Beverly White, David Gregory
A woman was awarded $250,000 in damages after officers slammed her, pregnant at the time, to the ground during an traffic stop on an LA freeway. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 18, 2013.
Pregnant at the time of the confrontation, a woman was paid $250,000 in damages on Friday after her lawyer said she was thrown to the ground, kicked and hogtied by California Highway Patrol officers on a Los Angeles freeway.
Video from the CHP cruiser's dashboard shows a 30-year-old Tamara Gaglione forced to the ground violently after at least one officer approached her with his gun drawn.
She was pulled over in August 2011 for talking on her cell phone, a violation that Gaglione’s lawyer does not dispute.
But, based on what happened next, Price sued and won the $250,000 settlement for his client, who told officers she was pregnant at the time.
"They thought she was trying to get away at 5 mph in rush-hour traffic on the freeway,” Howard Price, Gaglione’s attorney, told NBC4. “They lit her up – lights and sirens, the whole nine yards."
Gaglione was later charged with resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license, but those charges were dropped.
"I've never seen such unjustified use of force,” Price said. “Not only knocking this woman down, not a threat to two officers with guns drawn, but then to hogtie her when there are four, five officers around is beyond my comprehension."
CHP officials declined comment on the suit, but confirmed the officers involved remain on the force.
Gaglione and her now 9-month-old daughter (pictured below) have since left Los Angeles.
Price said that had Gaglione not remembered officers discussing the dashboard camera, she might still be in jail.
"But for this video, like in any other case, it would be the police officers’ word against the defendant’s word," he said. "And more often than now, the defendant loses."
CHP confirmed that this is the video of the August 2011 confrontation.