WEST ADAMS (CBSLA.com) — A CHP spokesperson Friday said the agency would “try to come to a just conclusion” in the investigation of an officer’s beating of a woman on the shoulder of the 10 Freeway this week.
KCAL9’s Randy Paige reports an arrest record shows the incident – captured on video by a motorist – occurred at the 10 on-ramp near La Brea July 1 at about 5:45 p.m.
Assistant Chief with CHP Southern Division Chris O’Quinn said Friday he can’t comment on details of the investigation, but insisted the agency was seriously looking into the matter.
“We’re looking at every possibility, every fact, every circumstance that could have contributed to this situation, and we’re going to try to come to a just conclusion,” O’Quinn said.
According to the arrest report, the woman, who was not named, was seen barefoot, walking along the freeway shoulder, and at times stepping out into heavy traffic.
The CHP says she ignored the officer’s command to get out of the traffic lane and then became physically combative.
The report also says the officer was concerned about the woman’s safety as well as his own, and when he tried to place her under arrest a “physical altercation ensued.”
An off-duty plain clothes officer helped the CHP officer put handcuffs on the woman.
The CHP says she did not complain of any injuries and the officers didn’t see any evidence of injuries.
She has since been transported to Los Angeles County Medical Center for evaluation.
Community activists, led by Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson, are calling for a federal investigation and for the officer to be immediately suspended pending the results of the federal probe.
“Excessive force, abuse of authority, is not going to be tolerated,” Hutchinson said on Friday.
“Speaking for the women of this community, we are angry, we are upset, and a lot of women have expressed their fear over highway patrol,” another community activist added.
Hutchinson said the group has not received any information from the CHP about the context of the video, although he could not think of a reason that could justify the officer’s actions.
“We don’t know at this point [what occurred before the recording]. The only thing we have the video,” he said, insisting that no matter what transpired “the officer crossed the line.”
“To subdue, that’s one thing. But to beat, that’s another thing,” Hutchinson said.
The CHP says it can’t jump to conclusions without a full investigation and that there is more to the incident than what can be seen on the cell phone video.
The agency would not comment on the arresting officer’s status, but said that in similar cases officers are placed on administrative leave.