Trials: Tale of The Tape

Tale of The Tape

Since it first aired a year ago, the brutal scene of Los Angeles policemen beating motorist Rodney King senseless has been replayed hundreds of times. Last week attorneys for the four officers charged with assault faced a tough assignment: convincing a jury that what they saw was not what it seemed.

The defense argued that King, a convicted robber who was on parole at the time, was high on the drug PCP and had brought the beating on himself by leading officers on a high-speed chase, then ignoring their orders to lie down on the ground. The prosecution counters that such...