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California LAPD Officer Mary Margaret O'Callaghan charged with assault in death of Alesia Thomas during arrest

Discussion in 'Incidents of Police Abuse, Misconduct, Negligence' started by M, Oct 20, 2013.

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    M Muckraker

    Perp: Officer Mary Margaret O'Callaghan

    Victim: Alesia Thomas

    Department: Los Angeles Police Department

    Location: Los Angeles, California

    O\'Callaghan Mary Margaret 11.png O\'Callaghan Mary Margaret 22.png
    LAPD Officer Mary Margaret O'Callaghan

    Thomas Alesia victim 11.jpg Thomas Alesia victim.jpg
    Victim Alesia Thomas
    Died after being kicked in the groin several times by LAPD Officer Mary Margaret O'Callaghan while she was restrainged & hog-tied​

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
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    M Muckraker

    ABC Local KABC: LAPD in-custody death: Grandmother speaks out (Aug 31 2012)

    On July 22, LAPD officers went to Thomas' apartment building on the 9000 block of Broadway after her two children, ages 3 and 12, were found at a police station. Moses says her granddaughter left a note with her children at the police station, saying she could no longer take care of them. Family members say she has struggled with drug addiction. When officers went after the woman to take her into custody for suspicion of child endangerment, police say she resisted arrest, causing a violent incident. According to the Los Angeles Times, police officials say an officer kicked Thomas in the groin. When officers managed to put the woman in a patrol car, she stopped breathing and died.
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    M Muckraker

    Huffington Post: Alesia Thomas's Death During Violent Arrest Prompts LAPD Investigation [VIDEO] (Aug 31 2013)

    At least five police officers are under investigation after a woman died during a violent arrest in which an officer kicked her genitals, police officials said.
    Alesia Thomas, 35, died July 22. The confrontation with officers occurred after she abandoned her 3-year-old and 12-year-old children at a police station around 2 a.m. and they wandered inside, drawing the attention of an officer, police said. "The officer said, `Hey, what are you kids doing here?' They said, `Well our mom doesn't want us anymore. She dropped us off at the police station,'" Cmdr. Andrew Smith, a department spokesman, told KTTV. Smith said the children told the officers they hadn't eaten for a couple of days. Police Cmdr. Bob Green told the Times that the woman was giving up the children because she was a drug addict who could not care for them.

    ...

    One officer knocked her to the ground by sweeping her legs out from beneath her and two other officers then handcuffed Thomas behind her back and attempted to lead her to a patrol car, according to the department's official report. Two other officers also arrived at the scene. Green said Thomas was a large woman and officers used a "hobble restraint device" – a strap that was wrapped around her ankles. Green confirmed to the Times that during the struggle to get Thomas into the back of the patrol car, a female officer threatened to kick Thomas in the genitals and then did so. Once Thomas was in the car, the video showed her breathing shallowly until she drew her last breath.
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    M Muckraker

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    M Muckraker

    MSNBC: Family sues police for video after violent death in custody (Dec 10 2013)

    Alesia Thomas died in police custody last July after having her hands and ankles bound together behind her back and being kicked in the genitals by an officer. On Monday, Thomas’ family announced plans to file a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), seeking the release of dash-cam video taken the night of her death, showing her last moments alive. “It hasn’t been easy,” Sandra Thomas, the dead woman’s mother, told msnbc.com on Monday, minutes before announcing the lawsuit at a press conference. “We have the right to see how they treated my daughter. And I believe someone is hiding something from us.”

    ...

    The LAPD acknowledged the existence of the video in August, saying in a statement that it “revealed some questionable tactics and improper comments.” LAPD Cmd. Andy Smith told the Los Angeles Times Monday afternoon that the tape would not be released until the department’s investigation of the incident is completed ...
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    M Muckraker

    L.A. Times: LAPD refuses to release video of fatal encounter with mother (Dec 10 2012)

    Thomas is seen on the video breathing shallowly and then appearing to fall into unconsciousness, the official said. Paramedics could not revive her. At some point before Thomas was put in the car, a ranking police official acknowledged, a female officer shouted vulgar insults at her and threatened to kick her genitals if she did not comply. The officer then followed through on the threat, the official said, stomping the heel of her boot onto Thomas' groin.

