Michelle Jordan, 34, of Sunland was pulled over last Tuesday on Foothill Boulevard and Saluda Avenue for a cellphone violation. She drove into a Del Taco restaurant parking lot, where the incident was recorded on surveillance video.
The married mother, who works as a registered nurse, got out of her car. Moments later, the video shows her being slammed to the pavement and handcuffed. The officers picked her up, put her against the patrol car and patted her down. Nearly two minutes later, the two officers pushed her down to the ground a second time. She was pulled back up and placed in the back seat of the cruiser. She was cited for resisting arrest.
"We have a defenseless woman in a sundress, two fully armed police officers with training in various restraining devices that they could have used, and instead they used brutal force to take a woman down to the ground for no reason," said one of the woman's attorneys, Arthur Corona.
The attorney says that the most egregious aspect of the officers' behavior was the "fist bump" gesture the officers shared at the end.
"The simple word is outrage," said the woman's other attorney, Sy Nazif. "If anyone on the street attacked an innocent woman, they would be in jail. We expect the LAPD officers to be held to the same standard."
The officers are with the LAPD Foothill Division, the same division whose reputation was tarnished for its involvement in the notorious Rodney King beating more than 20 years ago. One of the officers involved in this alleged use of force incident is a 22-year veteran. The other is a probationary officer only 10 months on the job.
LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck responded in a statement, saying "My initial review of the officers' statements and the recorded video cause me to have serious concerns about this use of force. We will investigate this thoroughly and hold our officers accountable for their actions."
Jordan has filed a civil suit against the department. The officers involved in the incident have been reassigned to non-field duties during the internal investigation.