Interview with Mitchell Crooks on Police

Inglewood Police Beating Donovan Jackson

On April 12, Mitchell Crooks joined me via telephone from Las Vegas on the Indynewswire show on Free Radio Santa Cruz to talk about Police. Our discussion begins by looking back on July 6, 2002 when Mitchell was in a hotel room in Inglewood, California transferring video footage of his vacation. Mitchell then heard a women scream at the top of her lungs.

Mitchell grabbed his video camera and started video taping.

Mitchell Crooks (57:35 minutes)

The audio interview opens with a song from Desert Rat called I Really Like the Cops and features Fuck Police Brutality by Anti-Flag at 26 minutes into the interview.

This interview includes Mitchell’s feelings on:

  • the Donovan Jackson case
  • his famous video tape and dealing with the corporate media
  • police state payback – 23 hours a day in lock-down
  • harassment in Las Vegas
  • and looking to the future

Police Brutality Caught On Videotape Leads to Police and FBI Investigations As Outrage Mounts

by Democracy Now!
July 11, 2002

Incidents of police brutality captured on videotape are sweeping the country.

Last Saturday, a black man, Coby Chavis, and his 16 year old son Donovan Jackson-Chavis, stopped for gas in the small city of Inglewood, California, outside Los Angeles. Two white Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies followed them into the station, alerted by the expired tags on the car. Donovan went inside the station and the officers started questioning his father.

When Donovan came out, eating a bag of potato chips, officers told him to put down the chips and handcuffed him. Then, without any warning, officer Jeremy Morse slammed Donovan hard in the face. Coby Chavis was handcuffed. He watched as his son was punched in the head and eyes, body-slammed to the ground and choked by a silver chain he was wearing until he was unconscious.

The officers’ version says the boy was slow to follow their instructions. Donovan is a Special Education student who suffers from a hearing disability that makes his responses slow.

It is the kind of incident that happens all over the country. But this time, it was caught on video, sparking outrage around the country. And it is not the only example of “excessive force” by a white police officer against a black man caught on videotape this week. A videotape released on Tuesday showed two white police officers in Oklahoma City striking an unarmed man with their hands, knees and tactical batons during an arrest.

After the Inglewood video was released to the press, Officer Jeremy Morse was suspended. The Inglewood police department and the Los Angeles county sheriff’s department opened investigations. And the FBI said it has opened a civil rights investigation.

Protesters surged through the city and descended on Inglewood City Hall on Tuesday. The mayor of Inglewood, Roosevelt Dorn, declared that Morse should be fired and charged with assault. Representative Maxine Waters is one of the people calling for an investigation by Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Watch the Democracy Now! Interview with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).

3/22/12 Update on Mitchell Crooks:
Las Vegas Review Journal: Las Vegas police agree to pay $100,000 to beaten videographer
YouTube: Police beating of Las Vegas man caught on tape

Crossposted at Santa Cruz Indymedia and Indybay.org.

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.