Crime & Justice

Woman punched by CHP officer settles for $1.5 million

Marlene Pinnock, left, poses with her attorney, Caree Harper during an interview Sunday Aug. 10, 2014 in Los Angeles. Pinnock, a homeless woman was beaten by a CHP officer in July 2014. Sunday was Pinnock's first publicized interview since the incident, that was videotaped. (AP Photo/John Hopper)
Marlene Pinnock, left, poses with her attorney, Caree Harper during an interview Sunday Aug. 10, 2014 in Los Angeles. Pinnock, a homeless woman was beaten by a CHP officer in July 2014. Sunday was Pinnock's first publicized interview since the incident, that was videotaped. (AP Photo/John Hopper)
John Hopper/AP

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A woman punched repeatedly by a California Highway Patrol officer on the side of a freeway in an incident caught on video will receive $1.5 million under a settlement, and the officer has agreed to resign, according to a California Highway Patrol statement. 

Wednesday's agreement came after a nine-hour mediation session in Los Angeles, according to the Associated Press. 

"When this incident occurred, I promised that I would look into it and vowed a swift resolution," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow's statement said. "Today, we have worked constructively to reach a settlement agreement that is satisfactory to all parties involved."

The statement said that Officer Daniel Andrew, who joined the CHP in 2012 and has been on paid administrative leave since the incident, "has elected to resign."

In a report to the Los Angeles District Attorney, CHP investigators say “probable cause exists” to file criminal charges against Officer Daniel Andrew in the videotaped beating of an African-American woman on the side of the 10 Freeway last month. 

The case is still under review, Jane Robison, spokeswoman for L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey, told KPCC. Robison would not say when the office expects to decide on any criminal charges but noted that the CHP settlement with Pinnock does not affect the criminal investigation into the incident.

"The settlement and his resignation are not enough," civil rights activist Najee Ali, who heads Project Islamic Hope, told KPCC. "It sends a bad message that a financial settlement can be reached, which is paid for by taxpayers, without any type of criminal penalty for a criminal act."

The bulk of the settlement will take the form of a special needs trust for Pinnock, the CHP statement said.

Pinnock's attorney Caree Harper said the settlement fulfilled the two elements her side was looking for, AP reported. 

"One of the things we wanted to make sure of was that she was provided for in a manner that accommodated her unique situation in life," Harper said, "and that the officer was not going to be an officer anymore and we secured those things."

The July 1 video of Andrew punching Pinnock was captured by a passing driver and spread widely on the Internet and television.

According to a search warrant made public in court documents last month, Andrew had just pulled Pinnock from oncoming traffic, and she resisted by pushing him after multiple drivers called 911 to report her walking barefoot along the side of the freeway, according to AP. 

Andrew then straddled her on the ground as Pinnock resisted by "kicking her legs, grabbing the officer's uniform and twisting her body," the warrant said. Andrew "struck her in the upper torso and head several times with a closed right fist," the records say.

The warrant said Pinnock suffered no signs of physical injury and refused medical treatment. She was placed on a psychiatric hold for two weeks.

Pinnock has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had been off her medication for two to three months before the altercation, AP reported.

In an interview with the AP last month, Pinnock said she believed the officer was trying to kill her.

"He grabbed me, he threw me down, he started beating me," she said. "I felt like he was trying to kill me, beat me to death."

This article has been updated.