When I wrote about the “Goodness of the Black Heart,” I was referring to incredible gestures of kindness and forgiveness as you are about to see, by the mother of Alesia Thomas. In an age of unrelenting police violence against Black women and men, it is even more surprising and awe-inspiring to witness spontaneous gestures like this one, knowing they are rarely seen in courtrooms in cases involving non-African Americans. The love, generosity of spirit, and aspiration to truly be a better person must be recognized. During a week in which we mourn the tragic loss of Sandra Bland, this gesture is both beautiful and heartbreaking.
Mary O'Callaghan apologized to the mother of the woman who died while in her custody during her sentencing for kicking and shoving the handcuffed woman. Kim Baldonado reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 23, 2015. (Published Thursday, July 23, 2015)
‘Mother to Mother, I Am Extremely Sorry’: Former Veteran LAPD Officer Sentenced in Arrest Assault | NBC Southern California
“Not a day goes by that I don’t pray for her. I pray for her every day. I pray for her children,” the former officer said during her sentencing.
A former veteran Los Angeles police officer was sentenced Thursday to three years behind bars for kicking and shoving a handcuffed woman who later died, but a judge has suspended 20 months of the term, meaning Mary O’Callaghan will only have to serve about 16 months in county jail.
She’s been given credit for already serving about three months.
O’Callaghan, 50, was given credit by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta for already serving about three months in custody. At her own request, O’Callaghan was taken into custody June 5, immediately following her conviction on a charge of assault by a public officer. She had been relieved of duty by the department.
In court Thursday, O’Callaghan apologized to the mother of the victim, 35-year-old Alesia Thomas.