Donovan Jackson's Testimony Is Unreliable, Inglewood Cops' Defense
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 10, 2003
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA--Donovan Jackson, 17, testified Thursday that he could not remember many details of his video-taped arrest one year ago --during which he was punched by police officers and slammed onto a patrol car -- in part because he passed out after one officer choked him.
Jackson was testifying in the case against fired Inglewood officer Jeremy Morse, who is charged with assault under color of authority, and suspended officer Bijan Darvish, who is charged with filing a false report of the incident. If convicted, Morse and Darvish could each face up to 3 years in prison.
On July 6, 2002, Jackson and his father, Coby Chavis, had pulled into a convenience store to gas up their car and so Jackson could get some snacks. When Jackson came out of the store two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were investigating Chavis' car because it had an expired registration.
Deputies claim that Jackson was told to stay back from the car, but instead lunged at one of them. The deputies arrested Jackson, handcuffed him, and then placed him in a squad car.
When Inglewood officers arrived on the scene, Jackson stood up. A deputy grabbed him by the neck and, according to Jackson's attorney, the Inglewood officers began beating the teenager.
A tourist in a nearby motel video-taped the officers punching Jackson, then picking him up and slamming him onto the patrol car. The scene was broadcast on national television, prompting comparisons between it and the 1991 video-taped police beating of Rodney King Jr. Like King, Jackson is African-American.
Attorneys representing Morse and Darvish said Jackson first attacked one officer and then grabbed another officer's groin while he was handcuffed. They tried to show that Jackson, who has a developmental disability, was an unreliable witness because he couldn't remember details of the incident and had told differing stories about whether he was unconscious when he fell to the ground.
Donovan Jackson' Arrest (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)