    Crump and Steve Effres, who are representing Thomas' family, said the LAPD has rejected their repeated requests for a copy of the video. The Times, too, has requested a copy of the video. The LAPD has refused the request, citing the ongoing investigation into the officers' actions and Thomas' death. Effres rebuffed that reasoning, saying the department has had ample time to conduct its investigation. "I suspect if the video was helpful to the police's position then we would be seeing the video, but because it is presumably harmful to them, they refuse to show it."
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    M Muckraker

    NBC Los Angeles: Officer Used Unnecessary Force Before Woman's Death, LAPD Says: The woman was kicked by an officer before dying in a squad car during her 2012 arrest (June 28 2013)

    A Los Angeles police officer used unnecessary force when she kicked a woman in the genitals minutes before the 35-year-old died in a police car last year, the Los Angeles Police Commission announced in a report released Thursday. An autopsy report could not confirm why Thomas died after the confrontation with police.

    ...

    Thomas was sprawled across the back seat when the officer, whose identity has not been released, used her feet to push or kick Thomas seven times on three separate occasions in the upper thigh, groin and abdomen areas, according to the report.

    How do you know a cop is lying? In Charlie Beck's case, it's whenever his lips are moving:


    LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the officer used "non-lethal force." And he called her actions "out of policy," in part, because Thomas' actions "did not constitute a significant threat to the officer." Once Thomas was in the car, video from the cruiser shows her breathing shallowly until she drew her last breath, according to the report.

    "Non-lethal", indeed! :rolleyes:
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    M Muckraker

    L.A. Times: Video of LAPD officer kicking woman should be public, lawyer says (Oct 10 2013)

    Video from a police cruiser camera that shows an LAPD officer kicking a restrained woman -- who later died -- needs to made public, the family attorney said Thursday. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged Officer Mary O'Callaghan on Wednesday with assault under the color of authority in the July 22, 2012, incident in South Los Angeles that ended with the death of Alesia Thomas. "This news should reignite our demand that the video be released," said civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents Thomas' family. "The truth is going to come out. We don't want to rely on their view of the video. "Her children, her family and the community should be able to see what happened when Alecia Thomas died in the custody of the LAPD," he continued.
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    M Muckraker

    NBC News: LAPD officer charged with assault in death of woman (Oct 10 2013)

    Prosecutors have filed an assault charge against a Los Angeles police officer for her alleged role in a 2012 incident captured on squad-car video in which a 35-year-old mother died after a violent struggle to place her in custody. Officer Mary Margaret O'Callaghan, a 19-year veteran of the force, is charged with assault under color of authority for kicking Alesia Thomas in the groin and stomach during the attempted arrest on July 22, 2012, which involved at least three other officers ... Prosecutors have asked for bail of $35,000.
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    M Muckraker

    NBC News: Officer Charged With Assault in Arrest Death (Oct 11 2013)

    A Los Angeles Police Department officer accused of repeatedly kicking a handcuffed woman who died during an arrest last year was charged Thursday with assaulting an arrestee under color of authority. Prosecutors declined to file an involuntary manslaughter charge, citing insufficient evidence that the officer's actions caused Alesia Thomas' death in July 2012. A coroner's report found the cause of death was "undetermined."
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    M Muckraker

    News One: Lawyer Asks: What Did LAPD Cop Say Before Alesia Thomas Died? (Oct 14 2013)

    After the arrest of a Los Angeles police officer in the death of a woman who had been assaulted while handcuffed, a lawyer for the victim’s family renewed the call for the police department to release the dashboard camera video. “There should be audio on the video [recording],” Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Alesia Thomas’ family, told NewsOne. Referring to a statement yesterday by Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck that, “the officer’s actions that day, as seen on the video, did not meet the expectations I have of our officers in the field,” Crump said, “He talked about what he saw, but we want to know what was said. Did she say any racial or derogatory terms to Thomas?”


    Crump also took aim at the reason for the arrest in the first place. “She took her children to the police station for a safe haven. We don’t want people with mental health issues to put their children on the street. By arresting her, they ‘re saying that for people with mental problems, there’s no safe haven for you.”

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