Javon Morrow might be rabble rouser, but he's no cop beater. A San Francisco jury cleared the 30-year-old San Jose man of charges that he hit a local cop who had written him a ticket for loitering.
Last November, Morrow was on a party bus trekking through North Beach which had made a stop at Horizon Restaurant and Lounge on Broadway Street. He was outside smoking a cigarette for about five minutes when a San Francisco cop approached him and wrote him a ticket for loitering.
Morrow refused to sign the ticket, saying he had every right to be outside smoking.
And here is where the story gets interesting. According to the police officer, Morrow ran 100 feet, turned around, and hit him in the face before grabbing him by the collar and punching him in the ear several times. The officer claimed that Morrow also tried to grab for his gun, and so he hit Morrow repeatedly in the face to get him to comply.
However, Morrow and eyewitnesses told a much different story -- one that seemed more compelling to the jury. Morrow said that after refusing to sign the ticket, the officer forced his arm behind his back and threw him face-first into the ground. The officer then punched Morrow in the face multiple times.
Photos were released at the trial that showed extensive cuts and bruising on Morrow's face, while the pictures showed no injuries to the cop, aside from a small scratch and redness on his ear, according to the Public Defender's Office
"The jurors saw that the photo evidence simply didn't back up the officer's story," said Deputy Public Defender Jack Lamar. "His arrest and beating wasn't about justice, it was about retribution. The police officer was angry at Mr. Morrow for being defiant and he took it out on him with his fists."
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