Beaten boy was trying to protect himself, court told

A black teenager who was punched and thrown into a car by a white policeman during a video-taped incident that recalled the assault of Rodney King will tell a court he was beaten and choked by officers until he passed out.

There was widespread outcry last year when a passer-by filmed police beating 16-year-old Donovan Jackson at a petrol station in the Inglewood suburb of Los Angeles. This week the two officers involved, Jeremy Morse, 25, who was dismissed from the force and his former partner, Bijan Darvish, 26, who was suspended, have gone on trial. Mr Morse is charged with assault and Mr Darvish is charged with filing a false report. They have denied the charges.

The prosecutor, Michael Pettersen, told the court that the teenager was trying to protect himself as the officers seized him. "He is flailing his legs, he is flailing his arms, reaching out in a desperate attempt to stop this from happening," he said.

He said the video captured, "Jeremy Morse picking up a limp, apparently lifeless, non-moving Donovan Jackson, swinging him around, lifting him to shoulder level, and slamming him down on the trunk of a police car."

Last year, the teenager told a grand jury he was choked and beaten until his lost consciousness. The officers claimed he was trying to grab their weapons. The boy and his father had been stopped at the petrol station by the officers because their car carried expired registration tags.

In 1992, there were riots in Los Angeles after four white police officers filmed attacking Mr King were acquitted.

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