At least five Los Angeles Police officers are being investigated after 35-year-old Alesia Thomas (pictured) died in police custody, the Los Angeles Times reports.
On July 22, Thomas reportedly left her two children, a 3-year-old and 12-year-old, at the LAPD’s southeast station after allegedly telling officers that she could no longer care for them because of her drug addition.
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Officers were assigned to look for Thomas and found her at her home in the 9000 block of South Broadway in Los Angeles. After being questioned, the officers arrested her “on suspicion of child endangerment.” But, Thomas “began actively resisting arrest.” One of the officers took her down by sweeping her legs from underneath her.
One of the officers reportedly went as far as kicking her in the genitals during the arrest.
Here is more from the LA Times:
Two others handcuffed Thomas’ hands behind her back and attempted to lead her to a patrol car while a supervising sergeant observed, according to the department’s version.
Two more officers were summoned as Thomas continued to struggle. Green confirmed that Thomas was a large woman. A “hobble restraint device” — an adjustable strap — was tightened around Thomas’ ankles to give the officers more control and she was eventually placed in the back of the patrol car, the LAPD account said.
The official account, however, made no mention of what Green confirmed was a female officer’s questionable treatment of Thomas.
The department’s account said officers immediately notified paramedics. It is unclear whether the officers attempted to resuscitate her and how much time passed before paramedics arrived. Thomas died shortly after being transported to a hospital.
Thomas’ case is not the only one that has put the LAPD in the national spotlight over allegations of police brutality.
On Aug. 21, Michelle Jordan was slammed to the ground by LAPD cops after being pulled over for talking on her cell phone. Back in May, Brian Mulligan, managing director and vice chairman of media and telecommunications for Deutsche Bank, became another victim of the LAPD.
And Ronald Weekleywas punched while being pinned to the ground by LAPD cops in August.