Leimert Park rally protests beating by CHP officer

Civil rights activists are rallying in Leimert Park on Saturday to demand that Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey file charges against a California Highway Patrol officer who was captured on video punching a woman on the 10 Freeway.

Officer Daniel Andrew has been stripped of his duties and could face "potentially serious charges," the CHP said earlier this week. Video shot by a passing motorists shows a uniformed CHP officer pinning 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock to the ground and repeatedly punching her, landing at least nine blows, on July 1.


The rally and march in Leimert Park is set to begin at 11 a.m. at Crenshaw Boulevard and West Vernon Avenue.

"The purpose of the march and rally is to put pressure on District Attorney Jackie Lacey to file charges against Officer Andrew," said Najee Ali, political director of the L.A. chapter of the National Action Network.

"Not just the city of L.A. but the whole nation is watching what her decision's going to be," he said of Lacey. "The activists and civil rights leaders will not just sit quietly and wait for her decision. We're going to be in the streets demanding Ms. Pinnock gets justice."

A CHP spokeswoman declined to say this week what charges Andrew could face, saying the decision to file charges was up to prosecutors. Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, confirmed that the office had received investigative information on the case and that it was under review.

The incident attracted widespread attention after a video of the encounter was posted to YouTube and aired on several television news stations. Local civil rights activists called on the CHP to conduct a thorough investigation into the officer's actions. Others demanded that criminal charges be filed against the officer.

Leimert Park is also to be the scene Saturday for a rally in support of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old fatally shot by police in Ferguson, Mo., earlier this month, and Ezell Ford, a mentally ill man shot and killed by police officers Aug. 11 in South Los Angeles.

"We want to show some solidarity with Michael Brown and the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as for Ezell Ford and his family," Ali said. "When people ask me if I'm going to Ferguson, I say, 'No, we have our own Ferguson right here in South L.A. that we're dealing with."

Twitter: @haileybranson