LAS VEGAS — Tashi Farmer, 40, is the latest victim of excessive force at the hands of police, after a run-in with an officer that ended in brutal fashion, with cries for mercy ignored.
On May 14 shortly before 1 a.m., two on-duty Las Vegas police officers at the Venetian Hotel were approached by Farmer, who was reportedly panicked, sweating profusely, and said he was being chased.
At that moment, Farmer backed away from the officers and ran into an employees-only area. Officer Kenneth Lopera tried to catch up with him, and ran after him through the hotel back area. Farmer managed to lose Officer Lopera momentarily, and ran outside to the parking area. There, he saw an occupied white pickup truck and tried to open the tailgate, according to police. Undersheriff Kevin McMahill reports Officer Lopera thought Farmer was attempting a carjacking, but the man in the vehicle claims he did not feel Farmer was trying to carjack him.
When Officer Lopera caught up to Farmer outside, he used a stun gun on him, seven times. He then proceeded to strike Farmer in the head and face several times. He then applied a rear naked chokehold to Farmer, a martial arts technique that is not permitted. He kept Farmer in the hold for more than one minute. In that time, Farmer lost consciousness. When supporting officers realized he was not breathing, they had him taken to the hospital. 40-year-old Tashi Farmer was pronounced dead at 1:39 a.m.
Undersheriff McMahill stated Officer Kenneth Lopera has been put on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted. He also reports had Farmer survived, he would have faced no charges.