Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan testified that a narcotics detective seized him by the neck, tossed him to the ground, handcuffed him and menacingly warned that he would show Morgan "what authority is all about" during a 1988 incident at Los Angeles International Airport.
Morgan is pursuing a civil rights suit against the City of Los Angeles and a police detective.
Morgan told Los Angeles federal court jurors that on March 15, 1988, he was changing planes on a flight from Oakland to Tucson when he was mistaken for a drug courier by L.A. Police Detective Clayton Searle and his partner from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Asked why he was being detained, Morgan said Searle told him he was "an authority figure" who would show Morgan "what authority is all about."
Morgan's testimony came on the opening day of his second trial against Searle and the city. A federal jury ruled in favor of the defendants, the city and Searle, last year but U.S. District Judge Marian R. Pfaelzer ordered a new trial after ruling that she had failed to instruct jurors that Morgan had been illegally detained by police.
Assistant City Attorney Honey A. Lewis, representing Searle, has told the press that Searle was properly asking Morgan to identify himself when Morgan suddenly became belligerent, spewing profanities and slapping the officer. . . .
District Judge Pat Priest in San Antonio dismissed sexual assault charges against former NBA Spur David Wingate, 27, citing insufficient evidence, the San Antonio Light reported. The civil suit filed against Wingate in the same incident earlier was resolved out of court. Wingate, a Baltimorean who starred at Georgetown, still faces criminal and civil charges in Howard County in another alleged sexual assault. Trial date for the Maryland criminal case is Aug. 5.