California Highway Patrol Settles Case Of Pregnant Woman Being Thrown To Ground and Hogtied After Talking On Her Cellphone While Driving

mqdefaultThe California Highway Patrol has agreed to a settlement of the recent case of a pregnant driver, Tamara Gaglione, 30, being hogtied by police after being stopped for talking on her cellphone. Gaglione will receive a $250,000 settlement.

The video below shows Gaglione weaving between lanes before being stopped. The officers claimed that she raised her arms in a menacing manner. However, the video shows Gaglione not responding to instructions to throw out her keys and put her hands on the van. Instead she just stares at the officers who have their guns drawn. One officer then kicks out her legs and pushing her to the ground. One officer appears to kick Gaglione while she is on the ground and before she was hogtied. Police told her lawyer initially that there was no video and her attorney says that he was only shown the video after he persisted in his demands.

She was charged with evading arrest and driving on a suspended license. Those charges were dismissed and Gaglione pleaded no contest to using a cellphone while driving.

Officer Daniel Hernandez says that he kneed the woman in an effort to distract her so that his partner, Officer Roberto Martinez, could handcuff her. The officers say that it was Gaglione who escalated the incident to violence by raising her arms in a menacing fashion . . . in front of officers with their guns drawn.

In watching the video below, I fail to see any menacing conduct at all. I do see a driver who is weaving into traffic rather than pull over immediately and then ignore the instructions of the officers. There is no apparent justification for taking down the woman and then kneeing her on the ground — let alone the hogtying. There is no indication that any officer has been disciplined for this conduct.

Source: LA Times

64 thoughts on “California Highway Patrol Settles Case Of Pregnant Woman Being Thrown To Ground and Hogtied After Talking On Her Cellphone While Driving

  1. These CHumPs need to be made an example of…… Hog tie them and throw them into a pig pen with hungry pigs….

  2. Pistol whipping would be good for the Law Enforcement Offenders. They should not settle the case until the child is born and injuries can be determined. The child needs to give his/her consent to the settlement when it reaches age 18. Or a guardian ad litem is appointed after it is born.

    Another remedy would be a knee capping. That would be a shotgun blast to each law enforcement offender’s right knee. Left knee if they are left footed.

  3. East,

    I think they should be hand cuffed…. Dropped in a well, naked and rubbed with a tasty meat sauce with rats at the bottom…..

    When the kill all the rats…. Then let them out…..

  4. The rule is that nothing the police do should be punitive in nature, correct? If the car doesn’t stop in time or if the citizen passively fails to copperate then that could result in additional charges but not in additional force. This way if there’s something else going on that’s not obvious at the time, like a medical issue, it gets correctly sorted out later in the courts before unncessary harm is done.

    It seems to me that this needs to be a major focus of initial and recurrent training. They could use even use actors being very verbally abusive, visually disrespectful, and behaving strangely and inexplicably, but not presenting any actual threat, to let police learn to tune all that out and not be tempted into meting out extrajudicial punishment.

  5. EastBroadwayLong Beach

    It would be appreciated if you would stop suggesting violent acts be used against people. This is the third time I have read this from you and it is becoming distracting to a blog that advocates justice.

  6. What dumb ass would ever see that willowy woman standing there passively and think she could possibly be a threat of any kind?

    Expecting a domestic violence call from those cops houses in the future.

  7. There was no reason to toss down or hogtie this woman. They could have cuffed her up without any real trouble. Taken way too far all for something minor.

  8. Dear Darren, these CHUMPS used Violence INAPPROPRIATELY, they deserve to recieve equal punishment. They are charged with protecting the public, not abusing them….

  9. As I watched the video I saw the “weaving” as an attempt to find a safe place to pull over. She finally found a wide enough shoulder. Did the CHP’s expect her to stop on a narrow shoulder in that kind of traffic. Also procedurally, as was discussed on another thread recently, isn’t the idea to have the person remain in the car? There were four officers, with at least two guns drawn. Wasn’t that adequate control of the situation? There was no reason to trip her to the ground and then to restrain her violently. The problem in many of the egregious cases like this is that even when damages are awarded there is no discernible punishment to the officers who inflicted the damage in a dereliction of duty. without tangible punishment for this kind of behavior officers are given the permission to continue it.

