Police Abuse

California Highway Patrol Investigating Police Beating Caught on Video, Like They Always Do


Happy Independence Day. Here is a cellphone video shot last Tuesday showing one of California's finest assaulting a woman walking along a freeway meridian:

The California Highway Patrol is on it, because that's standard operating procedure. Via NBC Los Angeles:

"The California Highway Patrol (CHP) just became aware of the video today and we are investigating the entire incident," according to the statement. "As a matter of policy, every time there is a use of force by our officers, there is a review conducted to determine whether the use of force was appropriate.  That will be done in this case, however, since there is an ongoing investigation, it would be premature to comment on this specific video segment. After the investigation is completed it will be reviewed at multiple levels within the Department."

The CHP did not immediately say what prompted the initial encounter.

No arrests appear to have been made, naturally.

h/t BakedPenguin

NEXT: Nick Gillespie, Meredith Bragg, and Jim Epstein on Reason TV's Best Health Care Videos

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Why would that woman repeatedly bash her head into that poor officer’s fist? I hope his hand is OK.

  2. Paid leave, something something, procedures were followed, something something.

    There, I just saved you having to follow this case for the next two months. Easier to just get it over with now to avoid the second nutpunch.

    1. That still fails to answer the question as to whether that was Ponch or John in the video.

  3. Related: COPS recommend firing, but Civil Service Commission recommends 30 day suspension for cop who pushes over paraplegic in wheelchair.


    1. Why don’t we compromise and give him a raise?

  4. http://truestorieslaworder.com/svuexcerpt.html

    A woman dead because of the top notch oversight of CHP officers by the CHP (i.e., complaints about this guy were never taken seriously).
    I’m sure they will do the same type of job…

  5. At what point do people wake up to this kind of shit?

    1. I saw it linked FB by someone who, last I checked anyway, was a lefty dipshit, so soon?

    2. I’m a realist (what normal people call a cynic) but even “The American Conservative” has some sympathetic articles re police brutality. So I’m cautiously optimistic.

      1. Glen Beck’s BLAZE (of all places) has become a major source of exposing police brutality. Who’d a thunk it? I usually figure conservatives will just say “Don’t like the police? Next time you’re in trouble, call a hippie.”

        This was popular bumper sticker in my youth.

        But there are still millions of Team Red and Team Blue sheeple willing to excuse horrific actions by cops, ATF, etc.

        After all, we don’t know what was on that tape prior to the face-smashing. She could have had one of those assault rifles with 5000 rounds of armor piercing ammo. Think about that, commies, before you besmirch the rep of a first responder!

      2. My guess is that the police are increasingly not restricting their power displays to “those people”. As a result, it’s increasingly difficult for conservatives to ignore it or pretend its justified. At one point, if you were middle class, or at least white and middle class, you could count on your interactions with law enforcement to be professional, if not respectful. That’s increasingly not a reliable expectation.

    3. “Waking up” will mean nothing more than throwing money at new training programs. Or rather, insisting taxpayers throw money at new training programs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see new sanctions on recording police during altercations, too, but only because I’m a diehard pessimist.

  6. The important question is: Did the officer get home safely?

    1. No worries. His hand is expected to make a full recovery!

  7. You know what happens when we actually start to stand up for ourselves, right?

    Abusive cops don’t become less abusive. Nobody with the mindset of a police officer ever relinquishes power. Thugs like them double down.

    They’ll see the sudden uncooperative attitude in us not only as a blow to their respect and authority, but another notch up in the war on cops.

    They will never again hesitate to kill on sight or suspicion. They will begin murdering every single person they come into contact with, regardless of innocence or guilt. We will begin dying in droves.

    And a civilian pushback will NOT change the minds of the entrenched fuckers running the DA’s’ office. They’ll do everything they can to help the officers along, until we actually DO start a goddamn shooting war with the police.

    Which, of course, will cause us to be the bad guys in their view, even more so than we are now. Propaganda will fly picturing us as the miserable terrorists, waging a jihad against the valiant efforts of our noble protectors.

    We’ll lose popular support. We’ll be outgunned, out manned, and assailed from every side by THE MOTHERFUCKING LAW, MOTHERFUCKER! And we’ll lose everything. Then the bastards will knuckle down even harder, using us as an excuse (like they even need one) to remove the final shred of rights and dignity we have been left with.

    Everyone should move to Canada.

    1. start a goddamn shooting war with the police

      Or just push for your town to put body cameras on the cops, like they do in some places, with good results.

      If you’re considering throwing your life away to change things, why not just become a cop yourself? Do the good you can, then try to work your way up the ranks and improve things from within.

      1. Yeah, I wasn’t talking about me. I was speculating the future.

        And we’ve quite clearly seen that even when police are caught on camera murdering people in cold blood, they get away scot-free.

        There are, right now, three police officers outside of my store cussing at a drunk man sitting on the sidewalk.

        I’ve been here for five hours. I’ve been outside and seen this man many times in that five hours.

        I haven’t seen or heard him talk to or harass a single person. This guy in particular usually just gets drunk and passes out near my store, in out of the way spots.

