Jurors in the Rodney King beating trial were warned early on that King isn't on trial. Yet they have heard him described as having "Hulk-like strength" and compared to a "Tasmanian devil."
They have also seen a California Highway patrolwoman in tears on the witness stand as she described King having his head smashed by the baton of officer Laurence Powell.King testified that while he was irreverent, he never resisted arrest.
What really happened March 3, 1991?
To prove the four officers on trial violated King's civil rights, prosecutors must show the force they used was excessive for the situation.
After 41/2 weeks of testimony, jurors must balance Sgt. Stacey Koon's image of King as an "Incredible Hulk" with King's testimony, which suggested the patrolwoman, Melanie Singer, could have handcuffed him if police hadn't intervened.
Singer was the only witness to say she saw Powell strike King in the head, a move forbidden by the Los Angeles Police Department because it can be deadly.
But to Koon, King was a "a monster-like figure akin to a Tasmanian devil" that he had seen in a cartoon of a PCP suspect in a police training bulletin.
Although tests showed no PCP in King's system, the defense has made the drug the centerpiece of its case.
They say just the suspicion of PCP was justification for beating King into submission.
Koon and Powell are on trial with officer Theodore Briseno and former officer Timothy Wind in the beating captured on videotape and broadcast worldwide.
Singer acknowledged King's behavior was bizarre. She burst into tears Friday when she recalled Powell's metal baton striking King's head.
As she showed King's cowering posture, jurors watched closely.
Powell said outside court that he agreed with his attorney, Michael Stone, in calling Singer to the witness stand. He said Singer's outburst showed "she was so upset that she didn't know what she saw."
But prosecutors were smiling as they left the courthouse for the weekend. And other defense attorneys said Stone undermined their efforts.