Recored Arrest leads to CHP Impromptu meeting

07/07/2014 4:09 pm0 commentsViews: 8
Pastor William Smart voices concerns to Deputy Commissioner Ramona Prieto . Photo by Gary McCarthy

Pastor William Smart voices concerns to Deputy Commissioner Ramona Prieto .
Photo by Gary McCarthy

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A group of civil rights activists held an impromptu
meeting with the deputy commissioner of the California Highway Patrol near
downtown Los Angeles today as they continued pressing for answers about a
recording that showed an officer repeatedly punching a woman along the Santa
Monica (10) Freeway.
Pastor William Smart of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and
Najee Ali of Project Islamic Hope were among the activists who went to the
CHP office and met briefly with Deputy Commissioner Ramona Prieto.
“We’re very satisfied,” Smart said after the meeting. “Anytime you
have a commissioner leave a meeting, come down to do this on the spur of the
moment, understanding the importance of this, that’s what we appreciated, that
she heard us.”
Outrage among civil rights groups has been growing since cell phone
video emerged late last week of the altercation between an as-yet-unidentified
CHP officer tackling and then repeatedly striking a woman — 51-year-old
Marlene Pinnock.
The woman’s family has already hired attorneys and indicated it plans to
pursue a lawsuit.
The arrest took place last Tuesday along the 10 Freeway at La Brea
Avenue. Pinnock was allegedly walking barefoot along a narrow freeway shoulder
and occasionally in traffic lanes. According to the CHP, the officer ordered
her to stop, but she did not respond.
The officer then got out of his vehicle and stood in front of the woman,
but she ignored his commands and continued walking, heading westbound against
the flow of traffic and at times into traffic lanes, according to the CHP.
The woman allegedly became physically combative, prompting the officer
to place her under arrest, CHP officials said.
“A physical altercation ensued as the pedestrian continued to resist
arrest at which point a plain clothes off-duty officer assisted in applying the
handcuffs to the pedestrian,” according to the CHP. “When asked if she
sustained any injuries, the pedestrian did not advise of any nor were any
located by the officers at the scene.”
A passing motorist recorded the arrest and provided the video to news
outlets. It shows the woman on her back attempting to ward off several blows
from the CHP officer kneeling over her, before a off-duty officer in civilian
clothes ran up and the violence ended.
Family members lashed out on Sunday, saying the officer was throwing
“lights-out punches” at the woman while sitting on top of her.
Ali said today the activists want more information about Pinnock’s case.
“We want to find out whether she was charged or not,” he told NBC4
after the meeting with Prieto. “Number two, what are the policies and the
procedures? Because to us, the officer isn’t trying to make an arrest, he was
beating her excessively, so we want to find out why that happened.”
The activists have said they hope to meet with the head of the CHP
tomorrow.

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