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Beating Victim Goes to Hospital

Stanley Miller, whose assault by LAPD officers was televised, complains of dizziness and is transferred to a prison medical facility.

June 30, 2004|Patrick McGreevy and Richard Winton | Times Staff Writers

A man beaten during a televised arrest by a Los Angeles police officer was transferred late Monday night to a state prison and then sent to its medical facility for observation after complaining of dizziness.

An attorney for Stanley Miller told reporters that his client, who is now at the California Institution for Men in Chino, was exhibiting "classic signs of brain damage."

Also on Tuesday, LAPD Chief William J. Bratton said Miller had a pair of wire cutters on him when he was arrested.

Sources have told The Times that the officer involved, John Hatfield, said an officer shouted that Miller had a gun and that police later found wire cutters the officer believed was the weapon.

One of Miller's attorneys has denied that his client had any wire cutters.

Richard Nussbaum, a lawyer for Miller, said Miller had frequent and severe headaches, slurred speech and difficulty concentrating after last Wednesday's incident, in which an officer was seen kicking at him and striking him 11 times with a flashlight.

Los Angeles Police Department officers have said Miller suffered only minor injuries and bruising.

However, Department of Corrections officials said Tuesday that Miller was being housed in a hospital facility at the prison because of his complaints of dizziness.

Nussbaum said Miller, who was being held on a parole violation, had not yet received an independent medical examination.

Meanwhile, Bratton said his investigators were working with the district attorney's office to get the original and complete videotapes showing the incident from KABC-TV Channel 7 and KTTV-TV Channel 11 and might use a subpoena if necessary to get the evidence.

"Videos are a crucial element for us because we can literally look at those frame by frame," Bratton said. "We have already broken down the existing TV footage that we have frame by frame. We are looking to get the actual footage, a lot of which was not seen on TV, which will be of a higher quality."

Bratton said prosecutors had indicated they wanted to review the tapes before considering filing charges.

An official at KABC said he would not comment on the issue and said the matter had been referred to company attorneys.

Hatfield has told investigators he directed a kick at Miller and administered 11 strikes with his flashlight as distraction blows because another officer, David Hale, shouted "Gun, gun!" after feeling the wire cutters in Miller's pocket.

"One of the things that the video would probably show is the individual being searched and the wire cutters being retrieved," Bratton said.

Meanwhile, the arrested man's mother, Jean Miller of Compton, said she saw the beating on TV, but it was only after Hatfield stopped striking the man that she realized it was her son.

"My heart sank. I thought to myself, no one deserves to be beaten like that, especially from police officers," Miller wrote in a prepared statement issued through Nussbaum.

"First they beat my son like a dog, then they won't give him the proper medical care," she wrote.

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Times staff writer Joy Buchanan contributed to this report.

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