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Fri Oct 11, 2013, 09:04 AM

LAPD officer charged with assaulting arrested woman, who later died [View all]

Last edited Fri Oct 11, 2013, 11:27 PM - Edit history (1)

LAPD officer charged with assaulting arrested woman, who later died
By Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 10:38 PM EDT, Thu October 10, 2013

NEW: Woman's family thinks officer is to blame, urges more action, spokesman says
Prosecutor: Video shows Alesia Thomas being kicked by officer, pushed in the throat
That officer is charged with assault; if convicted, she could face three years in prison
The accused police officer is "devastated" by the charge, her lawyer says

(CNN) -- A Los Angeles police officer has been charged with assaulting a woman under arrest, Alesia Thomas, who lost consciousness in a patrol car and was declared dead soon thereafter, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Mary O'Callaghan, 48, was charged a day earlier in a felony assault case, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

The prosecutor's office said it will request $35,000 bail for the officer who, if convicted, could spend three years in state prison.


The charge stems from an incident July 22, 2012, when police investigating a possible child abandonment went to Thomas' home.

This was after Thomas had dropped off her two children at a police station because she felt her drug abuse had made her an unfit parent, according to Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

At the mother's home, police talked with Thomas and arrested her.

It was then that O'Callaghan arrived on the scene, helping her fellow officers put Thomas -- then wearing handcuffs and leg restraints -- in a patrol car.

Video captured what happened next, the prosecutor's office said, including "O'Callaghan kicking Thomas in the stomach and groin area and pushing her in the throat."

Thomas lost consciousness in the patrol car, then was transported by paramedics to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.


CNN's Sonya Hamasaki contributed to this report.


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Reply LAPD officer charged with assaulting arrested woman, who later died [View all]
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