LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The family of a woman shown being kicked and punched by an LAPD officer is suing the city for damages.
The confrontation was captured on police surveillance video in the LAPD’s Van Nuys division and shown last week in a story Only On CBS2.
In a report, Officer Alvin Clark said he was protecting himself when the woman “aggressively advanced” toward him. The woman is now identified in court papers as Jessica Nunez, 35
Investigative reporter David Goldstein showed the video to experts in police work and use of force.
Former officer Cheryl Dorsey, who spent 20 years with the LAPD, said: “Absolutely, it’s excessive.”
Richard Lichten, a use-of-force expert with 30 years as a member of the Sheriff’s Department said the video recorded in February looked more “like punishment” and not someone simply trying to handcuff a suspect.
LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman told Goldstein that Clark was being investigated internally due to “some” inconsistencies in Clark’s report and what was shown on the video.
Attorney Luis Carrillo now represents Nunez.
“I was horrified [by the video],” Carrillo said. “A trained officer doesn’t have to use that amount of force to subdue a woman.”
Nunez had been arrested on suspicion of petty theft.
Carrillo told Goldstein that Nunez has a learning disability and is being cared for by her sisters.
“They had no knowledge that this was videotaped until, thanks to [David Goldstein], you put it on the air,” Carrillo said. “And then they were even more horrified.”
Carrillo says the fact the woman has a learning disability makes the story even more outrageous.
“According to their training, post training, they are to become aware of indicators of disabilities and therefore to use better communicative skills to talk to the person. You don’t need have to resort to force,” Carrillo said.
The two officers involved, Clark and his partner, have been pulled from patrol duty and are assigned home with pay until the investigation is completed.