LAPD Officer Mary O’Callaghan has been found guilty of felony assault under color of authority, according to multiple media reports and the Los Angeles Police Department's blog. Her conviction was, in part, based on video footage recorded by two police dashboard cameras. The jury saw the videos and found that O'Callaghan had behaved criminally when she kicked and threatened a handcuffed woman being detained by police.
On July 22, 2012, police officers went to the home of Alesia Thomas to investigate charges of child abandonment. Thomas dropped her children off at a LAPD station with a note suggesting she could no longer care for them. As officers arrested Thomas at her residence and were preparing to transport her, O'Callaghan repeatedly threatened her, made inappropriate remarks and seems to have kicked Thomas repeatedly. According to a LA Times article about the case, Thomas asked for an ambulance throughout the ordeal. She died later the same day though the LAPD and O'Callaghan are not implicated in her death. This case is sure to bolster support for body cameras and other forms of video surveillance designed to identify police who may be violating their duty to protect and serve.