Police Chief Daryl F. Gates unveiled a plan Wednesday to restore confidence in a department rocked by the videotaped beating of an unarmed black motorist.
In another development, City Councilman Michael Woo became the first council member to call for Gates' resignation in the aftermath of the March 3 beating.Gates proposed that a citizen panel, led by a former state Supreme Court justice, review the department's use-of-force policies and that a senior commander investigate virtually all incidents involving force.
Beginning Friday, he said, a hot line will take reports of police abuse.
Gates also endorsed the development of "non-lethal alternatives" to police clubs and pistols, and called for psychological profiles of 21 city officers present at the beating.
"There must be a thorough and diligent search for any
underlying reasons why those officers engaged in such lawlessness," he said.
The beaten motorist, Rodney King, and his wife, Crystal, are seeking $83 million in a claim filed Tuesday against Los Angeles. If the city does not respond within 45 days, King is free to file a civil lawsuit.
"I expect there will be a lawsuit and my client will have his day in court," said King's attorney, Steven Lerman.
King, 25, was beaten after being stopped for an alleged speeding violation. He suffered fractures of the leg, cheekbone, skull and eye socket as well as internal injuries.
The beating was videotaped by an amateur photographer and shown repeatedly on national television.
Three police officers and a sergeant, all white, have pleaded innocent to assault and other felony charges in the case.