    Let’s be honest here and agree that much of this wrongful police behavior comes from a culture now ingrained with hyper vigilance and fear. Yes there have been incidents where a routine stop goes bad, but are there enough of them to cause such fear? In this type of pull over situation more officers get far more hurt by being hit by oncoming vehicles, than they do from the putative perp. She was doing them a favor by pulling onto a shoulder that was adequately safe for leaving the vehicle.

  10. These officers crossed the line and should be looking for a new profession. The State of California got off easy. That was an abusive overuse of authority and force.

  11. EastBroadwayLongBeach wrote:
    Dear Darren, these CHUMPS used Violence INAPPROPRIATELY, they deserve to recieve equal punishment. They are charged with protecting the public, not abusing them….
    ~+~

    Just read your own posts. You suggested previously castrating people who were stupid and applying 50000 watts of electricity to the genitals of officers who used tasers wrongly. Then you claim here the officers acted inappropriately and should be punished equally.

    And you ask what I would do if my wife was abused as this woman was? I can say I wouldn’t like to see the type of punishment applied as you have suggested.

  12. “Expecting a domestic violence call from those cops houses in the future.” (shano)

    You know … whenever I see one of these videos of cops abusing citizens, male or female … that’s always what I wonder … what do their families endure on a regular basis.

  13. Mike: “Let’s be honest here and agree that much of this wrongful police behavior comes from a culture now ingrained with hyper vigilance and fear”

    The Department of Fear has done a wonderful job. The entire US is certifiably insane – terrorised by itself.

    Those cops are an example of “security” not seeing people as humans. There is a total absence of even the tiniest hint of empathy there.
    Drawn guns were OTT enough in that incident. The violent way they knocked her down should have been prosecuted as an assault.

    The entire nation has ben driven insane.
    As an example:
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/19/pennsylvania-girl-5-suspended-for-threatening-to-shoot-girl-with-pink-toy-gun/

    A 5-year-old Pennsylvania girl who told another girl she was going to shoot her with a pink Hello Kitty toy gun that blows soapy bubbles has been suspended from kindergarten.

    Her family has hired an attorney to fight the punishment, which initially was 10 days for issuing a ‘terroristic threat.’ But her punishment was reduced to two days after her mother met with school officials and had the incident dropped to ‘threatening to harm another student,’ which apparently carries a lesser punishment.

    5-year-old – bubble-gun – “terroristic threat” – 10-day-suspension.
    I wonder why they didn’t call the cops. Isn’t that what schools do nowadays?

  14. JT “In watching the video below, I fail to see any menacing conduct at all.”

    Of COURSE you do, Professor. They’re wearing police uniforms.

  15. Mike Spindell – I agree with you regarding the settlements. When the settlement is paid by someone else (the taxpayer) there is little or no incentive for these officers, or others, to change behavior. When someone else pays for your bad behavior, there is no deterrent effect.

    Some amount of the settlement, should be recoverable from the officers if there is sufficient evidence of wrong doing. If you have to pay $1,000 per month for the next 10 years, you may alter your behavior and, others may decide to alter theirs as well.

  16. MikeS, I initially thought the same about her weaving, but it you listen to audio, the siren doesn’t sound until after her weaving, so I don’t think it was an attempt to find a place to pull over. She seemed to delay a bit after the siren sounded before trying to pull over, but when cop gets on speaker and orders her over, she responded promptly enough. I don’t see why cop ordered her out of car, why cop came at her with drawn gun (seems really egregious), why cop did the violent take down (also bad), or why he kicked her (I don’t think there’s any way they could spin that one). One thing no one else comments on, but it looks to me that after the cop had her arms handcuffed behind her back, he was bending her arms back. That looks like it was intentional and quite painful, and I don’t see the reason for it. Also, no reason for hogtying her. Just lots of unnecessary actions from what I can tell. Maybe I’m wrong, but it looks like it’s just the one cop who does all the wrongful actions, except for the hogtying.

