Expert Calls Ca. Officer’s Use Of Force Excessive


Former Inglewood, Ca., police officer Jeremy Morse used excessive force when he picked 16-year-old Donovan Jackson off the ground and threw him onto a patrol car, an expert testified yesterday. “That’s inappropriate police conduct,” Joe Callanan, a police trainer, told jurors in the second day of Morse’s retrial after watching a videotape of the 2002 incident. “It could leave somebody seriously injured.”

Callanan testified that Morse’s use of force was unnecessary because Jackson was handcuffed and not resisting. “Where resistance ends, excessive force begins,” said Callanan, who spent more than two decades in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and has testified about 250 times.

The defense contends Morse’s actions were justified and that he was using an approved tactic called “wedging” to gain control of Jackson, who was resisting. Morse, 26, is charged with assault under the color of authority. A jury deadlocked in the first trial when seven jurors voted to convict and five voted to acquit. The incident took place at a gas station on July 6, 2002, after two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies stopped Jackson’s father to question him about expired registration tags on his car. Inglewood officers arrived and a scuffle ensued. Once Jackson was handcuffed, Morse was caught on tape picking him up, heaving him onto the car, and punching him in the face.


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