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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 11:48 GMT
Officer who beat boy gets $1.6m
Donovan Jackson being arrested by Jeremy Morse
Donovan Jackson was grabbed and slammed against a car bonnet
A US policeman who was filmed punching a black youth and slamming him against a car has been awarded $1.6m (890,000) in a race discrimination case.

Jeremy Morse, who was sacked by the Los Angeles police over the incident, said he had been treated more harshly than a black officer who was also there.

A second white officer was awarded $811,000 (450,000) damages.

Inglewood Police Chief Ronald Banks, who had disciplined the officers, called the awards "ridiculous".

Mr Morse was caught on camera in July 2002 as he arrested 16-year-old Donovan Jackson at a petrol station in Inglewood.

This is not the first time police officers have been trapped in race situations where they suffered unfairly
Lawyer for Jeremy Morse

He claimed Mr Jackson had grabbed his testicles - though that was not visible on the videotape.

The tape was repeatedly played on US TV stations and caused an uproar.

Mr Morse was sacked and his partner, Bijan Darvish, who is also white, was suspended for 10 days for filing a police report that failed to mention his partner's conduct.

Mr Morse was twice tried for assault but the case was dismissed after juries failed to reach a verdict. Mr Darvish was acquitted of filing a false report.

'Nationwide impact'

The men filed "reverse discrimination" lawsuits, claiming a third officer, Willie Crook, who also allegedly hit Mr Jackson with a torch and failed to report the incident, received only four days' suspension because he is black.

"This is not the first time police officers have been trapped in race situations where they suffered unfairly," said Mr Morse's lawyer, Gregory Smith.

"This will have an impact in police departments across the country."

Police Chief Banks, who is black, denied race was a factor.

"I based my decision on their actions and what I thought their responsibility was. It was based purely on the facts," he said after hearing news of the award.

"I was shocked at not only the verdict but the size of the awards. It was somewhat ridiculous."



SEE ALSO:
LA police trial hears testimony
10 Jul 03 |  Americas
Protests over US police beating
13 Jul 02 |  Americas
Video shows LA police beating boy
09 Jul 02 |  Americas


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