Los Angeles News

LAPD in-custody death: Grandmother speaks out

Friday, August 31, 2012

The grandmother of the woman who died in police custody is speaking out, as the LAPD investigates the incident.

Ada Moses says she is reserving judgment and is not pointing fingers at anyone until she knows exactly what happens.

"How can I blame anyone? I can't blame nobody," she said. "Nobody knows but God and the one who did it."

Los Angeles police officials say at least five officers are under investigation following the death of Alesia Thomas.

On July 22, LAPD officers went to Thomas' apartment building on the 9000 block of Broadway after her two children, ages 3 and 12, were found at a police station. Moses says her granddaughter left a note with her children at the police station, saying she could no longer take care of them. Family members say she has struggled with drug addiction.

When officers went after the woman to take her into custody for suspicion of child endangerment, police say she resisted arrest, causing a violent incident. According to the Los Angeles Times, police officials say an officer kicked Thomas in the groin. When officers managed to put the woman in a patrol car, she stopped breathing and died.

"The concern, as always in any of these investigations, is that our officers committed some type of misconduct," said LAPD Commander Andrew Smith. "In this particular case, I don't know what the extent of the use of force was."

No matter what happened that night, Moses says he hopes her granddaughter is in a better place.

"I hope and trust the Lord that he has her in his care," she said.

Smith said some of the people involved in the incident have yet to be interviewed. Police officials say the incident was caught on a patrol car's camera. The coroner's office has yet to release an exact cause of death.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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