Los Angeles Moves to Ease Tensions After Tape Captures Police Beating of Black Suspect

By NICK MADIGAN new york times full article
LOS ANGELES, June 24 – In the wake of a videotaped police beating of an African-American suspect, officials here scrambled Thursday to plead for peace and offer assurances that the incident, an echo of the Rodney King beating in 1991, would be scrupulously investigated.

All eight Los Angeles police officers on the scene have been removed from active duty with pay since the beating, which occurred early Wednesday during the arrest of Stanley Miller, 36. He was suspected of having stolen a Toyota Camry that he had used to evade police cruisers in a chase that moved from Los Angeles itself through the streets of Compton, south of downtown.

In a tape shown repeatedly on television, Mr. Miller is seen sprinting from the car and then stopping to raise his arms in surrender and crouching on the ground; at that point the officers can be seen leaping on him.

One officer, later identified by the police as John Hatfield, a seven-year veteran of the force, then hit Mr. Miller with a flashlight at least 11 times and also kicked him.

…Percy Perrodin, who retired as a captain in the Compton Police Department in 2002 after 32 years on the force, said: “Use of a flashlight is never justified. You’re only supposed to use whatever force is necessary to overcome resistance. Once the resistance has ceased, the force must cease.”

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