Photo by Paul Clinton.
A Los Angeles Police officer was charged with assault Thursday for allegedly kicking a woman seven times during an arrest that led to an in-custody death.
Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Officer Mary O'Callaghan, an 18-year LAPD veteran, with felony assault under color of authority, reports the Associated Press.
The officer's attorney said his client has never had a sustained complaint against her and she "looks forward to proving her innocence in court."
Officer O'Callaghan, 48, has been relieved of duty without pay. The LAPD launched an internal probe of the five officers involved in the arrest in August of 2012.
The incident began when officers responded to the home of Alesia Thomas, 35, during a child endangerment investigation on July 22. When Thomas refused to get into the patrol car and "actively resisted arrest," officers attempted to use a hobble restraint.
Officer O'Callaghan allegedly kicked Thomas in the groin, abdomen and upper thigh in a fight captured on dash-cam video. Thomas later died. An autopsy showed cocaine in her system.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League offered a brief comment about the charges.
"While I cannot comment on the specific incident because I have not seen the video and the officer involved has her own legal counsel, the alleged actions of the officer are incongruous with her reputation as an officer who was known to be diligent, courteous and ethical," said Tyler Izen, league president.