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LAPD body-slam video shows 'severely deficient' response, chief says

August 30, 2012 |  9:22 am

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said he had "serious concerns" about a video showing two of his officers body slamming a 34-year-old nurse to the pavement, and moved to reassign and lower the pay of a commanding officer.

"I have serious concerns about this incident and I believe the Commanding Officer of Foothill Area was severely deficient in his response," Beck said in a statement, explaining that the captain failed to notify superiors and remove the two officers from the field.

"Every Los Angeles Police Officer, regardless of rank, will be held accountable for their actions."

Beck said he ordered the video shown at roll calls when officers begin their shifts.

The commanding officer of the Los Angeles Police Department's Foothill Division was reassigned Wednesday, a day after video was broadcast showing two of his officers twice body slamming the nurse to the pavement, once while she was in handcuffs.

Capt. Joseph Hiltner, a 34-year LAPD veteran, could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

Beck said Internal Affairs detectives have launched a criminal and administrative investigation into the Aug. 21 use-of-force incident, which police said began after the officers pulled over Michelle Jordan at a Del Taco restaurant in Tujunga because she was holding a cellphone while driving.

As the 5-foot-4 Jordan left her vehicle, she allegedly failed to comply with officers' commands to get back into the car and was slammed to the ground by the male officers and placed in handcuffs, according to police officials.

While handcuffed, she was led to the officers' patrol car. Moments later, she was slammed again to the pavement, apparently with more force, by one of the officers, who was much larger than Jordan, the officials said.

The video appears to show the two officers exchanging high-fives after Jordan was taken down.

Anyone with information is asked to call Internal Affairs detectives at (213) 485-1486 or the Foothill Division watch commander at (818) 756-8861.

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-- Andrew Blankstein and Robert J. Lopez

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