In a report to Los Angeles County prosecutors, California Highway Patrol investigators say “probable cause exists” to file criminal charges against CHP Officer Daniel Andrew in the videotaped beating of an African American woman on the side of the 10 Freeway last month. The release did not detail what the charges might be.
It's up to Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey to decide whether there's enough evidence to file charges.
"Officer Daniel Andrew’s peace officer duties have been revoked effective immediately and he has been moved from desk duty to administrative time off," the CHP statement said.
Andrew is seen on the tape on top of Marlene Pinnock, straddling and repeatedly punching her after pulling her out of traffic.
L.A. civil rights activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson praised the decision as a "major breakthrough" for the agency in a statement, and called on Lacey to file criminal charges.
"The next step and the next challenge is for the District Attorney to move forward and file charges against the officer," Hutchinson said. "At the meeting with the D.A. we requested, we will push for that filing."
The incident has attracted national attention, and raised concern from CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "I was deeply concerned when I saw the videotape," Farrow said after the incident. "I was shocked."
An attorney for Pinnock, 51, has said she suffered “lumps on her head, face, shoulders and about her body." Attorney Carrie Harper also said authorities held her client in a mental health facility after the incident under a state law that allows police to detain someone who is a danger to themselves or others. Pinnock has since been released.
Pinnock spoke to the Associated Press a few weeks late: "He grabbed me, he threw me down, he started beating me, he beat me. I felt like he was trying to kill me, beat me to death," she said of the officer.
A CHP spokeswoman said the D.A. often requires additional information after an agency conducts an initial investigation. “That’s commonplace,” said Sgt. Melissa Hammond.
The L.A. District Attorney’s office has a policy that states all allegations of criminal misconduct by law enforcement personnel, "where probable cause exists to believe that a crime has been committed," must be referred to that office for review, according to the CHP.