        There’s no reason, in my mind, why they should be harassing him, or why they will inevitably haul him off to jail. Until he commits a crime with an actual victim (such as the man who badgered, harassed, and once attacked someone outside while trying to bum money) then they should leave him alone. He’s on public property doing nothing but living in his own little bum world.

        And I wouldn’t last a week as a police officer. The only ones that get fired are the ones that actually help people. The first time I saw a fellow cop breaking the law and stopped him, I’d be gone.

        Sorry. Your idyllic sense of the world isn’t real.

      2. If you’re considering throwing your life away to change things, why not just become a cop yourself?

        Yeah why not be a self-styled morally exempt government thug enforcer. Totally makes the world a better place. We need less cops, not more.

    2. A few thoughts:
      First, this is the reason for the First Amendment and its ancestor in British common law.
      Second, this is why I prefer the Sheriff over Police model. Although there are plenty of assholes in the Sheriff’s Office, the top guy, the Sheriff himself, holds an elected position, so if the people do finally have enough, it’s easier to get things changed. And, bonus, if the local PD gets too out of hand, the Sheriff has the power to arrest local police officers. City politics is always messy and convoluted, and harder to effect.
      Last, this was the State Highway Patrol. I’ve personally been treated better by Staties in the past: they seem more professional and accountable. I do not, however, have any experience with CHP, so maybe it isn’t that way there. However, we may see some actual results in this case, we’ll see. Don’t most of the “bad cop” stories usually involve county and city LEOs, where local entrenchment is in play? Also, the Feds are bad, but that is purely about maintaining power.

      1. Although there are plenty of assholes in the Sheriff’s Office, the top guy, the Sheriff himself, holds an elected position, so if the people do finally have enough, it’s easier to get things changed.

        Joe Arpaio agrees.

        1. Right, I understand that. But all I am saying is that if the majority of Maricopa County voters want an asshole for a Sheriff, well they got one; a bunch of retirees want an over-the-top law-and-order authoritarian. But if the majority decides that they DON”T want him in office anymore, it’s easy to accomplish. Compare that with getting a city’s Chief of Police fired.

          1. Electoral outcomes have nothing to do with moral outcomes. And you’re right, if they want to elect an asshole, they can do that and often do. Thus proving that democracy is merely vehicle for distributing illegitimate power, not a sacrosanct decision making process.

      1. Wow, in the “Land of the Free” he would have been lucky if the police had only beat the crap out of him. How do we gets professionals like that, instead of what we have now: a bunch of wanna-be, power-hungry, thuggish, jack-booted, Kevlar-wearing-because-they-are-pussies, ‘roid-raged, statist, psychopathic, narcissistic, lazy, dog-shooting, baby-burning, ASSHOLES?
        Do we need to take their guns and tasers away, so they maybe lose some of their feeling of god-like invulnerability?

  8. While I generally assume the po-po takes things to the next level for less than no good reason, there’s absolutely zero info about what lead up to this encounter, so taking it by itself and assuming there’s no backstory aside from what’s caught on camera (i.e. describing it as “woman walking along the freeway”) is misleading.

    Even the article confesses they’ve got no info other than the video, so its not much of a ‘story’ yet aside from, “Shocking footage!”.

    1. Because whatever she may or may not have done deserves eight or ten hammer blows to the head?

      1. I count ten hammer blows, and what looks like at least two elbow strikes when he first gets in the control position.

    2. Bullshit! I will gladly concede the cop was right in tackling a person walking across a busy highway; it was necessary for her own and others’ safety when she resisted his attempt to stop her.
      But he had obvious control of her after that. A large man was on top of a woman, repeatedly punching her in the face. I get it; adrenalin, anger over her physically wrestling with him, etc. But it was punishment for “contempt of cop”, and an individual who can’t control himself should not be given power and a gun. I don’t think I could hold my temper; lots of people might lose their cool; but those people should find a different line of work.
      Also, what is there to “investigate?” Even if she was armed, or had shot at him, she was clearly under his control at that time. Any non-corrupt investigator could wrap this case up in less than an hour.

      1. Fuck that piece of shit cop. SOCIETY says it’s not right for a man to hit a woman and it shouldn’t be tolerated by a fucking god damn cop.

        He had her under control. Cuff her and move on. No, he has to go full blown thug.

    3. There is nothing that could have happened before the video starts that would justify this. Maybe she shot another cop? blew up a skyscraper? Doesn’t matter. In our system, the cop doesn’t have the authority to judge and then administer punishment. Once she is under his control, he has no justification to harm one hair on her head, and, in fact, a duty to keep her safe, so that the courts can do their job.

  9. Violence is bad!

    You still don’t have the first clue what happened before the cameras picked up what was happening. I am simply pointing out that lacking any context of WTF was going on, the instinct to declare ABUSE!OPPRESSION! is mostly a lot moral posturing for its own sake.

    1. What we DO have is a nearly countless number of videos that DO show the runup to a severe beating.

      They pretty much all show that the beatings were without merit. It doesn’t take much effort to assume the worst, given the depressing large number of times that the worst is absolutely true.

