When Mitchell Crooks checked out of the county jail last month and checked into a Las Vegas hospital, the 36-year-old videographer knew he had a fight on his hands.
His face was bloodied and bruised. His $3,500 camera had been impounded by police, and he faced criminal charges for battery on a police officer.
One month later, things have changed for Crooks.
The Clark County district attorney's office has dropped all charges, and Crooks has retained an attorney of his own. The Metropolitan Police Department has opened an internal investigation into the Las Vegas police officer, Derek Colling, who Crooks says falsely arrested and beat him for filming police.
And his camera -- which captured the entire March 20 altercation between Crooks and Colling -- has been returned.
There's a strange history here, too. Crooks is also the man who videotaped the 2002 police beating of Inglewood, California teen Donovan Jackson. The officers in that case were suspended, fired, criminally charged (but not convicted), then later sued for racial discrimination, and were awarded $2.4 million in damages. One is back on the force. When Crooks showed up in court to authenticate the video in that case, he himself was then arrested on outstanding theft and DUI warrants from three years earlier.