Officers In Jackson's Arrest Sue City For Discrimination
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 18, 2003
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA--Two Inglewood police officers involved in the July arrest of 16-year-old Donovan Jackson have filed a lawsuit against the town claiming reverse discrimination.
Jackson, who is black and reportedly has a developmental disability, was arrested for assaulting officers outside a convenience store after he was asked to sit in a squad car while police questioned his stepfather.
A videotape of the arrest, showing officer Jeremy Morse slamming a hand-cuffed Jackson onto the back of a patrol car and repeatedly punching him in the face, was broadcasted by television news stations across the country.
Morse was fired from the Inglewood Police Department and charged with assault. Officer Bijan Darvish was suspended and charged with filing a false police report. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges. They are suing to get their jobs back and for compensatory damages.
In their suit, Morse and Darvish claimed the city treated them unfairly because they are white. They said that a black officer who struck Jackson with his flashlight was suspended for only four days and faced no criminal charges. Morse and Darvish accused the city of disciplining them based on political pressure rather than department policy.
The videotaped scene reminded many of the well-known 1991 police beating of Rodney King Jr. Four white officers accused in King's videotaped beating were later acquitted, sparking massive riots in Los Angeles.
"Donovan Jackson's Arrest" (Inclusion Daily Express)