LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California Highway Patrol has vowed to carry out a thorough investigation after a video emerged of one of its officers repeatedly punching a woman he had pinned down on the side of a Los Angeles freeway.
The woman had been walking on Interstate 10 west of downtown Los Angeles, endangering herself and people in traffic, and the officer was trying to restrain her, CHP Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn said at a news conference. O’Quinn said the woman had begun walking off the freeway but returned when the confrontation occurred.
The video shows the woman struggling and trying to sit up while the officer punches her in the face and head until an off-duty law enforcement officer appears and helps him handcuff her.
Passing Driver David Diaz recorded the Tuesday incident and provided it to media outlets including The Associated Press. He told the AP in a phone interview Friday that he arrived as the woman was walking off the freeway. He said she turned around only after the officer shouted something to her.
“He agitated the situation more than helped it,” said Diaz, who started filming soon after.
Los Angeles attorney Caree Harper said the woman’s family wants authorities held accountable for “beating a great-grandmother in broad daylight.” She declined to disclose the woman’s name or answer questions about what the woman was doing along the edge of one of the city’s busiest freeways.
She is undergoing psychiatric evaluation, authorities said.
“We want the focus to be what he was doing to her, not what she was doing” prior to the confrontation, said Harper, who said she is representing the family. “She was getting beat like an animal. No one should ever be beat like that.”
The officer is on administrative leave while the patrol investigates. He has not been identified.
The video caught the attention of local civil rights leaders, who expressed shock and outrage at their own news conference.
“Speaking for the women of this community, we are angry, we are upset,” said Lita Herron of the Youth Advocacy Coalition.
O’Quinn said the CHP would answer community concerns and that an investigative team already has been assembled and has begun its work.
“We are known as an agency that really polices itself,” O’Quinn said.
Community activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, speaking at the local leaders’ news conference, agreed.
“Over the years, CHP has had a very good track record in terms of community relations,” Hutchinson said. “That’s why this was so shocking.”
O’Quinn said the incident report listed no injuries for the woman, who would not give her name.
O’Quinn said he could not say what prompted the officer to act as he did. But he noted California Highway Patrol officers have a heightened sense of the dangers of being on the freeway compared with a citizen “who is not accustomed to the speed and conditions,” especially outside of a car.
“The most dangerous thing that we face is traffic,” O’Quinn said.
Associated Press photographer Reed Saxon contributed to this report.
13 thoughts on “Family wants officer held accountable in beating”
So supposedly the chief’s pathetic excuse for the officer beating the hell out of the woman is because she endangered herself and needed to be restrained. I don’t know whether to laugh at the ridiculousness of that excuse or get angry. Can you believe this baloney? Insanity abounds!
“O’Quinn said he could not say what prompted the officer to act as he did. But he noted California Highway Patrol officers have a heightened sense of the dangers of being on the freeway compared with a citizen “who is not accustomed to the speed and conditions,” especially outside of a car.”
Gee…you almost make it sound like they have some special superpowers that are supposed to make it all better. So is that supposed to make it OK to beat the hell out of a woman, then? What kind of bullshit is that?
““The most dangerous thing that we face is traffic,” O’Quinn said.”
WOW! You make it sound like facing traffic is like facing a terrorist threat or something. Pathetic. Stop thinking you’re special when we all know you are not and stop coming up with the most ridiculous excuses to back up your insane, out of control police officers. It’s really getting old and lame.
In all fairness, she was a great-grandmother, and would have the experience necessary to pose a threat of harm to this officer. Though not typical of law enforcement take-down training and use of necessary force, things may not actually be as they appear, and we need to disregard that the officer outweighed her, his physical build, etc., and other differences we might normally perceive as an advantage in a physical confrontation, because the officer may have been in fear for his life.
From her arm movements, as blows landed on her face and head, it’s clear she was resisting the officer’s efforts, and that it took two law enforcement officers to finally subdue the great-grandmother into handcuffs, denotes a high probability of extraordinary circumstances to consider (great-grandmother superpowers), and may explain why the officer acted the way he did.
As an aside, isn’t it great that the two largest employers in most states are Wal-Mart and government, that an off-duty law enforcement officer could be at the scene to readily assist with hand-cuffing a great-grandmother? Frankly, an applause may be in order for the off-duty law enforcement officer, who did not see what others thought they saw, but a fellow officer in need of assistance.
I think you missed your calling, moron. Should have been a PR spokesman for the pig department.
What loony bin did you escape from, anyway?
I took it as sarcasm.
If I am wrong, he won’t be around long.
Other than this one line, it is far too subtle to be obvious sarcasm, Henry.
Just my perspective, otherwise I wouldn’t have jumped on him like that. I could be wrong.
Wouldn’t be the first time.
I sure hope he was being sarcastic. Otherwise, God help him.
I’m well-versed in sarcasm, NC, and THAT wasn’t it.
By ANY stretch of the imagination.
I can assure you he said that with his tongue firmly in his cheek. He was not serious.
If that’s the case, then I apologize. I’ve only seen a half dozen or so of his comments, and that isn’t nearly enough to get a solid handle on anyone’s personality.
If Henry, NC, Millard, or especially digger (RIP, and not that he ever would have, it wasn’t his style) or myself, as well as a few others here had posted such a comment, there would have been absolutely NO doubt as to the true intent.
File this one under understandable misunderstanding, if you will.
Yup! a shiny badge and a costume give one super powers and no accountability.
““We are known as an agency that really polices itself,” O’Quinn said.”
Yea, Eric Holder basically said the same thing after Fast and Furious. Look how well that turned out for him. Planning on getting a pardon from the illegal man in the Oval Office, too?
So basically what you’re saying is, like all police precincts, you have no checks and balance. Typical.
““Over the years, CHP has had a very good track record in terms of community relations,” Hutchinson said. “That’s why this was so shocking.””
Seriously? Did you actually say that with a straight face?