CHP Refers Officer Beating of Homeless Woman to D.A.
By City News Service
The California Highway Patrol announced Wednesday it has forwarded its investigation into the beating of a 51-year-old homeless woman by an officer alongside the Santa Monica (10) Freeway to the District Attorney’s Office, and the probe outlines “potentially serious charges” against the officer.
Officer Daniel Andrew has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.
Andrew was caught on cell phone video repeatedly punching Marlene Pinnock alongside the freeway on July 1. The tape prompted outrage among civil rights groups and Pinnock’s family. She filed a federal lawsuit against the CHP on July 17.
The District Attorney’s Office will review the case to determine if criminal cases should be filed against Andrew.
CHP officials did not provide specific details about the results of the investigation, other than saying the probe wound up “outlining potentially serious charges for the officer involved in the July 1st violent incident with a woman on a freeway on-ramp in Los Angeles.”
“The CHP will continue to cooperate with the District Attorney’s Office in its ongoing criminal investigation,” according to the CHP. “The CHP will also complete its ongoing internal administrative investigation into this incident, a separate process from the criminal investigation.”
Several CHP officials, including Commissioner Joe Farrow, have met with family members and activists since Pinnock’s arrest, but civil rights activists — including Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Roundtable — have called for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to conduct an investigation.
In her lawsuit, Pinnock’s attorneys allege the woman was the victim of an unprovoked attack and a cover-up that was “tantamount to attempted murder.”
The CHP officer beat Pinnock for no reason after she walked away from him and was later made out to be the aggressor in a falsified report, the suit alleges.
‘The arrest occurred along eastbound lanes of the 10 Freeway near the La Brea Avenue offramp. Pinnock was walking barefoot along the shoulder and occasionally in traffic lanes, according to the CHP. When Pinnock did not respond to orders to stop, the officer got out and confronted her. The woman became combative, prompting the officer to place her under arrest, CHP officials said.
Cell phone video, however, showed Andrew repeatedly punching Pinnock in the head. An off-duty officer eventually showed up and helped handcuff the woman.
Pinnock was put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold — something available to law enforcement officers when a person appears to be danger to themselves or others — and held involuntarily for a mental evaluation following her arrest.
“The CHP understands the public’s interest in this case, and it is our desire to be as transparent as possible while adhering to the laws and due process that govern any investigation,” according to the CHP. “We value the public’s trust and appreciate the community’s patience as we complete this important process.”Print This Post
August 21, 2014 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.