LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles police saying she was somehow ejected from a moving police car while handcuffed.
Kim Nguyen, 28, told the Los Angeles Times (police questioned her on the night of March 17 as she waited outside a Koreatown restaurant with two men for a sober friend to pick them up. The same officers saw Nguyen running across the street soon thereafter, arrested her for public intoxication, handcuffed her and put her in the car, she said.
Nguyen said she was thrown from the car but doesn’t remember how it happened.
In an incident report, paramedics said police told them Nguyen fell out of the car as they accelerated after stopping at an intersection.
Surveillance video from the night of the incident obtained and given to the Times by Nguyen’s attorney Arnoldo Casillas does not show Nguyen being ejected because of the angle and distance of the camera, but it shows her lying in the street afterward, police officers standing around her, and her face bruised and bloodied. She appears to be unconscious at first, then starts writhing. Paramedics arrived a few minutes later.
Nguyen, who is pursuing a graduate business degree at Loyola Marymount University, said she had to be sedated for several days and had to have three surgeries on a shattered jaw. She also lost several teeth and suffered bleeding on her brain. It was not clear how much the lawsuit seeks in damages.
LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith told the Times he does not know if an internal investigation into the incident had begun, but said if one hasn’t started, one would be opened now. Smith said patrol cars’ back doors are equipped with special locks that are supposed to be used while suspects are in the car.
The lawsuit identifies the officers by their last names and first initials. LAPD records showed that two officers assigned to the Koreatown area match the names: David Shin, who has been with the department since 2010, and Jim Oh, who has been with LAPD since 2008.