Daniel Andrew, the officer who was seen punching a mentally ill woman on a California highway in July 2014, will not face charges for the incident.
According to The LA Times, prosecutors declined to press criminal charges after reviewing video and witness statements from the incident. Officials summarized Andrew, a California Highway Patrol officer, was preventing Marlene Pinnock from walking onto the 10 freeway for her own safety.
Because Andrew was alone on the evening of the incident, he was left to use required force to restrain Pinnock from harming herself, District Attorney Jackie Lacey explained in a statement.
The LA Times reports:
“When looking at all of the evidence, and especially the medical reports and eyewitness accounts, it becomes exceedingly clear that the officer, who was alone and struggling with Ms. Pinnock precariously close to evening freeway traffic, acted within the law,” Lacey said.
“In our analysis, his use of force was legal and necessary to protect not only his own life but also that of Ms. Pinnock.”
Video of the disturbing incident was released seven days later by a driver, quickly going viral.
Medical records showed Pinnock didn’t have any bruises or internal bleeding from the incident.
One of the witnesses is quoted in the report saying, “at a point I agreed with what the cop did … you know, he had to get her. He had to apprehend her. He had to throw her on the floor. The part where it gets deceptive is when he starts punching. That’s when it felt like that it was unnecessary … after the first two, it was, it was, he should have stopped.”
In September, Pinnock was awarded a $1.5 million settlement in an excessive force suit in exchange for the officer’s job.
Andrew’s last day was Tuesday.