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Beaten woman accuses Louisiana cop

February 20, 2008 9:54:36 PM PST
For the first time, we are hearing from a woman who claims she was brutally beaten by police. As we showed you Monday, she was being videotaped in a holding cell when the camera went off. When it came back on, she was lying bleeding on the floor.If you have seen the pictures you know they are disturbing and hard to forget.

A Shreveport, Louisiana woman says she was beaten up by an officer after she was arrested for DWI in November 2007.

The woman and her attorney gave an interview on "Good Morning America" Wednesday and claim the officer turned off the surveillance video in the jail.

The officer claims what happened in the one to two minutes the camera was not rolling was the result of a fall the woman suffered while handcuffed.

We showed you the picture on Monday: Two black eyes, a severely swollen lip, two missing teeth and a gash to her forehead.

Angela Garbarino says this is what happened to her after she was arrested on suspicion of DWI by Shreveport, Louisiana police.

Garbarino says Officer Wiley Willis was trying to read her her rights, when he gets frustrated. And as you can see, turns off the jail surveillance camera.

When the recording resumes, Garbarino is seen lying in a pool of her own blood.

In her first interview on national television, she spoke to GMA's Chris Cuomo Wednesday morning about those minutes the camera was not rolling.

"He threw me against the door as he did in the video when the video was still turned on," said Garbarino. "I hit my right side of my face, and then he slammed me against that black file locker, and that's where this gash in my forehead that you see is. Then he threw me to the ground."

The arresting officer in the video was fired after the incident, but Wednesday morning the Shreveport police department said in a press conference turning off the camera was not unusual.

"Once Officer Willis determined she was not going to submit to the chemical test for intoxication, he decided to end the testing procedure, which included videotaping," said Shreveport Police Chief Henry Whitehorn. "Turning off the tape at this point was standard procedure."

Police also said in the press conference Garbarino suffered facial injuries before she arrived at the jail as a result of hitting two parked cars and a light pole while driving under the influence.

"He looks down at his hands to check to see if there's any blood on his hands after the video comes back on," said Garbarino's attorney, Ron Miciotto. "And he shakes his hand, he looks at them twice, and then as he's leaving the door, he looks again at his hands and his clothing to see if he's got any blood on them."

No criminal charges have been filed against the officer.

Garbarino still faces trial on charges of DWI and hit and run.

She and her attorney say they will fight those charges in court.

 

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