A Los Angeles police officer was convicted today for felony assault for an incident where a 35-year-old woman was left dead.
LAPD officer Mary O’Callaghan was captured on her dashcam repeatedly kicking the handcuffed and leg-shackled suspect in the back of her patrol car in 2012, kicking her in the throat and groin.
The woman, Alesia Thomas, lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
But that was not enough to charge O’Callaghan with murder or manslaughter.
Instead, the LAPD cop was charged with felony assault under color of law, to which she pleaded not guilty.
But a jury today decided to convict her anyway. Now she is facing up to three years in prison. She will be sentenced June 23.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
A video played in court for jurors Wednesday showed a Los Angeles police officer strike a handcuffed woman in the throat and use a foot to kick or shove her in the groin moments before the woman lost consciousness in the back of a patrol car.
The recording, captured by a squad car camera, showed Officer Mary O’Callaghan telling Alesia Thomas to “knock it off” as Thomas was flailing inside the vehicle. The officer threatened to “punt” Thomas in the groin, using a profanity for her genital area.
As O’Callaghan jabbed at the woman’s throat with her hand, Thomas looked into the camera with wide eyes. The recording captured Thomas, who also had her legs tied with a nylon hobble restraint, repeatedly saying, “I can’t.”
The video showed O’Callaghan raise her boot and strike Thomas, whose body shook in response. A few minutes later, Thomas’ eyes closed and her head fell backward, the video showed. The recording then cut off.
Video from a dashboard camera in a different police vehicle showed O’Callaghan walking near the patrol cars. She lit a cigarette and looked inside the car where Thomas had been placed.
“That ain’t a good sign,” O’Callaghan said out loud. Thomas, 35, was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
An autopsy determined that cocaine intoxication was likely a factor in Thomas’ death but officially listed the cause of death as “undetermined.”