Former California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Andrew will not be charged with any crimes after being caught on video (below) repeatedly punching a black woman, Marlene Pinnock, on a median in the middle of a Los Angeles Freeway in July 2014.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement on Dec. 3: "When looking at all of the evidence, and especially the medical reports and eyewitness accounts, it becomes exceedingly clear that the officer, who was alone and struggling with Ms. Pinnock precariously close to evening freeway traffic, acted within the law," notes The Associated Press.
"In our analysis, his use of force was legal and necessary to protect not only his own life but also that of Ms. Pinnock," Lacey added.
The CHP apparently felt differently. The state agency paid out a $1.5 million settlement to Pinnock, who was reportedly mentally ill and homeless, while Andrew resigned, according to AP. The Los Angeles Sentinel reported he was fired.
Lacey said the video doesn't show everything in the incident.
"I think Jackie Lacey's cowardice decision not to prosecute Daniel Andrew is disgusting, completely disgusting," Pinnock's attorney, Caree Harper, countered. "And she needs to be investigated."
An independent expert hired by Lacey's office said in Lacey's report that "the absence of injury to Ms. Pinnock's head and face ... indicates that if any of the strikes hit her head, they were glancing, ineffective blows."
The video clearly shows Pinnock raising her hands to defend herself from Andrew's repeated blows, which apparently reduced the effectiveness of the beating, helping to clear Andrew.
Members of the National Action Network, a civil rights organization, and other community leaders, are calling for Lacey's resignation.
“This is unbelievable," community activist and Executive Publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel Danny J. Bakewell Sr. said. "No one who has seen the video tape needed a bias report to determine that the beating suffered by Ms. Pinnock was criminal, it was clearly a use of excessive force, it was damn near attempted murder. I am appalled and disappointed in the decision made by DA Lacey."