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Hearing on Long Beach Police Conduct Moved to Site in L.A.

March 02, 1989

LONG BEACH — After being rebuffed by Long Beach Harbor officials, a state Senate oversight committee is going to Los Angeles on Friday for a hearing concerning allegations of misconduct by Long Beach police.

The hearing by the state Senate Select Committee on State Procurement and Expenditure Practices had been scheduled in the headquarters building of the Port of Long Beach, but the committee chairman said harbor officials withdrew the offer for use of a hearing room last week.

The hearing is rescheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday in the Supervisors Hearing Room at the Hall of Administration in downtown Los Angeles. It is expected to dwell largely on a recent incident in which a white police officer pushed black activist Don Jackson through a store window in a scuffle after a routine traffic stop. The incident was videotaped by NBC using hidden cameras in Jackson's car. The tapes are expected to be shown during the committee hearing.

The chairman, state Sen. Dan Boatwright (D-Concord), said he believes port officials withdrew permission for use of a hearing room because they objected to the subject matter. But port Executive Director Joseph F. Prevratil said that the committee was turned away because the port building's main meeting room holds a maximum of 140 people, which he deemed too small to accommodate the anticipated crowd.

In a related development, NBC attorneys assured a Los Angeles Superior Court judge Tuesday that the network will preserve complete copies of the videotapes. The request had been sought by the city attorney's office. Attorneys said they may want to try to obtain the tapes in the future if they have to defend the city in a lawsuit arising from the incident.

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