Saturday, July 30, 2011

Officer Derek Colling: Beats up Mitchell Crooks for videotaping him, now in trouble

A Las Vegas police officer under investigation for the videotaped beating of a man in March violated several Metropolitan Police Department policies, an internal investigation found.

Mitchell Crooks' complaint about officer Derek Colling's excessive force was sustained, Deputy Chief Gary Schofield said Friday.

The specific policy violations will not be released until the case is finalized.

Crooks, 36, received a letter from the Internal Affairs Bureau notifying him of the findings earlier this week.

He said he was pleasantly surprised.

"It seems like they're saying he was guilty, which is what I've been saying," Crooks said. "I really hope he gets fired."

Colling has been on paid suspension since April 1.

Multiple supervisors in Colling's chain of command will review the internal affairs report and decide his punishment, if any, Schofield said.

That review could take several weeks.

If Colling's supervisors recommend his firing, he will go before a pre-termination board for a final appeal. The harshest punishment short of firing is a 40-hour unpaid suspension.

Crooks' lawyer, David Otto, intends to sue Colling and the Police Department.

Otto wrote a letter in April to Sheriff Douglas Gillespie demanding $500,000 to cover Crooks' medical care, pain and suffering. The Police Department has not paid anything, he said. (more)