Posted on: February 28, 2022, 02:14h.
Last updated on: February 28, 2022, 04:26h.
The Las Vegas Metro cop who allegedly attempted to rob the off-Strip Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino sportsbook appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court Monday. He is a possible suspect in other casino robberies, and his alleged actions were widely condemned.
A judge ordered the officer, Caleb Rogers, 33, to stay away from the Las Vegas Strip. If he posts bond, he must wear a monitoring device and cannot carry a firearm. He was still listed as being held at the Clark County Detention Center as of mid-day Monday, online jail records said. Bail was set at $250,000.
I do think he’s a danger based on the actions in this case, bringing the firearm in and brandishing it multiple times, pulling it out of his waistband a second time to confront a security guard,” Judge Elana Graham said during Monday’s court appearance, reported KSNV, a local TV station. She is a former Deputy District Attorney.
Rogers remains a suspect in two other Nevada robberies. One was at Aliante Casino and the other at Red Rock Resort, KSNV said. He attempted to steal more than $78,000 from one of the gaming properties, prosecutors claimed. He also allegedly shoved a sportsbook employee to the floor and “threatened to shoot people during one of the crimes,” KSNV adds.
Rogers initially was apprehended at about 7 am Sunday. He was stopped by Rio casino security. LVMPD then charged him with burglary with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, and two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon for the Rio incident. He could face decades in prison if convicted.
Rogers has not been charged so far in any of the prior robberies. But a statement from a Metro police spokesperson said, “This is an ongoing investigation and additional charges may be forthcoming.”
Rogers has been with the Metro police department since 2015. Following his arrest, Rogers was suspended without pay. He formerly was assigned to the Bolden Area Command and worked in community policing. He was off-duty when the arrest took place.
Metro is conducting its own internal investigation on Rogers. Casino.org reached out to Caesars Entertainment, operator of the Rio, for comment on Monday. No immediate statement was provided.
Police Union President Disgusted
While the charges remain an allegation, condemnations came from the president of the local police union to national experts in criminal justice. Rogers will not be represented by the police union, the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (LVPPA), as his case is presented in criminal court.
“While everyone has a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, if these allegations are true, the LVPPA could not be more disappointed and disgusted by the actions of one rogue officer,” Steve Grammas, LVPPA president and a LVMPD detective, told Casino.org. “If these charges are proven to be true, we hope the criminal justice system accurately holds this person accountable.”
No Room for Such Behavior
When asked for comment, Maria (Maki) Haberfeld, a professor at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice and national expert in police ethics, said the arrest “not only raises ethical concerns, if the officer is found guilty of these alleged crimes, this goes beyond ethics.
It is a violent felony offense and there is no room, whatsoever, for such behavior in any police department,” Haberfeld told Casino.org. She explained the incident shows how departments nationally “need to revamp their recruitment standards, select applicants with an unblemished past, with education, and some serious work experience.”
Police departments also must provide “explicit training” on rules and regulations, and consequences following unbecoming conduct — “which, in my eyes could only be one — firing from the force,” Haberfeld adds. Also, discipline “needs to be certain and swift,” she explained.
Similarly, William H. Sousa, director at UNLV’s Center for Crime and Justice Policy, where he also teaches criminal justice, said the “culture” of a department needs to discourage wrongdoing by officers.
He points out there is “little indication that any officer other than the one named in the story is involved. The overwhelming majority of police officers in the United States do not engage in misconduct.”
But Sousa remains troubled by the allegations involving Rogers.
“Obviously if these allegations are true, this is a serious breach of ethical and legal standards,” Sousa told Casino.org. “That a police officer is involved is particularly troublesome since the police are held to such high ethical and legal standards.”