Marlene Pinnock, Caree Harper

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)


Lawyer: No drugs, booze in woman beaten by CHP officer

By August 12, 2014

LOS ANGELES — An attorney for a woman seen on video being repeatedly punched by a California Highway Patrol officer said tests show she had no drugs or alcohol in her system.

Drivers who called 911 before the incident said 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock was barefoot on the shoulder of a Los Angeles freeway or attempting to cross lanes of traffic and appeared high or drunk. One caller said she appeared “loaded.”

Attorney Caree Harper said Pinnock has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the homeless woman was off her medications for roughly two to three months when the July 1 altercation occurred.

The medication “tends to make you drowsy so she had to regulate when she gets drowsy for safety purposes,” Harper said. She added that Pinnock was previously misdiagnosed with a different mental illness and had been failed by the system.

The CHP said Pinnock was endangering herself by walking on Interstate 10 and the officer was trying to restrain her. The agency has pledged a rapid investigation.

CHP spokeswoman Sgt. Melissa Hammond couldn’t confirm whether the agency has Pinnock’s medical records but said if it did, they wouldn’t be released because of the investigation.

The woman whose videotaped beating by a California Highway Patrol officer sparked outrage told The Associated Press on Sunday that she believes the officer was trying to kill her and she wants him fired.

Pinnock recalled being repeatedly punched in the head while being pinned by the officer.

“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,” Pinnock said.

Pinnock was released from the hospital last week after several weeks of treatment for head injuries, and now, she slurs her speech, Harper said.

She’s suing CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow and Officer Daniel L. Andrew in federal court for civil rights violations. The lawsuit claims excessive force, assault, battery and a violation of her due-process rights. The CHP won’t identify the officer, but the agency said he had been on the job for 1 1/2 years and is on desk duty pending completion of the internal investigation.

Farrow met with community and civil rights leaders in Los Angeles multiple times last month and pledged that the investigation will conclude in weeks rather than the usual months.

Pinnock said she had been homeless for the last three to five years, occasionally staying at a shelter, a family member’s home or living on the streets.

She said she was on her way to a place frequented by the homeless where she said she could feel safe to fall asleep.

Harper said the area was accessed by walking along the freeway ramp.

She was placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold by Andrew after the encounter, according to a document obtained by the AP.

Andrew said in his report that she was a danger to herself and wrote that “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.”

CHP investigators in July served a search warrant for Pinnock’s medical records and the clothing she was wearing during the encounter from Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Pinnock is being supported by Harper to keep her off the street and is essentially “starting from scratch,” her attorney said.

Pinnock said she’s had nightmares about being beaten. However, she was also thankful for the support she’s received and said she was indebted to the motorist who stopped to record the incident.

“Without the video my word may have not meant anything,” she said.


The Associated Press

The Associated Press


Discussion | 9 comments

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  • 2realAugust 12, 2014 - 6:16 am

    Off her meds might be worse than being high or drunk. Win some lose some

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  • Disgusted With California Greasy Thug CopsAugust 12, 2014 - 6:52 am

    I hope that woman and her attorneys get justice and that psycho scumbag cop gets canned.

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  • JagAugust 12, 2014 - 8:58 am

    Home boy just lost it and he should be fired, she should get some money but not Mike Tyson beat down kind of money.

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  • gemmaAugust 12, 2014 - 2:31 pm

    He beat her like she was a working girl hiding money in her pants. He beat her like she was a man. "She called me the Devil." Ever think she wasn't referring to the little red man with horns, but the white man with cuffs, which is what you restrain someone with. Like she said, Thank God for the woman that stopped and videotaped. That right there was a good time to be a lookey loo, recording with your phone. I wish her all the best.

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  • Mr. SmithAugust 12, 2014 - 2:55 pm

    She was in an altered state of mind and would probably be dead right now if the cop had not intervened. When she fought back, she got beat up until she stopped fighting back. She is still alive instead of becoming roadkill. End of story.

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  • JagAugust 12, 2014 - 3:01 pm

    yeah now if you can only get a jury to go along with that version.

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  • Mr. SmithAugust 12, 2014 - 3:08 pm

    Probably won't happen, because the amateur videos rarely start rolling at the beginning of these confrontations. Too bad.

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  • Delmarquis Abdullah WashingtonAugust 12, 2014 - 8:03 pm

    how do you know ''she fought back''as you are claiming? where you there?

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  • What's this aboutAugust 12, 2014 - 9:17 pm

    No and neither were you so you don't know what she may have done prior to the video.

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