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Civil-Rights Activists Meet With Top CHP Official After Woman Is Punched On Video

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Top officials from the California Highway Patrol have arrived in Los Angeles to investigate the arrest of a woman punched multiple times by an officer near the 10 Freeway.

KCAL9’s Kristine Lazar reports local civil-rights leaders met Monday with CHP Deputy Commissioner Ramona Prieto in an impromptu gathering outside the agency’s downtown headquarters.

Prieto is assisting in the investigation after the arresting officer was captured on video repeatedly hitting the woman, identified by her family as Marlene Pinnock, after she reportedly walked into traffic July 1 near the La Brea Avenue on-ramp.

Marlene Pinnock as she appeared in a 2009 photo. (credit: Pinnock's attorney Caree Harper)

Marlene Pinnock as she appeared in a 2009 photo. (credit: Pinnock’s attorney Caree Harper)

According to the arrest report, Pinnock became “physically combative” during the altercation.

Pastor William Smart of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said during the gathering the incident had “left a scar” on the community.

Prieto said the CHP has invited the District Attorney’s Office to assist in the investigation, but she is not rushing judgement.

“I have questions. But I want to make sure that I don’t prejudge a situation,” Prieto said, adding that the officer involved has been pulled off patrol.

CHP will not release his name or qualifications.

“The main thing is, is that we want to make sure that he has some anonymity as this point while we conduct our investigation. He is not in the field. He’s not working the roads. He is working administrative duties while we investigate what happened,” Prieto said.

Pinnock’s family says she is bruised and sore, and will file a civil-rights lawsuit.

She has not been charged with a crime and remains at the hospital on a mental health hold despite her family’s objections.

“I just thank God that she’s alive,” her daughter told reporters last weekend.

“Nobody had a right to beat anybody the way that sister got beat,” Smart said.

Civil-rights activists want the officer to be terminated and to face criminal charges.

They plan to meet with the CHP commissioner Tuesday to discuss the investigation.

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