CHP officer videotaped punching woman could face ‘serious charges’
Marlene Pinnock, left, with her attorney, Caree Harper, during an August interview in Los Angeles.(John Hopper / Associated Press)
The California Highway Patrol announced Wednesday that one of its officers faces “potentially serious charges” for repeatedly punching a woman in the head along the 10 Freeway in July, an incident that was caught on video and posted to YouTube, causing widespread outrage.
In addition to turning its criminal investigation over to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for review, the CHP also said that the officer, Daniel Andrew, had been moved from desk duty to administrative time off.
An internal investigation into the matter remains ongoing.
Andrew was captured on video stopping 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock -- who was walking on the side of the 10 Freeway at the La Brea Avenue exit on July 1 -- then taking her to the ground, straddling her while she was on her back and punching her repeatedly in the head.
In his report on the arrest, Andrew stated that he was trying to protect Pinnock, who reportedly walked into the freeway lanes. Pinnock was arrested in the incident and put on a 72-hour mental health hold because Andrew determined she was a danger to herself or others.
Pinnock has since sued the CHP and her attorney has called for the Department of Justice to investigate. Her attorney also claims the 72-hour hold was an attempt to cover up the beating.
Prosecutors still have to review the CHP’s report and weigh whether to charge Andrew with a crime. Meanwhile, the CHP is conducting a separate, internal investigation into the incident apart from the criminal inquiry.
“The CHP understands the public’s interest in this case, and it is our desire to be as transparent as possible while adhering to the laws and due process that govern any investigation,” the CHP said in a statement. “We value the public’s trust and appreciate the community’s patience as we complete this important process.”
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