Protesters cited for using chalk on city sidewalks
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Four people are facing multiple charges for writing on Las Vegas city sidewalks with chalk.
Kelly Wayne Patterson, 33, Brian Ballentine, 31, Hailee Jewell, 18, and Catalino de la Cruz Dazo Jr., 20, are affiliated with group Nevada Cop Block and Occupy Las Vegas.
The four protesters used washable chalk to write various statements on the sidewalks in front of the Metropolitan Police Department's headquarters and the Regional Justice Center on two occasions.
The first incident took place on July 13 at police headquarters on Martin Luther King Boulevard.
At that time, they were told that they were breaking the law and Patterson and Ballentine received citations.
On July 18, the protesters again used colored chalk to write on the sidewalk outside the Regional Justice Center before a court hearing for Patterson and Ballentine.
Jewell and de la Cruz Dazo participated at that time, according to paperwork received from the court.
The four protesters were labeled as "ideological taggers" in the warrant declaration. Ideological taggers was described as persons who express their hostility or grievances, often very explicit, in their graffiti.
During further investigation into the incident, it appears that Patterson, Ballentine and Dazo refer to themselves as "The Sunset 3."
The Sunset 3 appears to be a reference to them being the core group of The Sunset Activist Collective, which is associated with Nevada Cop Block and Occupy Las Vegas.
According to the Facebook page for Nevada Cop Block, their mission is to seek accountability for the police departments within Nevada (and elsewhere.)
Police say that these were not the first two protests that the group was involved with and that they routinely videotape their actions and then post their activities on social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook.
Investigators also discovered that the protesters were asking others to join them in their "chalking" protests during the second Saturday of each month at LMVPD's headquarters.
The reports claims that it cost $1,550 to clean both crime scenes and that there is concern that the chalk will call long-term damage to the sidewalks.
The protesters are facing multiple gross misdemeanor counts of placing graffiti or defacing property and conspiracy to commit placing graffiti.