Pressure continues to build as community leaders demand answers in the shocking videotaped beating of a homeless African-American woman by a still unidentified California Highway Patrol officer. For some it is a reminder of the Rodney King beating 23-years ago and is leading to calls for a race-relations dialogue in Los Angeles.
The brutal beating of Marlene Pinnock, a 51-year-old great-grandmother happened on July 1 on the side of the I-10, a major Los Angeles freeway. Her family plans to sue said her daughter, Maisha Allums. The beatdown was recorded by a passing motorist David Diaz. He 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.”
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) version is that the woman became “physically combative, at which point the officer is forced to place the pedestrian under arrest in fear of the pedestrian and officer’s safety”.
However, the number of punches levied by the male office who is straddling her and throwing unanswered blows does not jive with an officer in fear, or merely placing the female under arrest. But as in the Rodney King case which occurred on March 3, 1991 the public is being told to “not believe your lying eyes”.
Jasmyne Cannick, who blogs about politics says the incident needs to be seen through the lens of the increasing number of police abuse cases happening nationally. Many of these videos are showing up in news feeds on social media, and going viral. Cannick says when viewing the apparent police abuse you wonder how are they “able to pass the psychological test to become a sworn officer in the first place.”
For it’s part the CHP says it “continues the investigation” and will have a report in two weeks.