Retired Las Vegas Police Lieutenant calls Hendrex a coward

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LAS VEGAS —  I was a guest on the last hour of the Wayne Allyn Root show on the USA Radio Network this past Friday. Retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Randy Sutton was a guest at the start of the show.  Sutton is a police veteran with over 30 years of service as well as an accomplished author and host of Blue Lives Radio on America Out Loud Talk Radio.

The topic of discussion was LVMPD Officer Cordell Hendrex and the police body camera video footage that was released on Wednesday that showed Hendrex, LVMPD Officer Elif Varsin and three armed Mandalay Bay Hotel security managers remaining on the 31stfloor during the time that Stephen Paddock gunfire was killing and wounding Route 91 Music Festival concert attendees.  They made no attempt to get to the 32ndfloor and confront Paddock.

Root: “This guy could have saved lives and didn’t.  To me, he’s no different than the guy outside Parkland high school.  He’s a coward.”

Retired LVMPD Lt. Randy Sutton

Sutton: “I wish I could disagree with you.  The body cam footage that came out, it’s really disturbing Wayne and you know it’s frustrating to me both as a retired police officer, especially with Metro, to see this made public and to feel the frustration that he didn’t do anything, that he froze, even by his own report, was so frightened that he didn’t do anything.  And not only him but since he was the senior officer, the trainee that was with him didn’t act nor did the security people because they were waiting for his lead.”

“I know Wayne, believe me, this is an embarrassment to the police department, an embarrassment to, I mean this is one of those things that, here’s the thing. On my radio show, Blue Lives Radio and my blog that I do on Facebook under Randy Sutton public figure, I make commentary on all things law enforcement and I celebrate the good work that cops do, and I bring attention when there is injustice towards law enforcement. But just like in the Parkland shooting I have to face the facts and treat matters like this legitimately and so when there is a screw-up or when there is an embarrassment like this, I have to be truthful about it as much as I find it distasteful to talk about.”

“Let me try to break it down.  As a police officer for over thirty years, the warrior mindset is something that I have found to be very important.  It has saved my life, Wayne, and I’ve seen it save the lives of other police officers because you have to be able as a cop to go from officer friendly mode to the warrior and that means you are ready to take care of business and if you have to, to kill the individual that is posing a threat to you or someone else.  That warrior mindset is something that we train for years on.”

“Under Obama and the Eric Holder administration they purposely tried to change the training and reduce it to politically correct mindset of guardian and they actually had a campaign against officer survival combat training, and that saves lives, it is what leads them to, as officers did yesterday during the horrendous massacre in Maryland where those officers ran right to the sound of the fire and took care of business.  Taking the suspect into custody.  That’s the warrior mindset but there are forces at work that began with politicians and ever some, as many police chiefs have adopted this because of the political correctness and now they are devoting precious training hours to nonsensical politically correct training instead of training officers to survive.”

“In fact, there is a what’s considered to be a police think tank called PERF in Washington D.C., Police Executive Research Forum.  The PERF is a think tank for law enforcement regarding all things law enforcement.  When it began years ago it did some pretty good work.  But then it began to be perverted by a liberal mindset and they became basically the lackeys for the Obama Administration to get their policies out in force, so they became basically, an innocuous organization that just pushed out Obama’s politically correct policies.  So, they even came out with this big 21stcentury policing report that was touted as being the end all in policing and a bunch of police chiefs bought into this nonsense and in that they decried the warrior mindset of policing and want to change it and change the training.  In fact, a bunch of police chiefs actually stopped training cops in survival tactics and instead inserted implicit bias training, where in some cases, de-escalation training. Listen there’s a place for that but the training hours are so precious in law enforcement they have to be used for the best purposes, teaching cops to survive and to save the lives of others when they have to face the dragon.”

Root:My buddy is a SWAT leader in southern California.  He just sent this text to me.  He said the Feds have neutered local police and sheriff’s departments.  Political correctness and leftist thought has changed deputies and officers into social workers with a gun.  Your comments on that?

Sutton:He’s not inaccurate.  The police have been somehow, policing is a law enforcement job and somehow, we have gotten away that being the mainstay of what the occupation is and somehow the political correctness has forced cops into becoming social workers in many situations, and that’s not the job of a cop.  You have to be a problem solver and there is a myriad of problems, but society’s ills are not the fault of the police, and the politicians are always looking for a fall guy and the cops make the best fall guy ever.”

Root: “That’s it.  I’ll tell you what, this guy Cordell Hendrex does not bring great honor upon the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, nor police officers anywhere in this country.  I think most people know I’m a big fan of the police, I think they’re 99% heroes.  I take their side 99% of the time. Every once in a while, they do, do something that I disagree with.  But this is like the cop outside of Parkland.  He was a coward, he didn’t go in and he should have gone in. When you hear kids dying inside at the hands of a madman with automatic weapons or a shotgun or something like that, you got to go.  I don’t know what the difference is between him and Cordell Hendrex. The only difference is nobody reported Cordell Hendrex.  The police have closed ranks and decided not to let us know about it and forced my newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal Randy, to take the case to the Nevada Supreme Court before they finally ruled you have to release all the testimony, all the witness and police testimony, and all the videos and all the autopsy reports that the police here refused to release, even though its public domain.  And so, this was covered up, I don’t know what else to say, I called it a cover-up.  Would you go so far as to use that word?”

Sutton: No, I wouldn’t go so far to use that word.  What happened in Parkland was observed by many people and so it was made public immediately.  I don’t think the department itself ever knew about this situation at first, I think.  It came out, but I don’t think the department knew about it.  But for the life of me I can’t figure out why they spent so much time and money and effort to not release the records.”

Authors Note: In response to the Baltimore Post-Examiner’s June 28 story, “Police body-camera video confirms Hendrex took no action to save lives night of massacre,” a retired LVMPDdetective responded:

“I can tell that ALL elements of a perfect “active shooter” (hate that term it should be active killer) response was present. Two uniformed officers and three armed security officers/supervisors.  LVMPD policy post-Columbine has been that the first arriving officers assemble an element and use whatever means necessary to breach the doors and move to the sound of gunshots to eliminate and/or engage the suspect(s).  There has been NO provisions to stop and assess!  This is FACT!  The officers already had an element, master keys for breaching and the location of the suspect not by just Mandalay Bay Officer Campos telling them which room but also by hearing Paddock’s shots!  The LVMPD was the first department who did formal active shooter training post-Columbine.”

“No calls were made for Hendrex and his element to breach the room, though they should’ve!  But they didn’t even make an effort and this is the problem! They didn’t make an attempt to draw the suspects fire.  This alone could’ve forced Paddock to take the cowards way out or to engage them!  Either way, the attention would’ve been aimed at the officers and not the citizens!”

Check out Poppa’s interview on Wayne Allyn Root show.