Los Angeles News

LAPD investigates woman's in-custody death

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just one day after police officers were disciplined in an alleged use of force incident, the Los Angeles Police Department has a woman's in-custody death investigation on its hands.

LAPD officers went to an apartment building on the 9000 block of Broadway on July 22 after two children were found abandoned at a police station.

A neighbor says he saw two LAPD officers struggle with the children's mother, 35-year-old Alesia Thomas, outside her apartment.

The LAPD claims Thomas continued to resist arrest outside. Additional officers arrived and one officer took her to the ground to gain control of her. According to the Los Angeles Times, a female officer threatened to kick Thomas in the genitals if she did not cooperate and allegedly followed through on the threat. Thomas was handcuffed and placed in a squad car.

Authorities say that's when the officers noticed Thomas wasn't breathing and paramedics were called. Thomas died at a hospital.

In a statement, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said:

"I take all in-custody death investigations very seriously and directed that the officers involved be removed from field duties until further details are known."

This comes on the heels of the investigation into alleged use of force involving a 34-year-old woman who was slammed to the ground by officers after being stopped for using a cellphone.

The LAPD plans to hold a news conference on the incident on Friday.

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lapd, los angeles news, amy powell
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