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A pregnant woman who was hogtied by California Highway Patrol officers after a traffic stop will receive a $250,000 settlement from the state.
Tamara Gaglione was reportedly weaving between lanes while talking on her cell phone when she was stopped by the CHP, reports the ABA Journal.
After the stop, officers claim that Gaglione behaved menacingly, and so they took "appropriate" action by kneeing and hog-tying her. Gaglione claimed that she had simply exited her vehicle without any threatening gestures, and that the CHP response was inappropriate.
Video evidence apparently supported Gaglione.
After the stop, the video shows Gaglione simply staring at a CHP officer who then proceeds to kick the pregnant woman, sweeping her legs out from under her, reports the Journal. After Gaglione is on the ground, an officer appears to kick her before she is placed in the CHP cruiser.
Gaglione's lawyer says that officers originally told him that there was no video footage of the incident. But he says that after he persisted, he was allowed to watch it at a CHP station. The lawyer recorded the video and then promptly posted it on YouTube.
You can see the clip here:
It's not clear what the CHP's reason was for originally denying the video to Gaglione, besides the fact that it contradicts the officers' story. Typically, as part of the discovery process, law-enforcement agencies are expected to turn over requested documents such as arrest videos. The CHP would have a duty to do so, and failure to comply -- or lying about the video's existence -- could subject them to liability.
However, because the case was ultimately settled, the CHP will likely avoid sanctions for whatever happened with the video. In fact, as part of the settlement, they probably did not even admit fault.
It's notable that the only unlawful act that Tamara Gaglione was charged with was talking on her cell phone while driving. She pleaded no contest to that charge.
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