Woman Who Fell Out Of LAPD Squad Car Says She Was Sexually Assaulted
A woman who fell out of an LAPD squad car while handcuffed last year says that an officer sexually assaulted her in the backseat.
Kim Nguyen, 28, was badly injured in the fall, and she later filed a lawsuit against the LAPD. Nguyen had been arrested for public intoxication on the night of March 17 in Koreatown. As a part of her recent sworn testimony in the suit, the woman says that before her fall, a police officer molested her and sexually assaulted her while she was in the back seat of the squad car, according to the Los Angeles Times.
She says one of the officers climbed into the backseat after she had been arrested. The woman testified: "He was grabbing my left inner thigh, you know, trying to-I’m assuming opening my legs, touching my chest, grabbing at it."
She continued, "I was struggling trying to get him off me. I said, 'What are you doing? You are a police officer.' I said, 'Stop.'"
Nguyen says a second officer continued driving while the assault occurred. The woman says the officer pulled her shirt down around her waist—video would show that she was shirtless after she fell out of the car.
In testimony, the woman said that the details of the evening were hazy and that she could not remember which of the two officers allegedly assaulted her.
A surveillance video captured what happened after she had been arrested. The video shows a squad car stopping on the side of the road for some time. Then the car begins to accelerate. The camera pans away and then pans back, and you can see the woman handcuffed and lying on the road. It zooms in to show her bruised and bloodied face and that her shirt had been pulled down to her waist, exposing her bra. The Times says the video contradicts' officers' stories to paramedics that the woman fell out of the patrol car after coming to a stop at a traffic light.
The woman says the fall shattered her jaw, caused brain bleeding and she's had to undergo multiple surgeries.
The LAPD says it has opened an investigation into the incident, but the woman's attorney has not allowed investigators to interview her. The two officers who arrested her are still in the field.
In the meantime, the Twitter account that once promoted tourism into Koreatown has been tweeting out warnings to tourists:
Please do not visit Koreatown LA. We cannot protect you from LAPD's sexual predation.— Visit Koreatown (@VisitKoreatown) January 10, 2014