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Chicago Indymedia

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FACT SHEET On the Beating of Donovan Jackson-Chavis

On July 6, 2002 around 4:30 pm, Coby Chavis and his 16-year old son Donovan stopped for gas at a local Thrifty Gas Station at Century and Freeman Blvds. in the city of Inglewood.

  • Coby Chavis had made eye contact with a passing Lennox Sherrif's car, then proceeded into the gas station to pay the cashier.

  • The Sheriff circled back around, pulled into the gas station and approached Coby Chavis. The Sheriff asked Coby for his license; Coby began to explain that his license was suspended.

  • As the conversation progressed, Donovan came out of the gas station's mini mart eating a bag of potato chips. As Donovan approached his father and the Sheriffs, he was told to put the potato chips down. After following the instructions he was given, Donovan was searched. By this time, backup arrived screeching onto the gas station property. The screeching of police cars, as well as officers approaching him and surrounding his father, startled him. Donovan was hit in his face viciously by one of the officers; subsequently, other officers began to hit Donovan all at once.

  • As this was happening, Coby Chavis was being handcuffed and placed in a squad car.  He watched helplessly as his son was struck over and over again.

  • Donovan was not only punched in his face, head and eyes - he was body-slammed to the ground and choked by a silver chain he was wearing until he was unconscious.

  • At no time was Donovan combative with the police, and at no time did he resist arrest. WHY? The reason that Donovan had -- and has -- such a calm demeanor is because he is a mild-mannered, very quiet, very shy Special Education student, whose deficits include auditory processing delays. In other words, Donovan hears and understands, but has delayed reactions to things.

  • The video is a key piece of evidence that cannot be denied by the police. When viewed in more detail, the video shows that not only was Donovan beaten while he was handcuffed, but he was unconscious when he was pulled up from the ground. When Donovan was slammed onto the hood of the squad car, it awoke him. Naturally, he was startled and disoriented.

  • One of the officers involved referred to Donovan as a "nigger;" another officer taunted Coby Chavis by telling him, "You're going to jail and I'm going home."

  • Jeremy Morse, the officer beating Donovan on the video tape, has been accused of police brutality in other incidents in Inglewood.



  • NO CHARGES BE FILED against Donovan or his father Coby

  • AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION be conducted immediately

  • CRIMINAL CHARGES be filed against all officers involved in the beating, AND SUSPENSION FOR ALL officers and deputies who witnessed the beating and failed to stop it

  • AN IMMEDIATE END to racial profiling and felony-type stops for traffic violations, which lead to an escalation of violence on the part of the police

  • PUNITIVE DAMAGES be levied against all officers found guilty in police abuse cases


The Donovan Jackson-Chavis Justice Committee will hold a meeting Saturday, July 13, 2002 at 5:00 pm at Faith United Methodist Church | 1713 W. 108th Street near Western. This meeting will dispel rumors, educate the public to the truth of the matter, and build support for Donovan Jackson-Chavis, a victim of police brutality.

Donovan Jackson-Chavis Justice Committee 3 1 0 - 9 7 0 - 0 0 3 2

The family of Donovan Jackson-Chavis and the Donovan Jackson-Chavis Justice Committee requests that all community responses and press releases be channelled through the Justice Committee in order to achieve maximum exposure and organization.

Thank you.

"Rodney King then ... Donovan Jackson-Chavis now ... and the beat goes on and on ..."




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