Taped Beatings of Suspects

In L.A. Prompt Investigation

LOS ANGELES -- City police said they are investigating the second case in two weeks of officers seen on videotape beating a prone suspect with a flashlight.

Home video showing a black man being pinned to the floor and hit with a metal flashlight during an arrest at a private party was aired on local television a week after a police officer was seen beating auto-theft suspect Stanley Miller, who is black, 11 times around the head after he had been wrestled to the ground.

City leaders have moved quickly to calm tension in a city still bruised by the 1991 police beating of black motorist Rodney King, which led to the worst riots in modern U.S. history.

The video, aired by a Fox affiliate on Wednesday, was taken on June 19 and appears to show three officers pinning a man to the floor in a south Los Angeles apartment. One of them struck the man's legs at least three times with a flashlight. The man was identified as Curtis Gibson, 37, who apparently had a confrontation with a bouncer at the party, after which police were called.

* JACKSON, Ga. -- Georgia executed Robert Karl Hicks for stabbing a 28-year-old woman to death nine months after he was released from prison on a rape conviction. Hicks, 47, was pronounced dead at 5 p.m., 22 hours after he was originally scheduled to die. The Georgia Supreme Court had put his death sentence on hold for a day, but the state's highest court decided 5 to 2 on Thursday to deny an appeal and allowed the execution to proceed.

* HARTFORD, Conn. -- Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) was sworn in as Connecticut governor and immediately pledged to "restore faith, integrity and honor" as she took over for John G. Rowland (R), who resigned amid a federal corruption investigation and threats of impeachment. Rowland did not attend the ceremony. He was seen at his new home greeting a cable television installer who showed up about five minutes after Rell delivered her address.

* SACRAMENTO -- California began the fiscal year without a budget Thursday, as usual, despite hopes that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) would use his political muscle to negotiate a timely agreement. Partisan gridlock in the Capitol has caused the budget to be late nine times in the past 11 years, a situation the governor vowed to remedy. But the process proved more difficult and time-consuming than he anticipated, although negotiators remain hopeful a final agreement is near.

* MADISON, Wis. -- Audrey R. Seiler, a college student who faked her abduction and set off a desperate search, was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to repay the police department at least $9,000. Police said that Seiler staged the abduction in March because she was upset over her fading relationship with her boyfriend.

* KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Army has reversed its stance and decided to continue helping a nonprofit group distribute honorary medallions that cite a Bible verse. Fallen Friend, which since 1995 has distributed nearly 2,000 medallions to survivors of soldiers, police and firefighters killed in the line of duty, had been told recently that the Army could no longer help forward the medallions because the inscription "John 15:13" was inappropriate and might offend some families.

-- From News Services