Community Leaders and members of the National Action Network’s Los Angeles Chapter are calling for L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to step down in light of her decision not to file charges against a California Highway Patrol officer who was videotaped beating a homeless woman in 2014.
Lacey noted that in her review of the evidence, officer Daniel Andrew used necessary force to protect himself and mentally ill homeless woman Marlene Pinnock who later won a million dollar settlement in the case. But community leaders called the beating, for which officer Daniel was eventually fired, “savage” and are citing the incident as one of several where Lacey has “failed” in upholding African American civil rights.
“This is unbelievable. No one who has seen the video tape needed a bias report to determine that the beating suffered by Ms. Pinnock was criminal, it was clearly a use of excessive force, it was damn near attempted murder. I am appalled and disappointed in the decision made by DA Lacey,” Community Activist and Executive Publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. said.
“Lacey has served as the district attorney of Los Angeles County since Dec. 3, 2012. Unfortunately, her tenure as D.A. has been a failure marked with cowardice and a disaster for the African-American community,” stated NAN in a press release.
“Lacey has turned a blind eye to police abuse and the unjust murders of African-American residents in the city by law enforcement.”
Caree Harper the attorney who represented Marlene Pinnock in her civil case that was ultimately settled by the state said “Today we saw a cowardice DA make a disgusting decision and she has not served the community well as it pertains to prosecuting officers who commit excessive force and people should remember that when she is up for reelection next year.”
The community also cited the Ezell Ford case where a Los Angeles police officer fatally wounded an unarmed mentally ill young man near his home as part of the blatant disrespect and devaluing of Black Lives as part of the problem.
“On June 9, 2015, the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners issued a ruling stating that [Officer Sharlton Wampler] violated Ford’s civil rights by detaining him,” they said.
“The commission also rejected Chief Charlie Beck’s conclusion that Wampler had adhered to LAPD policy. The inspector general’s investigation found Wampler in violation of policy in four areas (tactics, drawing of weapon, use of non-lethal force, use of deadly force).The community is still waiting on criminal charges to be filed by Lacey against Wampler…”
For her part in the Andrew case, Lacey said that the video didn’t show the events leading up to the violent confrontation.
“When looking at all of the evidence, and especially the medical reports and eyewitness accounts, it becomes exceedingly clear that the officer, who was alone and struggling with Ms. Pinnock precariously close to evening freeway traffic, acted within the law,” Lacey said in a statement.
According to a written report on the incident, “there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the force he used was unreasonable or excessive…”
Daniel was fired shortly after the incident, which took place last July.
However, “fourteen months later this officer is still walking around a free man because Lacey has refused to prosecute him… but instead she continues to fail to protect the African-American community,”.
“Black lives don’t matter to her, but what does matter to her is continuing to be the black face and tool of a justice system founded and steeped in white supremacy.”