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Friday, August 21, 2009

[NV] Henderson police consider what Officer Morrison is accused of as "an internal, personnel-related issue"

A Henderson police officer [Luke Morrison] who fatally shot an ice cream truck driver last year is accused of "inappropriate behavior" with his sister-in-law, who was then 15...

Improper behavior alleged by relative
Las Vegas Review-Journal
By Antonio Planas and Brian Haynes
Aug. 20, 2009
A Henderson police officer who fatally shot an ice cream truck driver last year is accused of "inappropriate behavior" with his sister-in-law, who was then 15, according to court documents obtained Wednesday. Henderson police officer Luke Morrison, 24, is on paid administrative leave, but city and police officials would not discuss the reason why. "I can't comment on anything related to officer Morrison," said Henderson spokesman Bud Cranor. "This is an internal, personnel-related issue"... A judge denied the father's request for a temporary restraining order against Morrison because the accusation didn't fall under the category of domestic violence... "Everyone involved was blind to what was happening due to Luke being a Henderson Police Officer," the man wrote in the application. "I have contacted the Henderson Police Department and they are investigating the case"... Family members saw the teenager and Morrison sneaking off together, the court document said. The girl's father said a relative once intercepted an inappropriate text message to his teenage daughter from Morrison. The relative found a message on the girl's cell phone that stated: "Good night. I love you," the report said... Morrison was the officer who fatally shot 42-year-old Deshira Selimaj on Feb. 12, 2008, in one of the valley's most controversial officer-involved shootings. Numerous witnesses disputed the police version of events in the days after the shooting... Henderson city officials last week agreed to a $700,000 settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the Deshira Selimaj's widower, Zyber Selimaj... [Full article here]


Posted: Sep. 2, 2009 | 10:00 p.m.
Updated: Apr. 9, 2012 | 11:31 p.m.
[Excerpts] The Henderson City Council has signed off on a $700,000 settlement with the family of an ice cream truck driver who was shot and killed by police in front of her husband and two children... Selimaj was shot to death Feb. 12, 2008, after she drove her ice cream truck to Sunridge Heights and Pecos Ridge parkways to help a patrol officer communicate with her Albanian-born husband... Officer Luke Morrison shot the 42-year-old mother after she raised a knife in the direction of another officer, police said... Henderson City Attorney Elizabeth Quillin declined to discuss the reasons behind the settlement. It comes amid unrelated trouble for Morrison, who has been on paid administrative leave from the Henderson Police Department since July 21. Citing an ongoing "personnel action," city officials won't say why Morrison is on leave, but the 24-year-old has been accused of "inappropriate behavior" with his underage sister-in-law, according to an April request for a restraining order filed in Family Court... The death of Deshira Selimaj remains controversial. Numerous witnesses disputed the police version of events in the days after the shooting, including several people who said that Selimaj didn't have a knife and that she was sitting on a curb when she was shot...  [LINK]

Antonio Planas
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sep. 29, 2009 | 9:23 p.m.
[Excerpts] The Henderson police officer at the center of one of the Las Vegas Valley’s most controversial shootings in recent memory resigned from the department Tuesday for undisclosed reasons. City of Henderson spokesman Bud Cranor said Tuesday that Luke Morrison, 24, is no longer an employee of the city. Morrison was the officer who fatally shot 42-year-old ice cream truck driver Deshira Selimaj last year. The resignation came in the wake of accusations from a family member that Morrison had engaged in “inappropriate behavior” with a teenager... At an April hearing, the girl opposed the request for a restraining order. Both she and Morrison denied having a relationship... Morrison has been married to the girl’s older sister since Jan. 1, 2004, according to Clark County records. Cranor wouldn’t specify why Morrison resigned, saying it was a personnel matter...  [LINK]


