic motorist repeatedly kicked by a Henderson police sergeant during apprehension after a 2010 traffic stop.
Published reports cite a reference by Chris Collins, director of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (a police union that does not include members of the HPD - Henderson officers are represented by the Henderson Police Officers' Association) to an ongoing proceeding that is looking into the actions of Sergeant Brett Seekatz, one of six Henderson and Nevada Highway Patrol officers who were involved in removing Greene from the car and apprehending him, Oct. 29, 2010.
Collins has since denied knowledge of a grand jury in the case.
Greene was stopped following a 14-minute pursuit by NHP and HPD officers for erratic driving at Lake Mead Boulevard and Boulder Highway.
Video from a camera mounted in a Nevada Highway Patrol car shows Greene being pulled from his vehicle and forced to the pavement. While Greene is on the ground with four officers subduing him, Seekatz approaches and delivers five forceful kicks to Greene's upper body.
Greene, a diabetic, was suffering from a medical episode that caused the erratic driving. He suffered broken ribs, a black eye and multiple abrasions from the incident, which, he said, took about two months to fully heal. In February, he and his wife Brittany settled Civil Rights violation claims with the city for a combined $257,000 (and a separate settlement with the State of Nevada).
Grand jury proceedings are secretive. Witnesses are prevented by law from speaking about their testimony and no evidence gathered is made public until and unless an indictment is handed down.
A representative from the U.S. Attorney's office declined to confirm a grand jury has been convened, citing policy.
"I have no knowledge of any contact with the U.S. Attorney's office or a grand jury proceeding regarding any case with our officers," said Henderson police spokesman Keith Paul.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson declined to seek indictments in the case in May, after months of vacillating.
"They (the officers) believed they were dealing with a person who had broken the law and was endangering the lives of others," wrote Wolfson in a detailed five-page decision released on May 25. "More importantly, they believed Mr. Greene was forcibly resisting their efforts to take him into custody.
"Although it is certainly true that the video of this incident is offensive to watch, careful review of the information gathered … led all ten (D.A. office) evaluators to conclude that the conduct in this case did not rise to the level of criminal offense that could be successfully prosecuted."