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The federal trial of four policemen charged in the videotaped beating of Rodney King likely will include something this week that never happened in their state trial - testimony from King himself.

"It will be a very dramatic moment. I expect a hushed courtroom," said Laurie Levenson, a Loyola University Law School professor and former federal prosecutor who has been observing the trial in federal court.King never testified during the officers' trial on state charges last year in Simi Valley.

Prosecutors are intending to call King to the stand, Levenson said, for one purpose.

"They get him on just long enough to show them that he's a real person named Rodney King," she said. "He's not a monster, he's a real person."

But prosecutors aren't sure what to expect, Levenson said.

"The unknown here is how he's going to react on the stand," she said, "and whether he will show a temper or the combative and aggressive behavior the defense is trying to prove."

If King is a docile witness, Levenson said, the defense would have to modulate any planned cross-examination.

"Instead of attacking, they may try to make him look silly, not knowledgeable and let the tape speak for itself . . . They can say that he was different then and he is now a remade person," Levenson said.

Officers Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno, and Sgt. Stacey Koon face federal civil rights charges in the King beating. Their acquittal on most state charges provoked the deadly April riots in Los Angeles.

Until now, Powell's lawyer, Michael Stone, has dominated the courtroom. His aggressive, theatrical cross-examination of a police witness kept jurors rapt.

At one point, Stone dropped to the floor in a pushup position and later shook his behind to show the jury how King allegedly behaved. Jurors stood up in their jury box to get a better view.