The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Jailed for filming a police beating

Aug 12, 2002

Mitchell Crooks, the man who filmed the beating of a black teenager by Inglewood cops, was arrested a few days after the incident. The district attorney’s office said that this was a “routine” arrest, due to outstanding warrants Crooks had for drunk driving, petty theft and a hit-and-run accident in Northern California five years ago. The officials claimed that Crooks’ arrest had nothing to do with the police beating he taped.

Yeah, right. Warrants that the D.A. long ago decided not to pursue all of a sudden become important – so important that a whole squad of agents was sent to arrest Crooks. And they handcuffed him right in front of TV cameras.

Jeremy Morse, the cop seen on tape smashing a handcuffed teenaged face-down on a car and then punching him, was sent home on paid “suspension,” while the person who filmed the incident was quickly and demonstratively sent to jail for years-old petty offenses.

No, this is not a routine arrest, it’s obviously something else. This is exactly what a D.A. would do if he wanted to show that it’s okay for cops to brutalize people at will, and that whoever tries to draw attention to police brutality should expect consequences.

Is it any wonder that not a single day goes by in this country without people being terrorized by a cop?