Judge: Bail to be voided, returned to Las Vegas protesters

By: - June 1, 2020 3:40 pm

Police officers take out batons after telling protesters to disperse during protests in Las Vegas, May 31, 2020. (Photo by Jeniffer Solis)

Police officers take out batons after telling protesters to disperse during protests over the weekend. (Photo by Jeniffer Solis)

Las Vegas Justice Court Chief Justice Suzan Baucum says protesters arrested Friday night who posted bail will have the bail voided and their money returned.

Baucum blamed miscommunication between a jail supervisor and a pretrial release supervisor for protesters “being subjected to bail when they would have been released under the administrative order.”

Orders in place at the jail, one to facilitate a lower population and another to prevent the spread of COVID-19, allow jail personnel to release certain misdemeanor offenders on their own recognizance.

“Whereas, due to a clerical error, various defendants posted bail, or had bail posted on
their behalf, in lieu of being released on recognizance; and WHEREAS, the Court finds that the interests of justice mandate that these bail amounts must be refunded;” Baucum wrote in a separate order issued Monday.

Baucum says judges were unaware some 80 protesters who were arrested were being required to post $1,000 bail on a charge of Failure to Disperse.

“I found out at about 10 a.m. Saturday and have been working to sort it out since,” she said.

On Saturday, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Assistant Sheriff Chris Jones told the Current that jail personnel had not violated orders and that the protesters could have been released without bail if they had waited.

Bail was not assessed to protesters arrested after judges discovered the practice Saturday.

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.