Jury Deadlocked In Donovan Jackson Beating Case
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 29, 2003
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA--A judge on Tuesday declared a hung jury in the case of a former Inglewood Police officer accused of using excessive force during the arrest of a teenager last summer.
The jurors had deliberated for three days over whether Jeremy Morse assaulted Donovan Jackson under color of authority. They were deadlocked 7-5 in favor of conviction when Judge William Hollingsworth Jr. called it a hung jury. The jury needed a unanimous vote to convict or acquit Morse.
Prosecutors have until September 22 to decide whether they will retry Morse.
On July 6 of last year, a video camera recorded part of Morse's arrest of Jackson, a black 16-year-old who has a developmental disability. Images of Morse picking up the hand-cuffed Jackson by the back of his collar and belt, slamming him onto the trunk of a police cruiser and then punching him in the head were later broadcast on national television.
A coalition of local government, church and community leaders successfully urged the community to stay calm after the jury's decision was read, in hopes of preventing a riot. The trial had brought back memories of the 1992 riots which broke out after white police officers were acquitted of assault charges in the videotaped beating of Rodney King, a black motorist.
Jackson's parents said the teen has difficulty understanding and following instructions. Prosecutors suggested that may have been why he did not immediately follow police orders.
Both sides agreed that Jackson resisted arrest and made suspicious motions, including putting his hands in his pockets.
During his testimony, Jackson was not able to describe some details of the incident, and gave inconsistent answers to questions about whether or not he was unconscious during the arrest.
Morse could have received as much as three years in prison if convicted.
Donovan Jackson' Arrest (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)