On July 1, 2014 television viewers were horrified as video of 51-year-old, mentally disabled Marlene Pinnock being brutally beaten by California Highway Patrol officer Daniel Andrew surfaced. Pinnock was homeless at the time, and was reportedly not medicated. She was found walking along the off ramp area of the Santa Monica 10 freeway, near La Brea Avenue. Police documents stated that Daniel Andrew beat Pinnock for her own safety. The video and witnesses told a different story however, and her attorney (Caree Harper) passionately advocated on her behalf as the case went international .
Pinnock was hospitalized for over a month and suffered injuries from the traumatic event. Harper , successfully negotiated a $1.5 million settlement and as a part of that negotiation, Officer Andrew resigned and is no longer in uniform.
“We did our absolute best to ensure that Ms. Pinnock would be in the best position possible to deal with her unique situation in life,” Harper said recently.
“Our office worked diligently to ensure that she would be financially provided for and supported for the rest of her life. The fight is not yet done. We are hopeful that L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey will respond to our requests for the criminal prosecution of former Officer Daniel Andrew. The community expects her to do the right thing and represent all of the people.”
Long-time friend of Pinnock, Indi Mock Carmona, had this to say, “I am so grateful for the work and support that Attorney Caree [Harper] provided Marlene through this difficult time. I witnessed personally the care, concern and friendship that she offered my longest and dearest friend from the very beginning that continues. When I last spoke with Marlene she expressed how excited she was about life. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.”
Marlene Pinnock’s story is one of survival. In a time when the City of Los Angeles was grappling with developing a viable plan to deal with its growing number of mentally ill and homeless citizens, the case of Marlene Pinnock struck a chord with many. Elected officials civil rights activists rallied and held press conferences to express their outrage in a city already tense from multiple police involved killings and excessive force claims that have strained community and law enforcement relationships.
On the one-year anniversary of the incident, Marlene Pinnock is progressing. Fighting long-term mental health issues is a life-long battle. But, Marlene Pinnock is more than her mental and physical health challenges. She is more than a victim of police abuse. She is a great grandmother who loves to sing and spend time with her family. Although she must continue medical treatment for mental illness as well as for physical injuries she suffered from the beating.