Yesterday, the Los Angeles County DA’s office announced that it would not be pressing charges against highway patrol officer officer Daniel Andrew, who was filmed punching 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock in July 2014. It may go without saying but needs to be noted regardless: Pinnock is black.
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. In our analysis, his use of force was legal and necessary to protect not only his own life but also that of Ms. Pinnock.
Reports the Times:
Lacey also noted that the officer also had a duty to protect freeway commuters from a potentially dangerous situation had Pinnock gotten away from him and walked onto the freeway. Prosecutors relied on medical records, eyewitness accounts, recordings of 911 calls and multiple patrol car dash camera videos of the incident as part of the investigation.
Several eyewitnesses were interviewed, including three who said they saw Pinnock strike the officer and four who said they thought Andrew was trying to save Pinnock from wandering into freeway traffic and being killed or injured.
The video shows Pinnock walking away from Andrew, who follows her, throws her to the ground, straddles her, and punches her repeatedly. Pinnock, who has bipolar disorder, suffered traumatic head injury according to her lawyer, and was awarded a $1.5 million settlement as a result of the beating in September 2014. Andrew “elected to resign,” according to the California Highway Patrol’s statement. His last day was Tuesday. According to the district attorney’s report, Pinnock did not suffer abrasions, lacerations, or internal bleeding, and a CT scan found no evidence of facial swelling or fracture.
The Times adds:
In October, Pinnock was arrested again about 2:30 a.m. on the same stretch of 10 Freeway for walking in traffic lanes. Her attorney said after Pinnock’s arrest that her family was seeking to arrange long-term care for her.