Ex-officer Mary O’Callaghan has been sentenced to 36 months in jail for assaulting 35-year-old Alesia Thomas after placing her in handcuffs during an arrest, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta announced Thursday.
O’Callaghan may be released within five months if she displays good behavior.
Captured on a police dashcam, the recording shows O’Callaghan jabbing Thomas, who is a mother of two, in the throat with an open hand. The ex-officer also kicks her in the crotch. Within the video, Thomas can be heard saying, “I can’t move. I can’t breathe,” as O’Callaghan places Thomas into her squad car. She later lost consciousness and died.
“Mother to mother, I am extremely sorry,” O’Callaghan said at Thursday’s hearing.
The apology was directed at Alesia Thomas’s mother, Sandra Thomas, who has stated that she feels “a great sense of relief” regarding the judge’s ruling.
O’Callaghan was not charged in connection with Thomas’s death due to a coroner’s report attributing cocaine as a “major factor” in the death. According to this report, it is not possible to determine whether O’Callaghan’s excessive force was related to her death.
The LAPD has since outfitted their officers with body cameras. LAPD officers are required to turn on their cameras before engaging in investigation or enforcement activities.
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(Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via AP, File)