  17. Waldo – It is not one cop behaving badly, it is all of them. You can not sit by while your colleagues behave like this. I can not/will not in my line of work sit by while a colleague does something unethical and, a sworn law enforcement officer should behave to a higher standard.

  18. Seems like some angry guys who were just mad that she didn’t pull over right away. Most cops just hate it when they can’t be in control, so they’ll escalate it to violence.

  19. Okay she didn’t react very quickly and didn’t respond to the officers commands. It took her over three minutes to pull over. But, after she exits the car with her hands empty there isn’t any reason to throw her to the ground and get that little kick in around the four minute mark except the cops were po’d. As others have stated there needs to be some punitive measures for the police as well.

  20. Until police officers who engage in abusive behavior like this are prosecuted as the criminals they are, this behavior will not change. We are all at risk.

  21. Jude is right. The police were frustrated or upset that the woman didn’t respond to their command quickly enough. That seems to be the underlying reason for police brutality.

  22. Did she understand the officer’s commands? Was she verbally responding and it was not picked up on the recording? She seemed confused and when they rushed towards her she froze.

    After several demands, the female exited her vehicle. The officer then commanded, a number of times, for her to turn around.

    Whether or not she understood the demands, the officer’s actions was way out of line. I think the officer’s should be prosecuted.

  23. I have seen two cases now (one in Virginia and one in Vermont, of all places) where the cops pulled over a woman, harassed her, pushed her around, beat her up, cuffed her roughly, threw her about, and then took her down to the station house, cuffed her to a pipe in the one case and a bar of a cell in the other, and left these women for a few hours while they discussed what was to be done with them, and then — let them go. In both cases the “special treatment” was “ordered” by one of the cops in a neighboring police force, to show a wife or girlfriend what she was going to get if she turned in a complaint (in the one case) or asked for a protective order (in the other case). The point was that cops did a favor for someone in a nearby jurisdiction, and then threatened the women that if they complained about it, they would be arrested on big-time charges. In the one case the woman was fighting for custody (against a copy in the next county) so she shut up and put up with the terrorist behavior on advice of her lawyer, who knew who was doing what to whom. In the other case, the woman got really lucky. Her husband (who was not a cop but who had influence through a mortgage company) suddenly got arrested by the FEDS and couldn’t beat the rap so her problems miraculously vanished like the mist. She never did try to bring a civil suit against the cops who beat her up because her mother was elderly and lived in another state, and she relocated soon after the events.

    I can’t say that this figured into this situation. But the bizarre concerted effort on all the cops’ part to terrorize this woman for no reason does look like a pre-arranged “lesson” being taught to someone. And $250,000 sounds like a low figure to me.

  24. all of the people in this country working minimum wage jobs that are expected to pay any underages in the till from their pocket at the end of their day/shift but these guys can make their employer (the taxpayers) pay a six figure settlement for their screwups without even a slap on the wrist.

    sometimes contempt of cop is well deserved.

  25. Police State tactics.
    Arrest, rough up, kick, and sometimes call names first…
    … Deal with the consequences after they formulate the coverup.

  26. @Mike Spindell
    11:52 am Said:
    “There were four officers, with at least two guns drawn. Wasn’t that adequate control of the situation?”

    Men who feel inadequate, no matter the number in size, will tend to compensate through aggression and violence.

    Mike,
    Been lurking for a few years, commented once or twice before. I especially enjoy reading your views. I can appreciate “fresh” perspectives. Keep up the great insights.

  27. Pete9999 updated us about the Elk shooting by Denver police:
    ~+~
    I’m glad they’re gone. I wonder if this was a condition to a future plea arrangement where if they resigned, the book won’t be thrown at them.

  28. These officers should be so proud of their service that day. 6 officers to pull over a 30 year old woman for using her cell phone. And on top they were able to block traffic and create a modest traffic jam in the process. This was a great example of prioritizing crime. But hey, they are just following the lead of prioritization the Feds give them. Instead of going after bankers that committed fraud taking $ Billions plunging the country into recession when the rest of us suffer, they go after a man selling a product (marijuana) to those that ask for it. Yep, great prioritization guys.

