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Inglewood police officer Jeremy Morse, a three year veteran, was caught on video tape assaulting Donovan Chavis, a handcuffed sixteen-year old African American male, by plummeting him face down on the back of a police car and punching him in the face. According to Donovan Chavis and his father, Kobe Chavis, on Saturday, July 6th, they stopped at a local gas station in Inglewood, California. While pumping gas, Kobe Chavis was approached by two police officers who soon discovered that his license plate had expired and his license had been suspended. At this point, Kobe says he was thrown to the ground with a knee in his back and then pushed into his car where he was told to wait. After paying for gas and exiting the convenient store with a bag of potato chips in his hand, police officers said the young Donovan Chavis lunged at one of the officers, a claim both Donovan and his father adamantly denies. At this time, according to Joe Hopkins, Donovan's attorney, Donovan was handcuffed, beaten, and dragged on the ground by an 18-inch chain he was wearing around his neck before being thrown on top of the police car and hit in the face.

Mitchell Crooks, who observed the incident from a hotel across the street, began videotaping the scene, but was only able to capture the last few moments of the incident. Many Inglewood residents are viewing this incident as a racially motivated crime against African Americans and are therefore outraged at the response, or lack of, from the Inglewood Police Department, who suspended Officer Morse with pay. For more information regarding this story, users may access the first two links listed above. The third link leads to a recent news story concerning Mitchell Crooks (the man who videotaped the incident), while the fourth link leads to a live transcript of CNN's American Morning with Paula Zahn. Finally, the last two links lead to home pages of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice and the Inglewood Police Department, respectively.

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Date Issued 2002
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2002-07-12
Archived Scout Publication URL

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