      1. Well, then I defer to your conclusion-jumping expertise.

        1. Not jumping to conclusions, just drawing a couple of reasonable inferences. She’s walking, not running away from the officer. The cop doesn’t believe she was armed, or you know he would have had his weapon drawn. How terrible could her offence been? And the question remains, whatever her “crime”, is pounding her head a dozen times the proper response?

          1. *have

          2. Response to what?

            Nothing you reasonably infer means you know what the fuck happened. You don’t. please wet your panties in indignation when you have the facts.

            1. Do you think pounding her head is a proper response to anything she did, or are you just spoiling for an argument?

                1. Its not an argument when you just repeat yourself and think you’re saying something new.

                  from your link

                  “CHP did not provide details of what happened to cause the officer to pursue the woman”

                  Have all the personal moral outrage you want. It feels great. Just stop asking for a pat on the back.

                  1. Maybe you just need to answer the question.

                  2. “CHP did not provide details of what happened to cause the officer to pursue the woman”

                    If the evidence made them look good, they’d be trumpeting it from here to eternity.

                    Hell, just watch local TV news and see how they release the booking shots of every arrested (but not yet convicted) non-cop. It seems to be half of the stories on the local news.

          3. Fox News quoted Chris O’Quinn, Assistant Chief for CHP, at a July 4 press conference as saying that the officer was simply “trying to restrain a woman who’d been walking on Interstate 10, endangering herself and people in traffic.”

            1. So restraining means punching her in the face over and over again.

              1. In my experience, people do tend to stop resisting if you punch them in the face a sufficient number of times.

    2. GILMORE, can you come up with any imaginable sequence of events prior to the beginning of the video that would justify the officer punching her in the face 10 times?

      1. It was Tulpa, *in disguise*?

        1. Why only ten hammer blows?

          1. *Touche*

    3. Okay. What is the context you can suggest that would justify a beatdown when he clearly has her subdued?

      1. Did he? i thought it took the second guy to actually cuff the person.

        Not that i’m trying to “justify” anything. I’m simply pointing out that there is/was no actual information about WTF happened in the moments before the filmed incident. I’m not going to invent a scenario to ‘justify’ this any more than i’d invent a scenario justifying isolated footage of a person doing the same thing *to a cop*.

        I mean, consider this = Cop Beating Up Woman!!

        except for the fact she tried to slit his fucking throat 5 seconds before.

        The fact is that this situation *looks like* it was completely unjustified. It probably was.

        I’m reserving my outrage for when we actually know that.

        1. Why yes, other than that the situations are completely different, they’re exactly the same.

          In the video you link, I don’t see the cop doing anything that I wouldn’t see as necessary to gain control of someone. Rewatch this video (especially 0.24-0.28). That isn’t what you see happening. They guy has her on the ground. He’s solidly on top of her and he’s wailing on her. If what we saw was just him tackling her, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. He goes beyond that.

          1. I wasn’t suggesting the situations were at all similar = I was pointing out that when you have no idea why the situation came about in the first place, you can interpret it how ever you want.

            Apparently the only possible reaction to this scenario is = “THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS AND UNACCEPTABLE!!” and any reservation to declaring that is tantamount to endorsement of brutality…

            … forgive me for leaving my pitchfork in the garage.

            1. Disingenuous at best.

            2. You still haven’t answered my question. “When is it appropriate for an LEO to go MMA on somebodies head?

            3. The only possible reaction to this scenario is = “THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS AND UNACCEPTABLE!!” YES.

            4. And, yes, by all means play the victim.

  10. “every time there is a use of force by our officers, there is a review conducted to determine whether the use of force was appropriate. ”

    Where are the editors on this site? Clearly, “whether” should have been “that”.

  11. I find policeone’s article archiving and ranking system mystifying, so it’s possible I just don’t see it, but I cannot for my life find a word on this video. Which is unfortunate, because I’d imagine the derpy autofellation would be hilarious. Anyone else tried their luck there?

    1. Why would you read that site? You don’t get worked up enough without reading comments from people you already know are going to piss you off?
      That can’t be good for your blood pressure; here, I did a Google just for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDfxm3SJYBE

  12. Well the arrest would have been legit; she was clearly drunk and disorderly walking along (and at one point in the video, into) the interstate. Not sure why the officer didn’t just slap cuffs on her to stop her from resisting, other than the possibility that he finds inflicting head trauma to be a more satisfying means of quelling resistance.

  13. So, GILMORE, expressly to be a dick here, does two elbow strikes and ten hammer blows from a control position equal “restraining” someone?

    1. Do i really need to help you be a dick, or can you handle it without me?

      1. Nope, I can handle my dick just fine without you, but are you, at some point, going to answer my question? Let me rephrase. At what point as a sworn officer of the court does beating someone, who is under your control, become appropriate

      2. I have seen you excoriate any number of people on H&R for refusing to answer a simple question. So put up, or shut up.

        1. When somebody doesn’t respect some power-mad sheep-bugger’s authoritah?


  14. Who’s the asshole that comes up to help?

    Also, CHP has unmarked Volvos?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.