Vegas Police Department Settles Lawsuit with Street Performers
A pair of Las Vegas street performers have received a $105,000 settlement from the Las Vegas police as a result of a lawsuit they filed. The department issued the settlement believing that the cost of litigation would exceed the cost of settling outside of court and was a vital measure to take in order to avoid tarnishing the department’s reputation.
The two performers were doing their act in a public area outside of the Venetian Hotel in January of 2010 when they were illegally detained. Police officers handcuffed them, demanded identification, and searched their belongings without a warrant.
A public defender from the Nevada ACLU represented the performers in their case. He stated that the settlement is not so much about the money involved, but serves as a reminder that public spaces are open to expressions that are protected by the first amendment.
The police department hopes that this case will improve the way they interact with and approach street performers throughout the city.