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A recent video captured a California Highway Patrol officer beating a 51-year-old woman last week and has since gone viral, causing local community members and activists to rally together on Monday and demand answers.
The demonstration took place at the California Highway Patrol’s Central Los Angeles station where various African-American community activist groups gathered to speak out against the beating of Marlene Pinnock, a great-grandmother who suffered severe injuries after a highway patrol officer forcefully tried to restrain her.
According to the CHP, the woman was walking barefoot on an interstate highway outside downtown Los Angeles when an officer approached and advised her to stop walking. Pinnock reportedly did not respond and as a result was arrested after she became “physically combative” — which then led to the intense altercation.
Pinnock’s family has filed a lawsuit against the CHP after they saw the video captured by a passing driver named David Diaz.
“This is not just jabs, they are hooks. Those are lights-out punches. Those aren’t like taps,” Diaz said. “You see it, you heard it. It was like ‘thump, thump, thump’ and then you see her head bouncing ‘bam, bam’ on the concrete. Then you hear her screaming, ‘No, don’t, stop.’ Then you even — at the end where she has her hands up like this — when it’s clear there is no more resistance, he takes another four or five shots.”
CHP Comissioner Joe Farrow met with local activists and spoke at a news conference Tuesday. He said he was shocked by the video and that an investigation is underway, which he hopes to complete within weeks and not the usual months.
“This is one of the most significant events of my 34-year career that I’ve ever dealt with,” Farrow said. “We’ve never seen this before.”
The investigation will probe into what occurred in the video and try to determine what exactly prompted the officer to use force and how the altercation even began.
Meanwhile, Pinnock remains hospitalized and is currently under a psychiatric hold, according to the Associated Press. She is reportedly covered in bruises and ice packs.
“How do I know he’s not going to hurt me or anyone else?” Pinnock’s daughter, Maisha Allums, told reporters Sunday. “So I am just here with a voice for my mom and everyone else.”
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works.