Civil Rights

Despite Suit by Black Lawyer Arrested While Jogging, Cops Disclaim Racial Issues


Even after police apparently recognized him as a downtown defense lawyer, they went ahead and arrested him for no good reason while he was jogging in his longtime neighborhood in West Las Vegas, contends David Lee Phillips.

A lawsuit filed over the incident by Phillips, 58, who is black and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is ongoing. In it, he contends that police threatened and harassed him before knocking him to the ground, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

But even as residents of several largely black neighborhoods in West Las Vegas and North Las Vegas have banded together to protest what they describe as “blatant abuse and police brutality,” authorities say they are unaware of any racial issues and point to what they describe as a lack of complaints.

“I lost clients,” says Phillips of the February 2008 incident at issue in his suit. “They said they didn’t want an attorney who might be in jail with them.”

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Black Criminal Defense Lawyer Tells of Being Cuffed, Suspected as Getaway Driver”

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