A pregnant driver hogtied by police after she was pulled over for talking on her cellphone has received a $250,000 settlement.
Officers with the California Highway Patrol claimed the driver, Tamara Gaglione, raised her arms in a menacing manner after she exited her van, the Los Angeles Times reports. They said they kneed her so they could apply handcuffs.
Video of the incident shows Gaglione weaving between lanes before finally stopping on the highway shoulder. Rather than raising her arms, she stares at police until an officer uses a kick to sweep out her legs and push her to the ground. An officer also appears to kick Gaglione after she is on the pavement. She is then hogtied before being placed in a police car.
Gaglione’s lawyer, Howard Price, told the Los Angeles Times and the Huffington Post that he was initially told there was no video of the incident. After he persisted, he was allowed to see the video played at the police station. He recorded it and posted the tape to YouTube.
Police and Gaglione differ on whether she told officers about her pregnancy before or after she was pushed to the ground. Charges of evading arrest and driving on a suspended license were dropped after a judge screened the video, the Times says. Gaglione pleaded no contest to using a cellphone while driving.
Gaglione told the Times the incident has changed her life. "I will always be scared of police officers because of these knuckleheads," she said.