Californian authorities have launched an investigation into a video appearing to show a police officer violently attacking a woman as she lies on her back beside a motorway in the US state.
In the 1 minute and 30 seconds of footage, the unidentified woman is seen walking on the partition between two highway lanes, as a police officer appears to pursue her from behind, grab her to the floor and begin punching her.
The policeman then appears to grab the woman and take her to the floor, where he begins punching her. She then raises her arms across her face in what seems to be an attempt to shield herself.
The concluding shot appears to show an unidentified man enter the scene and help the police officer restrain the woman.
Music producer David Diaz shot the YouTube video entitled Police Brutality? from a vehicle entering the eastbound 10 Freeway near La Brea Avenue on Tuesday. The website has since deleted the video because it violated its content policy.
Diaz told NCB Los Angeles: “She took a left, and the cop, the CHP ran after her, grabbed her to try to subdue her, and then she you know, kind of tried to shove it off”
”I think he punched her in the head 15 times,” he claimed.
“She was screaming,“ witness Daina Tate told the broadcaster. ”Two men were on her. They had her arms up. She couldn't defend herself. She looked totally helpless and terrified.”
A witness who did not want to be named described how the woman looked mentally unwell, and was only wearing black socks on her feet during the encounter.
The California Highway Police (CHP) said in a statement that it was “aware of the video and we are looking into the incident.”
“As a matter of policy, every time there is a use of force by our officers, there is a review conducted to determine whether the use of force was appropriate,” the statement said. “That will be done in this case, however, since there is an ongoing investigation, it would be premature to comment on this specific video segment without reviewing the entire incident.”
The authority did not explain what had led up to the encounter.