Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

Police Brutality On Videotape Across the Country: The Videographer Who Captured Footage of Police Beating An Unarmed Teenager in Inglewood Is Arrested; Police Investigate An Oklahoma City Police Beati

StoryJuly 12, 2002
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Police Thursday arrested Mitch Crooks, the man who videotaped the scene of a white officer smashing the head of a handcuffed black teenager into the trunk of a car. The arrest came on the same day Crooks was supposed to appear before a grand jury. He was approaching CNN for a television interview, when plain-clothed officers drove up to the building and hustled him into a van with tinted windows. A CNN surveillance camera caught the scene on video. It shows Crooks struggling against the officers, screaming for help as the van drove away.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office says Crooks was arrested on warrants for petty theft and driving under the influence with a hit and run. The DA also served him with a subpoena to testify before the Los Angeles County grand jury. Crooks had been expected to appear before the grand jury Thursday morning but failed to show up.

Crooks had repeatedly told reporters he was afraid officers would be "coming after" him for videotaping the beating of 16-year-old Donovan Jackson Chavis from a nearby motel room. Speaking on a radio program Wednesday Crooks said: "I fear for my life. They’re going to kick my ass in a cell and take turns on me, probably." Crooks also told reporters the four officers involved in the beating approached his motel room moments after he shot the video, demanding the tape.

Jeremy Morse, the officer seen beating Donovan Jackson Chavis, has yet to be charged with a crime. He was suspended on Monday with pay. On Thursday, his attorney said the 16-year-old developmentally disabled Jackson took action that "required that he be punched." Morse has been the subject of repeated complaints to the Inglewood Police Department.

Meanwhile, authorities in Oklahoma City asked the FBI to look into the actions of two officers who were videotaped striking an unarmed African American man 27 times with batons. The police also sprayed him with pepper spray. They said they were trying to arrest the man, Donald Pete, for trying to conceal marijuana by swallowing it.

Oklahoma City Police Chief M.T. Berry said the Inglewood incident prompted him to contact the FBI. But he said he does not believe the Oklahoma case rises to the same level of seriousness as the California case.

The Police Chief initially defended the officers, saying they acted correctly while handling the arrest on Monday.

Guests:

  • Michael ZinZun, Chairperson of the Coalition Against Police Abuse in Los Angeles. He is a former member of the Black Panthers and has brought two successful suits against the LA police department and a third against the Pasadena Police Department.
  • Roland V. Combs, lawyer for Donald Reed Pete, the unarmed man who was beaten by police in Oklahoma City.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation