A LAPD officer has been charged with assault for kicking a handcuffed woman seven times in the abdomen, upper thigh and stomach before she lost consciousness and died.
Officer Mary O’Callaghan was found by prosecutors to have used unnecessary force when arresting Alesia Thomas.
Thomas, a drug abuser resisted arrest and struggled with O’Callaghan and other officers who went to her home after she left her children outside a police station.
O’Callaghan repeatedly used profanity and kicked Thomas as she tried to get her into a police car, according to the Police Commission, the civilian oversight board for the LAPD that earlier reviewed the incident. Thomas lost consciousness and was in full cardiac arrest when she arrived at a hospital. An autopsy found Thomas had cocaine in her system, but left her cause of death as “undetermined” because the struggle couldn’t be excluded as a contributing factor.
“I hope the community recognizes that the act of one officer cannot and should not be an overall reflection of this department,” Beck said.
The police union and O’Callaghan’s lawyer, Robert Rico, defended her, saying she has compiled an exemplary record during 18 years with the LAPD.
O’Callaghan, 48, faces arraignment Tuesday on the charge that could bring a three-year prison sentence. She has been relieved of duty without pay pending an administrative hearing, Rico said.
While there isn’t evidence pointing to an exact correlation between O’Callaghan’s assault and Thomas’ death, we do hope that justice is served.
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