Police tonight said they're investigating a videotaped
beat-down “use of force” by two LAPD cops in its San Fernando Valley Foothill Divison.
The officers were placed on desk duty while Internal Affairs investigates, the department said in a statement.
It all happened …
View more videos at: https://nbclosangeles.com.
… Aug. 21 during a traffic stop at Foothill Boulevard and Saluda Avenue in Crescenta Heights, near Tujunga, an LAPD official told the Weekly.
The statement came after NBC Los Angeles teased that it had a copy of just such a video:
— Gordon Tokumatsu (@GordonNBCLA) August 28, 2012
The evidence was serious enough that Chief Charlie Beck was prompted to weigh in:
My initial review of the officers' statements and the recorded video cause me to have serious concerns about this Use of Force. We will investigate this thoroughly and hold our officers accountable for their actions.
The department said an investigating supervisor canvassed the area and found the video.
[Update at 9 p.m.]: We were told the video depicts a woman “being taken down” by the officers.
The woman was ID'd tonight as 34-year-old Michelle Jordan of Sunland. According to an LAPD statement, it happened at 11:15 a.m.:
During the stop Jordan got out of her car and during a confrontation with the officers was taken to the ground and handcuffed. A short time later, while still handcuffed, another encounter occurred between Jordan and the officers and she was taken to the ground a second time. She was arrested and booked for Penal Code Section 148, Interfering/Resisting Arrest, and later released on her own recognizance.
She filed a complaint, helping to prompt the inquiry.
The cops were described as white men, one with 22 years on the job and the other a probationary officer with 10 months working the streets. (Jordan also appears to be white.)
[Added at 10:38 p.m.]: Jordan's lawyer told NBC4 that she was argumentative and did utter expletives at the officers. But he noted that she was in cuffs and appeared to be under the officers' control.
The station described Jordan's situation as “getting your head slammed into the pavement.” The video, apparently security footage from a nearby business, depicts the officers sharing a fist bump after the woman is slammed to the ground.
Jordan and her attorney say the move caused her serious injuries to the head and upper body, which they have documented with photos.
She's a registered nurse who was pulled over (she stopped at a nearby fast food restaurant, and a map of the area shows Del Taco being the sole such business at the intersection) for using a cellphone without a hands-free device, NBC4 reported.
[Added at 11:10 p.m.]: ABC Eyewitness News says Jordan plans to file a civil suit (or, more likely, a claim) against the department.