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Video shows officer punching woman on L.A. freeway

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:50 p.m. HST, Jul 04, 2014


LOS ANGELES >> The California Highway Patrol said Friday it is investigating video of one of its officers straddling a woman and punching her in the head as she lay on the shoulder 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.

Passing Driver David Diaz recorded the Tuesday incident and provided it to media outlets including The Associated Press.

The officer is on administrative leave while the patrol investigates. He has not been identified.

O'Quinn said the incident report listed no injuries for the woman, who would not give her name. She is undergoing psychiatric evaluation, he said.

He said the officer was answering a report of a pedestrian on the freeway. When he found the woman, she started walking down an off-ramp and then turned around, walked back onto the freeway and started wandering into lanes, O'Quinn said. That's when the incident occurred.

O'Quinn said the video "only shows a small part of what transpired."

Diaz, a Los Angeles native who now lives in West LA, told the AP in a phone interview Friday that he arrived when 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.

When the video begins, the officer already is on top of the woman and delivering blows. She can be seen wriggling and trying to sit up.

A man in plain clothes -- later identified by O'Quinn as an off-duty law enforcement officer -- then appears and helps the officer handcuff the woman.

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 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.

He added 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."

___

Associated Press photographer Reed Saxon contributed to this report.







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sailfish1 wrote:
Say hello to the next California millionaire thanks to the CHP.
on July 4,2014 | 05:30PM
whs1966 wrote:
Well, that's one way to restrain someone.
on July 4,2014 | 07:07PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
Another out of control cop......
on July 4,2014 | 08:21PM
kgolfinghawaii wrote:
I am sure you know it all types know exactly what happened? What if she hit him multiple times or bit him, prior to what is seen in the video. If you are going to play a man's game with a cop be prepared to be treated like a man if you get out of control? Sorry, that sounds mean, but cops are not supposed to take one on the chin because it is a woman. If she disables him (and it happens) and he loses his gun it is all over. Taught that from the first day in the academy. Now of course if he was wrong he should pay the price. Just stop the early judgement all you know nothings as to what happens in law enforcement and especially during highly combative situations. Let the investigation take place and let the chips, no pun intended, fall where they may.
on July 4,2014 | 10:09PM
inverse wrote:
Watch the video, according to the eyewitness who took the video, he words where exchanged between the woman and cop then she walked toward then away. After that the cop mounted the woman and like a MMA match the cop started reigning punches down on the woman's head. Is that the new way cops arrest an unarmed woman? In Hawaii the public should be provided all information on the Dinan death at the hands of HPD, off duty fireman and possibly others.
on July 4,2014 | 11:55PM
HanabataDays wrote:
I guess the cop has such a professional understanding of the dangers of being a pedestrian on the freeway that he kneels down in the middle of the lane with traffic going by -- so he can beat some situational awareness into this lady.
on July 5,2014 | 02:54AM
hulabird wrote:
Awesome observation Hanabatta Days!
on July 5,2014 | 07:32AM
hulabird wrote:
Why would they only be "speaking for the women of this community" on this matter?
on July 5,2014 | 07:29AM
VikkiP wrote:
This is a prime example of an out of control cop! No other means of restraining a female he must have at least 100lbs. on her! That is a PIG! By the time a scumbag lawyer finishes with CHP the tax payers in California will be paying for that! He should be fired and criminal charges levied.
on July 5,2014 | 07:50AM
false wrote:
VikkiP, you seem to be mad at the world. I think you're the one who needs psychiatric help. First you're angry at the cop, then you are angry at the attorney who helps the woman who was beaten. You're happy with no one.
on July 5,2014 | 06:14PM
localguy wrote:
This is not the first time a CHP officer willfully failed in their job. Earlier one arrested a firemen who parked his truck in a position to protect firemen working on the job. CHP officer on the scene had only one mission, get traffic moving. No concern for the firemen's or accident victim's safety, told firemen to move the truck. He said not until the people were safely out of the way. CHP officer arrested him. Talk about an idiot. CHP refused to comment. CHP officer in charge needs to accept responsibility for willfully failing to provide leadership and resign. As the movie "A Few Good Men" showed, senior officer provided crystal clear guidance to those below them. Not happening at CHP. Ref: http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/03/25/firefighter-arrested-at-accident-files-claim-against-chp/
on July 5,2014 | 08:46AM
localguy wrote:
This is not the first time a CHP officer willfully failed in their job. Earlier one arrested a firemen who parked his truck in a position to protect firemen working on the job. CHP officer on the scene had only one mission, get traffic moving. No concern for the firemen's or accident victim's safety, told firemen to move the truck. He said not until the people were safely out of the way. CHP officer arrested him. Talk about an fool. CHP refused to comment. CHP officer in charge needs to accept responsibility for willfully failing to provide leadership and resign. As the movie "A Few Good Men" showed, senior officer provided crystal clear guidance to those below them. Not happening at CHP. Ref: http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/03/25/firefighter-arrested-at-accident-files-claim-against-chp/
on July 5,2014 | 08:46AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Here's another case of CHP beating freedom into someone: In the interview, the police chief said that he didn't think there was anything unusual about this case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lcYTJx9Y1c


on July 5,2014 | 10:41AM
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