06 June 2015

Another Cop Actually Convicted by a Jury

LAPD Officer Mary O’Callaghan was convicted of "assault under color of authority" for repeated kicking a woman that she had already handcuffed:
The camera captured the Los Angeles police officer hissing a cruel threat at the handcuffed woman, striking at her throat with an open hand and kicking her in the crotch.

The video of the arrest, recorded by a patrol-car camera, persuaded jurors to convict Officer Mary O’Callaghan on Friday of assault under color of authority.

During the two-week trial, in which the defense argued that O’Callaghan hadn’t used excessive force, the video gave jurors an unvarnished view of what happened, one said.

“It played a big role,” said Deedra Garcia, the jury forewoman. “It gave us a lot of evidence.”


The prosecution's case centered on the video, which showed O'Callaghan jab at Thomas’ throat with an open hand and threaten to break her arms and kick her in the crotch. In the video, O’Callaghan then raises her boot and strikes Thomas, whose body shakes in response.

The recording captured Thomas — who asked officers for an ambulance more than 30 minutes before one was called — breathing heavily and repeatedly saying, “I can’t.”

A video from a dashboard camera in another patrol car, which was also played during the trial, recorded O’Callaghan laughing and smoking a cigarette as she peeked inside the car at Thomas, whose legs were tied with a nylon hobble restraint.

“That ain’t a good sign,” O’Callaghan says out loud in the video.

Assistant Head Deputy Dist. Atty. Shannon Presby told jurors that O’Callaghan was “immune from any empathy” and that the video clearly showed the officer kicking Thomas in the crotch and the stomach.
Even 5 years ago, it would have been unlikely that the Jury would have voted to convict, and if they had it would have taken much longer than their two days deliberating.

I expect her to get no jail time, though.

I doubt that the recent push-back against police impunity has permeated the judiciary.


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