An attorney threatened a lawsuit Thursday in the case of Marlene Pinnock, 51, who was shown on cellphone footage being punched by a California Highway Patrol officer after she was found walking on the side of the 10 Freeway.
"The officer started writing the lawsuit the minute his fist started hitting Ms. Marlene," said Caree Harper, surrounded by Pinnock's family, during a news conference Thursday morning outside the headquarters of the Los Angeles Sentinel, an African-American-owned newspaper. "The lawsuit is only a matter of time, you can be certain of that."
Pinnock's family and civil rights leaders called for an independent investigation into the July 1 incident that was caught on a cellphone camera.
This move comes on the heels of the letter sent by Congresswoman Karen Bass, D-California, to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting a federal investigation into whether the officer violated Pinnock’s constitutional "right to protection from police brutality."
Pinnock's family and attorney said she suffered severe injuries in the attack, however, the CHP said the woman was not hurt in the incident.
The CHP has confirmed the officer has been placed on desk duty, but has not released his identity.
On Tuesday, the commissioner of the California Highway Patrol called the CHP a "wounded" organization in the midst of public outrage over the video.
"I feel it. We're wounded," CHP commissioner Joseph Farrow said. "We have lost a considerable amount of trust from members of the community down here, and my job is to try to regain that trust."
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Pinnock's name.