The police chief wants felony assault charges filed against three officers whom a bystander videotaped beating a motorist. Daryl Gates hopes people won't lose faith in his police force.
The incident is under federal and local investigation and brought calls for the chief to resign. But Gates said he won't quit; and Mayor Tom Bradley, who has voiced outrage over the beating, said he's satisfied by the department's response so far.The three likely to face charges and their sergeant, present during the beating, were relieved of their duties.
Bystander George Holliday shot the video of Rodney King's beating Sunday while trying out a new camera. It showed several officers repeatedly clubbing and kicking King, who had been stopped for speeding, and King pleading for mercy. The video has been broadcast repeatedly on national television.
Gates acknowledged Thursday that King was hit with batons more than 50 times, kicked at least seven times and shocked with a stun device.
"You've got a lot of police officers out there whose morale has been harmed seriously by this," Gates said at a news conference. "They look at those tapes too. They are outraged, as you are."
"Unfortunately, we are painting 8,300 additional officers with this broad brush," Gates said. "They do not deserve to painted with this brush."
Gates said charges against the officers involved most likely would include assault with a deadly weapon and assault under color of authority.
King, the 25-year-motorist, is black. But Gates said there was no evidence of bigotry behind the beating.
Evidence shows "absolutely nothing that would suggest (racial motivation) except that the officers were white and the suspect was black," Gates said. No racial epithet or hint of racist animosity was expressed, he said.
Police arrested King, of suburban Altadena, early Sunday for investigation of a parole violation after a high-speed chase.