LOS ANGELES—A jury of 11 women and one man convicted LAPD officer Mary O’Callaghan on June 5 on the charge of assault under color of authority. The two day deliberation ended the two week trial in which the defense argued that the officer used reasonable force.
The prosecution’s case centered on a dash cam recording from a patrol car that was shot on July 22, 2012 during the arrest of Alicia Thomas, in which O’Callaghan is seen striking Thomas in the throat, abdomen and groin. Thomas lost consciousness soon after and was pronounced dead at the hospital with the cause of death later being listed as undetermined.
Jurors were also played an audio recording where Thomas can be heard saying “If you want to kill me, just kill me.”
“I don’t want to kill you.” O’Callaghan responds “I just want to transport you.”
“Why?” says Thomas.
“To get you some help,” the officer is heard saying.
Defense attorney Robert Rico admitted the scene in the video was “ugly,” but stressed that his client’s actions were “reasonable, justified, and necessary” as Thomas was not complying with the officer’s orders. He also cited O’Callaghan’s otherwise exemplary record during her 19 years as an officer.
O’Callaghan, who was relieved of duty without pay after the incident has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is expected to appeal.
Mary O’Callaghan is the third of three LAPD officers who have been convicted of assault under color of authority charges in recent years.