Officials Vow to Investigate Video of California Cop Punching Woman on Freeway

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 5 2014 8:51 AM

Officials Vow to Investigate Video of California Cop Punching Woman on Freeway

chp

The California Highway Patrol says it is investigating the video that shows one of its officers punching a woman on the side of a Los Angeles freeway. The video that was shot Tuesday appears to show an officer grab a woman who had been walking alongside a freeway, pin her to the ground and repeatedly punch her as she seems to struggle to get up. But officials insist the video doesn’t tell the full story. “The tape only shows a small part of what transpired, there were events that led up to this. Until all that’s collected and put into perspective we aren’t going to be able to make a determination,” CHP Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn said at a press conference, according to KTLA.

David Diaz, who shot the video and provided it to numerous media outlets, tells the Associated Press that he started filming when the woman was walking off the freeway and she turned around only after the officer yelled at her. "He agitated the situation more than helped it," said Diaz. The officer has been put on administrative leave. An initial report claims the woman was not injured and she is currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. Officials refused to identify the officer or the woman, notes the Los Angeles Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

  Slate Plus
Working
Nov. 27 2014 12:31 PM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 11 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked a helicopter paramedic about his workday.