It is a rare occasion when a police officer is found guilty of just about anything. It’s even more of a surprise when that officer happens to work for the notoriously-corrupt Los Angeles Police Department.
Officer Mary O’Callaghan, 50, was caught on video kicking and punching a handcuffed woman who lost consciousness and died shortly after. Last Friday, Officer O’Callaghan was found guilty of assaulting the woman during the arrest.
The incident happened back on July 22, 2012, when Officer O’Callaghan was called to make an arrest of Alecia Thomas.
Once in the back of a patrol car, Thomas was wearing handcuffs and leg restraints while O’Callaghan kick her in the stomach and groin as well as striking her in the throat.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says that paramedics were then called after Thomas lost consciousness while in the back of the police cruiser.
Another patrol car’s dash cam footage showed O’Callaghan light a cigarette, then look inside the car where Thomas’ lifeless body was slumped.
“That ain’t a good sign,” the Los Angeles Times reported she said in the video.
Jurors, and the jury forewoman, all got to see that footage. The latter told KTLA outside the courthouse that “those images were the most compelling evidence in the trial.”
Officer O’Callaghan ended up getting charged with “assaulting an arrestee under the color of authority” back in 2013.
Prosecutors refused to file the involuntary manslaughter charge that many say would have fit this situation. They said there was “insufficient evidence” to make that case.
In essence, they were saying that that O’Callaghan’s conduct did not necessarily cause Thomas’ death, though they offer no alternative explanation for why she died.
L.A. County coroner’s office helped them out with that room for doubt, however, noting small amounts of cocaine that they said could have played factor in her death.
O’Callaghan faces up to three years in state prison. But the judge says that this is to be served in county jail. Some have called this “special treatment.”
Sentencing is officially on July 23.
Her attorney, Rico said “we could have asked for bail, but she made that decision. She’s a very strong, tough woman.”
He adds that they plans to appeal and will request a new trial.
Originally Posted @ http://countercurrentnews.com/2015/06/lapd-found-guilty/