Las Vegas Cop Beats Man For Videotaping Him

Carlos Miller

Fuck you, Derek Colling.

You deserve to be thrown in prison because you are a violent criminal.

And you are a liar with a badge.

The videotape proves that.

Rant over.

Derek Colling is a Las Vegas police officer who attacked a citizen for videotaping him on a public street last month.

The videographer was Mitchell Crooks, a 36-year-old man who ended up with a bruises on his face and a broken nose.

Colling charged him with battery on a police officer and obstruction of justice, which could have sent him to prison.

Fortunately, the district attorney’s office dropped the charges against Crooks. But even more fortunate is the fact that they returned his camera without deleting his footage, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Now Las Vegas police have enough evidence to investigate Colling, who already has a violent history. And Crooks is suing for $500,000 in damages.

The incident took place on March 20 where Colling was arresting some burglary suspects. Crooks was standing in front of his house videotaping the investigation.

Colling pulled up to him, shone a light in his face and began questioning him.

Here is that exchange:

Colling: Can I help you, sir?
Crooks: Nope, just observing.
Colling: Do you live here?
Crooks: Nope.
Colling: Turn that off for me.
Crooks: Why do I have to turn it off? I’m perfectly within my legal rights to be able to do this.
Colling: (Walking towards Crooks) Turn off the camera for me.
Crooks: I’m perfectly within my legal rights to do this, sir.
Colling: Listen, turn off the camera for me.
Crooks: No sir, I am within my legal rights to do this.
Colling: You don’t live here.
Crooks: I do live here.

Colling then attacks Crooks in a vile abuse of authority, taking him down and kicking the camera in the process, all while ordering him to stop resisting.

In his report, Colling claimed that Crooks attempted to take him down by grabbing his shoulders. The video proves otherwise.

Colling tried to justify the arrest because Crooks stated that he did not live there, even though he actually did live there.

It is unclear why he would lie about this, but that still didn’t give Colling the right to attack him or tell him to stop recording.

The truth is, Crooks could have just ignored the question altogether because he was not doing anything other than expressing his First Amendment rights to videotape cops in public.

According to an ACLU attorney interviewed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Colling also erred in claiming that Crooks was trespassing. By law, only a property owner or resident can make a trespassing complaint, Lichtenstein said.
“Even if the officer didn’t think he lived there, that doesn’t mean he didn’t have permission to be there,” Lichtenstein said. “In the video I heard, that question was never asked.”

The Review-Journal also points out that Colling has a history of violence and Crooks has a history of recording police. Not the most compatible pairing.

Colling has been involved in two fatal shootings in his 5 1/2 years as a Las Vegas police officer. In 2006, he and four other officers shot Shawn Jacob Collins after the 43-year-old man pulled a gun at an east valley gas station.
In 2009, he confronted a mentally ill 15-year-old Tanner Chamberlain, who was holding a knife in front of his mother and waving it in the direction of officers. Colling shot him in the head.
Both shootings were ruled justified by Clark County coroner’s juries.
Crooks made headlines in 2002 when he videotaped two Inglewood, Calif., police officers beating a 16-year-old boy. One officer was fired and criminally charged but was not convicted after two trials ended with hung juries. The incident strained race relations in Southern California — the police officer was white, the teenager black.


War on Photography