UPDATE: Las Vegas Cop Fired Eight Months After Beating Man on Video

Via the  Las Vegas Review Journal

A Las Vegas officer accused of beating a man for videotaping police was fired Monday after a lengthy inquiry into his actions.

Officer Derek Colling was terminated after an eight-month investigation into the March 20 confrontation between him and videographer Mitchell Crooks.

Internal investigators concluded in July that Colling, a six-year veteran, violated several Metropolitan Police Department policies. Police did not immediately release the specific policy violations Monday morning.

The officer had been on paid suspension since April 1.

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie made the final decision on Colling, police said.

The harshest punishment short of firing is a 40-hour unpaid suspension.

Crooks, 37, was videotaping police from his driveway the night of March 20 as officers investigated a burglary across the street from his home near East Desert Inn Road and South Maryland Parkway.

He said that when he refused to stop filming, Colling beat him, with much of the altercation recorded by the camera.

Crooks was arrested for battery against an officer, trespassing, and resisting arrest, but the charges were dropped.

Crooks’ lawyer filed a federal civil right lawsuit against Colling in U.S. District Court in early November.

The 40-page document, which also names the Police Department, Gillespie and several of Colling’s fellow officers, seeks more than $75,000 in damages.

“Colling had only one malicious, illegitimate, illegal reason for questioning Mr. Crooks that night,” said the lawsuit, filed by attorney David Otto.

“Officer Colling decided to use the fear and terror of his physical ability to beat Mr. Crooks into submission.”

The video went viral on the Internet, and local activists and national “cop watch” blogs scrutinized Colling’s actions.

Local American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Allen Lichtenstein reviewed the video and found clear policy violations.

“It raises serious questions about whether the officer used good judgment and whether he was properly trained,” Lichtenstein said. “Those questions require answers.”

Rank-and-file officers who spoke to the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the incident were as demoralized as the public was incensed.

“The majority of us think Colling made a mistake,” one patrol officer said. “All the officers I talked to understand that citizens will see this video, and yeah, we know it looks bad.”

Neither Crooks nor Colling was a stranger to controversy.

Crooks made headlines in 2002 when he videotaped two Inglewood, Calif., police officers beating a 16-year-old boy.

Crooks first tried to sell that tape and refused to give it to prosecutors. He then was jailed on old warrants for drunken driving and petty theft. Civil rights advocates decried the jailing as retribution.

He has lived in Las Vegas since 2003 and worked as a freelance videographer.

Colling has been involved in two fatal shootings in his 5½ 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, Colling shot and killed Tanner Chamberlain, a mentally ill 15-year-old who was holding a knife at his mother’s neck and waving it at officers.

Both shootings were ruled justified by Clark County Coroner’s Inquest juries.

Chamberlain’s mother, Evie Oquendo, sued Colling and the Police department in May.

When the lawsuit was filed, Oquendo’s lawyer asked why Colling was still working as an officer.

“He’s killed two people in 5½ years and beaten one guy up that we know of,” attorney Brent Bryson said.

A Review-Journal examination of all police shootings in Clark County since 1990 found that officers who use their guns sometimes show a pattern of questionable behavior beforehand or land in serious trouble after.

Colling was mentioned as an example in the five-part series, which concluded earlier this month.

Why did it take eight months to fire a guy who clearly violated someone’s rights? Would the state take eight months to lock you in a cage? Probably not.

EPN

Ademo Freeman

was born and raised in Wisconsin, traveled the country in a RV dubbed “MARV” and is an advocate of a voluntary society, where force is replaced with voluntary interactions. He’s partaken in projects such as, Motorhome Diaries, Liberty on Tour, Free Keene, Free Talk Live and is the Founder of CopBlock.org.
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  • John Mullen

    hopefully this officer gets his job back!

  • PSOSGT

    Good for Metro. This cop needs to find work elsewhere and in another profession. As to it taking 8 months.. I think the majority of that was him fighting his dismissal. When cops fight the firing, it takes a few months.

  • Mike

    I hope this guy gets a job somewhere that he ends up getting killed while beating someone like this and they end up defending themselves with deadly force.

    ..oh, and I’ll pray for him to get ass cancer until then…

  • Brent

    The sacked cop will be found in a dumpster someday with his amputated cock shoved into his mouth. I hope this webmaster gets some great pics of the corpse to share with us. Glad that sociopath will no longer terrorize the Vegas citizens & visitors…at least not while wearing a city uniform. What a punk.

  • Molari

    Maybe I misunderstood, but I still don’t understand why this thug was not arrested for assault and his partner as an accomplice, and who was mocking Crooks who had difficulty for breathing for assisting.

  • joe m

    this cop should have been charged with assault, and done time for this never mind being fired, he belongs in a cage, after beating the citizen for no reason then he turns around and charges the man for assaulting a police officer what a joke, thank god for the video evidence

  • joe m

    these cops and cops in general especially in the u.s. have gone way over the line, cops these days have no respect for the constitution and civil rights, i watch cops on tv all the time 80% of the time when they pull someone over they do illegal searches of the car with no consent or praubible cause, and they know their on camera can you imagine nwhat they do when no ones looking

  • paschn

    This site asks some legitimate questions of the blu-goons. Further, the 2nd link will take you to a site that will make a very chilling comparison, (based on historic fact), to the horror orchestrated against the Russians’ royal family, the Ukraine, Poland, Germany et al. Simply make an objective comparison, that’s all and don’t pooh pooh it with that very worn out statement, “that can’t happen here….this is the U.S.A.”

    http://farmwars.info/?p=7569&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FarmWars+%28Farm+Wars%29

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/articles/MacDonald-Solzhenitsyn-200-Years-Together-18.html

  • Lulz

    Brent has the right idea… regular ‘justice’ is too good for this guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if a little ‘street justice’ is brought down on former occifer Colling.

  • panheadfred

    hope he gets a job in my town.. we love pricks like him…

  • Cory

    Who’s in a world of hurt, now, dude? Huh? You’re not in charge anymore, buddy.

  • qwkinuf

    UPDATE; Wyoming – Albany County Sherrief Dept hires Bad Cop Derek Colling.

    http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/albany-county-sheriff-defends-deputy

    This has to be the epitome of cops protecting bad cops. When asked why he is defending his decision to hire Bad Cop Colling, Sheriff Dave O’Malley actually said, “I know how civil litigation is and I’ve seen officers in the past who were in situations where they were purely in the right.” That means he is totally disregarding Colling’s misconduct, assault, illegal arrest and violation of a totally innocent citizen’s civil rights who was simply (and legally) video-taping. Colling should have been arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned for his crimes. And yet LVMP did not blacklist him so that Wyoming could hire him. How long will it be before Colling commits another crime at the expense of an innocent victim?