On Tuesday, July 1, a 51-year-old woman was walking barefoot up the side of California’s Interstate 10 when suddenly she crossed the crowded highway. That’s when a California Highway Patrol officer confronted her, ending up on top of her and punching her face repeatedly.
The incident was caught on cell phone video by a driver—and shows an unnamed officer punching the face of Marlene Pinnock, later identified as a great-grandmother.
Although the officer has been suspended pending an investigation, below you can hear California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn saying that the officer was protecting Pinnock, who was deemed a danger to herself and motorists.
Pinnock has been admitted to a psychiatric facility, where she is undergoing an evaluation and recovering from the multiple “lumps” that her lawyer said were given to her during the beatdown.
“Her rights were violated in a most egregious way … appropriate legal action will be taken soon,” civil rights attorney John Burris said during a Sunday news conference.
The July 1 incident was caught on video by a passing motorist on the freeway near the La Brea Avenue exit.
“She’s not just some animal,” said attorney Caree Harper. “She has an aunt, a sister, a brother, a father and a great-grandchild.”
CHP officials said the video captured only a small part of the incident. The officer was trying to stop the woman from walking into traffic and endangering herself and others, CHP officials said.
“We will leave no stone unturned” in the investigation, said CHP Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn.
Pinnock was arrested and put on a mental health hold under California’s Welfare and Institutions Code 5150, which means a person is considered a danger to themselves or others. Under that code, a person can be held under observation for up to “72 hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention.”