- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005 at 9:44 PM
Beat a Black teen and cover it up, and win .4 million.
Taped Punch Costly to City
Two Inglewood police officers involved in the beating of a black teen two years ago win a large settlement in their racial discrimination lawsuit.
By Monte Morin and Eric Malnic, Times Staff Writers
A jury awarded former Inglewood Police Officer Jeremy Morse and partner Officer Bijan Darvish .4 million Tuesday, finding that they were unfairly disciplined after the videotaped beating of a black teenager more than two years ago.
The officers had claimed in their lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court that because they were white, they were punished more harshly than a black officer who struck the suspect with a flashlight but was not videotaped.
Morse and Darvish accused the city of racial discrimination.
"They feel vindicated," said the officers' attorney, Gregory Smith. "They've never talked about their side of the story and they've been subjected to a lot of abuse. Finally, their story came out."
Morse was awarded .6 million and Darvish was awarded 1,000.
The awards stem from the July 6, 2002, arrest of Donovan Jackson, 16, at an Inglewood gas station. A passenger in a car stopped because the driver had a suspended license, Jackson had a confrontation with officers.
Morse was videotaped slamming him against the trunk of a police cruiser and punching him in the face. The incident made national headlines, and Morse was fired and twice tried on felony charges. Juries in both trials deadlocked, and prosecutors eventually dismissed the case.
Darvish, who still works at the Police Department, was acquitted of filing a false police report concerning the incident, but received a 10-day suspension from the department.
In their lawsuit, the officers charged that after the video images were shown on television, "a form of hysteria swept the mayor's office and the chief of police." Although an internal police investigation deemed that the amount of force used in the arrest was reasonable, "decisions were immediately made to terminate Morse because he had been caught on video perfecting an arrest of an African American and had used force."
The officers claimed that a third officer, Willie Crook, was treated differently because he was black.
"Although Officer Crook was found to have used force by striking Jackson with his flashlight, and failed to report the use of force, he was simply suspended for four days without pay," the lawsuit said.
Inglewood Mayor Roosevelt Dorn called the verdict outrageous.
"How do you give a man who was suspended for only 10 days more than 0,000? Morse was fired, but .6 million?" Dorn said.
The mayor also took issue with the claim that Crook, the black officer, got off lightly.
"He lost his job as a police officer, and he was reassigned as a civilian jailer."
Paul Coble, the attorney who represented the city in the lawsuit, said he was surprised by the verdict and thought the jury may have misinterpreted the lawsuit.
"The jury took its job seriously, but I think the jurors missed the mark," Coble said. "The suit was solely about racial discrimination. But when I talked to two jurors after the verdict, they said they were worried about whether the disciplinary action was fair. The point was whether the discipline was discriminatory, whether it was racially motivated."
Officers in excessive-force cases are often reinstated after their dismissal, according to legal experts. However, officers rarely countersue on the basis of racial discrimination, said Los Angeles civil rights attorney Connie Rice.
"You don't see most white police officers complaining about racial discrimination," Rice said. "That's uncommon."
Morse's attorney said the officer now has the option of returning to the Police Department.
"He can get his job back, and he's going to deliberate on it," Smith said. "It was the love of his life. That's all he ever wanted to do, be a police officer."
But the verdict doesn't end the officers' legal struggles.
A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against both men.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Change Links September 2018 posted
More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre
Site Outage Friday
Change Links August 2018
Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land
More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke
Change Links 2018 July posted
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
More Local News...
Paraphysique de psychosomatique
Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal
Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy
Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales
Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc
Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk
Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement
The Dictatorship of Corporations
18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting
Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue
Shopping du bashing
After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen
Probabilités de fin d'humanité
Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW
Steer clear of work morality!
The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally!
August 2018 Honduras Coup update
Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges
Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts
Paraphysique de contextualité
Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism
Ex-voto de réification
Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh
Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation
Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council
Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming?
More Breaking News...