It was a typical summer day in July 2014, but what happened on the side of the Interstate 10 freeway in Los Angeles was anything but. The image was—and still is—horrifying: A California Highway Patrol officer, straddling and repeatedly punching a defenseless woman lying on the ground, as if he was in a mixed-martial arts match.
Daniel Andrew, the former officer in question, initially said he was attempting to prevent Marlene Pinnock from hurting herself as she walked along the freeway. He was attempting to “protect and serve,” according to his report, when Pinnock resisted him and became physically combative. He had no choice but to physically restrain her. For her own good, he insisted.
Yeah. The CHP didn’t buy that either, in the end. After initially covering for him, once the CHP’s internal investigation was finished the agency settled with Pinnock for $1.5 million. As part
that settlement, Andrew had to resign his position with the agency by December 1, 2014 and the CHP had to turn the results of its investigation over to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. That was in August 2014.
Prior to Andrew’s resignation, the district attorney’s office interviewed Pinnock about the incident as part of its investigation. That was in October 2014. Now, one year later, there’s still no word on whether Andrew will face any charges for the vicious assault.
Last August Jane Robison, speaking on behalf of the district attorney’s office, said that her office had received the report and was reviewing it. She said the same thing to Daily Kos in a November 2 email.
Part of the settlement that Pinnock received has been placed into a special needs trust for her due to her mental state.
Community activists and observers have been hoping that having an African-American female as district attorney would make a difference. So far, it hasn’t. Pinnock’s attorney, Caree Harper, shared some blunt words with Daily Kos.
“If [Pinnock] was a white female and the cop was black, Mr. Andrew would be under the jail. She was a survivor of an internationally-viewed felony butt-whipping and it’s still under review? BS. They interviewed her in October 2014. These politics are sickening. Independent counsel should handle excessive force cases due to the clear conflict of interest.”
This whole case is sickening. District Attorney Jackie Lacey needs to charge Andrew with assault, at the very least. And she needs to do it now.