A Los Angeles police officer was sentenced to 36 months in jail Thursday for assaulting a South L.A. woman in an incident that was caught on video by a police cruiser camera, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The officer's sentencing comes amid intense scrutiny and criticism nationwide of police use of force. The last 20 months of her sentence were suspended, meaning she'll likely spend a little more than a year in county jail.
A downtown L.A. jury last month convicted the officer, 50, of assault under color of authority after a prosecutor argued that the video recording showed the officer used unnecessary force during the 2012 arrest of Alesia Thomas.
In the video, the officer jabbed at Thomas' throat with an open hand and threatened to kick her in the crotch. The officer then raised her boot and struck Thomas, whose body shook in response.
The recording captured Thomas — who asked officers for an ambulance more than 30 minutes before one was called — breathing heavily and repeatedly saying, "I can't."
A few minutes later, Thomas, a 35-year-old mother, lost consciousness. She later died.
The officer, who did not testify in the trial, was not charged in connection with Thomas' death.
An autopsy by the Los Angeles County coroner determined that cocaine intoxication was likely "a major factor" in Thomas' death. It wasn't possible to determine what role, if any, the struggle with the officers played in her death. The official cause of death was listed as "undetermined."