King officer 'too soft' with baton

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Only hours before taking part in the beating of Rodney King, a white police officer, Laurence Powell, was reprimanded for not striking hard enough with his baton, a police sergeant testified, AP reports from Los Angeles.

Sgt Richard Di Stefano was responding to questions from a defence lawyer seeking to suggest Mr Powell could not have caused extreme fractures of Mr King's face in March 1991. After more instruction, Mr Powell managed to 'put some more power into the blows', Mr Di Stefano told the court where Mr Powell and three other officers are charged with violating Mr King's civil rights. Their acquittal in a criminal case last April provoked three days of rioting during which more than 50 people died.