The Los Angeles County Superior Court has released an LAPD patrol-car video that was at the center of the assault trial of a police officer accused of striking a woman's throat with an open hand and kicking her in the crotch.
Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta approved the release of the recording of Officer Mary O’Callaghan -- who was convicted Friday of assault under color of authority -- in response to a request from The Times.
The jury forewoman said the video played “a big role” in the jury’s decision to find O’Callaghan, 50, guilty in the 2012 assault of Alesia Thomas, who lost consciousness in the back seat of the patrol car and died soon afterward.
Toward the beginning of the video -- which combines a recording from inside the squad car where Thomas lost consciousness and the dash camera of another patrol car -- Thomas says, “I can’t move.”
She then tells the officers, “I can’t breathe.”
As O’Callaghan gives Thomas, a 35-year-old mother, commands about where to place her feet, Thomas says, “I can’t, I can’t.” The officer then screams a profanity at Thomas and strikes at her throat with an open hand. Thomas looks into the camera with wide eyes.
After telling Thomas she’ll get “crushed” if she doesn’t move her feet, O’Callaghan jabs her boot into Thomas’ groin three times. When the officer tries to readjust a nylon hobble restraint around Thomas’ feet, she compares it to “roping cattle.”
Moments later, Thomas says, “If you want to kill me, just kill me.”
“I don't want to kill you,” O'Callaghan responds. “I just want to transport you.”
“Why?” Thomas asks.
“To get you some help,” O’Callaghan says.
After the assault, the footage captures O’Callaghan smoking a cigarette. When she realizes Thomas is unconscious, O'Callaghan says, "That ain’t a good sign."
O'Callaghan, who did not testify in the trial, was not charged in connection with Thomas’ death.
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