LOS ANGELES (AP) — The head of the California Highway Patrol said he was shocked and the agency’s reputation is hurt by a video showing an officer repeatedly punching a woman he pinned on the side of a Los Angeles freeway.
CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow vowed to complete a comprehensive investigation in weeks instead of the usual months.
The now-viral video shot by a passing freeway driver shows 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock being repeatedly punched as she’s straddled by the officer on the shoulder of Interstate 10.
“This is one of the most significant events of my 34-year career that I’ve ever dealt with,” Farrow said. “We’ve never seen this before.”
Farrow spoke at a news conference Tuesday after a two-hour meeting with community and civil rights leaders, the second involving CHP officials since the July 1 incident occurred.
“I heard them loud and clear,” Farrow said. “We put the issue right on the table in front of us. We’re dealing with it. We’re not going to run and hide.”
Farrow said state law prevents him from revealing the officer’s name. The officer has been with the department for a year and a half and has been assigned to desk duty pending the investigation’s completion.
Sgt. Denise Joslin said officials are working in conjunction with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on the investigation. Members of the Los Angeles Police Department were also present at Tuesday’s meeting and offered their support, she said.
The investigation will primarily focus on the video itself, Farrow said.