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Mistrial Declared in Inglewood Police Case

An ex-officer was charged with assault for slamming a youth onto a car trunk and hitting him. Partner is cleared of writing a false report.

July 30, 2003|Richard Marosi and Nancy Wride | Times Staff Writers

Gibbons said Tuesday that prosecutors believed they had made a strong case against Darvish.

"We felt it was very clear in viewing the tape and the police report that Officer Morse did one thing and Officer Darvish did another -- and that's falsifying a report," she said. "The jury apparently saw something different, but that's how we saw it."

The trial was difficult for Jackson and his family, Stewart said.

" He was beat up, basically, by a number of police officers and sheriff's deputies, including Jeremy Morse and Bijan Darvish," she said. "So it's very difficult ... to have gone through this process and to feel in the end, justice was not served."

Jackson's family, who has said an auditory disorder impedes Jackson's ability to communicate and may have slowed his response to police commands, said Tuesday that they were not surprised by the trial's outcome. "No, uh-uh," said Nancy Goins of Los Angeles, Donovan's aunt, with a deep sigh. "Not surprised."

She said her nephew had been back to his routine in recent days, after months of dodging the media once the videotape made national news.

"He's been kind of staying close to home since the trial," Goins said.

Jackson wanted to get a summer job, she said, but "he's become a little leery again" about drawing unwanted attention.

In Inglewood, many residents said they were prepared to be disappointed by the outcome of the trial. At the same time, they expressed disbelief that neither defendant was found guilty.

"It should be just about fairness, but today wasn't about fairness," said Nathalie Woods, 41. "They say we have laws and rules, but how come it's not for everyone? I know the police are under a lot of pressure, but right is right and wrong is wrong."

At the Market Street Gumbo Shack, owner Lee Turner, 28, had his staff turn all the TVs to the local news for the verdict. When the decisions were broadcast, the reaction among the staff and patrons having a late lunch was calm, unsurprised and bitter.

"Didn't I tell you?" Turner said in disgust.

Andre Taylor, 37, a postal worker from Los Angeles, shook his head as the tape of Morse striking Jackson was broadcast yet again.

"Did they teach you how to do that at the Police Academy -- punch somebody in the jaw?" Taylor asked.

At his billiards hall near La Brea Avenue and Florence Boulevard, Braziliano Rodriguez, 56, nursed a beer at the bar and watched theTV news.

"It's not fair. I think he's guilty," Rodriguez said after the decision. "I was surprised. I feel a little bad..... He was handcuffed and didn't deserve to be beaten. I have respect for the police, but the police should have respect for the people."


Times staff writers Daren Briscoe, Jose Cardenas, Jia-Rui Chong, Richard Fausset, Li Fellers, Megan Garvey, Carla Hall, Akilah Johnson, Jean Merl, Monte Morin, Nicholas Riccardi, David Rosenzweig, Joel Rubin and Joy Woodson contributed to this report.



'The riots didn't really solve nothing. Why riot? They say they're not going to negotiate with terrorists. Well, they're not going to negotiate with us just because we're rioting.'

Levon Byrd, 16, who was in Inglewood looking for a piercing shop *

'I think the community needs to be getting behind the police

a little more.'

Rodney Phillips, owner of Woody's Bar-B-Que


Donovan Jackson 'probably wasn't as cooperative as he could have been, but I feel there's nothing he could have done to make them do that. Bottom line -- I don't think he deserved it.'

Mario Cisneros, 17, Inglewood High School quarterback


'They're the law and they're supposed to set an example. When

we see them acting like barbarians, what are we supposed to take away from that?'

Kerri Murphy, 21, Gumbo Shack employee


'I don't know where they get the idea that we're going to tear things up. There's no way in hell I'm going to burn down the barbershop that I get my hair cut at.'

Dejuan Wallace, 26, TGI Friday's employee


This is like Rodney King, Part 2. I mean, they got the videotape.'

Eric Gilbert, 38, trash collector


'I am not surprised. This is the history. I would have been shocked if there had been a conviction.'

Tony Muhammad, Nation of Islam minister


'I feel that the police have the right to be strong if someone gets out of hand. Otherwise the police will be afraid to do anything, and we have to have the police. That's the way it should be.'

Ramon Ybarra, owner of Ray's Barbershop

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