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Jailed YouTuber calls judge ‘obvious tyrant’ in video asking for his release

Updated April 30, 2024 - 10:15 am

A YouTuber whose videos about constitutional rights get thousands of views is calling on his supporters in a newly posted video to petition a Las Vegas judge for his release after he was recently jailed by her.

In the video, Jose “Chille” DeCastro, 49, also threatens to sue the judge and apologizes for what he said was his own inappropriate behavior in court.

DeCastro was sentenced to six months in jail in March by Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman of the Las Vegas Justice Court after he was found guilty of obstructing justice for interfering with a Las Vegas police traffic stop.

On Sunday, a video titled “OP ED TO JUDGE ANN ZIMMERMAN | PETITION HER!” was posted to DeCastro’s “Delete Lawz” YouTube channel, which has 570,000 subscribers and seeks “to bring awareness to laws that infringe on your Constitutional Rights and should be deleted.”

The audio on the video is DeCastro, a self-described journalist, “First Amendment auditor” and “constitutional scholar,” airing his grievances about being jailed. He also asks his supporters to petition for his release — while also asking Zimmerman to release him.

“I’m a journalist who has been wrongfully imprisoned at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada,” DeCastro says in the video, which sounds as if he is recording the video from a phone call from the jail, where he remains in custody. “I’m an innocent man who has been jailed unjustfully and unrighteously.”

In March 2023, DeCastro walked up to a woman who had been pulled over by a police officer in the west valley. Body-camera footage showed the officer telling DeCastro to back away and stop speaking to the driver. DeCastro told the officers to “mind your business,” and called an officer a “little doggie.” The officer then told DeCastro he was being detained.

During his bench trial, the Review-Journal reported, DeCastro called a courtroom marshal a “pig,” was seen shaking his head when a prosecutor argued that he had been detained to protect the officer’s safety, and flashed the judge a thumbs-up sign when Zimmerman said it appeared that he hated all police officers.

DeCastro says in the video that he had realized his behavior was not appropriate, but he does say elsewhere in the video that his monologue was not an apology.

“Judge Ann Zimmerman, this message is to you: release me from this jail. Please. I’ve taken responsibility publicly and agreed with my family, friends and colleagues that my behavior in court was inappropriate,” DeCastro says.

Later in the video, DeCastro accuses Zimmerman of having behaved like a “monarch or a queen in a despotic government” and that “she has behaved like an obvious tyrant” while urging his supporters to “petition her and demand that she release me from this dungeon immediately, swiftly.”

DeCastro also referred to his appeal of the conviction, for which he has a hearing before Judge Michelle Leavitt in District Court on July 10, court records show.

“We will fight the appeal process all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if we must,” DeCastro says in the video.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com.

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