CORRECTION -- 04/12/08 -- A story in Thursday’s Review-Journal on witness accounts of the Henderson police shooting of ice cream truck driver Deshira Selimaj gave an incorrect age for one of the two sons present when she was killed. Selimaj’s 5-year-old and 11-year-old sons were present during the Feb. 12 shooting.
By Antonio Planas
Posted: Apr. 10, 2008
Unjustified. Pathetic. Mistake. Those are words used by some witnesses to describe the controversial Feb. 12 shooting by a Henderson police officer that left 42-year-old ice cream truck driver Deshira Selimaj dead. Three witnesses who spoke with the Review-Journal dispute police accounts of the shooting. They are among the more than 25 witnesses subpoenaed to testify in the coroner's inquest that begins today and is expected to continue Friday. The inquest will determine whether 23-year-old Henderson police officer Luke Morrison was justified when he shot the Albanian immigrant in front of two of her children and her 65-year-old husband, Zyber Selimaj, during a daytime traffic stop near Coronado High School... During a news conference nine days after the shooting, Henderson Police Chief Richard Perkins said Morrison saved the life of a fellow officer when he shot Deshira Selimaj, preventing an attack on Morrison's partner. Perkins called Morrison a hero. The three witnesses, however, said police could have subdued the diminutive Deshira Selimaj without shooting her. The witnesses claim that Deshira Selimaj didn't have a knife and never lunged toward an officer... The witnesses said Deshira Selimaj was attempting to stand up, after being hit by the Taser, when she was shot once in the torso... "I did not see a knife. She was running with her hands waving and flailing," said Bean, who viewed the incident through the passenger-side window of her mini-van. "I saw her get tased. She went down. As she was getting up, I heard a definite shot and then she went down for good," Bean said. "I thought they were shooting at the ground. I thought they were trying to scare her because she wasn't a threat at all." Witness Maria Saltonstall, who also is expected to give her account during the inquest, called the shooting "unjustified." "I hope he (Morrison) walks the plank because he deserves it," she said. Saltonstall said she also was about 30 yards from Deshira Selimaj, standing outside her car at the northwest corner of Sunridge Heights Parkway, when she saw four officers with guns drawn on Selimaj. She recalls Selimaj standing, with her arms in the air, and speaking with the officers. She didn't have a knife, Saltonstall said... "To shoot an unarmed woman is pathetic, absolutely pathetic," Saltonstall said. "I had nightmares after this. I still, to this day, have goose bumps every time I think of those children screaming and running up and down that sidewalk after their mother was shot." A third witness, who did not want his name used out of fear of retribution... The man said he didn't see a knife. Selimaj was shot while she was on the ground, the man said. Afterward, her 7-year-old son became hysterical and started running toward her, but a police officer yelled at him and told him to stop, he said. Zyber Selimaj became enraged and several officers restrained him on the hood of a police car, he said... [LINK]

Posted: Apr. 13, 2008 | 10:00 p.m.
Updated: Apr. 9, 2012 | 4:07 p.m.
[Excerpts] Two days of testimony, more than two dozen witnesses, and still there are unanswered questions about the Henderson police shooting of 42-year-old Deshira Selimaj, critics said. Was Selimaj sitting, crouching or standing when she was shot? Did she have a knife? And did the 23-year-old police officer fully disclose who he talked to about the incident?... A coroner's jury unanimously found the officer, Luke Morrison, justified in shooting and killing Selimaj on Feb. 12. But it didn't quell criticism of the coroner's inquest process or speculation about the incident that prompted it... Selimaj family attorney Jim Jimmerson said Saturday there was ample evidence that Selimaj was not standing up and lunging at officers, as several Henderson police officers testified... There also was contradictory testimony by Morrison about whom he had talked to about the shooting... Jimmerson claimed Saturday that Morrison had contacted people other than those he mentioned on the stand, and that Morrison had done so in the form of text messages... The process also left a bad taste in the mouth of Maria Saltonstall, who witnessed the shooting and told jurors Friday that she didn't see Selimaj wield a knife [LINK]
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  1. No one is a more honest and up standing person than Luke Morrison............this was all BS


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