King beating 'was brutal'

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The Independent Online
LOS ANGELES (Reuter) - A police expert testifying on the second anniversary of the videotaped beating of Rodney King said white police officers who hit the black motorist used brutal force that violated department policy. 'I would never teach nor would I have an instructor teach officers to use a baton in this manner,' said Sergeant Mark Conta, head of the Los Angeles police department's self-defence training unit, during the federal trial of the four policemen. Sgt Conta said the scene became 'burned in my brain'. He said the baton blows and kicks used on Mr King were of 'intermediate force' that could only be used on suspects who were 'combative and aggressive'.

Three policemen - Laurence Powell, Theodore Briseno and former officer Timothy Wind - are accused of violating Mr King's civil rights. Sgt Stacey Koon, the senior officer at the scene, faces the same charge for failing to stop the beating.