The on-going case of the death of Alesia Thomas in police custody took yet another turn today as an attorney for the family says he has new information that shows the 35-year-old died as a result of the force and actions of the officers involved in her arrest.
First, a little history.
It was back in 2012, when Thomas left her two children outside an LAPD station. It was 2 o'clock in the morning when the kids walked in and handed the startled desk officers a note that reportedly instructed them to call their grandmother.
There are reports that Thomas was bi-polar and had chemical dependency issues, something the family attorney said he could not yet confirm.
But back to that fateful night in 2012, fast forward a few hours and LAPD officers were at Thomas' door arresting her for abandoning her kids. They say she was combative and resisted arrest. Veteran officer Mary O'Callaghan was called in as back-up.
Exactly what happened next and why, well that depends on who you ask but what is clear is that the end result would forever change many a life.
What we do know is that Alesia Thomas died in custody moments later.
And we also know that the moments before her death were recorded; caught on a police cruiser's camera.
And what was on that video led LA's District Attorney to charge Officer O'Callaghan with assault under the color of authority. The DA says the video shows the officer kicking a handcuffed Thomas in the groin and stomach, over and over again.
It's important to note that O'Callaghan was NOT charged with Thomas' death and has pleaded NOT guilty to the charge of excessive force. Her attorney says the video will prove her innocence.
The coroner was unable to determine exactly what caused Thomas's death but did find cocaine in her system.
But now the family attorney, Dale Galipo, says his medical experts have determined it was the force and restraint used by O'Callaghan and the other officers that caused her to die.
Those are some very serious allegations. Outside of LAPD headquarters today, I asked Galipo if he would be sharing those medical reports with the District Attorney and he said yes, he would.
The family wants homicide charges brought against the veteran officer and former marine.
Both the DA and the coroner say they are open to reviewing any additional information.
Meanwhile, O'Callaghan is due back in court in December.