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CHP Commissioner Promises Swift Action In Investigation Of Officer Who Punched Woman On 10 Freeway

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CULVER CITY (CBSLA.com) — The California Highway Patrol commissioner met behind closed doors Tuesday with civil-rights activists about a disturbing video of an officer in a confrontation with a woman along the 10 Freeway.

Commissioner Joseph Farrow is promising swift action as the victim’s family prepares to sue.

“We stand here recognizing the fact that we are a wounded organization,” Farrow said.

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)

“I saw the video on July 3 around 5:00 in the afternoon. It was e-mailed to me. I saw it for the first time and my response, as well as the entire command staff, was one of grave concern, if not shock,” he said.

KCAL9′s Kristine Lazar reports Farrow said the investigation will take weeks rather than months.

CHP remains the lead agency in the investigation and has called in the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney to assist.

But local civil-rights activists were clear in their demand for an independent investigation.

“We don’t want to see it brushed off. We do not want to see it swept aside. We do not want to see it covered up,” Earl Ofari Hutchinson said.

“We can’t let CHP investigate themselves. That is like asking the fox to watch the henhouse,” Najee Ali added.

A passing motorist captured the confrontation on his smartphone from the La Brea Avenue on-ramp on July 1.

According to the arrest record, the woman, identified by her family as Marlene Pinnock, was barefoot, walked into traffic and resisted arrest.

The arresting officer has been pulled from patrol but is still being paid.

The commissioner declined to reveal his name, saying that he is restricted by the Peace Officers Bill of Rights.

Activists objected to keeping the officer anonymous.

“We want to know if he has a history of past abuse. We can’t know that unless we know his name and his prior work record, ” Ali said.

Activists say they are planning a protest for Saturday afternoon near where the confrontation occurred.

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