Officers in King case surrender // Will be arraigned Monday
Jonathan T. Lovitt
LOS ANGELES - Four police officers acquitted of excessive force in the beating
of motorist Rodney King surrendered early Thursday to federal marshals on
charges they violated King's civil rights.
After a brief court appearance, Sgt. Stacey Koon and officers Laurence Powell,
Theodore Briseno and Timothy Wind were each released on a $5,000 unsecured
bond. If they don't show up for court, they will each forfeit $5,000.
U.S. Magistrate George King ordered the four to appear Monday for
If convicted, the officers each face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
``I'm innocent,'' Powell said as he left the courthouse. ``Why are they doing this
Koon dodged reporters' questions, suggesting they read his as-yet- unpublished
A tired-looking Briseno, who had testified against the three other officers during
the first trial, said he was shocked none was convicted on state charges.
``I thought there would be convictions,'' Briseno said. ``I can understand why the
public was so outraged.''
Briseno's lawyer, Harlan Braun, maintained his client's innocence.
``He (Briseno) tried to stop the beating,'' Braun said, adding that about 15 other
officers watched but didn't try to stop the beating. ``If he had just stood around
like the rest of the (unindicted) officers, he wouldn't have been charged.''
Powell's attorney, Michael Stone, said Rodney King will be called to testify this
time. King did not take the stand in the state trial in April.
``If the prosecution doesn't call King, I will,'' Stone said. ``The community needs
to see this guy for what he is. He is not a victim. ... He was a felon trying to
Wind's attorney, Paul De Pasquale, thinks it will be impossible to find a jury that
will acquit the defendants when the first acquittals sparked the nation's worst
De Pasquale says the new charges place the officers in double jeopardy.
``It may be a slightly different courtroom with slightly different procedure, but
the charges are basically the same,'' De Pasquale said.