Police Beating Victim Settles for $450,000

Police Beating Victim Settles for $450,000

An African American Compton man who was struck by police 11 times with a large metal flashlight settled tentatively out of court for $450,000 according to his attorney.

The suspected car thief’s beating by Los Angeles police officer John J. Hatfield came at the end of a 21-mile high-speed car chase that began in South L.A. A television crew in a news helicopter filmed the beating.

"I think it's a good, solid settlement in light of what occurred," Miller's attorney, Brown Greene said. "The city stepped up to the plate."

The Los Angeles City Council must still ratify the settlement, which was reached during mediation with the city’s attorney, according to Greene.

Prosecutors in the case decided not to press charges against Hatfield or any other officers because his injuries were not serious, and many thought the suspect, Stanley Miller, a 39-year-old veteran, was armed. The prosecutors also said there was not enough evidence that officer Hatfield, 37, acted without lawful necessity.

The officer was fired anyway by LAPD Chief William J. Bratton shortly after a Board of Rights found that Hatfield was guilty of using unnecessary force. Chief Bratton also said the department would phase out use of the large metal flashlights.

The mayor and community activists bashed the decision to prosecute no one.
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