© KTLA 5
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating at least five officers after one of them allegedly stomped on a woman's genitals and she later died of suffocation.
Patrol car video camera captured a struggle between police and Alesia Thomas and several officers on July 22, according to the Los Angeles Times
LAPD Cmdr. Bob Green admitted to the Times
that a female officer had followed through with a threat to kick Thomas in the genitals when she resisted being put into the patrol car. Video shows a restrained Thomas struggling to breath in the back of the patrol car. She was taken to a local hospital and later died.
Officers had been attempting to arrest Thomas on suspicion of child endangerment. After the woman resisted arrest, she was put into handcuffs and they placed a "hobble restraint device," or a binding strap binding, around her ankles. The original police report did not mention the kick to Thomas' genitals.
"I take all in-custody death investigations very seriously and directed the officers involved be removed from field duties until further details are known, including what part intoxicants and physical conditions contributed," a statement
from LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said. "I am confident we will get to the truth no matter where that leads us."
Neighbor Gerald McCrary Sr., 55, told the Times
that the woman was the aggressor, not the police.
"They were talking to her, asking her to calm down, that everything will be all right," he explained.
The investigation comes just one day after Beck reassigned the commanding officer
of the department's Foothill Division after video showed
two of his officers repeatedly body slamming a handcuffed 34-year-old nurse.
Watch this video from KTLA, broadcast Aug. 31, 2012.