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Officers' trial in brawl ends in hung jury

A trial ended in a hung jury Saturday for four policemen accused of inciting a drunken brawl after attending a minor-league baseball game that was supposed to be their reward for outstanding work.

Jurors deliberated about seven hours on Friday and three hours on Saturday before they sent a note to Marion Superior Court Judge Ruth Reichard saying they were hopelessly deadlocked.Prosecutors indicated they would retry the case.

Jurors told Reichard that they felt no amount of time would let them resolve their differences on a case that already had driven deep divisions into the community over the past 14 months and had cost former Police Chief Donald Christ his job.

They faced various misdemeanor counts of battery, disorderly conduct and public intoxication stemming from the Aug. 27, 1996, fight outside the city's Circle Centre mall.

Star witness Jeffrey Gordon testified of being battered and having a loaded gun pointed at his head after encountering a group of men who smelled of alcohol.

The officers, all white, were accused of harassing women and beating up Gordon, who is black.