On July 1st, a CHP officer was caught on camera beating a woman off the 10 freeway in Southern California. The officer had already pinned the woman to the ground, and then proceeded to viciously punch her more than 11 times in the head.
The violence was unjustified. If this had been an incident between civilians, the assailant would have been charged with assault. Peace officers should be held to higher standards, not less, so the officer should be held criminally accountable.
The CHP claims to be conducting an internal investigation. However, from the get go, their official stance is “the video doesn’t show everything”. Nothing the video didn’t show could justify the officer’s violence, and the fact that CHP wants to find extenuating circumstances is worrisome. Moreover, the victim of this assault is locked up in psychiatric hold, while the perpetrator is only on paid leave, not suspended.
The police should put protecting the public above protecting one of their own. But the citizens have reason to doubt whether CHP is truly committed to doing the right thing. We request the district attorney to step in because:
1. The public deserves a fair investigation.
2. Regardless of the CHP investigation’s outcome, the officer still committed a crime.
3. When police inspire fear instead of trust, then the system no longer works. The community needs to see proof that the law officers are not above the law.
Update: I spoke with the woman’s attorney Caree Harper on twitter. She said they also want to file a complaint to the DOJ because the victim’s civil rights were also violated. I’ve updated the petiton to include the DOJ’s civil rights division.