Shocking video in alleged police brutality case shows violent arrest of California woman

A woman is suing a local California police department over allegations officers used excessive force and violated her civil rights during her arrest two years ago, then fabricated charges against her to try and cover up their mistake.

Now bystander video of her arrest has been released by the woman’s attorney, showing a violent confrontation between the woman and officers of the Carlsbad, California police department.

Valencia, California resident Cindy Hahn, 40, says the incident occurred on July 31, 2013 as she was leaving a birthday party at Legoland in Carlsbad with her two children, ages 11 and 7.

Hahn alleges in the lawsuit filed against the City of Carlsbad and the individual officers involved in her arrest that the incident began when she asked an officer investigating an active car alarm what was going on.

“And he says, ‘Is this your car?’ And I said, ‘No, sir.’ And he says, ‘Then mind your own [expletive] business,’” Hahn told CBS Los Angeles.
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Angered, Hahn says she called the department’s non-emergency line to complain about the officer’s conduct before leaving.

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She alleges the officer in question, identified as Carlsbad Police Officer Kenyatte Valentine in her lawsuit, followed her before pulling her over for an alleged seatbelt violation.

What happened next is not clear, but Hahn alleges officer Valentine ordered her out of her car, at which point she says Valentine “began attacking her in front of her children.”

Cell phone video shot by one of the other women at the Legoland party shows what happens next, with Officer Valentine pinning Hahn to the ground as more officers arrive on scene.

Another officer, identified in the suit as Officer Jody Knisley, joins Officer Valentine in pinning Hahn to the ground, and is seen throwing repeated strikes to her head and knees to her body as she resists the two officer’s attempt to arrest her.

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Angry bystanders, including the unidentified woman shooting the video, wonder at the police officer’s overreaction and even confront them verbally as a hysterical Hahn is led into the back of a cruiser.

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Hahn was transported to hospital following her arrest, where she was disagnosed with a concussion as well as head and brain contusions.

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Hahn was charged with Felony Resisting Arrest and Felony Battery on a Peace Officer, charges she alleges in her lawsuit the officers invented in order to explain their own conduct.

On Friday, the San Diego District Attorney dropped all the charges against Hahn after Hahn’s lawyer said he showed the D.A. the above video of her arrest.

“[The police] did not know there was a video,” Attorney Mark J. Geragos told NBC News. “I allowed at least one of the cops to testify to tell his story which we will charitably call lying, though some would call perjury.”

“Later on, we showed the video to the district attorney, who promptly said, ‘your honor, we move to dismiss.”

Hahn was also never charged with a seatbelt violation.

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As soon as her felony charges were dropped, Hahn filed suit against the City of Carlsbad and the officers in question, alleging they violated her civil rights and used excessive force during her arrest.

It was also at this time that the video was released by Geragos on his own YouTube account.

In a statement released to the media, Carlsbad Police Chief Neil Gallucci says there’s more to the case than what the video shows.

“Whenever there is an active lawsuit, the Police Department is under heavy restrictions on what information we are legally able to share. I want to assure the public that we are prepared to provide a complete and detailed account of the facts of this incident in a courtroom, including what is not shown on the video released by the plaintiff’s attorney.”

He also maintains that the department is committed to maintaining the highest standards of conduct among its officers.

“Although we are not discussing this incident specifically, due to the lawsuit, we would like to assure our community that the City of Carlsbad Police Department is committed to maintaining the very highest standards of conduct in carrying out our duties. We immediately investigate any allegation of misconduct, and all of our officers undergo extensive training in ensuring the safety of our community and our officers.”

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Likewise, the City of Carlsbad said in its own statement to media that it awaits the findings of the court case.

“The City of Carlsbad looks forward to bringing this lawsuit before the proper judicial authorities as soon as possible,” their statement reads.

“We are prepared to provide a complete and detailed account of the facts of this incident in a courtroom, not in the media.”

Global News has reached out to Attorney Mark J. Geragos and will update the story with his comments if and when they are available.

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