Earlier this year, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s (DA) office announced that it would not press charges against the California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer, Daniel Andrew, who was recorded on a cell phone throwing down a woman and repeatedly punching her alongside the 10 Freeway. The district attorney’s office issued a 30-page report concluding that Officer Andrew was “required to use some level of force” to keep the victim, Marlene Pinnock, from running or walking out onto freeway traffic. The DA’s office further stated that Andrew was by himself and had a duty to protect both Ms. Pinnock and commuters from a potentially dangerous situation.
Back in 2014, a cell phone recording of this incident was released online and caused public outrage. The DA’s decision not to file criminal charges comes nine months after the final use-of-force report was issued on Pinnock’s original arrest on July 1, 2014. It has also been over a year since CHP gave the DA their report on their criminal investigation into Andrew’s actions. The video shows him throwing Ms. Pinnock down to the ground, sitting on her, and punching her at least ten times. Andrew was also forced to resign as part of a $1.5-million settlement reached in September in an excessive force lawsuit filed in federal court by Pinnock against CHP. Civil rights advocates had pushed for additional criminal charges.
What is the Standard for Use of Force?