Video: CHP Investigate Officer Caught Repeatedly Punching Woman
After a video uploaded to YouTube captured a California Highway Patrol officer repeatedly punching a woman pinned to the ground, the CHP says it is conducting its own investigation over the incident.
The video, shot on Tuesday, showed a CHP officer pursuing a woman on foot by the La Brea onramp of the 10 freeway. The officer grabs the woman before pinning her down and repeatedly punches her as her shirt also gets ripped off in the scuffle. An off-duty, plainclothes officer is seen showing up at the end and helping the CHP officer handcuff her.
"It’s basically a UFC ground-and-pound move, full force, punching her in the head. Like, in the head." David Diaz told KTLA of the video he shot and uploaded to YouTube.
"It's clearly excess force. There is no way you can justify that," Diaz added.
"What we saw with that video was a civil-rights abuse—a civil-rights violation. We have to send a message: excessive force, abuse of authority is not going to be tolerated," said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, President of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable told KTLA. The LAUPR is calling for a federal probe into the incident and the suspension of the officer.
On Friday, the CHP said that an internal investigation was underway and that the officer was put on paid administrative duties in the meantime. According to officers, the woman was a transient walking across lanes of traffic on the freeway. She was reportedly unhurt in the attack and taken in for a 72-hour mental evaluation.
"What caused the officer to respond in the way he has has not been thoroughly evaluated so I don't want to provide you with an opinion," said Assistant Chief Chris O'Quinn of the CHP Southern Division.
The investigation is expected to conclude in the coming weeks.