Derek Colling LVMPD Laramie Wyoming Shooting

Update 11/16/18: Partial footage from Derek Colling’s dash cam and body camera videos has been released. However, the footage was released selectively to media outlets, who in turn chose not to publicly broadcast the full videos, citing their “graphic nature.”  As a result, local residents have formed an “ad-hoc” group whose demands include release of those videos in full, as well as details of Derek Colling’s disciplinary records.

Update 11/08/18: Derek Colling has now been officially named as the shooter. (I’m sure it was a coincidence that they waited until the day after the election to confirm it.) As is the usual procedure, Colling has now been placed on paid vacation while his coworkers “investigate” the shooting.

Mentally Ill Man Killed by Sheriff’s Deputy in Laramie, Wyoming

On Sunday, Nov. 4th 2018, it was reported that 39-year-old Robbie Ramirez had been shot to death in Laramie, Wyoming by a deputy from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. Ramirez had a long history of mental illness related to schizophrenia, which includes manic-depressive episodes. Although very few details have been released publicly, Ramirez was reportedly unarmed at the time. In addition, according to his brother Randy Ramirez, Robbie’s nature was to run away and attempt to avoid conflict when confronted. That, in fact, appears consistent with the description of the events leading up to the shooting.

Via LaramieLive.com:

“(Randy) Ramirez says that he has been told his brother was pulled over for a traffic stop by a Sheriff’s Deputy whom Robbie Ramirez knew. According to Randy Ramirez, Robbie and this deputy were in high school together and were in the choir and played on the same baseball team.

The brother told K2 that his understanding is that Robbie would not roll down his window, and drove away, reportedly to his home.

According to Randy Ramirez, that is where some sort of confrontation took place that ended with the fatal shooting.

Ramirez says that the only thing the family has been told by DCI is that there is body-cam footage.

Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent will be issuing a statement on the matter.

Ramirez told K2 that his brother had been involved in confrontations, even fights before, but those were almost 2 decades ago. His primary instinct in situations like this, according to his brother, was to run away, avoid confrontation.

And, due to his mental health issues, was not able to legally obtain a firearm.”

Derek Colling: “The Most Dangerous Cop in America” Identified as Shooter

The name of the deputy who killed Robbie Ramirez has not yet been publicly released. However, since the initial reports of that shooting Ramirez’ family has identified the deputy who killed him as former LVMPD Officer Derek Colling. No doubt that has not been confirmed by Albany County officials because Sheriff Dave O’Malley, who hired Colling even though he was fully aware of his previous firing, is currently running for reelection. With voters heading to the polls later today, reports that an unpopular hiring decision by O’Malley has resulted in a fatal shooting would be pretty inconvenient for him.

The family has further stated that Ramirez spent his entire life battling mental illness and this was well-known throughout the community. In fact, according to the family, Corporal Colling knew Ramirez personally, having graduated high school with him. As was previously stated by Randy Ramirez, his brother Robbie and Derek Colling even played baseball and sang on the school choir together during that time.

Therefore, he would undoubtedly be very much aware of Ramirez’ mental state and his tendency to run away from conflict. This obviously brings into question why other means of resolving the situation seemingly weren’t used prior to shooting him. Also, Robbie Ramirez’ own mother, Debbie Hinkel, frequently conducts training clinics for police officers as the chair of the Albany County Mental Health Board. She believes that Colling did not follow that training or properly attempt de-escalation tactics and has characterized the shooting as a murder.

Of course, those of us in Las Vegas that remember Derek Colling’s time as an officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department likely not too surprised that none of those alternatives were employed. Even before he was fired for an incident in which he beat and falsely arrested a man who was legally filming him in public, Colling already had a long and violent history.

That history included two fatal shootings in 2006 and 2009. In the 2009 shooting of Tanner Chamberlain, Colling was the only officer to fire a shot and had arrived on the scene within only seconds of making that decision to shoot. Chamberlain, who was just 15 at the time, also had a history of mental illness and was having a manic-depressive episode, similar to Ramirez. Although he was holding a knife at the time and attempting to hold her in front of himself, Chamberlain’s mother has always stated that he would not have hurt her and instead was actually cowering behind her out of fear from the police.

After the incident that eventually led to his firing from the LVMPD, Colling was christened the “Most Dangerous Cop in America” here at Cop Block. In that instance, he approached a local resident, Mitchell Crooks, who was legally and peacefully filming him across the street from where he had stopped someone. After illegally demanding that Crooks stop filming him, he violently assaulted and then wrongfully arrested him on false charges. He also attempted to destroy the video by kicking the camera as he was attacking Crooks. Unfortunately for Colling, the footage (embedded above) survived and he was fired eight months later after Las Vegas taxpayers were forced to pay a costly settlement.

Predictable Results From Yet Another Fired Cop Re-Hired in Spite of a Violent Past

As is often the case, it didn’t take long for Colling to be back in uniform. His previous violent incidents, including having been fired for excessive force, and the public outrage expressed by people in Laramie once that history was exposed made no difference. Sheriff Dave O’Malley was quoted as saying, “I have never regretted the moment of making that decision” in an article in which he and Undersheriff Robert DeBree talked about how they overlooked his past transgressions because he did really well on written tests, could shoot accurately, and was in really good physical condition.

It shouldn’t take much more than basic logic to understand that cops with a long and violent history of misconduct probably shouldn’t be who you want “protecting and serving” a community. Nor should it take much more to know that when they’ve accumulated such a record without facing any sort of meaningful consequences they aren’t likely to magically stop behaving that way. Derek Colling isn’t a rarity or the exception, he is the very predictable result of such decisions by sheriffs such as O’Malley throughout the country.

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Kelly is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes.
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