Another story of police brutality run amok has suggested once again that cops are being held to a different legal standard than the rest of America.
LAPD Officer Mary O’Callaghan arrived on-scene to assist in the arrest of Alesia Thomas last summer. As Thomas, who was already in handcuffs and leg restraints, was being placed in the patrol car, dash cam video captured O’Callaghan kicking Thomas in the groin and stomach, and pushing her by the throat. After being put in the car, Thomas passed out. Paramedics were called, but it was too late, and Thomas was pronounced dead.
After a review of the evidence, Officer O’Callaghan was not charged with manslaughter, however:
Prosecutors on Thursday said they declined to charge O’Callaghan with involuntary manslaughter because of insufficient evidence to prove her conduct caused Thomas’ death. O’Callaghan’s attorney, Robert Rico, could not be reached for comment. O’Callaghan is a 19-year veteran of the LAPD. (source)
It is not clear why a woman who was already cuffed and in leg-restraints would need to be repeatedly kicked to facilitate in her arrest.
Unless something is missing from the description of events that took place specifically in the time between when Thomas was placed into the squad car and when she passed out, the train of events seems pretty straightforward. Thomas died after being kicked by O’Callaghan. Involuntary manslaughter is defined as the unintentional killing of another human being. The only evidence that seemingly needs to be considered here is whether or not being kicked repeatedly by Officer O’Callaghan ultimately led to Thomas’ death that occurred shortly thereafter, and whether or not Thomas would be dead had she not been kicked repeatedly in the first place.
In a report, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck also raised questions regarding other officers involved in the arrest: “Two of the officers disregarded Thomas’ request for medical help, while the third cop may have lied to investigators about the incident, Beck wrote in a report.”
According to reports, it was officially impossible to determine if the assault directly led to Thomas’ death. Thomas’ autopsy report concludes cocaine was probably a “major factor,” but the timing seems uncanny if the claim is that being physically assaulted right before she died played absolutely no role in her death whatsoever.
The official cause of death was listed as “undetermined”.
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