The California Highway Patrol (CHP) says it is investigating a video taken by a passing motorist of one of its officers repeatedly punching a woman in the head after she was allegedly walking along a Los Angeles motorway.
The CHP officer is shown on the video wrestling the woman to the ground, straddling her and then punching her at least 11 times in the face.
The violent confrontation was filmed on a cell phone by a music producer who happened to be passing on Freeway 10 near La Brea Avenue on Tuesday evening.
The officer is seen trying to arrest the woman, he then struggles with her briefly before straddling her and punching her hard, repeatedly in the face. A plainclothes officer then turns up and helps the uniformed man handcuff her.
David Diaz, the man who filmed the confrontation, told CBS2, a US TV news channel, that he thought the officer’s behavior was “excessive and brutal.”
“He just pounded her, if you look at the video, there are 15 hits. To the head, and not just simple jabs. These are blows to the head. Blows. Really serious blows. I find it hard to believe there was no other remedy in this situation,” said Diaz.
But CHP Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn, while not defending the officers’ conduct, tried to mitigate it and offer an explanation at a Friday press conference.