Jury Refuses to Convict Cop Who Blinded Woman With Pepper Spray (Video)

A mistrial was declared today in the trial of former Beaumont, Calif., Police Officer Enoch Clark, who reportedly blinded Monique Hernandez with pepper spray on Feb. 21, 2012.

The judge declared a hung-jury after some jurors could not decide if Clark used "excessive force" when he sprayed Hernandez. The jury voted 10-2 for conviction after deliberating since May 14, but a 12-0 vote is needed to convict.

Hernandez's family gave a video (below) to CBS Los Angeles that shows Hernandez in agony moments after the incident.

“We are pleased with the results given the uphill battle we faced, and are happy that two jurors had the courage to stay true to the facts,” Clark’s defense attorney, Steve Sanchez, told The Press Enterprise.

After receiving a call from Hernandez's family, Clark reportedly tried to arrest her for DUI. He allegedly fired pepper spray at a velocity of 400 m.p.h. only 10 inches from Hernandez's eyes.

Hernandez’s right eye was cut in half and the optic nerve in her left eye was severed, all of which left her permanently blind.

According to prosecutors, the weapon is not supposed to be fired closer than 5 feet at a human target.

In addition to the criminal case, Hernandez filed a civil-rights violation lawsuit against the city of Beaumont, Clark and others.

There is a dashboard camera video of the arrest, which the jurors saw, but it has not been made public.

Even though reports of police brutality happen almost daily in the United States, Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School, says that jurors “are very reluctant to call a police officer a criminal."

Prosecutors have not yet decided if they will retry Clark.

Sources: CBS Los Angeles and The Press Enterprise


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