  29. I have to agree that contempt of cop was punished on the street, but what incredible contempt. She had every opportunity to do what any self-respecting honest citizen would do. Pull over to the right. As soon as safe. She decides to pull an ‘OJ’, evading in slow motion. Citizen drivers in our culture have an agreement to be conscious while driving. This woman had no idea what was going on around her. Did she speak English? If not, there may be ‘some’ excuse for her dumbfounding invitation of the cop’s anger.

    Another quarter Mil. that won’t do the citizens any good. With the money that pitiful woman could hire a driver, that would be a community good.

  30. Swis, I have been oblivious to a cop behind me for a while, too. If the radio is playing surround sound, someone has a dvd playing in the back, etc.

    There was no excuse here for the cops to treat her in this way once she found a safe place to pull over. Not an easy task on our now crumbling infrastructure.

  31. Another case of police brutality. The cop that threw her down and kneed her in the side should lose the right to police anything! If that was my wife, sister or duaghter I make certain that he swallow his own teeth. This lady should have never settled for anything less than 2.5 million. LA got off on pocket change and still allow idiots to protect and serve, disgusting.

  32. “And they wonder why we cling to our guns.”

    Right on!
    If that woman had pulled a gun, the cops would have gone away and left her alone.

  33. Yeah….. as if you would pull a gun on a cop NO matter what he was doing?????

    See, that is just it…. LAW Abiding citizens just do as they are told by cops and other authority figures and we assume that it will all work out in the end….

    That is why the BS about having guns to protect against teh government is just a bunch of MINE is bigger than your talk…..

    and REALLY…. fact is… if you shoot a cop… the people will NOT come to your rescue….. You will only have the loons on your side…..

  34. In spite of what you may see on TV police shows, many police officers and lawyers come from working poor and lower-middle-class families.

    So, it is no accident that many police officers, city attorneys, & state judges have better pay, better benefits, and a better retirement plan than most other Americans. It is a deliberate attempt to segregate them from normal Americans, and thus, make them more pliable to do the bidding of government, which unfortunately means, the bidding of major corporations to keep their jobs.

    We need to start taking authority away from these people because if the economy continues to falter and more Americans start to object, these government employees who perceive themselves to be privileged and elite are the ones that are going to protect the status quo.

  35. Darren,
    Funny story. Youngest was coming home from work the other night, and one of her headlights had burned out earlier the same day. City officer pulled her over, as he rightly should have. He walked up and she already had her license out to hand to him. She commented that she knew the light was burned out but had just gotten off work. He asked her where she worked, but just as he asked her he shone his flashlight on her. When he saw the six pointed star on her shirt, he just clicked off the light, told her to drive carefully and try to get the light fixed ASAP. That is the way to handle things. He would only have given her a warning ticket anyway.

  36. Sling T, that five-year-old girl with the pink bubble gun will probably be on the sex offenders’ list too because of the well known symbolism of guns.

  37. “So, it is no accident that many police officers, city attorneys, & state judges have better pay, better benefits, and a better retirement plan than most other Americans. It is a deliberate attempt to segregate them from normal Americans, and thus, make them more pliable to do the bidding of government, which unfortunately means, the bidding of major corporations to keep their jobs.”

    Roberto Allende,

    I think you have a good point there, to which I would only add that this strategy is not a new one, but has been intrinsic in law enforcement throughout this country’s history.

  38. Police have a difficult, dangerous and stressful job, and they do need procedures and guidelines to maintain their own safety.
    Having acknowledged that, police often act out of proportion to a situation- because there are no consequences to their actions.
    We need a truly independent organ to oversee police recruitment, training and job performance.
    We need effective legislated civil and court mandated penalties that are directly aimed at crimes committed by law enforcement agencies and their officers.
    We need district attorney’s who will build and prosecute offenders based on those laws, rather than ignore, cover up or cut sweetheart deals with criminals who happen to wear a uniform.
    We need courts that have the decency and courage to demand better from the police.
    As all this is reasonable, logical and fair to police and civilians- it’ll never happen.

  39. It would be so great if they would start putting these badge-wearing criminals in prison. Cops are such cowards they would be angels after hearing about a few cops getting screwed in prison.

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