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LAPD officers slammed 'defenseless' woman in Tujunga, lawyer says

August 29, 2012 |  7:29 am

Two Los Angeles police officers should be prosecuted after slamming a "defenseless woman" to the ground during a routine traffic stop, the woman's lawyer said.

"If a civilian were to assault a woman in this manner, he would go to jail," Sy Nazif wrote in an emailed statement to The Times late Tuesday. "These officers must be held to the same standard. They have to be held accountable."

Los Angeles Police Department internal affairs detectives are investigating the Aug. 21 incident, which was captured on surveillance video.

The woman, 34-year-old Michelle Jordan of Sunland, was pulled over at a Del Taco restaurant on Foothill Boulevard in Tujunga because she was holding a cellphone while driving, said the officials, who asked not to be named because the internal inquiry was in its preliminary stages.

As the 5-foot 4-inch Jordan exited 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 the 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.

Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday in a statement that he had "serious concerns" about the use of force.

"We will investigate this thoroughly and hold our officers accountable for their actions," Beck said.

The LAPD disclosed the incident Tuesday evening in a statement, saying the officers had been assigned to desk duties while internal affairs detectives investigated the altercation.

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


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-- Andrew Blankstein