National/World

LAPD commander removed in probe of rough arrest

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Los Angeles Police Department commanding officer has been removed amid an internal investigation into a videotaped beating in which officers tackled a handcuffed registered nurse to the ground, police Chief Charlie Beck said Wednesday.

Beck said previously that he had "serious concerns" about the use of force against Michelle Jordan, 34, who was arrested in the Tujunga area on Aug. 21 after being stopped for talking on a cellphone while driving, police said.

Jordan got out of the car and cursed the two officers who stopped her, witnesses and Jordan's husband told KNBC-TV.

Fast-food restaurant surveillance video obtained by the TV station (bit.ly/NVptHP ) showed officers taking her to the ground. After she is handcuffed and walked to a police car, the 5-foot-4 woman is tackled a second time by an officer who lands on top of her.

"She made some unwise moves," her attorney, Sy Nazif, told the station. "But certainly nothing that warranted a physical assault from the LAPD."

Photos show scrapes on Jordan's face, shoulders and chest.

The officers involved in the incident have been removed from patrol duty until an LAPD investigation is complete. One is a 22-year veteran and the other is a probationary officer with 10 months on the force.

Beck said at a news conference Wednesday that Capt. Joseph Hitner of the department's Foothill Division was "severely deficient in his response," Beck said.

"Proper steps were not taken, including appropriate notifications and the removal of the involved officers from the field," Beck said. "Because of these issues, I have removed him from his command and initiated downgrade procedures. Every Los Angeles police officer, regardless of rank, will be held accountable for their actions."

(Copyright ©2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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