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LAPD Officer Convicted Of Kicking Handcuffed Woman In Groin

Video from the patrol car showed the officer kicking the woman in the groin hours before she lost consciousness and died in 2012.

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A Los Angeles police officer was convicted by a jury Friday after video showed her kicking a handcuffed woman in the groin during a 2012 arrest.

The assault was captured on video inside the patrol car where Alesia Thomas was jabbed in the throat and kicked in the groin.

Thomas lost consciousness in the patrol car, and was pronounced dead at a hospital hours later.

On Friday, jurors found Los Angeles Police Officer Mary O'Callaghan guilty of assault under the color of authority, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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Prosecutors showed the video of the 2012 arrest during the trial, a central part of their criminal case.

According to the Times, Thomas asked for an ambulance after the assault, but it took 30 minutes for officers to call one.

Dashcam video from another vehicle also showed O'Callaghan smoking a cigarette and peering into the back of the patrol car where Thomas lost consciousness, saying, "That ain't a good sign."

Juror 24 told me outside of the courthouse that w/o the video evidence, it would have been "really hard" to find O'Callaghan guilty

Shortly after O'Callaghan's conviction, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck issued a written statement about the incident, pointing out that the agency's Force Investigation Division who launched an investigation into Thomas' death, and uncovered the video.

When the video was recovered, Beck placed O'Callaghan on leave without pay.

"It is always disappointing when an officer fails to uphold the high standards and professionalism shown by the thousands of LAPD officers who courageously protect this City," he said in the statement.

O'Callaghan's attorney, Robet Rico, argued to jurors the video showed his client pushing Thomas with her boot, but that the use of force was reasonable because Thomas was not complying with police orders.

Thomas was arrested on suspicion of abandoning her two children after they were dropped off at a police station. An autopsy found that cocaine in her system was likely "a major factor" in her death.

The cause of death was listed as undetermined.

Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Salvador Hernandez at salvador.hernandez@buzzfeed.com.

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