LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A Los Angeles police officer was convicted Friday of assault by a public officer for kicking and shoving a handcuffed woman who later died.
The jury reached its verdict after two days of deliberations in the trial of Officer Mary O’Callaghan, 50. She pleaded not guilty to assault under color of authority in the 2012 arrest of 35-year-old Alesia Thomas.
Officers went to arrest Thomas at her home after she left her two children outside a police station.
A dashboard camera in a police cruiser captured O’Callaghan kicking the handcuffed Thomas in the backseat seven times in the groin, abdomen and upper thigh, prosecutors said. Thomas lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The 228-pound Thomas resisted arrest, according to a report by the Police Commission.
O’Callaghan’s attorney said she never had a complaint against her upheld during her 19 years on the force and had an exemplary record.
O’Callaghan was not charged in Thomas’ death. She has been relieved of duty without pay pending an administrative hearing.
An autopsy found Thomas had cocaine in her system, but the cause of death was listed as undetermined because the struggle couldn’t be excluded as a contributing factor. There were no internal injuries or bruising.