The Rev. Al Sharpton planned a march Friday protesting the beating of an unarmed black man that was captured on videotape - one day after a judge set a May trial date for four accused officers.
Sharpton, the flamboyant New York civil rights activist, said the march was to demand the ouster of Police Chief Daryl F. Gates, who has been under pressure to resign since the March 3 beating of 25-year-old Rodney King."The national outcry must be raised," Sharpton said at a news conference Thursday. "Mr. Gates is not an L.A. issue. He's a national issue."
Superior Court Judge Bernard Kamins set a May 13 trial date for four police officers charged in the beating.
Sgt. Stacey Koon, 40, and officers Timothy Wind, 30; Laurence Powell, 28, and Theodore Briseno, 38, are charged with assault with a deadly weapon and unnecessarily beating a suspect.
Koon and Powell also are charged with filing a false police report. Koon is additionally accused of being an accessory in a cover up.
A grand jury is investigating the conduct of 21 other officers who watched the beating. Some could be indicted on felony charges of aiding and abetting the attack.
Civil rights and community groups have called for an overhaul of the force and the for Gates' resignation.
King, who has filed an $83 million claim against the city, was beaten, kicked and shocked with an electric stun gun after a traffic stop. Doctors said his skull was fractured in 11 places.
The beating prompted a nationwide Justice Department probe of police brutality and an FBI investigation of the Foothill Division, where the four indicted officers worked.
George Holliday, the amateur cameraman who taped the beating, has received offers for movie and television deals, said his attorney, James Jordan. The attorney would not provide details.
Holliday, 31, said that since he sold the videotape to a television station for $500, "I haven't been able to make my own decisions. I can't go everywhere I want to go anymore."