‘I can’t breathe,’ Alesia Thomas told police before she died, prosecutor says

More stories on police brutality.


A 35-year-old black woman named Alesia Thomas uttered the words “I can’t breathe” after getting kicked in the throat and groin in the back of a patrol car in 2012, according to a Los Angeles prosecutor.

Deputy District Attorney Shannon Presby is arguing the case against police officer Mary O’Callaghan who along with two other officers is charged with assault under the color of authority.

Thomas stopped breathing in the back of the patrol car that day, and was pronounced dead later a nearby hospital. No officers were charged for her death. According to NBC Los Angeles, a coroner could not determine a cause of death, but cocaine intoxication played a “major” role and her interaction with the officers “could not be excluded.”

In a video of the trial featured on a local L.A. news station, the prosecutor says, “The evidence will show Alesia Thomas was telling the truth when she told the defendant…

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