The conviction of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd has drawn mixed reactions from law enforcement officers across the country. While many police departments and associations have responded positively, some officers have also reacted with quiet resentment – and even the fear that they, too, may one day be held accountable for excessive use of force.
This may have also been the case in an altercation caught on video where two police officers in Orange County, California, could be seen stepping in and preventing a fellow officer from continuing to punch a handcuffed woman during an arrest.
In dramatic video from Wednesday captured via mobile phone in Westminster, the handcuffed woman – Ciomara Garcia, 34 – can be seen between two officers sitting on the curb. As one officer stands up, the woman does too before an officer pushes her down to the ground. The woman then attempts to kick the officer in the crotch before the officer begins punching her.
The two other officers then quickly intervene to restrain the officer and shove him away, preventing him from further beating Garcia as neighbors reminded the police in Spanish that they are filming the arrest.
The officers were initially dispatched to the neighborhood by a call over an alleged assault with battery claiming Garcia assaulted an Asian woman who was trying to fetch her dog running loose in the street.
A witness, however, told KTTV that Garcia was walking her dog when a bicyclist approached closely, causing Garcia to fear that her dog would be harmed. An altercation between the residents soon unfolded. Five minutes later, the bicyclist returned with the officers, alleging that Garcia struck her. The witness claims no such attack occurred.
Garcia has been booked into Orange County Jail on a bench warrant, while the officer was promptly placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
One wonders whether some officers are changing tack in their relations with the community, and with the so-called “bad apples” in their own ranks, following Chauvin’s conviction on all counts for the murder of George Floyd.
Meanwhile, the three other former officers who took part in last May’s fatal arrest – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – could face serious jail time for aiding and abetting Chauvin in the slaying of the Floyd.
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