Cop Watch

Monday, March 28, 2005

Jury grapples to decide fate in second Riders trial

OAKLAND — As the jury in the "Riders" police misconduct case begins deciding the fate of three former city police officers this week, they will wrestle with two distinct stories, each with its share of "holes."

Defense attorneys in closing arguments last week maintained the three, who are accused of beating residents and falsifying reports, are victims of a political witch hunt.

Prosecutors showed the bloodied and swollen faces of eight residents who crossed the path of the accused officers in the summer of 2002. They showed police reports the officers allegedly doctored. And they marched a rookie officer, Keith Batt, onto the witness stand to tell of how he witnessed the events.