A COLLECTIVE DEMAND: Sentinel Publisher and Brotherhood Crusade Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr. convenes with community leaders, lawyers, and elected officials to declare their injustice in the beating of 51-year old Marlene Pinnock on July 1 on the 10 Freeway by a CHP officer. Among the individuals present for the meeting which took place prior to the press conference were: Compton City Councilwoman, Janna Zurita, The Rev. K.W. Tullois, president of West Coast National Action Network, famed attorney Bob McNeil, Charise Bremond Weaver, president of the Brotherhood Crusade, African Nationalist Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga, Compton School Board Member Satra Zurita and a host of others.
Family members and community leaders are outraged about the beating of Marlene Pinnock
A bevy of Civil Rights activists and family members of Marlene Pinnock protested her recent brutal beating by a California Highway Patrol officer last Thursday July 10, at the Los Angeles Sentinel/Bakewell Company offices on Crenshaw Blvd.
Led by Sentinel Publisher and Brotherhood Crusade Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr., nearly one hundred people were joined by attorney Caree Harper and civil rights lawyer John Burris, both of whom represents Pinnock.
On July 1, a video of the incident surfaced on social media and has since gone viral.
The cell phone footage shows the CHP officer tackling and punching Pinnock on the ground, reenacting a typical MMA cage-fighting style, after she reportedly walked into traffic on the 10 Freeway near La Brea Avenue on-ramp. The video sparked community concern about police brutality and the overall interaction between civil citizens and law enforcement.
Owner of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper and Los Angeles Watts Times Bakewell believes that separate entities should look into the CHP.
“We are not satisfied nor will we accept an investigation of this case by CHP,” Bakewell said during the press conference. “We have asked Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congresswoman Karen Bass to petition the Attorney General of the United States to launch an investigation into the conduct of this officer and the CHP in general.”
According to Harper, the LA FBI office has been contacted to petition an investigation into this case; however, the Department of Justice was unable to confirm that the FBI has started the investigation. “ We don’t want Ms. Pinnock to be lost in the shuffle. We want to make sure that the FBI starts it and see it move along swiftly,” the attorney said.
Some leaders believe the injustice of the attack did not end on the freeway. Pinnock’s daughter Maisha Allums was reportedly unable to find her mother due to the hospital allegedly putting Pinnock under a different name.
“It took no less than 20 hours to locate her [Pinnock] because they had her under a number of aliases,” said Harper. “So her [Pinnock] daughter who was diligently searching for her could not find her under all these different aliases. They had her listed under a male name, under a numeric value and under a first name she has never gone by.”
The patient reportedly has lumps on several areas of her head and shoulders from the brutal beating. Harper also mentioned the current medical condition of Pinnock during the conference.
“Some bruises can’t heal after you beat a woman like that. Her daughter now has to observe and see the lumps on her mother’s body. Some of the lumps can be moved with your hand,” said Harper.
In regards to Pinnock’s reason for walking on the freeway, Harper said it shouldn’t be a main focus. “People want to know why was she on the freeway, well why did he [CHP] punch her so many times lets get that out first,” said Harper.
The officer, who has not been identified, reported that he was trying to subdue the woman to keep her from walking into traffic. According to the arrest report, Pinnock became “physically combative” during the altercation, according to the CHP report.
However, community leaders remained adamant about the steadfast support of Pinnock.
“This is our sister, this is our children. This time it’s a Black woman, last week it was a Black man. Last week it was our son, and we want to make sure next week it’s not us. We don’t know the name of the officer, we don’t know the whereabouts of the officer. He’s been taken completely out of circulation and that is not right,” Bakewell said.
After the conference, both the family and attorneys visited Pinnock at MLK hospital in Watts. Her current mental state according to Harper was traumatic from having to relive the incident via television news reports.
The family intends to file a lawsuit, said Harper. The measures taken by the CHP officer were not proper protocol under any circumstances, she said.
“The officer started writing off the lawsuit the minute his fist made contact with her face,” she said. She says that the officer should be faced with attempted murder charges. “If this were any other case where an officer was being beaten by a person they would say it was attempted murder. The officer should get what any other person would face. The lawsuit hasn’t been filed, but it will be done in short-order.”
Harper said she hopes that all social media users in the community raise awareness on Twitter by tweeting the FBI about the case and following her at @attyCareeHarper.
Assistant Managing Editor Kenneth D. Miller contributed to this story.