LAPD refuses to release video of woman’s fatal arrest involving kick to the groin

By Arturo Garcia
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 12:19 EDT
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Alesia Thomas dies after being kicked by police
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The family of the woman who died after being booted in the groin while being arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department has filed a lawsuit demanding footage of the fatal encounter be released.

“I go to sleep and I think of her and it is horrible because I know they really inflicted a lot of pain on my daughter,” Sandra Thomas said Monday, according to KABC-TV. Her daughter, Alesia Thomas, died of suffocation on July 22 after officers arrested her on child endangerment charges for leaving her two children at a police station.

According to The Los Angeles Times, authorities said they would not release video of Alesia Thomas’ arrest until completing its own investigation, at which point it would turn its findings over to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office to determine punishment for the five officers involved in the case.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative duty, and the coroner’s report on Thomas’ death has not been released.

But the newspaper also reported that, according to an anonymous police official who has seen the video, the footage also contradicts authorities’ argument that Thomas was resisting arrest, saying the video instead showed she was unable to follow officers’ orders because she was having trouble breathing.

The suit points out that at one point in the arrest, a female officer stomped Thomas in the groin with the heel of her boot. She was also tied down with what police call a “hobble restraint device” before being forced into the back of a squad car, where the official said video shows her breathing “shallowly” before losing consciousness.

Watch KABC’s report on the lawsuit, aired Monday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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