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LAPD captain removed after video of woman's take-down surfaces

August 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
In a grainy surveillance video that has sent shockwaves across Los Angeles and the Southland, a 34-year-old woman pulled over for a cellphone violation is slammed to the ground by two LAPD officers twice, once while handcuffed, for allegedly resisting arrest.

Once she was placed in the backseat of the patrol car, the officers appeared to share a celebratory "fist bump." The incident was captured on camera at a Del Taco restaurant parking lot in Tujunga on Aug. 21.

"I viewed the video and immediately removed the officers from the field, assigned one of them to home," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Wednesday.

The woman in the video is Michelle Jordan of Sunland. The registered nurse suffered contusions to her face and body.

The chief has called for a criminal and administrative investigation with internal affairs. Additionally, the chief removed Capt. Joseph Hiltner as commanding officer of the Foothill Division, critical of the 34-year LAPD veteran's handing of his case.

"The captain of Foothill was deficient in notifying his boss and me about this occurrence, even though he initiated a personnel complaint," Beck said. "He also did not relieve the officers from field duties."

Hiltner faces a demotion and the chief says the two officers seen in the video will also be held accountable for their actions. One officer was 10-months on the job. The other was a 22-year veteran.

Sources tell Eyewitness News that the veteran officer was a bystander during the Rodney King beating and was suspended for 15 days in 1991. Chief Beck would not comment on that.

"I'm not going to give the officers' names or personnel histories or details about their statements," Beck said.