LOS ANGELES – Prosecutors declined to file charges Friday against a suspected car thief who was pummeled with a flashlight by a Los Angeles police officer -- an arrest that has drawn comparisons to the Rodney King (search) beating.
The district attorney's office said charges would not be filed for now because there were questions about whether the arresting officers would be able to testify against the suspect. But prosecutors did not rule out possible charges in the future.
Stanley Miller (search), 36, remained jailed on a parole violation, said his defense attorney Mark Werksman.
Werksman said Miller should be released so he can receive medical attention for injuries suffered during the beating on Wednesday after he appeared to surrender.
Miller complained of dizziness, difficulty breathing and a swollen nose, Werksman said. During the videotape, an officer struck him 11 times with a metal flashlight.
Police previously characterized Miller's injuries as a "very minor abrasion" on his face. Sgt. Catherine Plows said Friday he was given a complete medical examination after his arrest.
But Miller's civil attorney, David Nussbaum, said his client needed more treatment. "The police or anyone can spin any story they want that he doesn't appear to be injured, but that's spin. Believe me, he's injured," he said.
Miller was released from prison in February. He has a criminal record dating back to 1994 that includes car theft, forgery and attempting to escape custody, records showed. One probation report described him as a longtime crack cocaine user.
Three officers involved in the videotaped beating of Miller will be investigated for excessive use of force, Police Chief William Bratton said.
A total of eight officers have been placed on desk duty as authorities investigate.
A police union representative urged the public not to jump to conclusions. "In some cases, I think we've seen a rush to judgment," said Los Angeles Police Protective League (search) President Bob Baker. "We want a complete, thorough, transparent investigation."
Meanwhile, dozens of activists voiced outrage over the incident at a rally in downtown Los Angeles. Many protesters carried flashlights like the one used to strike Miller.