A Los Angeles woman who was severely beaten by a CHP police officer on the side of a freeway is speaking out.
Marlene Pinnock said she feared for her life as the officer pummeled her during an incident that was captured on a cell phone video.
“I think he was trying to kill me. He was trying to beat me to death,” says Pinnock, a grandmother who tells Eyewitness News she’s been homeless for about five years. “He was just socking me with all his strength, with his hands all up over his head, giving it all he had,” says Pinnock.
Pinnock gave her first interview to Marc Brown Sunday as pressure mounts on the California Highway Patrol to disclose what, if any, discipline has been taken against the CHP officer. Civil rights advocates, including the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, are calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to intervene in the investigation.
“For almost seven weeks, the CHP has ducked, dodged, maintained a wall of silence about the beating of Marlene Pinnock right here at this freeway,” said Earl Ofari Hutchison at a news conference on Sunday. “Are they in fact going to punish the officer who beat Marlene Pinnock? We have no information on that. It has been complete silence from the California Highway Patrol.”
Pinnock, 51, says she wants the officer fired. Her attorney, Caree Harper, wants the officer to be criminally prosecuted. Harper is exploring the option of a charge for attempted murder.
The CHP has declined to name the officer, but a federal civil rights lawsuit filed last month by Pinnock identifies him as Officer Daniel L. Andrew. The lawsuit alleges that Pinnock was “violently thrown to the ground” by Officer Andrew. It also states that she was struck roughly 10-15 times with her clothing ripped off during the altercation.
A passing motorist captured the beating, which took place on July 1. It has since gone viral. Pinnock says Officer Andrew wasn’t saying anything during the fight.
The CHP previously said the officer was attempting to stop Pinnock from hurting herself and others by walking into rush-hour traffic on the busy 10 Freeway near the La Brea off-ramp. According to a CHP spokesperson, the involved officer is currently assigned to non-road patrol duties pending the outcome of the internal investigation.
The CHP is also in contact with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the LAPD and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
A fund has been set up in Pinnock’s name. Anyone who wants to contribute can do so at any Wells Fargo Bank. The account is: Marlene Pinnock 5052.
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