State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson released a statement today to “clarify” his role in the arrest of Assemblyman Steven Brooks on Jan. 19. In it, he says he never heard Brooks make a direct threat to the life of Assembly Speaker-designate Marilyn Kirkpatrick, was was concerned about Brooks’s mental health and his possession of a handgun. Here’s the statement:
After much reflection, I have prepared this statement to clarify my role in the events that lead to the arrest of Assemblyman Steven Brooks last Saturday, January 19, 2013.
First let me say this, Steven is a good friend of mine. He is a good man and a committed public servant, but whom I feel needs help during what is obviously a very difficult period. This should not be about me or anyone else; it is about helping a friend currently in grave need.
Let me make it very clear, I never told anyone that I had knowledge from Steve of a direct threat on the Speaker’s life. I received a call on Saturday, January 19, 2013 around 3 pm from Las Vegss City Councilman Ricky [sic] Barlow for help. In that call, I was advised that Steven had just been released from a care facility the night before, that he had a loaded gun in his car, that he was trying to get to Carson City but didn’t have any money, and was acting and speaking irrationally. Councilman Barlow stated that Steven “had it in for Marilyn Kirkpatrick” and blamed her for his life spiraling out of control.
With that information and because many of us had been concerned about Steven’s emotional state over the past few months, I felt I should notify the Speaker and the Majority Leader of the Assembly of what I had learned.
I have to admit, hearing what I was hearing, I had grave concerns for the Speaker’s well being and for Steven’s safety as well. I did not want him to show up to the Speaker’s home unannounced and her to be caught off guard with a volatile situation. I did not want anyone getting hurt, including Steven. I wanted to get him off the streets and into an appropriate situation to seek help.
While I have thought about this situation many times since last weekend, I know in my heart, I did what I believed was right based upon the information I was provided. I was concerned for everyone’s safety involved. I hope Steven gets the help he needs. I have supported him in the past and will continue to do so as long as he will allow me to, as a friend.
With that said, there is an ongoing investigation, and therefore this will be the only statement I will be making about this issue. I hope everyone respects my decision to let the necessary processes play out without further public comment on my part.
This document is clearly a response to Barlow’s prepared statement released via his attorney last week that contradicted a North Las Vegas Police report and attempted to downplay Barlow’s role in the Brooks affair. You can read that statement for yourself here: Press Release for Councilman Barlow.