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Activists plan meeting with CHP to discuss altercation

Local civil rights leaders plan to meet with CHP officials to discuss videotaped altercation

Los Angeles civil rights advocates, who have called for a federal investigation into a videotaped altercation between a California Highway Patrol officer and a woman on the side of the 10 Freeway, are planning to meet with CHP officials this week.

The incident, which occurred July 1, was filmed by a passing motorist on the freeway near the La Brea Avenue exit. The video shows a woman walking on the side of the freeway when a male CHP officer catches up to her, throws her to the ground and repeatedly punches her in the head. A plain clothes officer can later be seen helping to pin her to the ground.

CHP officials said they have launched an investigation into the incident. They did not identify the officer or the woman involved.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, said he and representatives of four other civil rights groups have scheduled a meeting with CHP Commissioner Joseph A. Farrow on 2 p.m. Tuesday at the West Los Angeles office in Culver City.

Community activist Najee Ali, director of Project Islamic Hope, said a coalition of local civil rights leaders also plan on meeting CHP officials at their Central Los Angeles offices on Washington Boulevard on Monday at 11 a.m.

CHP Officer Monica Posada said Sunday that she could not confirm the meetings.

Both men said they are hoping to ask about CHP policies regarding use of force and potential punishment of the officers involved.

“Obviously we were horrified by what we saw,” Hutchinson said. “We really want to see a commitment from the CHP to zero tolerance by any officers in the use of excessive force against civilians.”

Hutchinson said he has called on the Justice Department to conduct its own investigation of the incident.

At a Friday news conference, CHP officials said the woman was not injured and was undergoing a mental health evaluation. They said the video shows only a small part of the incident and that the officer was trying to stop the woman from walking into traffic.

On Saturday, an attorney representing her family called for the officers involved to be punished.

“She's not just some animal,” said attorney Caree Harper, who declined to name the woman. “She has an aunt, a sister, a brother, a father and a great-grandchild.”

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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