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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- 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
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl