A plethora of Las Vegas Metro Police SUVs lined the busy urban street, parked, red and blue lights pulsating in a rhythmic cadence, hypnotically illuminating the dusk laden sky. Outside those vehicles a gaggle of officers mingled with each other, exuding calm and ease, an assured confidence radiating from the group. Numbering around 15 according to a witness at the scene, they were not on site to investigate a crime scene or terrorist threat, but to partake in Clark County Democratic District Attorney Steve Wolfson’s Re-Election kickoff event.
Mr. Wolfson’s campaign fundraiser, which according to a list widely distributed by an attendee, included conspiracy peddler Wayne Allyn Root, Republican Clark County District Court Judges Susan and Eric Johnson, and conservative provocateur Steve Sanson, was held at at Piero’s, an Italian restaurant known to be the go to spot for establishment figures from across the Las Vegas valley, on September 29th. While high dollar events such as the one Wolfson threw are commonplace in the grift and wink driven world of Vegas politicos, widely unreported until now, was the possible reason for the massive police presence.
Also convening that night at Piero’s, with an interest in the happenings both inside and outside the restaurant, were members and supporters of a non-violent, mass movement Las Vegas based civil rights organization going by the moniker ‘More than a Hashtag.’
Known as MTAH for short, their official Facebook page describes them as a “...group of Black/Brown members that are forcing change.” Billing themselves as fighting for victims of police brutality and racial injustice, MTAH began to first coalesce in the spring of 2020, blossoming in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder and the nationwide demand for institutional change which grew from his death.
With both sides assembled, and facing off, Steve Wolfson’s supporters armed with guns and other assorted weapons and those from MTAH deploying an arsenal including their voices, and the backing of the Bill of Rights as their ultimate armor, those passing by the scene that night very likely wondered what was transpiring. And why exactly did the two groups, with disparate goals and significantly different outlooks on the state of the criminal justice system, find themselves face to face that warm fall evening?
Animus began swelling against the police department overseen by close Wolfson ally, Sheriff Joe Lombardo, from the earliest days of Lombardo’s tenure. Allegations of a department run amok, one cloaked in the shadows while officers moved about crushing dissent and speech with impunity, were the norm. A palpable anger continued building up, anger eventually sweeping over the city during the sweltering summer of 2020. The catalyst for the immutable rage and crushing pain felt by the populace took place on June 1st of that year, Jorge Gomez was killed by the LVMPD, an act which has been labeled murdered by a wide swath of the general public. Gomez, engaging in his constitutional right to openly carry a weapon while walking down a public street, was gunned down in a wave of bullets, shot in cowardly fashion from behind, assassinated some would say, by a hit squad of almost a half dozen government employed assassins. This unprosecuted act, criminal in its brazen disregard for human life and barbaric cruelty shown by the five LVMPD officers, prompted a near universal outcry of outrage from the public.
Taking the lead in demanding justice and an equal application of the rule of law, MTAH filled the streets with wave after wave of direct action. This included a clear, unrelenting demand for the arrests and convictions of not only the gang of five who carried out the street hit, but Steve Wolfson himself, for covering up the crimes of the LVMPD with his choice not to pursue charges against anyone involved. By September of 2021 Wolfson, clearly aware of the presence of More than a Hashtag, seemingly tried to hide from this citizen’s brigade of truth tellers.
It didn’t work.
As Wolfson employed a line of henchmen to shield him from view, several agents of truth refused to be deterred in their pursuit of a discussion with the fleeing district attorney. Gaining access to the event, in spite of significant efforts at intimidation by Wolfson’s allies including a physical assault attack on one of the activists, an attack facilitated by a hired thug masquerading as a Piero’s valet attendant, those from MTAH, once inside, encountered an unused to be presented with facts. A video shot at the event, shows a man, apparently Tom Letizia, Wolfson’s campaign advisor, scurrying toward the camera demanding an end to the impromptu recitation of demands offered up by members of the collective.
Outside, the values of freedom were assailed by the father and son team running Piero’s. Freddie Glusman, Letizia’s father-in-law, hurled invectives at the throng of peacefully assembled protestors, spouting homophobic slurs and racially tinged statements at them, while demanding the arrests of all present. His son Evan Glusman added a physical dimension to their depraved hatred of democracy by proceeding to destroy a phone belonging to one of the night's participants in a fit of unhinged rage and fury. As this chaos was being unleashed by his followers, Steve Wolfson himself disappeared into the night.
Ultimately no arrests were made against anyone at the scene.
With more than a year to go before the general election, the question of what comes next is being asked. Wolfson’s campaign continues in force, raising money and winking back to his donors, as he awaits a potential challenger. As for the insular MTAH, a habit of always leaving their next plans shrouded in mystery will likely continue as they strengthen general opposition to not only Wolfson, but any of those who refuse to allow the voiceless an opportunity to be heard.