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LA Cop Filmed Repeatedly Punching Woman
The California Highway Patrol says it has opened an investigation after one of its officers was filmed repeatedly punching a woman in the face on a Los Angeles road.
An onlooker in a passing car captured Tuesday evening's confrontation and uploaded the shocking clip, entitled "Police Brutality?", to YouTube.
The footage shows the officer on foot crossing a busy dual carriageway to accost a woman walking across the central reservation.
He pins her to the ground on the grassy strip and delivers a flurry of blows as she lies flat on her back.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) said in a statement to KABC-TV that the officer had ordered the pedestrian to stop, but she disobeyed him.
According to the CHP, the officer then tried to place her under arrest because he feared she might be hurt crossing the lanes of traffic.
"A physical altercation ensued as the pedestrian continued to resist arrest, at which point a plain clothes, off-duty officer assisted in applying the handcuffs," the CHP statement said.
The agency said that as a matter of procedure there would be an investigation to establish whether the use of force had been appropriate.
But David Diaz, who shot the video, says he believed it was inappropriate.
He told KABC-TV: "There was no weapons, it's obviously excess force at this point. He could have easily calmed her down. You can use strength without punching."
The woman was reportedly taken to a hospital for physical and mental evaluation.
The incident comes after footage this week also emerged of a policeman in Indiana pushing over a man in a wheelchair.