LAS VEGAS — Police officer Cordell Hendrex should resign and not be praised by Las Vegas politicians.
But that’s not happening.
The local politicians are not blaming Hendrex and the three-armed Mandalay Bay security officers who remained on the 31st floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel as Stephen Paddock’s gunfire, one floor above them, was raining down bullets that were slaughtering and wounding Route 91 Music Festival attendees on the night of the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
Las Vegas officials had only praise for the police response after they viewed the video footage from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officer Elif Varsin’s body-worn camera according to a story published Satruday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
That footage showed that Varsin, Officer Cordell Hendrex and three armed Mandalay Bay security managers remained on the 31stfloor and failed to take any action to get to the 32ndfloor to confront Paddock.
Las Vegas Councilman Steve Seroka told the newspaper he was impressed with how the officers were proceeding. “I saw nothing but professionalism and so much courage.”
Clark County Commissioner, Steve Sisolak, who is the Democratic candidate for Nevada Governor, told the newspaper it was difficult for him to form an opinion on what he saw on the video without knowing what previous orders or instructions the officers may have received.
Las Vegas City Councilman, Bob Coffin told the newspaper, “They could have done nothing more except shoot their own people on the floor above.”
Clark County Commissioner, Jim Gibson told the newspaper he supported the actions the officers took.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, wife of former Las Vegas Mayor and mob attorney, Oscar Goodman told the newspaper that there is protocol and a process for law enforcement and that everyone must follow protocol.
What protocol and what previous orders and instructions would police officers need during an active shooter incident that is occurring in real time?
There is only one protocol; Get to the shooter and neutralize the threat. That’s it period.
How anyone could watch that video and justify Hendrex’s actions is not only disgraceful, but it is an insult to all 22,000 concert attendees, the 58 who were murdered, the 422 who were wounded by gunfire and the families of the deceased.
Hendrex is a ten-year police veteran and a field training officer and the leader that night of an armed contingent of four. They did nothing but listen to the gunfire and the police radios as the horror continued.
As his own fellow officers were risking their lives running through the gunfire to get into the Mandalay Bay Hotel to get to the shooter, Hendrex cowered on the 31stfloor.
To all those Las Vegas politicians, you are not only ignorant, but you are a disgrace to your public office. Keep towing the political line and doing damage control.
In an October 9, 2017, New York Times article, the Times quoted Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo who runs the LVMPD, that during their interview with Lombardo he said, “You have to give authority to boots on the ground to act, without having to ask for permission.”
I guess Mayor Goodman, that Hendrex must not have gotten that message, as you said they have a protocol to follow.
One more thing. Mr. Coffin, there were no other police officers on the 32ndfloor during the time Hendrex was retreating on the 31stfloor.
I watched the video of Hendrex cowering on that floor and it made me sick.
How many lives could have been saved had some action been taken, we will never know.
On Thursday we all saw another tragedy when a gunman entered the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis Maryland and killed five people and wounded two others. The police response to that active shooter incident was damn near perfect. The police didn’t wait for backup, they went right in to confront the threat.
The police in Annapolis didn’t know where in the building the shooter was or how he was armed.
Hendrex was told while on the 31st floor that the gunfire was coming from 32-135 and he did nothing.
The only protocol a police officer has is to act to save lives.
If you are wearing a badge and you can’t accept that responsibility, then have the courage to resign. That would be act of bravery. Don’t disgrace the police profession by remaining on the job. You will dishonor all the law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty protecting the public.
Doug authored over 135 articles on the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Massacre, more than any other single journalist in the country. He investigates stories on corruption, law enforcement and crime. Doug is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former police officer, deputy sheriff and criminal investigator. Doug spent 20 years in the hotel/casino industry as an investigator and then as Director of Security and Surveillance. He also spent a short time with the US Dept. of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration. In 1986 Doug was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. In 1992 and 1993 Doug testified in court that a sheriff’s office official and the county prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence during the 1988 trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of his wife. Doug’s testimony led to a judge’s decision to order the release of the man from prison in 1992 and awarded him a new trial, in which he was later acquitted. As a result of Doug breaking the police “blue wall of silence,” he was fired by the county sheriff. His story was featured on Inside Edition, Current Affair and CBS News’ “Street Stories with Ed Bradley”. In 1992 after losing his job, at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Doug infiltrated a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont fortune heir and his wife. Doug has been a guest on national television and radio programs speaking on the stories he now writes as an investigative journalist.