A jury that includes two Latinos and two African Americans was impaneled Thursday for the trial of a police abuse lawsuit that a Latino teen-ager filed against a black officer from Compton.
Felipe Soltero, whose July 29 beating by Michael Jackson was partially videotaped by a neighbor and was shown to national and local TV audiences, says he was the victim of excessive force.
The 59-second videotape shows Jackson, who outweighs Soltero by at least 50 pounds, lunging at the youth and apparently hitting the teen-ager in the cheek with the butt of a baton and knocking him to the ground.
Jackson's attorney alleges that Soltero hit the officer in the face before the tape started rolling. He also claims that Jackson acted within the scope of the Compton Police Department's code of conduct.
Soltero, then 17, apparently refused to allow a Department of Children's Services social worker to enter the family's trailer home on West 156th Street.