Calif. officer beating woman on roadside

Los Angeles, CA - We're hearing from the attorney for the woman who a California Highway Patrol trooper was seen beating alongside a Los Angeles highway.

The woman's lawyer is demanding that the trooper be punished.

The unidentified woman hit at least eleven times while lying under a highway patrol officer along a busy Los Angeles freeway is speaking out through her attorney.

Caree Harper is the attorney who says, "She got beat; she got savagely beat by someone who seemed like he was trying out for mixed martial arts. And it's absolutely unacceptable."

Civil rights leaders in LA are calling on the federal government to launch its own probe, but the California Highway Patrol says it can handle the investigation on its own.

Chris O'Quinn is the Assistant Chief of California Highway Patrol who says, "We are known as an agency that really polices itself."

Jody Armour is a criminal law professor at the University of Southern California. He says the patrol officer's actions could hurt the public's perception of all law enforcement agencies in the LA area, including the Los Angeles Police Department. "I would say these are among the worst times, in terms of police image and community relations since the Rodney King tape."

The 1991 brutal beating of Rodney King sparked public outcry for reform within the LAPD. Up until last year, the Department of Justice had special oversight of LA's police force because of what it descried as a pattern of misconduct. That consent decree lasted more than ten years.

As for Tuesday's incident with the highway patrol officer, his report of what happened says the barefoot woman ignored his orders to stay away from the freeway so he tried to take the woman into custody to protect her.

The California Highway Patrol has not identified the woman or the officer involved, but has said the highway patrolman is on administrative leave while the agency conducts its investigation.

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