Jul 28, 2003
The trial of Jeremy Morse, the cop whose brutal beating of a handcuffed teenager was captured on videotape last year, is near its end in Los Angeles. The jury was still deliberating at the time this article was written, but if the course of the trial and past experience are any measure, we may well see another clear-cut act of police brutality go unpunished.
From the beginning to the end, this trial was rigged in favor of the accused cop, with the prosecution playing a leading role in leading it.
First, there was not a single black person on the jury, even though Morse is white and Donovan Jackson, the victim, is black. Faced by protests from the black community, the judge then ordered one of the previously rejected candidates to be on the jury – as its only black member.
Morse's long record of brutality in uniform was not mentioned even once during the trial. Just two weeks before the Jackson beating, for example, Morse had beaten and choked an innocent black man who was complying with his orders. The victim had to be hospitalized and almost died.
And then there was the "use-of-force expert," a cop who testified when he got on the stand that he wouldn't have filed charges against Morse. He was a prosecution witness!
Any honest investigation of police brutality would rely on what victims of such brutality have to say, not brutal cops themselves.
But even despite all this, were Morse to be convicted, the maximum sentence he could face, three years, is basically a slap on the wrist for a murderous cop who has been involved in at least seven cases of police brutality within two years.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world saw on TV how a big, muscular Morse brutally slammed a slightly-built, handcuffed teenager on a car. Even that's not enough to get such an act punished by this "justice" system – not when the whole system stands united behind a brutal cop.