New Orleans beating victim in court
From Carey Bodenheimer
Davis said he was talking to an officer when another policeman interrupted, triggering the altercation.
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NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Robert Davis, the retired school teacher who was videotaped being beaten by New Orleans police officers in October, was in court on Wednesday.
At a hearing, Davis and his attorneys expressed surprise at finding their case had been consolidated with that of the former officers who arrested him.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said that by consolidating the case, it appears the government is saying that both Davis and the officers are simultaneously victims and perpetrators.
What sparked the beating remains in dispute. Davis maintains that he had asked a mounted police officer about the city curfew and walked away only to be "sucker-punched" by another police officer shortly thereafter. (Watch what Davis' face looked like after the drubbing -- 3:25)
The images were broadcast worldwide and added to the many woes of the New Orleans Police Department in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
A federal civil rights investigation was launched because the officers are white and Davis is black.
The New Orleans district attorney still could pursue charges against the officers at a state level.
Two FBI agents who also were involved in the incident have not been charged.
Davis pleaded not guilty on October 12 to four charges: public intoxication, battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and public intimidation.
Former New Orleans Police Department officers Robert Evangelist and Lance Shilling were fired last month as a result of the incident. A third officer, Stuart Smith, was suspended without pay for 120 days. All three officers were seen on the videotape and face battery charges stemming from the incident.
Davis said he remains in physical therapy as a result of the beating. He and his family have moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and do not plan to resettle in New Orleans, he said.
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