The Best Defense . . .

An L.A. police officer takes the stand in the Rodney King beating trial

THREE WEEKS AGO, RODNEY KING TESTIFIED COMpellingly about how Los Angeles police clubbed him in the head and shouted racial slurs during his notorious videotaped beating two years ago. This time it was a tough-talking Stacey Koon, one of four officers on trial for violating King's civil rights, who contended that King brought the beating on himself. Koon, the commanding officer on the scene, told jurors that King displayed threatening "hulk-like strength," appeared to be high on drugs and failed to heed police commands. "He made all the choices, all the wrong choices," said Koon. When a flurry of baton blows...

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