Two LAPD police officers are under investigation after they were caught on camera repeatedly body-slamming a woman during a routine traffic stop in Tujunga last Tuesday. Surveillance footage of the incident, first obtained by NBC LA, shows that after the officers pushed her into a cop car and then exchanged what seems to be a congratulatory fist bump.
The woman is Michelle Jordan, a 34-year-old mother and registered nurse from Sunland, Calif. She stepped forward Tuesday to speak out about her experience, and has filed a personal complaint against the officers, reports KTLA.
Sources from within LAPD tell the Los Angeles Times that Jordan was pulled over at a Del Taco restaurant because officers saw her talking on a cellphone while driving.
Officials then claim that Jordan defied the officers' orders to remain in her car and began challenging them, according to the Times. The officers then arrested her, slamming her body to the ground twice.
Jordan's lawyer, Arthur Corona, called her a "defenseless woman in a sundress" and questioned why officers chose to use such aggressive means against his client, notes ABC7.
Sy Nafiz, another one of Jordan's attorneys, said to ABC7, "If anyone on the street attacked an innocent woman, they would be in jail. We expect the LAPD officers to be held to the same standard."
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck released a statement on the disturbing video and the pending investigation of the two police officers, who for now have been placed on non-field duties.
"My initial review of the officers' statements and the recorded video cause me to have serious concerns about this Use of Force," Beck said. "We will investigate this thoroughly and hold our officers accountable for their actions."
The LAPD is inviting anyone with more information about the case to call Foothill Area Watch Commander at (818) 756-8861 or Internal Affairs Group at (213) 485-1486.
The incident is the third accusation of excessive force by LAPD officers in the past month. On Monday, Deutsche Bank executive Brian Mulligan filed a $50 million lawsuit against the department and alleges two officers held him captive and beat him May 15.
Ron Weekley Jr., a 20-year-old college student from Venice, Calif., claims officers used excessive force to arrest him Aug. 18. Weekley's family has retained the services of Benjamin Crump, the civil rights attorney who also represents the family of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Crump has promised legal action against the LAPD over Weekley's claims.
Also on HuffPost:
In this 1991 video, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/28/us/rodney-king-profile/" target="_hplink">Rodney King is beaten</a> by a group of police officers. It is known as one of the most infamous police brutality cases, and the acquittal of the officers involved, one year later, sparked the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/la-riots/" target="_hplink">Los Angeles riots</a>.
In this 2006 video,<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/10/AR2006111001666.html" target="_hplink"> William Cardenas is seen being beaten by two LAPD officers</a>. Cardenas was reportedly resisting arrest after being seen drinking a beer on the sidewalk. The use of excessive force was deemed appropriate, but led to national news coverage of Copwatch initiatives.
May Day Melee
This 2007 video was filmed at a May Day rally in MacArthur Park where undocumented immigrants were rallying for amnesty. Approximately 600 LAPD, both in helicopters and on the ground, began to descend on the area after declaring the event an unlawful assembly.
May Day Melee
In response to the excessive force used by the LAPD at the May Day Melee, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa personally oversaw the investigation and Police Chief William Bratton announced an attempt at reorganizing the LAPD. The city was ordered to pay <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2009/feb/05/local/me-lapd-settlement5" target="_hplink">$12.85 million in a class action lawsuit</a> to the people who were hurt.
City Bus Abuse
From the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsW23kbVLs0" target="_hplink">UnivisionNews1</a> channel on YouTube: <blockquote>A cell phone camera caught the moment when an LAPD officer struck a mentally ill woman aboard a city bus. They were called in after she displayed erratic behavior. Civil rights activists argue he used excessive force and demand an investigation.</blockquote>
Hollywood Blvd Counter-Protest
In this 2008 video, counter-protesters along the sidewalks gathered on Hollywood Boulevard as the Minuteman civilian border patrol group marched in the streets. When counter-protesters tried to join in the march, police stopped them because they did not have a permit, while the Minutemen did. ABC Los Angeles notes that sometimes, <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local&id=4349432" target="_hplink">the police used force</a> to keep counter-protesters from the street.
In this video from <a href="http://policeabuse.com/" target="_hplink">PoliceAbuse.com</a>, we learn about Diop Kamau (also know as Don Jackson), a former Police Sergeant Detective with the Hawthorne Police Department who went undercover to expose racism and violence in his own police department. Kamau went on to become the founder and executive director of the Police Complaint Center and the CEO of PoliceAbuse.com. Kamau has made it his mission to identify, investigate and reform police misconduct.
In this 2002 video by Mitchell Crooks, officers from both the LA County Sheriff's Department and the Inglewood Police Department are seen using excessive force against Donovan Jackson, a 16-year-old who suffers from a developmental disability. Jackson's father's car was unregistered, which is why the police stopped them. The video begins with Donovan face down, handcuffed on the asphalt. Moments later he is unconscious due to the way the officers were pulling on the chain he was wearing. This case had major reverberations throughout Inglewood. Following the trial of the police officers, two white police officers filed a discrimination suit against the city for being treated more harshly than their black counterparts. <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2005/mar/08/local/me-donovan8" target="_hplink">They won $2.4 million</a>. <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04E3DC163CF93AA35750C0A9639C8B63&ref=donovanjackson" target="_hplink">Donovan's family eventually settled</a> with the City of Inglewood for an undisclosed sum. The City of Inglewood and LA County never admitted any wrongdoing or liability.
In this 2011 video,<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/21/kelly-thomas-death-police-charged_n_974237.html" target="_hplink"> Kelly Thomas is seen beaten to death</a> by members of the Fullerton Police Department who were responding to the scene after someone called in a robbery. Officer Ramos can be heard saying, <a href="http://documents.latimes.com/charges-kelly-thomas-police/" target="_hplink">"Now see my fists? They are getting ready to fuck you up,"</a> to Thomas before beating him. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/21/kelly-thomas-death-police-charged_n_974237.html" target="_hplink">Ramos was later charged with murder</a>. Cpl. Jay Cicinelli faces manslaughter charges. A trial is pending.