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Man Who Taped Calif. Beating Jailed

August 21, 2002

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AUBURN, Calif. (AP) _ An amateur cameraman who videotaped the violent arrest of a black teenager will spend 204 days in jail on a probation violation, a judge ruled Wednesday.

That includes 115 days on top of 28-year-old Mitchell Crooks’ original sentence because he failed to show up to serve his jail term in a 1999 misdemeanor case.

Crooks’ attorneys and supporters had objected to the additional jail time, arguing that Crooks was being punished for coming forward with his videotape of the July 6 arrest of 16-year-old Donovan Jackson in Inglewood, a Los Angeles suburb.

Inglewood Officer Jeremy Morse, seen on the tape slamming Jackson onto a police car and punching him, was indicted on a charge of assault under color of authority and has pleaded innocent. His attorney said Morse reacted only after Jackson grabbed his crotch.

Crooks was arrested after Los Angeles County district attorney’s investigators found the 1999 warrant from Placer County. He had previously refused to testify voluntarily before a grand jury investigating Jackson’s arrest.

Crooks had 210 days remaining from the 1999 probation violation on original convictions of driving under the influence, hit and run and petty theft. He reversed his innocent plea to the probation violation Wednesday, and waived his right to appeal.

The unserved time and new sentence total 325 days, but assorted credits will cut his jail time to 204 days, said prosecutor Doug VanBreeman.

``We’re done with him. He’s going to serve his time and that’s it,″ VanBreeman said.

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