Calif. officer punches woman over 10 times in arrest posted on YouTube
WARNING: Video may be disturbing to some viewers. A freeway takedown leaves drivers stunned as a California Highway Patrol officer repeatedly punches a woman.
TORONTO – A video posted to YouTube showing the violent arrest of a woman on a freeway has prompted the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to launch an investigation into use of force by its officer.
Though the circumstances leading up to the altercation are unclear, motorist David Diaz told CBS Los Angeles that he saw the barefoot woman exchange words with the patrol officer, walk towards him, then away from him, before the incident captured on the video unfolded.
Diaz’s video shows the woman walking onto the on ramp of the 10 Freeway near La Brea Avenue on Tuesday, then you see a male officer walk across traffic to follow her onto the shoulder. He then pushes her to the ground, and begins to punch her in the face until he’s joined by a plain clothes police officer who assists in the arrest.
“He just pounds her,” said Diaz. “If you look at the video, there’s 15 hits to the head, and not just simple jabs. These are blows to the head—blows, like real serious. And that’s ridiculous to me.”
“I just find it hard to believe there was no other remedy for this situation.”
On Thursday, CHP issued a statement in response to the video:
“The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is aware of the video and we are looking into the incident. As a matter of policy, every time there is a use of force by our officers, there is a review conducted to determine whether the use of force was appropriate. That will be done in this case, however, since there is an ongoing investigation, it would be premature to comment on this specific video segment without reviewing the entire incident.”
When asked Friday if any new information had been learned about the entire incident since the video came to light and whether the suspect was known to police, Sgt. Denise Joslin told Global News it would be premature to disclose any additional information.
Sgt. Joslin said the investigation could take several days or several weeks and would be filed as a report to the local district attorney’s office for review and consideration.
CBS reports there’s no word on the condition of the woman or the identity of either party involved in the incident.
With files from CBS Los Angeles and KTLA 5
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