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Family Of Woman Punched On Video By CHP Officer Wants Justice
The family of the woman seen in a video being repeatedly punched by a CHP officer wants the officer punished, and says that she was subject to an excessive use of force.
"There is no justification for the way that he savagely beat her. He's the one that should be in a mental health facility," said Caree Harper, attorney for the family of Marlene Pinnock told the LA Times. On July 1, Pinnock was arrested by a CHP officer when she was found walking on the La Brea onramp of the 10 freeway. As she was being subdued, the CHP officer unleashed a melee of punches. The entire incident was caught on video by a passing driver and uploaded to YouTube.
The CHP claims Pinnock was unharmed in the attack, but Harper tells CBS 2 a different story. "She has suffered multiple injuries. She is having to press ice compacts repeatedly on her body, face, arms, shoulders. One shoulder lump is so large that it is the size of a small plum on her arm."
"She's not just some animal. She has an aunt, a sister, a brother, a father and a great-grandchild."
Family members say that authorities at first tried to keep them away from seeing Pinnock, saying she was checked into a health facility under a different name. The CHP said she was being treated and undergoing a mental health evaluation. "They kept her from me, they wouldn’t let me see her," said one of Pinnock's family members.
The CHP claims that Pinnock was being uncooperative, combative and was endangering her own life when she wandered onto the freeway. CHP Assistant Chief Chris O'Quinn says the video on YouTube is an incomplete record of the incident: "The tape only shows a small part of what transpired, there were events the led up to this. Until all that is collected, and put into perspective, we are not going to be able to make a determination." They are currently conducting their own internal investigation.
The family's attorney says the video speaks for itself.
"The focal point of what she did of the freeway is simple; she got beat. She got savagely beat by someone who seemed like he was trying out for mixed martial arts, and it's absolutely unacceptable."