A Los Angeles Police Department 18-year veteran was handed a three-year jail term Thursday, six weeks after being found guilty of striking a handcuffed female suspect in the crotch and throat. Much of the 2012 incident was captured on a police cruiser’s dashcam.
Officer Mary O’Callaghan, was convicted of felony assault under the color of authority. The 35-year-old victim, Alesia Thomas, died later that July evening. The medical examiner concluded that cocaine intoxication was a “major factor” in the death of the Los Angeles mother of two, so the officer was not charged in connection to the woman’s death.
The sentencing comes in the wake of high-profile police beatings nationwide, prompting both police departments and the public to call for officers to be outfitted with body cams and to have dash cams inside patrol vehicles. In this instance, O’Callaghan’s conviction underscored the cameras’ value of providing the public a level of accountability that likely would not have existed without the surveillance technology.
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