From our private database of 34,000+ case briefs...
Powell v. Superior Court
California Court of Appeal
232 Cal. App. 3d 785 (1991)
Four White Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers—Laurence Powell, Theodore Briseno, Stacey Koon, and Timothy Wind (the officers) (defendants)—were charged with assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury and with a deadly weapon and other offenses related to the officers’ beating of a Black man, Rodney King. A bystander sold a videotape of the encounter to a local television station, and the video made worldwide news, sparking many public conversations about racist police practices. The video created a political schism between Los Angeles’s mayor and the LAPD’s police chief. The police commission, appointed by the mayor, unsuccessfully attempted to force out the police chief, and several commission members resigned in protest. The power struggle spilled over into the hotly contested city council election. A commission of prominent Los Angeles residents that was formed to investigate the LAPD found evidence of systemic racist and sexist policing practices and excessive uses of force. The officers were arrested in March 1991 and promptly filed a motion for a change of venue. The officers presented several public-opinion surveys to support the motion, including a Los Angeles Times poll finding that 86 percent of Los Angeles residents had seen the video and 92 percent believed that the officers had used excessive force. While the change-of-venue motion was pending, Los Angeles newspapers publicized a document that threatened community violence if the officers’ case was transferred to another venue, and other news coverage mentioned the possibility of riots. The trial court denied the motion, and the officers petitioned the California Court of Appeal for a writ of mandate directing the trial court to change venue.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 607,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 607,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 34,000 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.