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Woman Hogtied and Kicked By CHP Officers While Pregnant Paid $250K in Damages

Photo by Chris Yarzab via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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In August 2011, Tamara Gaglione was pulled over on the Harbor Freeway by officers with the California Highway Patrol because she was talking on her cellphone. Instead of a calm exchange and a ticket issued, however, Gaglione ended up tossed to the ground, kicked, and hogtied, even after she'd told officers she was pregnant. Now Gaglione has been awarded $250,000 in damages for the violent incident.

Gaglione's traffic stop and arrest were captured on video via a camera mounted on the dashboard of the CHP vehicle, according to the L.A. Times. The video shows Gaglione pulling over to the shoulder, and being ordered out of the car. The footage shows Gaglione as she "stands and stares at the patrolmen, appearing confused."

In their report, officers say Gaglione "appeared to raise her arms in a menacing manner." The L.A. Times describes the ensuing action as seen in the video:

Guns drawn, the officers approach the driver, and one of the patrolmen sweeps away her legs with a kick and pushes her face-first to the asphalt. Another officer then presses his knee into the woman's back and pins her to the ground. At another point, it appears the woman is kicked in her left ribs. Eventually she is hogtied and placed in a squad car.

Gaglione attests she told officers from the start she was pregnant. However, CHP Officer Daniel Hernandez says Gaglione did not say she was pregnant until she was already on the ground; Hernandez also says he kneed her in order to distract her while his partner handcuffed Gaglione.The officers' report led to charges being filed against Gaglione by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office for misdemeanor evading and resisting arrest and driving on a suspended license. Those charges were dismissed, and Gaglione opted to plead no contest to using a cellphone while behind the wheel. According to Gaglione and her lawyer, "the judge questioned the actions of the officers after watching the video."
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The CHP have not commented on the $250,000 awarded to Gaglione. Both arresting officers involved in the Gaglione incident remain on the force. Gaglione has since moved away from Los Angeles and is the mother of a 9-month-old son.