The Long Beach trial of Hawthorne Police Sgt. Don Jackson is scheduled to start today after a two-day delay that prompted Jackson to call the proceedings a “sham.”
“I’m disappointed,” Jackson said after Long Beach Municipal Court Judge Gary R. Hahn agreed to the prosecution’s request for the brief delay. “It’s a stalling tactic,” he said.
John Fentis, deputy city prosecutor in Long Beach, said he was waiting for a transcript of testimony from a Senate committee hearing on Jackson’s secretly filmed “sting” exposing alleged brutality by two Long Beach police officers. Moreover, Fentis said he had just received some videotapes of the incident that had never been broadcast, and needed time to review them.
In January, Jackson, a black Hawthorne police sergeant on disability leave, and another man were pulled over for an alleged traffic violation. While an NBC-TV crew filmed the encounter from a distance, one of the officers swore at Jackson and appeared to shove him into a plate glass window, shattering the glass.
Jackson is being tried on charges of interfering with a police officer. He contends that the incident illustrates the department’s mistreatment of minorities.