LAPD officer Mary O'Callaghan and mother of victim Alesia Thomas try 2 hug during sentencing but court does not allow pic.twitter.com/yVqNOpSgFJ
— Al Seib (@AlSeibPhoto) July 23, 2015
A dramatic scene unfolded in a Los Angeles courtroom this week as a former LAPD officer was sentenced to 36 months in prison for her role in a deadly incident of police brutality three years ago. In 2012, Mary O’Callaghan was caught on a police car dashcam using excessive force while arresting Alesia Thomas, a 35-year-old mother of two. The footage showed O’Callaghan forcing Thomas into the police vehicle, striking Thomas with an open hand and kicking her in the crotch. While handcuffed, Thomas is can be heard on video saying, “I can’t move. I can’t breathe.” The L.A. Times reports that Thomas requested an ambulance more than 30 minutes before one was called by police officers. Thomas then fell unconscious while O’Callaghan was seen on video outside the police vehicle smoking a cigarette. Thomas died shortly after. Thomas’ official cause of death is “undetermined” due to the unknown role cocaine intoxication may have played when paired with the brutality she suffered. At the sentencing, Alesia Thomas’ mother, Sandra Thomas, a medical assistant, spoke directly to O’Callaghan and said, “You have to show compassion for people. It makes me feel like she wanted that to happen.” With a felony charge, O’Callaghan, a 50-year-old mother of three, will never work as a police officer again. When it was O’Callaghan’s turn to speak at the sentencing, she faced Sandra Thomas instead of the judge and, through tears, said “Mother to mother, I am extremely sorry for the loss of your daughter.” It was her first public comment on the case. On the sentencing, Thomas said, “I feel a great sense of relief.”
Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.