The California homeless woman, whose brutal beating by a police officer was caught on tape, has not only filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, but she’s now speaking out on the incident in which she thought she was going to die.
"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," Marlene Pinnock told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The July 1 beating occurred on Interstate 10 west of downtown Los Angeles. According to police officials, CHP officers were responding to the report of a woman walking into lanes on the freeway and that Pinnock had endangered herself by being on the busy highway. That’s when California Highway Patrol officer Daniel L. Andrew tried to restrain her. However, the recording from a passing car shows Pinnock pinned to the ground, being repeatedly punched in the head.
The 51-year-old alleges in her lawsuit “excessive force, assault, battery and a violation of her due-process rights.” According to the AP, Andrew has been placed on desk duty pending the findings of an internal investigation.
Pinnock’s attorney, Caree Harper, shared that her client was released from the hospital last week after being treated over several weeks for head injuries. AP also reported Andrew had placed Pinnock on involuntary psychiatric hold after the incident. He reported that she was a danger to herself and “upon contacting the subject she was talking to herself. The subject began telling me ‘I want to walk home’ and called me ‘the devil.’ The subject then tried to walk into traffic lanes.”
Pinnock’s attorney stopped her from discussing further details regarding her medical treatment and the happenings leading up to the July 1 incident, AP noted.
“If in fact she did call him 'he devil is secondary to the fact that he proved to be either the devil or a close relative,” said Harper. “Because he treated her in a manner nobody should ever be treated.”
“I just need and want justice for my mom. This shouldn’t have happened to her,” said Maisha Allums, KTLA 5 wrote. “I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters has demanded that Andrew be fired, calling the incident one of police brutality.
Pinnock, who has been homeless for the past three to five years, staying occasionally with a family member or at a shelter, is being supported by Harper, in an attempt to keep her off the streets.
Ravelle Worthington is a writer living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @ravmo.