Woman Punched by CHP Officer Settles for $1.5M

The July 1 video of CHP officer punching the woman by the side of a freeway was captured by a passing driver and spread widely on the internet.

A woman who was punched by a California Highway Patrol officer on the side of a Southern California freeway in July settled a lawsuit for $1.5 million and the officer is now expected to resign after the recorded beating.

CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow confirmed the settlement in an emailed statement Wednesday night. An attorney for Marlene Pinnock confirmed the terms.

The settlement came after nine hours of mediation between the CHP and Pinnock's attorney in Los Angeles.

Pinnock's attorney Caree Harper said they wanted to make sure the 51-year-old Pinnock could have financial stability for the rest of her life given her "unique situation." Pinnock was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

"I feel good about the settlement," Pinnock said on Thursday. "This chapter can be closed in my life and I can move on."

Harper also said they wanted to make sure that Officer Daniel Andrew would not be an officer any longer. But she also said the officer's aggression was not only excessive, but criminal.

"We are not going to be done with this until he gets actual time in custody," Harper said. "(Pinnock) is going to testify in the criminal proceedings against this man."

Andrew joined the CHP in 2012.

"I was glad he lost his job," Pinnock said. "Because I didn't want him to hurt no one else like he hurt me."

Farrow issued a statement regarding the settlement.

"When this incident occurred, I promised that I would look into it and vowed a swift resolution. Today, we have worked constructively to reach a settlement agreement that is satisfactory to all parties involved. I am thankful to the attorneys representing both sides who worked cooperatively and diligently to resolve this civil lawsuit. The bulk of the settlement establishes a special needs trust for Ms. Pinnock to provide a mechanism for her long term care. Additionally, Officer Andrew has elected to resign.

"I very much appreciate the trust the public has placed in our organization to address this issue and resolve it responsibly."

The July 1 video of Andrew punching Pinnock by the side of a freeway was captured by a passing driver and spread widely on the internet and television.

"It's a great feeling to know that you brought justice to a lady who had no voice, who had no power, had no money, and no one cared about her, and I made the whole world care about her," said David Diaz, who shot the video of the July incident. "I hope everyone now pulls a camera out when they see injustice."

Civil rights leaders held a news conference Thursday morning announcing that they are not satisfied with Andrew's resignation, and that they want him criminally prosecuted.

"He will be free to get a job somewhere else if he is not criminally prosecuted," activist Najee Ali said. "That's why it's important that we are here today to let D.A. Jackie Lacey know we want her to have some courage and some conviction and prosecute this man."

Ali was confronted at the press conference by a man outraged over violence in South Los Angeles communities.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson said he had a 30-minute conversation with Farrow regarding the settlement.

"Joe said, 'we moved ahead with taking action against the officer as I promised you we would do at the time. I also recommended to the district attorney that a criminal prosecution be brought against the officer,'" Hutchinson said.

An online petition calling for criminal charges against Andrew had hundreds of signatures Thursday morning, Hutchinson said.

Robert Kovacik and Samia Khan contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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