Los Angeles- The violent assault of a woman on a Los Angeles freeway was caught on a cell phone camera Tuesday evening by a passing motorist. The perpetrator of the brutal assault was a California Highway Patrol officer.
The CHP officer is shown on the video throwing a woman to the ground, straddling her and punching her in the face at least 11 times while she lays prostrate.
The CHP says it is investigating the incident. But at a press conference Friday, CHP Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn attempted to mitigate the situation by explaining that the woman was endangering herself and others by wandering the freeway.
The video “only shows a small part of what transpired,” O’Quinn said, adding “there were events that led up to this.” O’Quinn went on to state, “We are known as an agency that really polices itself.”
The officer seen in the video, who has not been named, is currently on administrative leave while the investigation is concluded.
The man who filmed the violent assault, David Diaz, told CBS 2 that the officers behavior was “excessive and brutal.”
“He just pounded her, if you look at the video, there are 15 hits. To the head, and not just simple jabs. These are blows to the head. Blows. Really serious blows. I find it hard to believe there was no other remedy in this situation,” said Diaz
Local civil rights leaders have expressed their anger and shock at the video.
“Speaking for the women of this community, we are angry, we are upset,” Lita Herron of the Youth Advocacy conference told AP.
The training that officers receive must be seriously questioned if this officer felt that punching a woman in face repeatedly, while straddling her, was the only way to diffuse this situation.
Regardless of any other circumstances surrounding the details of the incident, this is certainly not acceptable behavior on the part of a law enforcement officer.