The family of a woman who was pinned down and repeatedly punched by a California Highway Patrol officer on the side of the 10 Freeway is demanding answers.
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The incident was caught on camera by a passing driver. Maisha Allums on Saturday identified the woman in the video as her mother, Marlene Pinnock.
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"I just don't understand why he beat her like that," Allums said as she broke down in tears. "He hit her over and repeatedly and repeatedly over. She wasn't even putting up a fight."
"I just thank God that she's alive," she added.
Pinnock had been walking on the 10 Freeway west of downtown Los Angeles about 5:40 p.m. Tuesday when the officer tried to stop her. Pinnock appears to ignore him moments before a physical struggle. The officer pulls her to the ground and quickly hits her about a dozen times as she shielded her face.
"I don't see why he used such extreme force on her," said the victim's aunt, Alice Woods.
Pinnock was booked on a 72-hour hold for a mental evaluation. The family didn't say why Pinnock may have been wandering on the freeway or whether she suffers from mental illness.
"The individual was unresponsive and placed themselves and motoring public in danger," said CHP Assistant Chief Chris O'Quinn during a news conference.
The CHP said the woman was not hurt, but Pinnock's family and attorney said she suffered severe injuries.
"The CHP's representation that there were no injuries is absolutely false," attorney Caree Harper said. "She was beaten by a wannabe MMA cop."
Harper said Pinnock sufered multiple injuries, including to her face, arms and shoulders.
Pinnock's daughter said she hasn't seen her mother since the incident.
"I just want justice for my mom," she said.
The officer remains on desk duty while the CHP conducts an internal investigation.
CORRECTION: The CHP confirmed to NBC4 on July 7 that the officer in the video is on desk duty, not on paid administrative leave, as stated in earlier articles.