Los Angeles: Earlier today a Los Angeles jury found Officer Mary O’Callaghan guilty on criminal charges of felony assault under color of authority. The charges stemmed from O’Callaghan’s conduct during the arrest of Alesia Thomas on July 22, 2012 while O’Callaghan was assigned to LAPD’s Southeast Division. The 12-member jury deliberated for three days before returning its verdict this afternoon.
Ms. Thomas was arrested by LAPD officers on the evening of July 22, 2012 for child abandonment after leaving her minor children in the lobby of Southeast Area Community Police Station. O’Callaghan responded to the scene of the arrest to assist in taking Ms. Thomas into custody. An LAPD Digital In-Car Video System recorded O’Callaghan making inappropriate comments and kicking Thomas in the stomach and groin while handcuffed in the backseat of the patrol car. Thomas later died at the hospital.
LAPD’s Force Investigative Division immediately launched an investigation into Ms. Thomas’s death and uncovered O’Callaghan’s conduct resulting in her removal from field duties and being relieved of duty without pay by the Chief of Police. The LAPD also conducted a criminal investigation into her conduct in coordination with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Justice System Integrity Division, which filed criminal charges in 2013 for felony assault.
“As I expressed at the time, I was very concerned about this incident and we launched a thorough investigation that ultimately led to criminal charges against the involved officer,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “It is always disappointing when an officer fails to uphold the high standards and professionalism shown by the thousands of LAPD officers who courageously protect this City and proudly wear our badge every day. I appreciate the partnership we have with District Attorney Jackie Lacey and her team in our joint efforts to ensure that officers who operate outside of the law, and tarnish our badge, are held accountable.”
O’Callaghan is assigned home without pay pending further disciplinary proceedings in accordance with the Charter of the City of Los Angeles and state law.