The 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.