A California mother is suing the city of Carlsbad, Calif., after she says she was pinned to the ground and repeatedly punched in the head during a 2013 arrest, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Cindy Hahn calls July 31, 2013, a “horrific day,” a day when a simple inquiry reportedly led to her getting on the wrong side of a Carlsbad police officer.
According to the news station, Hahn said she had seen the officer standing in front of a car with its doors open and the alarm going off, and so she asked him what was going on.
“And he says, ‘Is this your car?’ And I said, ‘No, sir.’ And he says, ‘Then mind your own [f—king] business,’” she told the station.
An astonished Hahn said she told a man nearby about her verbal exchange with the officer, and together they decided that she should do something about it, and so she started taking video. The officer allegedly continued cursing at her, so she called the police to report him. Then she left.
However, her encounter with the police was not yet over, she said. Moments later, that same officer pulled her over for an alleged seat belt violation, and Hahn said she soon found herself pinned to the ground. When backup arrived, things escalated even more, with an officer repeatedly punching her in the head, she recalled.
“I can feel hands on me. It’s the weirdest feeling,” she said.
Hahn was beaten in front of her two small children, who talk about the incident to this day. In video of Hahn’s arrest, the distraught mother can be heard screaming, “Help me” over and over again, while insisting that she did not do anything.
“The only thing that he’ll talk to me about is, ‘I couldn’t protect you, Mom. I could’ve. I could’ve got him off you. I could have helped you,’” she said, repeating what her son, who witnessed the incident, has told her.
Hahn was charged with resisting arrest and battery of an officer, but those charges were dropped this past July, according to the news station. The video played a key part in making that possible.
“Never seen a police-tactics expert testify that what you need to do is slug a female in the face,” Hahn’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said.
The mother is now suing the city and the officers involved, saying that she wants the officers fired and reform for the department.
Hahn’s own father, a retired San Fernando, Calif., police officer, said he found the officers’ actions “unnecessary.”
“There was no need to punch her in the face when he ran up on the scene. There was no need to punch her any further. All he did was deliver a lot of punishment that was totally unnecessary,” Mike Dalton, her father, said.
Read more at CBS Los Angeles.