An unidentified California Highway Patrol officer is under investigation after getting caught on video beating a woman about the head a dozen times with no apparent indication that he was in danger.
KNBC-TV reported on Thursday that the incident was filmed Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles by motorist David Díaz as he was making his way onto Interestate 10.
Díaz’s 90-second clip begins with the officer catching up to the woman on foot. She appears to walk away from him, before the officer takes her to the ground. After a brief struggle, the officer begins pummeling her with punches to the head. The woman can be seen covering up and not fighting back.
“He basically got on top of her, and it’s basically a UFC ground-and-pound move,” Díaz told KTLA-TV. “It’s basically full force, punching her in the head.”
After the flurry, a second man enters the frame and helps the officer restrain the woman. KNBC reported that the other man was a plainclothes officer at the scene.
According to reports, the officer, 34-year-old Ronald Harris, followed a Make-A-Wish Foundation volunteer to the Memphis International Airport where a meeting with the recipient family was to be held.
As the volunteer sat with the family, who was about to receive a bag containing t-shirts and a $1,500 gift card, Harris quietly approached and seized the items. Being noticed by the volunteer, Harris reportedly attempted to play the theft off as a mistake.
Several minutes later, Harris returned and snatched the bag a second time before running out of the terminal. A family member of the sick toddler was head-butted by Harris as he attempted to retrieve the bag, an injury that later required several stitches.