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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments