JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

F— the (Las Vegas) Police

Here, via Andrew Sullivan’s website, is one of the most disturbing videos I’ve seen in some time:

The police officer is named Derek Colling (pictured, below right). The videogreapher is Mitchell Crooks (pictured, below left).

Where to begin?

When I was growing up, there was a town bully who picked on smaller kids, used racial words to describe blacks and Hispanics and made his reputation as a jackass thug who treated people with total disrespect.

Today, he is a New York City police officer.

Colling’s voice reminds me of the kid I grew up with. Thug. Asshole. Jerk. Thinks a badge, a gun and a uniform gives him the right to play God. I can’t tell you how infuriating I find this video. How many times has Collings treated people, sans cameras, this way? How many times has he used his position of authority to serve as a bully? To trample over someone’s rights?

Crooks’ crime was videotaping a police officer in action. It’s his right—even from another person’s property. Trespassing is only trespassing if the property owner makes the complaint. In other words, I’m allowed on my neighbor’s yard until I either commit some sort of crime or am asked to leave. In this case, neither scenario apply. He was thugged because the cops didn’t like what he was doing—period.

Personally, I like police officers. I know people who have served in the force, and they’re good folks who genuinely aspire to help. But, as many will attest to, a large number of cops abuse their authority; think of themselves as above the law; feel as if they have the right and obligation to utilize “tough love” tactics in the name of fighting crime.

I don’t generally wish bad upon people. But, based on this, Colling does not belong in law enforcement.

Period.

PS: He was suspended.