Decision on indicting L.A. officers to be left in hands of grand jury


LOS ANGELES -- Prosecutors say they will ask a grand jury to decide whether to indict police officers who participated in the videotaped beating of an unarmed motorist Sunday in suburban Lake View Terrace.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office chose to seek a grand jury indictment instead of filing charges in the case because that will speed up prosecution of the officers, Assistant District Attorney Curt Livesay said yesterday.

"Making use of the grand jury, we can save six months to a year by not having to have an arraignment, pre-trial hearing, preliminary hearing and all the other delays," Mr. Livesay said.

He said the decision was approved by District Attorney Ira Reiner, who is traveling in Australia.

Prosecutors could appear before the grand jury as early as Monday to present evidence against three officers accused of beating Rodney Glenn King, 25, of suburban Altadena.

Evidence also could be presented against the 12 officers who watched the beating and did not intervene, he said.

No charges will be filed against Mr. King, a parolee who police said sparked the incident by leading officers on a high-speed chase early Sunday.

The incident caused a nationwide furor after being captured on home video by George Holliday from the balcony of his home.

The tape showed that Mr. King was hit more than 50 times by officers with their batons and kicked at least seven times while prone on the ground.

Mr. King's attorneys and a doctor who examined him said yesterday that he might have suffered brain damage from the attack.

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