Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Jack-Booted Thug of the Week...

... is Las Vegas, Nevada police officer Derek Colling, who assaulted local resident Mitchell Crooks (breaking his nose in the process) for Crooks's terrible offense of filming Colling's public arrest of some juvenile burglary suspects, all while standing in his own driveway:

Crooks was arrested and charged with battery on a police officer and obstruction of justice, allegations that were quickly dropped by prosecutors once the video footage from the camera made it plainly obvious that "Officer" Colling had lied through his teeth about the circumstances of the incident, and that it was in fact Crooks who had been battered and obstructed, along with having his civil rights violated.

Crooks has filed a $500,000 notice of claim against the department.  Colling, of course, remains on duty and is presumably free to keep violating with impunity the rights of law-abiding citizens, at least until the LVMPD internal investigation into his abusive behavior is completed.

Incidents such as these are exactly why photographers such as Crooks and Carlos Miller routinely risk personal injury and jail time defending the right of a law-abiding and non-interfering citizenry to photograph whatever they wish in public.

Public officials going about their duties on public property have no expectation of privacy (in the very same way we peasants are told we don't either as we go about our business), and it's about time some of the denser ones learned that fact.

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