A California family says it intends to file a civil rights lawsuit after video surfaced of a California Highway Patrol officer repeatedly punching a woman in the face on the side of the highway. The woman, 51-year-old grandmother Marlene Pinnock, was unarmed. According to the arrest report, the woman, who is allegedly homeless, was walking along the road and became "physically combative," CBS News reports. She's been deemed a "5150," according to KTLA, which refers to the California welfare code under which mentally ill people are confined if they are a danger to themselves or others.
"It's our opinion that the CHP officer is the one who is a danger to others," one civil rights lawyer said. "We believe he fits the criteria of 5150." The officer has been suspended with pay, and police say they're investigating. "The tape only shows a small part of what transpired," one CHP official said. "There were events that led up to this." The family has also questioned the care Pinnock is receiving at a South LA hospital; her daughter complains that for a week, police wouldn't let them see her. (More California stories.)