On Tuesday, July 1, a 51-year-old woman was walking barefoot up the side of California’s Interstate 10 when suddenly she crossed the crowded highway. That’s when a California Highway Patrol officer confronted her, ending up on top of her and punching her face repeatedly.

The incident was caught on cell phone video by a driver—and shows an unnamed officer punching the face of Marlene Pinnock, later identified as a great-grandmother.

Although the officer has been suspended pending an investigation, below you can hear California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn saying that the officer was protecting Pinnock, who was deemed a danger to herself and motorists.



Pinnock has been admitted to a psychiatric facility, where she is undergoing an evaluation and recovering from the multiple “lumps” that her lawyer said were given to her during the beatdown.

“Her rights were violated in a most egregious way … appropriate legal action will be taken soon,” civil rights attorney John Burris said during a Sunday news conference.

The July 1 incident was caught on video by a passing motorist on the freeway near the La Brea Avenue exit.

“She’s not just some animal,” said attorney Caree Harper. “She has an aunt, a sister, a brother, a father and a great-grandchild.”

CHP officials said the video captured only a small part of the incident. The officer was trying to stop the woman from walking into traffic and endangering herself and others, CHP officials said.

“We will leave no stone unturned” in the investigation, said CHP Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn.

Pinnock was arrested and put on a mental health hold under California’s Welfare and Institutions Code 5150, which means a person is considered a danger to themselves or others. Under that code, a person can be held under observation for up to “72 hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention.”

Currently there a Change.org petition asking for prosecution of the police officer involved.

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  • i.mean.really

    51 and a great grandmother. I’m sorry, but what in the holy hell?

    • Tony

      And, so what if she is a grand grandmother? What does that have to do with her getting beaten?

    • i.mean.really

      Read skillz are fundamental. She’s not a grandmother, she’s a great grandmother. Do the math. That puts the average age of conception for her, her child and her grandchild at about 13. Like I said, what in the holy hell? Three generations of children being raped is disturbing to me.

    • Brad

      Math => 51 divided by 3 is 17 years of age for her and her daughter.

    • i.mean.really

      What do you suppose the chances are that three teenage mothers aren’t on the fast track to making a fourth? You’re assuming that great grandchild is a baby, history says probably not. So on top of being brutalized by a pig in the street, she suffers from some form of mental illness and is a rape survivor. That makes her story all the worse.

  • Mary Burrell

    This woman is being savagely beaten. Even if she is a threat to herself and others this is not right. I hope something is done and this savage is fired and sued and the department where he works is sued.

    • Preach.

      This act by the barbaric police officer is inexcusable and unjustifiable. The cop blatantly utilized excessive force and the victim was punished in a vicious fashion. The criminal should be sued and sent into prison for his action. Thank the Creator for the video footage, because the department could of lied and defended the criminal officer unconditionally. The Sister is hurting and she does need our solidarity and our support. I wish the best for the Sister and her family. It is a shame that police brutality exists. We have every right to stand up against horrendous injustice.

    • Mary Burrell

      @truthseeker: This is inhumane and I am thankful someone caught this on their cellphone camera.This officer is a beast.

    • Yes, the officer is a savage criminal. You can tell that the officer personally wanted to intentionally hurt the Sister. We have every right to stand up for the victims of police brutality. The Sister and her family are going through so much. We care. We care when a human being is being unjustly brutalized. We certainly care enough in advocating the truth that a crooked thug in blue must be held accountable for his evil actions.

  • Mary Burrell

    I’m signing that petition.

  • binks

    I can’t watch the clip without being saddened and angry. This was not standard police procedure. How is beating her a form of protection from herself and other motorists? She needed protection from him! There is a way to restrain someone without harming them, I am sick of the lies. I hope this lady sue the pants off this department and this cop is kick off the force.

  • Eduardo

    “[…] California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn saying that the officer was protecting Pinnock, who was deemed a danger to herself and motorists.”

    Beating a grandmother up doesn’t fall under “protecting someone”. At the very least he shouldn’t be patrolling anymore.