LOS ANGELES (AP) – A Los Angeles police officer pleaded not guilty Tuesday to an assault charge filed in the kicking of a handcuffed woman who later died.
Officer Mary O’Callaghan, 48, was allowed to go free without bail after her arraignment on the felony charge of assault under color of authority, district attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
Alesia Thomas, 35, died July 22, 2012, following a struggle with O’Callaghan and several other officers who tried to arrest Thomas at her home after her children, ages 12 and 3, were left outside a police station at 2 a.m.
The 228-pound Thomas resisted arrest, according to a report by the Police Commission. 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 later died at a hospital.
Judge Shelly Torrealba signed off on a request by the district attorney’s office to keep the video from being released by prosecutors or defense attorneys to prevent tainting a potential jury, O’Callaghan’s attorney Robert Rico said.
An autopsy found Thomas, a bipolar drug abuser, 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.
Rico said O’Callaghan never had a complaint against her upheld during her 19 years on the force and has an exemplary record. She’s been relieved of duty without pay pending an administrative hearing.
Tami Abdollah can be reached at
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain